Fulham vs Newcastle
The attacking intent from Eddie Howe’s Newcastle this year is evident for all to see. Their shots total so far is eclipsed by only Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, three sides that you’d expect to be piling sustained pressure on opponents week by week.
Unfortunately for Toon supporters, Bruno Guimaraes and Allan Saint-Maximin are unlikely to make the starting eleven for Fulham away, with the Brazilian sent home from Brazil camp with swelling in his thigh. On the other hand, Saint-Maximin hasn’t featured since his last-minute equaliser against Wolves. To add further injury misery for Eddie Howe, Alexander Isak and Chris Wood are both ruled out.
The shining light in all of this, thankfully for The Magpies, is Callum Wilson’s return to the squad. Playing Fulham has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Wilson, with three of his appearances against the Cottagers producing three goals.
Fulham have mustered a victory in their most recent two Premier League home games. The capital club had the same amount of wins in their previous 21 top-flight home outings at Craven Cottage. So, confidence will be high, and a depleted Newcastle, who have enough firepower themselves, are certainly there for the taking.
Bournemouth vs Brentford
Here we have the first-ever meeting between the two in England’s top flight. Handily for the over 1.5 goals selection, Brentford find themselves on a run of 19 Premier League games away from home without a clean sheet. That is, as it stands, the worst stretch of any side in the division.
For two contrasting reasons, only Manchester City and Leicester City have amassed more goals than Brentford’s opening six games. The Bees’ 15 strikes and 12 conceded show just how likely they are to encourage the net to ripple at either end – perfect for an overs selection.
Admittedly, Bournemouth’s inability to find the net in their recent two home matches isn’t ideal, though they will have taken a great deal of confidence from their last two fixtures on the road. The three-goal comeback victory at Forest and the ability to hold Newcastle to a draw will keep them in good stead as Brentford comes to town.
Blackpool vs Norwich
Norwich leads the league in expected goals in the Championship’s underlying metrics. The Canaries’ 16.8xG pips the likes of Sheffield United, West Brom, and Middlesborough in creating the most gilt-edged chances in the division.
At the other end of the scale, nearer the foot of the xGA rankings, is where Blackpool currently resides. That will be music to the ears of Dean Smith and his Norwich players. So, here we have a team creating plenty of high-quality opportunities and a home team who ships far more than they should, according to their 16.8xGA. Only two teams have a higher expected goals-against total in the second tier.
The slight concern for a visiting Norwich side after an international break is the wealth of riches in their squad at Championship level. Nunez, Pukki, and Sargent, three important cogs in the Canaries machine, all travelled across the world in a busy fortnight away from club duties. Hopefully, that doesn’t play too much of a part, and Norwich wraps up the over 1.5 goals themselves.
Bristol City vs QPR
Bristol City and goals go hand in hand. That’s not a recent phenomenon – it was exactly the same last season. In 2022/23, however, the emergence of Tommy Conway and his flourishing partnership with Championship veteran Nahki Wells has produced an even more reliable source of goals.
All ten Bristol City matches have overseen over 1.5 goals this season, whilst QPR have hit over 1.5 in six out of ten fixtures in this market. Now, that isn’t the best, though you’d have to be brave to back against it occurring once again at Ashton Gate.
Last season, Bristol City finished top of the tree in their over 1.5 goals rankings for punters. The selection banked in 86% of matches, with their 39/46 games seeing multiple goals. Fulham and Peterborough were second with 37/46 ushering two or more strikes into the spotlight.
Just behind Blackpool in the xGA stakes, as mentioned above, is Bristol City. Not only do they score a hatful, but they also afford chances to their opponents in dangerous areas. The 14.9xGA will encourage a Michael Beale-led QPR side who will see their trip to Bristol as one they should profit from in terms of points.
Exeter vs Bristol Rovers
The Grecians bound into match day seven on the back of a commanding 0-4 win against Forest Green on unfamiliar turf. Now at home, a place where they’ve won three from five after promotion, 21st-placed Bristol Rovers are tasked with halting Matt Taylor’s Exeter.
Excuse the tired cliche, but St. James’ Park needed to become a fortress of sorts if Exeter were to maintain a foothold in League One. And that has happened so far. Though, it’s Exeter’s ability to go toe to toe with sides away from home that will have delighted supporters. There’s no doubt Exeter have what it takes for a sustained stay in the league, with a top-half finish not out of the question.
Bristol Rovers fans may be thinking the opposite with their club hovering over the relegation places after eight games in all competitions without a win. In that limp run of eight games, Rovers have succumbed to an aggregate score of 8-18, returning just two points. Exeter at home should present a sizable task. There will be squads much better than Bristol Rovers in the division that come away empty-handed this season. The South West outfit has enough to return the spoils on their own here.
Dorking vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Newly-promoted Dorking successfully navigated National League South last season by scoring the most goals in the division. The 101 strikes in 40 games saw the Surrey-based ensemble hit 21 more than eventual winners Maidstone. That cocksure approach to matches hasn’t faltered with a step up in class, as Meadowbank crowds continue to witness more of the same.
This goal-laden pairing sits in the middle of the table and boasts the highest goal totals (scored + conceded) in the National League. The 9/10 Dorking games and The Daggers’ 8/10 matches that have overseen two or more goals highlight the type of fixtures both have been involved in this season.
It’s safe to say both sets of supporters have got their money’s worth after ten games in the National League. The hosts arrive on Saturday with a 4.10 goals per90 match average, whereas the visitors stump up slightly less at 3.90 – that’s a bums-off-seats type of 90-minute return. So, in theory, over 1.5 goals should be a walk in the park.
Barnet vs York City
The 5-4 loss to Dagenham & Redbridge sums up Barnet’s National League season in a bite-sized nutshell. More than capable of finding the back of the net but equally as susceptible to conceding at the wrong end – Barnet’s penchant for both has garnered a mixed bag of results to date. Four wins, four losses, two draws and a spot in midtable. That sounds about right for a side as leaky at either end.
The 0-1 loss to Dorking at home somehow saw only one goal. Two teams set up on the front foot that often carves out multiple decent chances each game. The Dorking defeat stands as the only fixture from Barnet’s ten matches that didn’t encourage over 1.5 goals.
York City don’t necessarily boast the same regularity of goals. Still, they have handled their recent promotion and a complete overhaul of the squad in a somewhat controlled manner at either end. Averaging one goal scored and 1.10 conceded per90, there’s wiggle room to work with there for a Barnet side who will look to capitalise on home advantage as they have done already this season. Three wins in four at home has this down as a difficult trip for John Askey’s York City side.