The Nottingham Forest revival continued in the week as they recorded their third straight draw in The Championship against Luton at Kenilworth Road. It means Chris Hughton remains undefeated at the City Ground following a win in his first game in charge and then 1-1 stalemates with Rotherham, Derby and The Hatters.
Middlesbrough lurk just outside the playoffs after eight games played with three wins, four draws and one loss to their name. They’re eighth while their opponents on Saturday, Forest, are down in 20th but have finally started showing signs of life. Boro boss Neil Warnock is a seasoned Championship campaigner and meets his match at The Riverside on Saturday in the shape of Hughton.
The Draw is Boro’s most common result in the league this term while Forest’s run of three in a row shows they are not only competing with their opponents better than before but they’re fighting for every valuable point without gambling to turn one into three. It feels like these two defensively-minded sides will look to keep it tight again and a dull Draw could be on the cards here.
Peterborough are one of England’s in-form clubs. The Posh fired in five straight wins before Tuesday’s frustrating 2-2 draw with rock-bottom Burton. However, that won’t put us off here as they host Shrewsbury who languish in the drop zone at this early stage.
Sam Ricketts’ Shrews have won only once this season with three draws and four losses completing their form book. Three of those defeats came in their three most-recent games. Those defeats haven’t exactly come against the top sides in League one, with losses at home to Bristol Rovers and Rochdale followed by the pointless midweek trip to Fleetwood.
Peterborough are probably the best side Shrewsbury have faced in the league this season and while the Posh have not been playing the bigger boys either, they have generally been dispatching the lesser teams with ease. Everything is pointing emphatically to a Peterborough Win at the weekend.
Last Saturday Peterborough inflicted just one of two losses that second-placed Hull have suffered this season. Those two defeats have been softened somewhat by their 100% record from the other seven League One games they’ve played. By and large they’ve been comfortable wins, especially on the road.
Town are down in 22nd after losing their last four against pretty stern opposition with Peterborough and Sunderland featuring in that dire run. Their two wins this season have come on home soil, but the fact they were over Burton (24th) and Rochdale (14th) gives us little fear of our selection getting turned over in this one.
Swindon have played two games fewer than Hull, and many of the other teams in this league, but The Tigers are on a roll and have proven they can dispatch teams in the bottom half of the division away from home as the recent wins over Bristol Rovers, Rotherham and Rochdale prove. Swindon might get mauled by The Tigers, but at least there will be no away fans there to gleefully perform the cringiest of all chants. Small mercies. Terrace theatrics aside, it’s hard to see anything other than a Hull Win in this one.
Since 24th-placed Southend’s mini-revival of back-to-back score draws with Crawley and Exeter following three straight defeats they’ve gone on to lose the next four, leading to their pitiful return of two points from nine games with two draws and seven defeats. If Southend had any stuffing left, Oldham’s 89th-minute winner in the 2-1 loss at Roots Hall on Tuesday should have knocked the remainder out of them.
Port Vale look a handy unit and they’ve had a tough start to the season playing many of the top 10 already. They have had three wins and three losses over the last six but those defeats came against Morecambe, who were flying at the time, Carlisle, who are rocketing up the table and sit in fourth now, as well as second-placed Cambridge. Vale’s wins over that period have come against a mixed bunch in the shape of Salford (10th), Oldham (20th) and Cheltenham (5th).
Southend are all over the place and if The Valiants turn up in Essex and perform anywhere near their capabilities we should be safe with this selection. Anything other than a Port Vale Win this weekend and we’ll feel rightly aggrieved.
Saturday’s EFL acca
All odds correct at time of publication, but will change to the latest prices on our betting widgets.
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