Football League Gameweek 5 Previews, Predictions and Tips

Championship

Cardiff City vs Bristol City

Odds: Cardiff – 19/20  Draw – 12/5  Bristol City – 3/1

What I think will happen:

Home favourites have always struggled in lunchtime kick offs in the EFL unless they are a clear promotion side. Cardiff look more like a playoff team than an automatic promotion team and they may find this game tough. Bristol City were very unlucky to lose last week and look like a team that can put up 2 or 3 goals in the right situation. I think Cardiff are too short a price here so I’m going to take the upset despite their good form. I think Bristol City will be a tough away side this season and offer value here in a game that will come down to which team has more joy from set pieces.

Cardiff 1-2 Bristol City (I’d take the 3/1 about Bristol City)

Derby County vs Nottingham Forest

Odds: Derby – 8/5  Draw – 21/10  Notts Forest – 19/10

What I think will happen:

The main thing this game has going for it is that it’s a local derby. Given both teams are playing at a similarly poor level this season, this game promises to be tense and probably feisty. The last few matchups between these sides have finished 1-1 and I can see the same happening again with little to separate the sides.

Derby 1-1 Notts Forest (No bet)

Barnsley vs Birmingham City

Odds: Barnsley – 6/5  Draw – 23/10  Birmingham – 12/5

What I think will happen:

I like Birmingham to win here. They’ve impressed me more than Barnsley have this season and have been very solid away from home. Barnsley really should’ve won from 2-0 up last weekend and they don’t feel as good a side as they were last season. They also lost at home to Luton who Birmingham just beat 5-0. Birmingham looked really strong going forward last week and since scoring has always been their achilles heel over the last few years, a strong attacking season could see them push for the playoffs.

Barnsley 1-3 Birmingham (Birmingham at 12/5 is solid)

Fulham vs Stoke

Odds: Fulham – 5/6  Draw – 12/5  Stoke – 7/2

What I think will happen:

Stoke will give Fulham the toughest game they’ve had so far this season and this could end up being quite a scrappy game. My concern for Stoke is they are prone to defensive lapses and that may be what costs them here. Fulham can keep their hot start to the season going with a 1-0 win here.

Fulham 1-0 Stoke (No bet)

Huddersfield Town vs Reading

Odds: Huddersfield – 11/8  Draw – 9/4  Reading – 21/10

What I think will happen:

I believe I said the other week that Huddersfield will base their season around beating relegation sides and teams that are badly out of form. They’ve managed to do that so far and Reading come here in dreadful form. They were battered last week, looked like they’d get a point and then blew it in the 97th minute. They’ve been poor for a while now and I can see them losing 1-0 here.

Huddersfield 1-0 Reading (I’m happy to take 11/8 on Huddersfield)

Hull City vs Bournemouth

Odds: Hull – 13/5  Draw – 12/5  Bournemouth – 11/10

What I think will happen:

Hull showed some signs of life against Fulham but were still beaten comfortably in the end. I fell into the trap last week of picking teams that played well while losing against top sides so I’m going to avoid the same mistake here. Bournemouth blew what should’ve been a comfortable win last week but are still playing well and can get back rolling here against the team that have looked the worst in the league so far.

Hull 1-2 Bournemouth  (No bet)

Luton Town vs Sheffield United

Odds: Luton – 19/10  Draw – 9/4  Sheffield United – 6/4

What I think will happen:

The way Sheffield United lost last week was a telltale sign of a side that is a complete shambles right now. I thought the Ramsdale saga ending would help right the ship but they look in serious trouble at the moment and though they won in the Carabao Cup in midweek, this is a tough league game to go to afterwards. Luton were hammered last week but should have probably scored at least once and that felt more like a freak result than a sign of things to come. I can see them grinding out a 1-0 here by playing on the counter again and with their intensity as well.

Luton 1-0 Sheffield United (Luton draw no bet at 1/1)

Middlesbrough vs Blackburn Rovers

Odds: Middlesbrough – 23/20  Draw – 23/10  Blackburn – 5/2

What I think will happen:

Both teams are evenly matched in my book and I can see this being a draw. Blackburn are playing slightly better at the moment which negates Middlesbrough’s edge of being at home for me and I can see this being a 1-1 game again even though Middlesbrough are being well backed. 

Middlesbrough 1-1 Blackburn (Blackburn or draw at 4/6 for me)

Millwall vs Blackpool

Odds: Millwall – 5/6  Draw – 5/2  Blackpool – 7/2

What I think will happen:

Blackpool played spoiler last week away to Bournemouth and showed really good fighting qualities to get a draw. Millwall played well in their first 2 weeks but were poor last week and this feels like the first game they really should be winning this season. It’ll be interesting to see how they react and I like them to edge a 2-1 win here. They’ve scored in every game so far and Blackpool will be the worst defence they have played. They’re good at grinding out results and even though they haven’t been too solid at the back, they can do enough here.

Millwall 2-1 Blackpool (No bet)

Preston North End vs Swansea City

Odds: Preston – 13/10  Draw – 23/10  Swansea – 11/5

What I think will happen:

Preston were much improved last weekend and deserved the win against Peterborough. This game feels like a trap but I’m going to pick them again here. Swansea gave up a lot of chances against Bristol City and haven’t looked assured at the back yet this season. With Preston keeping a clean sheet last weekend they can build on that and get a 2-0 win here.

Preston 2-0 Swansea (No bet)

Queens Park Rangers vs Coventry City

Odds: QPR – 23/20  Draw – 23/10  Coventry – 5/2

What I think will happen:

This will likely be one of the higher scoring games of the weekend and I’m going to take Coventry to win it. They have been extremely impressive so far this season mixing good attacking play with the tenacity to get results and they should have a strong season. QPR were dreadful at the back early on last weekend and if they went 2-0 down again here, they’d likely lose this time, they feel like a team that will flatter to deceive a lot this season. I’m going to take Coventry to win a 3-2 thriller.

QPR 2-3 Coventry (Coventry or draw at 4/6 for me)

Peterborough United vs West Bromwich Albion

Odds: Peterborough – 17/4  Draw – 13/5  West Brom – 8/11

What I think will happen:

West Brom have rested their team ahead of this game and that looks a smart move. Peterborough are a tough side at home to beat but will likely lack the quality that West Brom have. It still looks like them and Fulham will run away with the league and unless they get injuries, they’ll both win around 35 games this season. Peterborough will score and put up a spirited performance but I still see them losing comfortably here.

Peterborough 1-3 West Brom (No bet)

League One

Burton Albion vs Cheltenham Town

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

What I think will happen:

I have these sounds down as about even in terms of overall quality. They both lost last weekend but all of the goals against Burton were cases of bad luck more than bad play while Cheltenham conceded a couple of late goals to Fleetwood and were vulnerable from set pieces but did find the net a couple of times. I can see this one being a draw, both sides will cancel each other out well and 0-0 or 1-1 looks the way to go.

Burton 0-0 Cheltenham (Under 2.5 goals at 4/6 is the bet)

Rotherham United vs Doncaster Rovers

Odds: Rotherham – 4/7  Draw – 3/1  Doncaster – 5/1

What I think will happen:

I’m not that sold on Rotherham being title contenders anymore, especially after last week but they played well in the first half at least and should win here. Doncaster looked much improved in the first half last week but gave away the better chances in the second half and needed to save a penalty to get a point. I’m taking Rotherham to win here somewhat comfortably with the home advantage helping them.

Rotherham 2-0 Doncaster (No bet)

Cambridge United vs Bolton Wanderers

Odds: Cambridge – 21/10  Draw – 12/5  Bolton – 13/10

What I think will happen:

Cambridge got a nice win last week even if the scoreline flattered them and are starting to find their feet now. Bolton are also in good form at the moment but they still give away too many chances for my liking and this is the sort of game they’ll drop points in because of that. This feels like a 1-1 sort of game with Bolton the more likely winners.

Cambridge 1-1 Bolton (Draw at 12/5 is a good price)

Charlton Athletic vs Crewe Alexandra

Odds: Charlton – 8/11  Draw – 13/5  Crewe – 15/4

What I think will happen:

Both sides have really struggled against tough teams early on this season but I’d say Charlton are the more likely winners here. They are a better team on paper than Crewe and Crewe have rarely even looked like scoring yet this season. I wouldn’t be backing Charlton at odds on given that they have looked poor so far as well but they feel more like a mid-table side than a relegation candidate like Crewe.

Charlton 1-0 Crewe (No bet)

Ipswich Town vs AFC Wimbledon

Odds: Ipswich – 1/1  Draw – 5/2  Wimbledon – 14/5

What I think will happen:

This is the sort of scenario where I’d want to back Wimbledon this season. They’re a good team but just seem to struggle at putting away weaker sides. Ipswich are a higher calibre side so they’ll go in as underdogs and they’re more than good enough to take advantage of the regular lapses at the back that Ipswich have been having. They’ve shown enough at the back to keep Ipswich down to 1 goal and get the win.

Ipswich 1-2 Wimbledon (Both teams to score at 4/5 is the bet)

MK Dons vs Accrington Stanley

Odds: MK Dons – 6/5  Draw – 5/2  Accrington – 9/4

What I think will happen:

I’m really keen on Accrington here. MK Dons were really shaky at the back last week and have struggled defensively all season. Meanwhile Accrington haven’t given up very many chances at all this season (admittedly against poorer sides). I can see Accrington getting a 2-1 win since they’ve been solid enough at finding the net and MK Dons are likely to make a mistake that costs them a goal 

MK Dons 1-2 Accrington (Accrington or draw at 8/13 is a strong play)

Morecambe vs Sheffield Wednesday

Odds: Morecambe – 3/1  Draw – 23/10  Sheff Wed – 1/1

What I think will happen:

Sheffield Wednesday are still yet to concede this season and look a good candidate to grind out another win in what will be a very hard fought game. I can see this being similar to the Morecambe-Rotherham game a couple of weeks ago where the first half is even and scrappy and the second half is dominated by the away side.

Morecambe 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday (under 1.5 goals at 12/5 is value)

Oxford United vs Lincoln City 

Odds: Oxford – 23/20  Draw – 12/5  Lincoln – 12/5

What I think will happen:

These are 2 sides that are supposed to be playoff calibre but haven’t particularly impressed me so far this season and both teams deserved to lose last week. That being said, I can find more positives about Oxford than Lincoln since Oxford have won both home games this season and that’s enough for me to give them a tentative nod here.

Oxford 2-1 Lincoln (No bet)

Plymouth Argyle vs Fleetwood Town

Odds: Plymouth – 6/4  Draw – 9/4  Fleetwood – 2/1

What I think will happen:

Plymouth battered Shrewsbury last week and fair play to them for that but I can’t shake off the feeling that they’ll be a really inconsistent side that struggle to string together good performances. I’m going to say they are held to a 1-1 here. Fleetwood looked dangerous from set pieces last weekend and can definitely score here, the defence is a slight concern but there have been a couple of occasions this season where Plymouth have been wasteful in front of goal and I can see them missing enough chances to cost them the win here.

Plymouth 1-1 Fleetwood (No bet)

Shrewsbury Town vs Gillingham

Odds: Shrewsbury – 6/4  Draw – 11/5  Gillingham – 2/1

What I think will happen:

These sides are both really poor so far this season. That being said, Gillingham have at least shown the ability to grind out a result while Shrewsbury already look like a league 2 side and are still yet to score this season. This will be a popular 0-0 candidate but I’m going with Gillingham to nick a 1-0 here and pile more misery on Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury 0-1 Gillingham (No bet)

Sunderland vs Wycombe Wanderers

Odds: Sunderland – 19/20  Draw – 12/5  Wycombe – 3/1

What I think will happen:

I wouldn’t be surprised if both of these sides were automatically promoted and I like them to cancel each other out here. Sunderland have the better overall talent but Wycombe as a unit are very solid and less prone to mistakes and lapses of concentration so this game looks likely to end 1-1 with a Wycombe win not out of the question.

Sunderland 1-1 Wycombe (I like the 12/5 about a draw)

Wigan Athletic vs Portsmouth

Odds: Wigan – 7/4  Draw – 23/10  Portsmouth – 13/8

What I think will happen:

I like Wigan here. Portsmouth have been a little off colour during the last 2 games against sides that will be nearer the relegation zone and I can see Wigan punishing them here. Wigan have had a really tough start to the season but are still at the upper end of the table which is a good sign that they’ll be right there fighting for automatic promotion at the end of the season. Portsmouth will be up there too but I’m just not sold on their current form.

Wigan 2-1 Portsmouth (Wigan draw no bet at 5/6 is a possible play)

League Two

Rochdale vs Colchester United

Odds: Rochdale – 23/20  Draw – 12/5  Colchester – 12/5

What I think will happen:

While Rochdale finally got rolling last week, they’re way too short a price here. Colchester have looked solid so far this season and I’d say you could make a decent argument for them being the better team here. With both sides being in decent form and Rochdale being at home, I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw here.

Rochdale 1-1 Colchester (Colchester or draw at 4/6 is a decent price)

Barrow vs Bristol Rovers

Odds: Barrow – 13/10  Draw – 11/5  Bristol Rovers – 23/10

What I think will happen:

I like Barrow here. Bristol Rovers were dreadful against Exeter and Barrow were let down by goalkeeping errors against Harrogate. Barrow have also been solid at home this season while you can say the direct opposite about the away form of Bristol Rovers. I can see both teams scoring because of the Barrow keeper but they’ll still do enough to win.

Barrow 2-1 Bristol Rovers (Both teams to score at 5/6 is a decent shout)

Crawley Town vs Northampton Town

Odds: Crawley – 2/1  Draw – 23/10  Northampton – 29/20

What I think will happen:

Northampton really struggled last weekend against Rochdale playing on the counter but it’s unlikely Crawley will do the same so they should be more suited by this matchup. That being said, I think they’re in bad form at the moment and will still lose here. Crawley look like a free scoring team and can score a couple of goals here and win this game.

Crawley 2-1 Northampton (No bet)

Forest Green Rovers vs Port Vale

Odds: Forest Green – 1/1  Draw – 12/5  Port Vale – 3/1

What I think will happen:

Forest Green aren’t solid at the back but it doesn’t matter when you’re scoring so many goals and I like them to win this one. Port Vale have looked no better than a solid mid table side and haven’t really built any momentum this season in front of goal which can cost them here. I like Forest Green to get a 2-1 win.

Forest Green 2-1 Port Vale (No bet)

Harrogate Town vs Exeter City

Odds: Harrogate – 13/10  Draw – 12/5  Exeter – 21/10

What I think will happen:

Harrogate got a very impressive win in midweek away from home but weren’t entirely solid at home last week. I thought a draw would’ve been a fairer representation of how the game against Barrow went and I can see them drawing this time with Exeter. Exeter finally got going last week in style with a 4-0 win and this has the potential to be an entertaining game. I’m going with a 2-2 between 2 sides that are finding form.

Harrogate 2-2 Exeter (No bet)

Hartlepool United vs Carlisle United

Odds: Hartlepool – 6/4  Draw – 9/4  Carlisle – 15/8

What I think will happen:

Carlisle will be baffled as to how they failed to win last week but I can see them making amends here. They’re a solid side and this is the sort of fixture in which they can grind out a 1-0. Hartlepool look to not be in any danger this season at the moment and have started well but I can see their momentum being checked here.

Hartlepool 0-1 Carlisle (I’d be ok with taking the 15/8 about Carlisle)

Leyton Orient vs Bradford City

Odds: Orient – 9/5  Draw – 11/5  Bradford- 13/8

What I think will happen:

Orient have seen a lot of money for this one since midweek and that is baffling. They’ve been woeful in their last 2 games while Bradford have just beaten one of the best teams in the league away from home and have 7 goals in their last 2 games. I can see them winning again here and it should be comfortable in my eyes.

Orient 0-2 Bradford (Bradford draw no bet at 4/5)

Salford City vs Newport County

Odds: Salford – 11/8  Draw – 21/10  Newport – 9/4

What I think will happen:

Salford seem to be favourites in every game they play and that continues to confuse me since they look like one of the worst teams in the league. They’ve just had deserved losses to 2 teams that are worse than Newport and Newport can just do the same as they did last week to Tranmere. Salford could get a 1-1 potentially but in the form they’re in, I have to pick them to lose.

Salford 0-1 Newport (No bet)

Scunthorpe United vs Tranmere Rovers

Odds: Scunthorpe – 13/5  Draw – 21/10  Tranmere – 6/5

What I think will happen:

Tranmere have offered little to nothing going forward in the last few games and Scunthorpe are playing well enough not to lose here. I can just see this one being 0-0 in all honesty with Scunthorpe not the worst win bet out there.

Scunthorpe 0-0 Tranmere (Under 1.5 at 13/8 looks a strong play)

Sutton United vs Oldham Athletic

Odds: Sutton – 10/11  Draw – 5/2  Oldham – 10/3

What I think will happen:

Sutton seem to be a team that will play well against the better sides and struggle a bit more against weaker sides. I don’t like the price about them here and I can see them being held to a 1-1 despite Oldham looking woeful last weekend. Oldham are a bad team but have been keeping games fairly close and creating chances against better teams than Sutton so can finally get something to show for it here.

Sutton 1-1 Oldham (No bet)

Swindon Town vs Mansfield Town

Odds: Swindon – 21/10  Draw – 12/5  Mansfield – 13/10

What I think will happen:

Swindon will likely have a solid season and be around the 10th-12th region but I can see them losing to the sort of sides that will be in the automatic promotion areas and Mansfield qualify as that sort of team. It’ll likely be a low scoring game and I can see Mansfield grinding out a 1-0 win here in a game they control.

Swindon 0-1 Mansfield (Under 2.5 at 8/11 would be my play)

Walsall vs Stevenage

Odds: Walsall – 2/1  Draw – 11/5  Stevenage – 6/4

What I think will happen:

Stevenage should really be winning this game given that Walsall look to be the worst team in the league but I have a bad feeling that they’ll just draw 1-1. Stevenage will end up being a side that aren’t going to win a lot away but should be successful at home and this might offer Walsall a chance to have some sort of recovery of form. If they lose here then it’s likely their manager will be out the door soon.

Walsall 1-1 Stevenage (No bet)

Recommended Accumulator:

Fulham

Bournemouth

West Brom

Forest Green pays at 11.8/1

Underdogs Treble:

Birmingham

Accrington

Luton pays at 30/1

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