At the time of writing Watford are odds-on to beat their old rivals Luton at Vicarage Road on Saturday. But this price seems to be founded on reputation alone, especially if we look at this season’s, admittedly limited, results.
The basic facts are that Luton are six places higher than the Hornets in third after two league games, but it’s the plethora of early-season cup fixtures that gives us hope of a bookie-bashing result here.
Luton have played five games against Championship opposition or higher so far this season, losing just once to Manchester United in the EFL Cup on Tuesday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer threw on the big guns to wrap up a 3-0 win late on.
Watford beat Middlesbrough on the opening day but drew with League One’s bottom side Oxford before beating them on penalties only to lose to League Two Newport in the next round of the EFL Cup. Between those two cup games they fought out a 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
Of course, Watford have been chopping and changing, but history shows that Luton are to be feared under Nathan Jones and I just have a sneaky suspicion the The Hatters will get a result. I’m tempted to say Luton win here but we’ll play it a bit safer and take them on the handicap with Luton (+1).
Ipswich are top of League One after two games, albeit it in slightly unspectacular style. They beat troubled Wigan 2-0 on the opening day and then Bristol Rovers by the same score down in the Westcountry six days later.
Those are two teams they were expected to beat handsomely and who are likely to be battling for survival come May.
This time they face another team who fit into that category in the shape of Rochdale and we’ve got no reason to think this one will go any differently to the Tractor Boys’ last two league results.
Ipswich are too short just to back so I like the look of the hosts to keep things tight and win narrowly again, with Ipswich to Win and Under 2.5 goals in the game.
Harrogate continue to defy the odds and picked up a draw against Walsall last time, but trust me, Port Vale are a different proposition to The Saddlers and John Askey’s troops could go close to promotion this year.
I base this on having watched the full 90 minutes last weekend as they brushed my team aside in a 2-0 away win.
They’re functional, organised and make few mistakes. That all adds up to the perfect combination which could help you find your way out of this league on an upward trajectory.
The Valiants are on a 10-game unbeaten run in League Two and their price for a win here, while still fairly short, still seems too long for me, so I’m on a Port Vale Win.
Tranmere have had an underwhelming start to life back in League Two after their unfortunate points-per-game relegation last term. To be fair, they have played two of the supposed better teams in the division and this week they’re up against the best so far in Cambridge.
Tranmere fought out a goalless draw with Mansfield on the opening day and lost 3-0 at home to Cheltenham last week while Cambridge have put two potential basket case clubs to the sword in the shape of Carlisle (3-0) and Morecambe (5-0).
Whether Cambridge are actually really good or are just battering poor teams remains to be seen, but you’d be hard pressed to go against a home team who have played two, won two, scored eight and conceded none.
I am wary of the threat Tranmere should pose here, but the price (which is the same as Tranmere to Win at the time of writing) and the results so far make backing a Cambridge Win unavoidable.
These four selections in an acca will give you odds of around 30/1 with Paddy Power
Our 4-fold acca for the EFL 3pm kick offs on Saturday
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