Blackburn were narrowly defeated 3-2 on the opening day at recently-relegated Bournemouth while Wycombe also lost in a turgid game that even the purists would have struggled to find any joy in.
To give you an idea of how bad it was, the ball was in play for 35 minutes out of the 90 in their 1-0 defeat at the hands of fellow Championship newcomers Rotherham.
Make no mistake, Wycombe have done superbly to make it into the Championship but they have built their success on being tight, making the most of set pieces and generally turning games into a relatively family-friendly version of a pub car-park brawl.
Actually, maybe they’ll win The Championship this year?
In all seriousness, Blackburn are the better team and certainly have the better players and should overcome The Chairboys, but it will be a small margin given the away side’s predilection for defensive solidarity.
Blackburn to win and under 2.5 Goals is a great-value bet that has a boosted price because of Rovers’ five-goal thriller on the opening day, but that was against Bournemouth who consider defensive security as something of an aberration.
They won’t find the same situation here but should prevail narrowly against a side who might go down – but it certainly won’t be without a fight.
Wigan are likely to feature in lots of EFL accumulators this season but for all the wrong reasons. We all know what happened to the Latics last season and how that’s affected their squad.
They did, however, put up a good fight in the 2-0 loss against Ipswich on Sunday, a game in which they were expected to get battered.
The Gills lost by the same score to Hull, who suffered their own relegation from the Championship last season, but The Tigers are by no means in the same kind of mess as Wigan are.
Now, this might look like a bit of a toss-up between the two sides based purely on the opening-day results, but Gillingham have a much stronger squad and do have two Carabao Cup wins to their name this term while Wigan have lost their two games in the league and the cup this season.
The price on a Gillingham Win is boosted as they are the away team, but does that really mean anything any more without fans? Their price is too good to ignore this weekend.
Back to Hull and they’ll be hoping for an immediate return to Championship football next season after that dreadful capitulation at the end of 2019/20. They started well last Saturday with the aforementioned 2-0 win over Gillingham.
Crewe, on the other hand, lost by the same margin to Charlton, the other team who tumbled into League One with the Tigers and Wigan.
The Railwaymen will consider themselves to have been the better team in that defeat, boasting more possession, shots on and off target and more passes completed than their opponents.
But the one thing we can guarantee is that the Football League is a cruel and unforgiving mistress that punishes any kind of naivety or wastefulness. You should expect the hosts to use their nouse to get the job done in this one with a Hull Win.
Harrogate Town are the early leaders of League Two and sit atop the Football League Feel Good Table by a mile, but I just wonder how long both of those positions can last.
They hammered potential basket-case club Southend 4-0 on the opening day and deservedly gained many plaudits for that performance in their first game back in the Football League.
However, Walsall are looking to improve on last term’s mid-table finish and got what they hope will be a playoff charge up and running with a 1-0 win over Ian Holloway’s improving Grimsby last weekend.
So, what about this one? I think the final League Two table will show the hosts in the bottom half of the table and our selection in the top, and that could be played out in microcosm here.
Add in Harrogate’s potentially bubble-bursting 3-0 loss to West Brom in the week, the fact they named an unchanged team for that game in the middle of an insane fixture pile up and the experience of the more seasoned Football League campaigners, then this one should pay out with a Walsall Win away from home accompanied by the sound of Harrogate crashing back to earth.
These four selections in an acca will give you odds of around 55/1 with Paddy Power.
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