Coventry vs Portsmouth – Pompey attempt to rise from ashes
Portsmouth (21/10 to win) may have won a match in the courts on Thursday, but they could find Aidy Boothroyd’s Coventry (5/4) considerably less favourable than the judge in their case against the taxman.
The ruling that their Company Voluntary Arrangement can go ahead as planned means the club should move out of administration soon and begin to sign some players.
Steve Cotterill only has 13 senior members to pick from for the 3.00pm match, and it’s clear youth will be needed against a strong Coventry side, who should give captain Lee Carsley his debut.
Coventry are aiming for their fifth consecutive opening day win and with proven Championship forwards Gary McSheffrey (6/1 to score first) and Freddy Eastwood (6/1), should have too much for a team with only three registered defenders.
Kevin-Prince Boateng (7/1) is quality, though, and David Nugent (6/1) was prolific at this level for Preston, suggesting the away side could grab a goal. But a 2-1 victory for the Sky Blues seems like a sound bet (7/1).
Bristol City vs Millwall, kick-off 3.00pm
England’s World Cup keeper David James will make his debut for Bristol City in Steve Coppell’s first game in charge and a winning start is likely (10/11), despite a host of injuries.
A 2-0 win for the Robins over Premier League Blackpool was a good indicator of the team’s level and a repeat against League One play-off winners Millwall is possible (7/1).
New boy Sam Vokes will play and, at 11/2, is a decent bet for first scorer. The Lions will want to rectify a record of no opening day wins since 2003, but a draw (12/5) may be the best they can hope for.
QPR take on Barnsley at Loftus Road in another 3pm Saturday kick-off. The big spending Hoops are 4/6 to win, while the Tykes are 9/2 to grab an unlikely victory.