Nottingham Forest win and 4 more EFL bets to back this weekend

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Following an international break where Adam Lallana was the toast of the nation, the EFL is back in full-swing with the Championship returning, while Leagues One and Two are packed with crucial fixtures, including an intriguing basement battle between Bristol Rovers and Rochdale.

So, without further ado, here are our top tips ahead of a full-house of games across the country.

Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest (Championship)

A pub quiz answer of the future, September 11 2016 marks the first time two European Cup winners have played one another in the second-tier of any country. But despite this unwanted place in trivia, there’s plenty for Forest fans to be cheerful about as they make the short trip across the Midlands.

Philippe Montanier’s men have won their last three games, and two of those wins have come comfortably, with Forest leading at half-time and cruising to victory. Villa, meanwhile, are winless in three, slumping to a 3-1 defeat at Ashton Gate in their last outing.

With Forest frequently quick starters, having already scored three times in the opening 20 minutes of games this season, there looks to be plenty of value in them leading early and staying ahead at Villa Park.

Best Bet: HT: Nottingham Forest / FT: Nottingham Forest @ 15/2

Preston North End v Barnsley (Championship)

Currently lying in third spot, just two points outside the automatic promotion places, Barnsley are loving life back in the Championship. And things could be about to get even better for the Tykes, who visit a Preston North End side seemingly unable to win at Deepdale.

The Lancashire outfit haven’t won any of their last eight home league games, losing three of the last four. Conversely, Barnsley boast six wins from their last 10 on the road, including a 4-1 thumping of Wigan Athletic.

And this is a ground where Paul Heckingbottom’s men have a great record, with Barnsley winning on three of their last five visits to PNE.

Best Bet: Barnsley to win @ 5/2

Bristol Rovers v Rochdale (League One)

The visitors have endured a miserable time on the road so far this season with a single draw and three defeats, and Dale haven’t won a single League One game anywhere, despite having led on two occasions.

Though Rovers haven’t had an ideal start to life in the division, they’ve already beaten Oxford United and Championship Cardiff City at Memorial Stadium this season. But Darrell Clarke’s men often do things the hard way, having won six games from behind since the start of 2015-16.

That means we could well see Dale strike the first blow before falling to yet another defeat on the road.

Best Bet: Bristol Rovers to come from behind and win @ 11/1

Millwall v Coventry City (League One)

Boss Tony Mowbray got the Sky Blues off to a great start last season, but it’s been a totally different affair this year, with just three points to show for their efforts after six games – though their gaffer can gain some encouragement from the fact they’ve scored in four of their last five outings in all competitions.

However, they’ll be no match for a Millwall side on a 12-match unbeaten home run in League One, which has included nine victories. And five of those wins have seen the Lions net three goals in the process.

And that’s a fate which Cov know all too well at the New Den, having lost 3-0 and 3-1 during two of their last trio of visits to East London. Expect them to be run ragged in defence again, though there’s a good chance they’ll grab a goal at some point.

Best Bet: Millwall to win 3-1 @ 12/1

Luton Town v Grimsby Town (League Two)

It’s hats off to the Hatters so far this season, with Nathan Jones’ men sitting top of the table and heading into this one on the back of a 4-1 mauling of Wycombe Wanderers. And the visiting Mariners could be all at sea against the division’s form team.

Luton have taken 14 points from their last six League Two games at Kenilworth Road, meaning Grimsby – without an away win since their return to the Football League this summer – are likely to come away empty handed yet again.

However, despite lying in 14th place, the Lincolnshire outfit are the division’s second highest scorers, behind only Luton. And having netted in all six league games this season, expect them to give the home fans a moment of cheer on a difficult day.

Best Bet: Luton Town to win and BTTS @ 3/1

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.