Football League Gameweek 2 Previews and Predictions

Hey everyone, here are my predictions and previews for the football league season. To help me be able to spend more time on the blog and not have to go on another hiatus, it would be awesome if anyone could donate to it through the link here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sportscloudblog.

Championship:

Peterborough United vs Derby County

Odds: Peterborough – 23/20 Draw – 23/10 Derby – 5/2

What I think will happen:

This matchup is probably going to end up being important in the long term fight against relegation for these teams and I’m leaning towards Peterborough here. Both sides played poorly last weekend but at least Peterborough showed some flashes of something being there and ran into a very good performance from Luton while Derby were very lucky not to lose at the weekend.

Peterborough 2-1 Derby

Barnsley vs Coventry City

Odds: Barnsley – 1/1 Draw – 23/10 Coventry – 3/1

What I think will happen:

Both of these teams impressed me last weekend, especially Barnsley who play some really nice football. I like them to win this one with home advantage in their favour though I’m a little concerned about how effective long balls were against them. Coventry showed a lot of guts at the weekend to overturn a deficit but if they went behind here, it would be far more difficult to give a repeat performance.

Barnsley 2-1 Coventry

Birmingham City vs Stoke City

Odds: Birmingham – 17/10 Draw – 21/10 Stoke – 9/5

What I think will happen:

Both sides feel fairly similar to how they were last season with Stoke struggling to hold onto a lead and Birmingham playing their defend well and rely on headers style of football. I think Stoke probably should be favourites but I see this one being a draw in the end.

Birmingham 1-1 Stoke

Blackpool vs Cardiff City

Odds: Blackpool – 21/10 Draw – 11/5 Cardiff – 7/5

What I think will happen:

I’m not sold on whether Blackpool have the quality to stay up but they showed a lot of spirit to get a draw out of game that they easily could’ve been out of by half time. Cardiff meanwhile look to be a solid counter attacking side that could maybe do with improving their finishing. I’m somewhat surprised that the money is coming in for Blackpool in this matchup as I’d have fancied Cardiff to be able to win this one with better finishing than last week.

Blackpool 1-2 Cardiff

Huddersfield Town vs Fulham

Odds: Huddersfield – 15/4 Draw – 23/10 Fulham – 17/20

What I think will happen:

Fulham were extremely unlucky to not beat Middlesbrough and I can see them making amends here. Harry Wilson looks too good for this league and I really feel Huddersfield will regret not beating Derby given that they were the better side. Huddersfield also seemed to struggle against set pieces which may hurt them in this matchup. Fulham are my most confident pick so far.

Huddersfield 0-2 Fulham

Hull City vs Queens Park Rangers

Odds: Hull – 9/5 Draw – 9/4 QPR – 8/5

What I think will happen:

This is one of the tighter games of the weekend, Hull I feel were a bit flattered by their margin of victory given the poor keeping from Preston’s backup keeper while I was also disappointed that QPR offered little threat against Millwall as I’d fancied them to win that one. The defending from both sides wasn’t great in their matchups either and I can see this one being a high scoring draw.

Hull 2-2 QPR

Middlesbrough vs Bristol City

Odds: Middlesbrough – 4/5  Draw – 12/5 Bristol City – 4/1

What I think will happen:

Middlesbrough did well to come away with a point in a game they deserved to lose but did show some flashes of decent football here and I like them to beat a Bristol City side that got punished for not killing the game off and sitting too deep in their last matchup. It’s unlikely to be a classic and I can see a 1-0 being grinded out here.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Bristol City

Millwall vs Blackburn Rovers

Odds: Millwall – 29/20 Draw – 11/5 Blackburn – 2/1

What I think will happen:

I was really impressed by Blackburn last weekend with the energy and intensity they showed, especially in the press and I can see them getting a draw here in a tough away game. Millwall started well against QPR and were on top for a decent chunk of the game with the QPR goal being a flash of brilliance rather than poor defending. These are 2 sides that I fancy to be in the playoff battle in the long run and a draw seems fair here.

Millwall 1-1 Blackburn

Nottingham Forest vs Bournemouth

Odds: Notts Forest – 5/2 Draw – 11/5 Bournemouth – 6/5

What I think will happen:

I wasn’t overly impressed by Bournemouth last week, especially at the back with them blowing 2 leads and I’m surprised they’re this short to beat Forest. Forest scored a really nice goal last week and maybe just got caught in the atmosphere towards the end, that won’t happen this time with them being at home and I’m going to pick them to pull off the upset.

Notts Forest 2-1 Bournemouth

Reading vs Preston North End

Odds: Reading – 6/5 Draw – 11/5 Preston – 5/2

What I think will happen:

Both sides disappointed at the weekend with losses with defence being a huge concern for both sides. Reading were lucky to only lose by 1 goal with the first goal they scored coming from a comedy of errors. Preston meanwhile will need Declan Rudd back if they are going to get a result here as their backup keeper looked really poor. I’m going to assume he isn’t back for this matchup and go with a Reading win because of it since they at least did score a couple last week.

Reading 3-1 Preston

West Bromwich Albion vs Luton Town

Odds: WBA – 8/11 Draw – 13/5 Luton – 17/4

What I think will happen:

Both sides were really impressive last week and this should be a surprisingly good matchup. Luton rested players midweek so I’m not worried about their result against Stevenage though I’m more worried about the quality of opposition they face. West Brom looked really good last week with strong set pieces and resilience and I can see them picking up the win here in front of their home fans.

West Brom 3-1 Luton

Swansea City vs Sheffield United

Odds: Swansea – 2/1 Draw – 11/5 Sheff Utd – 29/20

What I think will happen:

I was really disappointed by Sheffield United last week and the Ramsdale saga doesn’t help things. Swansea were also poor, they gave the ball away near their own goal too often and didn’t really get going until they were 2-0 down. But they at least showed some improved form midweek and I’d say they’re the more likely winners of this game, Sheffield United had a real defensive weakness at full back against Birmingham and this can be exploited again.

Swansea 2-1 Sheffield United

League One:

AFC Wimbledon vs Bolton Wanderers

Odds: Wimbledon – 9/5  Draw – 23/10  Bolton – 31/20

What I think will happen:

Both sides showed a lot going forward last week and I found Wimbledon’s performance very impressive against Doncaster. They look like they can have a better season this time around and I’m going to pick them to win here. Bolton were able to scrape a draw late and it was probably a fair result though I felt MK Dons overall looked like a better team than them.

AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Bolton

Accrington Stanley vs Cambridge United

Odds: Accrington – 1/1 Draw – 5/2 Cambridge – 14/5

What I think will happen:

Neither side particularly impressed me last week but I felt Accrington offered a little more than Cambridge did in their respective games, beating Rotherham in midweek as well makes me more confident they can win this one. I feel Cambridge will struggle this season based on how they’ve started since they were lucky to draw last week.

Accrington 2-0 Cambridge

Burton Albion vs Ipswich Town

Odds: Burton – 15/8 Draw – 9/4 Ipswich – 6/4

What I think will happen:

Burton played really well last week in getting a win against a poor Shrewsbury side and given Ipswich look shaky at the back, they can probably avoid defeat at the minimum and maybe win this game. They defended really well last week and with Ipswich prone to mistakes, I like them to get an upset.

Burton 1-0 Ipswich

Cheltenham Town vs Wycombe Wanderers

Odds: Cheltenham – 21/10 Draw – 9/4 Wycombe – 7/5

What I think will happen:

I felt Cheltenham were the better side against Crewe last week while Wycombe also played well against Accrington, this should be a decent game and feels fairly even so I’m going to go for a draw in this one.

Cheltenham 1-1 Wycombe

Lincoln City vs Fleetwood Town

Odds: Lincoln – 23/20 Draw – 23/10 Fleetwood – 13/5

What I think will happen:

I’m surprised that Lincoln are this short a price here. They gave up a fair few chances last week and while Fleetwood lost to Portsmouth, it was more a case of poor finishing than being beaten by the better team. On another day they could’ve been 2-0 up at half time so I’m going to say they draw here. 1-1 could be a likely score in a fairly close game.

Lincoln 1-1 Fleetwood

MK Dons vs Sunderland

Odds: MK Dons – 12/5 Draw – 12/5 Sunderland – 23/20

What I think will happen:

Both sides looked fairly polished last week with Sunderland maybe having the edge here with their better defensive performance, the market seems fair for this one and though I expect MK Dons to be able to score, I think their defence may let them down and have them get beat here.

MK Dons 1-2 Sunderland

Morecambe vs Shrewsbury Town

Odds: Morecambe – 15/8 Draw – 23/10 Shrewsbury – 6/4

What I think will happen:

I’m shocked Shrewsbury are favourites here. They looked terrible last weekend and could really struggle this season if they continue that form. Morecambe profited a bit from poor defending to get their draw but they still played a decent match and I like them to get a home win here to get their season rolling.

Morecambe 1-0 Shrewsbury

Oxford United vs Charlton Athletic

Odds: Oxford – 7/5 Draw – 23/10 Charlton – 2/1

What I think will happen:

Both sides were unlucky to not win last weekend but look evenly matched so may have to settle for another draw again with both teams struggling to convert chances. I do expect them both to be in the mix for the top 6 spots though come the end of the season.

Oxford 0-0 Charlton

Plymouth Argyle vs Gillingham

Odds: Plymouth – 8/5 Draw – 12/5 Gillingham – 17/10

What I think will happen:

This is a tough game to read for me with Plymouth just losing to a good side last week while Gillingham maybe could’ve won their game but 1-1 felt fair for their matchup. There is money coming for Gillingham so I guess I’d follow that in a game I feel is a coinflip and say they nick a 1-0.

Plymouth 0-1 Gillingham

Portsmouth vs Crewe Alexandra

Odds: Portsmouth – 5/6 Draw – 11/4 Crewe – 16/5

What I think will happen:

Portsmouth did what teams that are going to compete at the top need to do and won a game in which they were on the backfoot for a long time which bodes well for their ambitions. Crewe looked poor last week and I see them struggling here in what should be a reasonably comfortable Portsmouth win.

Portsmouth 2-0 Crewe

Sheffield Wednesday vs Doncaster Rovers

Odds: Sheff Wed – 8/11 Draw – 14/5 Doncaster – 15/4

What I think will happen:

Both teams looked really poor last week with Doncaster deservedly blowing a lead and Sheffield Wednesday being lucky that Charlton couldn’t finish their chances. That being said, Sheffield Wednesday at least have the excuse of being away to a good side and didn’t lose so that is enough for me to pick them to win here in a poor game.

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Doncaster

Wigan Athletic vs Rotherham United

Odds: Wigan – 8/5 Draw – 12/5 Rotherham – 17/10

What I think will happen:

This is a really tough game to call. Both sides look like pretty good teams and in those matchups, I tend to lean towards backing the home team and I’m going to do the same here with Rotherham losing at home in midweek. It could go either way, but I’ll take Wigan to win a high scoring game.

Wigan 2-0 Rotherham

League 2

Barrow vs Hartlepool United

Odds: Barrow – 17/10 Draw – 12/5 Hartlepool – 8/5

What I think will happen:

Barrow played like a team that are going to go down last week and I feel in this matchup Hartlepool will be happy to take a point having had a good start. This could easily be a 0-0 and one of the more boring games of the weekend.

Barrow 0-0 Hartlepool

Bradford City vs Oldham Athletic

Odds: Bradford – 4/5 Draw – 5/2 Oldham – 15/4

What I think will happen:

I like Bradford as a possible league winner and they played pretty well in their draw last week. I can see them getting a win here to kick off their season against a mid-table looking Oldham side. I doubt it will be the most high scoring of games given both teams played in cagey affairs last week so I’m going for a 1-0 home win.

Bradford 1-0 Oldham

Bristol Rovers vs Stevenage

Odds: Bristol Rovers – 13/10 Draw – 12/5 Stevenage – 21/10

What I think will happen:

Bristol Rovers got badly let down last week by the red card they got having scored the goal of the weekend earlier on to get back into the game against Mansfield while Stevenage effectively did enough to beat Barrow. I can see a draw being the result here with Bristol Rovers not being the most threatening against Mansfield and with Stevenage looking ok at the back last week.

Bristol Rovers 1-1 Stevenage

Colchester United vs Northampton Town

Odds: Colchester – 13/8 Draw – 11/5 Northampton – 9/5

What I think will happen:

Both teams gave similar performances last weekend with slightly shaky defending despite keeping clean sheets and decent if not spectacular attacking play. This one feels like it could go either way but I’ll take Colchester to nick it 2-1 with the home advantage.

Colchester 2-1 Northampton

Leyton Orient vs Exeter City

Odds: Orient – 7/5 Draw – 23/10 Exeter – 2/1

What I think will happen:

Neither team really blew me away last week and I can see this game being similar to the Orient game last week where they dominate early, take the lead and then sit back and let Exeter into the game who will then nick a draw.

Leyton Orient 1-1 Exeter

Mansfield Town vs Newport County

Odds: Mansfield – 19/20 Draw – 23/10 Newport – 16/5

What I think will happen:

Both teams will likely be bang up there at the end of the season after solid performances last week but I fancy a Mansfield win here, they look like they have more to offer going forward than Newport and that should be enough to give them a 1-0 win

Mansfield 1-0 Newport

Port Vale vs Tranmere Rovers

Odds: Port Vale – 7/5 Draw – 23/10 Tranmere – 2/1

What I think will happen:

I was impressed by Tranmere last week who looked comfortable in their 1-0 win while Port Vale were killed off by a red card in their game. I can see them getting a goal here but I’m not sure they’ll be able to get a result here given their poor run of form lately and Tranmere looking like a decent outfit.

Port Vale 1-2 Tranmere

Rochdale vs Scunthorpe United

Odds: Rochdale – 19/20 Draw – 5/2 Scunthorpe – 3/1

What I think will happen:

Both sides struggled mightily at the back last week but you’d expect Rochdale to be the better team in the long run so I’m going to tentatively back them to win here in a game that could also be a bit of a lottery.

Rochdale 2-0 Scunthorpe

Salford City vs Sutton United

Odds: Salford – 17/20 Draw – 13/5 Sutton – 16/5

What I think will happen:

I thought Sutton were unlucky to lose last week and with Salford not looking particularly great against Orient, I’d fancy Sutton to be able to get at least a point and wouldn’t be surprised if they won. 1-1 seems the safest bet for this one.

Salford 1-1 Scunthorpe

Swindon Town vs Carlisle United

Odds: Swindon – 19/10 Draw – 23/10 Carlisle – 29/20

What I think will happen:

I’m a little surprised that Carlisle are favourites here, they were poor in front of goal last week while Swindon were more clinical and should have more momentum coming into this one. I like them to get a win here off the back of that and maybe start a promotion push.

Swindon 2-1 Carlisle

Walsall vs Forest Green Rovers

Odds: Walsall – 9/5 Draw – 11/5 FGR – 13/8

What I think will happen:

2 teams that failed to impress me last week face off here. Walsall should be a better side at home this season than away but will likely struggle to do enough to win against a Forest Green side that are always a tough out away from home. I can see this being a low scoring draw in the end.

Walsall 0-0 Forest Green

Suggested Accumulator for this weekend:

Fulham

Portsmouth 

Accrington

Bradford

Underdogs Treble:

Notts Forest

Morecambe

AFC Wimbledon

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