Brighton vs Newcastle
Both these sides impressed on opening day. The Seagulls with that terrific display at old Trafford and The Magpies were sensational in a 2-0 win over Forest.
Welbeck’s direct running, the creativity of Trossard and Mac Allister along with the energy of Lamptey made Brighton a nightmare at Old Trafford.
They created so many chances, as Graham Potters sides do. A 1.67 xG doesn’t even tell the full story of just how good they were.
No doubt they can be got at though. Bissouma is a huge miss and leaves them vulnerable through the middle. They actually suffered an xG of 2.01, with United missing some absolute sitters (looking at you Mr Rashford).
Newcastle were sensational on opening day, granted that Forest were also very poor.
They created change after chance, showing why they’re so well fancied for a good run this season.
Wilson is a top tier finisher and the creativity that Bruno Guimaraes has brought to the side is immeasurable.
The Toon racked up an xG of 2.93, had 23 shots and took 11 corners.
Along with Liverpool, Newcastle were the only side not to have a goalless game last season. 30 of their 38 games saw at least 2 match goals.
Wigan vs Bristol City
Bristol City are the kings of Championship entertainment. 31/46 of their games saw BTTS last season, 39/46 had 2 or more goals. Remarkable consistency.
They’ve started this season in similar fashion. 2-1 and 3-2 defeats along with a. 4-1 win in the EFL Cup in midweek.
Andreas Weimann has scored in each of those 3 matches as he looks for another impressive season having netted 22 in the last campaign.
As for Wigan, they were unlucky to draw on opening day having racked up a 1.72 xG at home to Preston.
They then pulled of a shock with a 1-1 draw away at title favourites Norwich.
At home, The Latics have excellent in recent years and they’re consistent scorers in front of their own fans. Lang, McClean and Keane scored 50 goals between them last season and have enough quality to hurt a vulnerable Bristol City defence.
Accrington vs Burton
I really like the way Accrington have started the season, they were the better side against Charlton on the opening day, before taking advantage of a refereeing error to beat Shrewsbury 1-0 away from home.
Accrington lost key defender Jay Rich-Baghuelou in that game against Shrewsbury, he was replaced by Everton loanee Ryan Astley in the 21st minute.
Astley scored his first ever goal in senior football in the midweek EFL Cup game against Tranmere, Stanley were 2-0 up early in that game but ended up losing on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
On Saturday they face a Burton side who have had started the season dreadfully, losing 3-0 away to Wycombe to start off the campaign, then losing 4-0 at home to promoted Bristol Rovers, they even crashed out the cup against League Two Rochdale after a 2-0 defeat at Spotland Stadium on Tuesday night.
That’s 9 goals conceded and 0 scored in their opening three matches of the season, relegation form. The Brewers have gone from 7/2 at the start of the season to 13/8 to drop down and it would be hard to advise anyone against that bet.
John Coleman has made a career out of beating teams that are low on confidence. In last season’s campaign, Crewe were comfortably the worst team in the league, finishing bottom by eight points.
Accrington beat Crewe 4-1 at home and 1-0 away. I think Accrington will almost certainly win this game.
The caveat is that their defence has looked a little ropey, conceding twice against both Charlton and Tranmere. They may have produced an average xG of 1.73, but they’ve suffered an xGA of 1.46 and 1.36 in their two games so far.
Carlisle vs Swindon
Carlisle have produced the highest xG from open play of any side in the EFL so far this season. They could’ve scored 4/5 in the win against Crawley and then created 9 big chances in the 1-1 draw with Colchester.
The Cumbrians then went to League Two Shrewsbury and netted twice in an unfortunate 3-2 loss.
Kristian Dennis has 3 in 3, all assisted by new signing Owen Moxon. Omari Patrick is a key component of this side and returned to the starting 11 in midweek, summer signing Ryan Edmondson was also on target.
As for Swindon, they were one of the top entertainers in the divison last season. Averaging 2.85 goals per game, with 38/46 of their matches seeing over 1.5 goals.
They’re also bouyed by the return of Harry McKirdy. He’s not a popular man at Brunton Park, that was even prior to him scoring 1 and assisting 2 on his last trip to his former side.
Swindon haven’t scored in their opening 2, but have been unlucky in that regard. Particularly in their season opener. They were then reduced to 10 men (McKirdy being sent off) in their 0-0 draw with Salford. They should find the net here.
There’s been over 1.5 in each of the last 5 meetings between these two sides.
Stockport vs Colchester
Pre-season title favourites Stockport haven’t delivered so far, with a 3-2 opening day defeat to Barrow and then a 2-1 defeat to Stevenage. A midweek cup win will have boosted spirits.
One thing has been consistent and that’s the entertainment factor that County provide.
It’s no surprise either, they scored 87 goals last season and with the likes of Paddy Madden, Antoni Sarcevic and Callum Campa in the line up – that’s no surprise.
They dominated the ball against Barrow and produced an xG of 1.58. Their slow start and slack defending cost them dear.
Colchester have taken 1 point from their opening 2, that came against the aforementioned Carlisle.
They escaped that one despite conceding 9 big chances. A combination of luck and great goalkeeping saved their blushes.
They managed to net twice away at a strong Northampton side but their defence let them down again, conceding 3 goals.
They got absolutely battered in midweek too, suffering an xGA of 2.83 against League One Ipswich, yet, they somehow escaped with a 1-0 win. That’s despite relinquishing 78% of the ball, facing 19 shots and 11 corners.
Sutton vs Barrow
Barrow have been the football league’s surprise package so far. Surprise is probably not even enough of a stretch, this is a side heavily fancied to go down.
Here we are after 2 games, they’ve beaten the 2 promotion favourites – Stockport and Bradford; both by 3-2 score lines.
An average xG of 1.62 so far has been mightily impressive. Pete Wild has got his side playing really good, positive football, which will be refreshing for Barrow fans.
They also knocked out League One Blackpool in the EFL Cup in midweek, it’s blue skies right now for Barrow.
As for Sutton, they’ve only taken 1 point from their opening 2 games. They fit the bill for us though, with BTTS landing in both encounters before they faced a tough trip to MK Dons in the cup.
With the likes of Enzio Boldewijn and Donovan Wilson, they’ve got ability in attack and one thing that goes a distance in League Two – raw pace.
Both sides can easily get o the scoresheet here, Barrow have flexed their attacking capabilities but they’ve still conceded 4 times in 2 matches. Sutton can hurt them.
Chesterfield vs Aldershot
It was looking like it was going to be a perfect start to the season for Chesterfield against Dorking last week as they went 1 up early on, but then Lucas Covolan the Chesterfield keeper got himself sent off for a silly off the ball incident.
With no sub keeper on the bench midfielder Ollie Banks went in goal and it looked like being an uphill struggle from there on. They did however go 2 up and it was then just a case of seeing if they could hold on. Sadly, for them they couldn’t and eventually Banks’ luck ran out as he conceded twice in the final 25 minutes.
Last season Chesterfield lost a lot of points from winning positions and although it is slightly worrying they have started off this one in the same manner, you have to think they would have seen it out with an actual goalkeeper in goal.
They face an Aldershot side who come here on the back of a poor seasonal debut at home to Solihull last week. They were well beaten 4-1 and after only just finishing above the relegation zone last season I get the sense things aren’t going to improve that much this time around. This is another tough fixture for them.
Solihull’s xG was 2.81 against Aldershot last week and with Chesterfield able to score 2 with just 10 men on the pitch last week I think they can score at least 2 goals again this Saturday.
Aldershot did have that game back to 1-1 before soon conceding again. That being said, they still offered up an xG of 1.30, had 19 shots and 5 corners.
Chesterfield have a nasty habit of letting their guard down, which cost them dearly last season.