Blackpool vs Norwich
It’s 2nd vs 19th in the Championship and I’m sure Norwich will be a staple pick in plenty of accumulators today as the pre-season promotion favourites take on one of the bookies favourites to be relegated.
Blackpool have failed to produce an xG above 0.85 in their last 4 matches, despite not facing any particularly strong sides. It was a clear run where the Tangerines could’ve targeted picking up a plethora of points, instead they managed 1 win and 3 losses.
Norwich have the best xG from open play in The Championship and thoroughly justify their lofty place in the standings. Only Sheffield United are currently above them; The Blades host Birmingham in a very winnable game so it’s important for The Canaries to keep up the pressure.
They’ve won 6, drawn 1 of their last 7 games and are further bolstered by the imminent returns of Grant Hanley and Andrew Omobamidele.
Carlisle vs Crewe
Carlisle played their re-arranged fixture with Grimsby in midweek after the original game was abandoned after just a matter of minutes thanks to a heavy downpour.
The Cumbrians ran out 2-1 winners in midweek, following on from a 2-1 weekend success against Wimbledon. That makes it just 1 loss from their opening 10 matches and they’ve continued where they left off last season and remain revitalized under the leadership of local hero Paul Simpson.
Only Stevenage have beaten Carlisle this season and they’ve been particularly strong at home. Brunton Park has become a real happy hunting ground over the past few seasons.
Kristian Dennis already has 7 goals this season, benefitting from Carlisle’s fantastic average xG of 1.51.
The creativity of Gibson and Patrick as well as the prominence of Owen Moxon has been key. Whilst Paul Huntington looks to be an exceptional addition at centre back.
As for Crewe, they’ve struggled lately. After relegation last season, the target is an immediate bounce back but in this highly competitive division you’ve got to make the games count.
The Railwaymen have won just 1 of their last 6. Worryingly, this is their metrics catching up with them. This season they’ve averaged an xG of just 1.oo but an xGA, a disparity of 0.31.
Compared to The Blues, who have averaged an xGA of just 0.92. Meaning they’re 0.59 in the positive.
Carlisle have had plenty of positive results but they’re due rolling someone over, something Paul Simpson has mentioned. Today could be the day and the hosts are a great price to win.
Crawley vs Stevenage
Stevenage have surprised many this season with their performances. Plenty of places had them as a relegation candidate, as opposed to what they’ve emerged as which is at the very least a play-off hopeful, very possibly a contender for the automatic places.
They currently sit 3rd, having won 7 of their 10 League Two matches so far. Steve Evans has made them rugged and combative as well as creative and incisive when on the front foot.
They’re further helped by the returns of Micheal Bostwick and David Amoo to the squad for the trip to Crawley.
Their xG stats are superb. An xGF of 1.73 is brillaint in itself, but when you then factor in an xGA of just 0.76, it’s easy to see why this side have the potential to have a superb season.
For Crawley, it’s been almost the polar opposite. Well fancied this season following the club takeover and the marquee signing of Dom Telford, it hasn’t shaped up at all well for Town.
They’ve won just 1 game so far and their 17 goals conceded is the highest in the league. As a result they sit 22nd in the table.
They’ve averaged an xG of just 0.82 whilst having an xGA of 1.48. Times are tough for Crawley and I expect Stevenage to pile on the misery here; I’ve added some extra safety with choosing them to win either half but s straight win is also a good option.
Chesterfield vs Maidenhead
Chesterfield are absolutely flying at the top of the National League. Finally, this hugely historic club is flexing their muscles at this level and look set to be one of the frontrunners for a coveted automatic promotion place.
They’ve won 7, drawn 3 of their opening 10 NL games. They’ve already scored 21 times this season and look ready to demolish just about anyone in their path. They’ve won 4/4 at home this season.
Even in the absence of star man Kabongo Tshimanga, they’ve comfortably dispatched of sides in their way. He returned to the side from the bench last week and found the net, so could push for a start here. He’s been heavily linked with moves as high as The Championship, that’s how good he is.
Chesterfield have averaged an xG of 1.7 and an xGA of just 0.99 so far this season.
They face a Maidenhead side who sit 18th. Was it not for their home record, that would be far worse as their away record is truly abysmal. They’ve played 4, lost 4 and are yet to score a single goal.
Chesterfield should wipe the floor with their opponents here and keep their foot on the pedal at the National League summit,