With the international break over, and England still top of their World Cup qualifying group, it’s back to business for clubs across all three leagues of the EFL.
Friday night kicks off with a pair of Championship games, including in-form Birmingham City’s trip to Nottingham Forest, while Rochdale and Yeovil Town are looking to boost their points tally in League One and Two respectively.
So, after much discussion, here are Ladbrokes News’ five top tips for the weekend’s action.
Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City
These are tough times for the hosts, who have lost four and drawn three of their last seven games in all competitions, with Forest’s last victory arriving on August 28.
By contrast, Blues are unbeaten in as many games, winning four of their last seven, including a 3-0 victory over a very impressive Norwich City side.
Birmingham are surely overpriced to win at the City Ground at 9/5, but having already chalked up multiple 2-1 wins this season, a repeat of that scoreline could be the smartest selection here.
Best Bet: Birmingham to win 2-1 @ 9/1
Norwich City v Rotherham United
Just two points off top spot in the Championship, the Canaries owe much of their success to an outstanding home streak. They’ve won the last four on their own patch, and those victories have mostly been rather comfortable – with City leading at half-time on every occasion.
By contrast, the Millers have lost each of their last four games, including a 4-2 pummelling by fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers. With Alan Stubbs’ men trailing at the break in three of those games, you can expect Norwich to lead early and cruise to victory again.
Best Bet: HT/FT – Norwich/Norwich @ Evens
Northampton Town v Millwall
Northampton’s play-off push has largely been down to continued good form at Sixfields. Three clean sheets in the last five home games have helped yield ten points, while relegation-threatened visitors Millwall have lost four league games on the trot, conceding 11 in the process.
However, the boys from Bermondsey have found the net in each of those matches, meaning they’re likely to get on the scoresheet – though there’s little chance of them building on their points total.
Best Bet: Northampton to win and BTTS @ 4/1
Rochdale v Bury
It may not be Manchester’s best-known footballing rivalry, but with just six miles separating Spotland from Gigg Lane, there’s a huge amount of local pride at stake in this one – and it’s Dale who are likely to earn the bragging rights this time out.
The hosts have taken maximum points from their last five fixtures, while three losses in all competitions have seen Bury’s promotion challenge falter. Rochdale won the last meeting 3-0 on home soil, and all the stats suggest they’ll come out on top again.
Best Bet: Rochdale to win @ 11/10
Yeovil Town v Newport County
Last weekend’s victory over Wycombe Wanderers gave the Glovers a much-needed three point cushion above the relegation zone. And they’re set to extend that gap with victory over a Newport side who’ve netted once in their last four League Two matches.
One man at the heart of the Glovers’ best results has been forward Tom Eaves, who’s netted twice in his last three appearances. After missing a couple of games with an ankle knock, the 24-year-old will be raring to go again, and could prove too hot for County to handle.
Best Bet: Tom Eaves to score anytime @ 11/5
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing