EFL WATCH: MIDWEEK MAYHEM IN THE EFL
THE CHAMPIONSHIP – Bristol City vs Watford (25th November – KO 7:45pm)
After losing two in a row, Dean Holden’s side proved that their start to the season was no fluke, having won the last three games. Despite their momentum, the two losses Bristol City suffered were against promotion-chasing AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City, which shows that there is work to be done for Holden. With all three of their last three wins have come by one-goal margins, so we know that the Robins are ready to grind out a win if they need to.
The developing partnership of Tomas Kalas and Zak Vyner has certainly helped Bristol City improve at the back.
Coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw away to QPR, Watford will be looking to bounce back in a big way and beating fellow promotion rivals Bristol City will certainly be a big deal. The performances of Ismaila Sarr and the return to form of Andre Gray have helped the Hornets in an attacking sense but they may need to tighten up at the back, and stop relying on Ben Foster to bail them out. It still feels like Watford have not found their true style and this is something Vladimir Ivic needs to find as that will make Watford true title challengers.
This is an important game for both sides as they look to mount a serious title challenge, and it will definitely be a barnstormer at Ashton Gate.
LEAGUE ONE – Ipswich Town vs Hull City (24th November – KO 7:00pm)
Ipswich Town have had a great start to the season, sitting in third. Paul Lambert’s side were one of the most disappointing teams in League One last season following their relegation but have come back with a vengeance so far and look set to mount a promotion push. In one of the tightest League One tables in recent history; Ipswich have a chance to go under the radar and end up in the Championship. A mixture of youth and experience gives Lambert’s side the smarts and the exuberance to adjust to all situations.
Hull City are currently the league leaders and will looking to put some space between them and their title rivals with a win at Portman Road. After being defeated by Swindon, Hull have recovered well in the league, by beating Burton and a resurgent MK Dons. Grant McCann’s side have been averse to draws so far this season, with zero in the twelve games they have played in the League. It is clear that the Tigers will be gunning for the win and beating Lambert’s side will go a long way in showing their title ambitions.
In what is a top of the table clash, an Ipswich win will send them top of League One, so the stakes are high for the two sides. With both teams having a combined record of one draw in 24 games, it is likely we will see a winner at Portman Road.
LEAGUE TWO – Cheltenham Town vs Cambridge United (24th November – KO 7:00pm)
As expected, Cheltenham Town have been putting on a real promotion push, and Michael Duff’s side have shown what they are made of over recent weeks. After a huge win against local rivals Forest Green, they were shocked at home by a well organised Oldham Athletic side. Cheltenham made sure to bounce back though, as they edged past fellow promotion contenders Carlisle United and eased past Walsall, winning 2-1 and 3-0 respectively. The consistent back three of Ben Tozer, Charlie Raglan and William Boyle has provided Cheltenham a solid base to build from and helped contribute to their solid form.
Cambridge have had a slight blip of late, after losing to Crawley and being held to a draw by Barrow. They didn’t have the chance to put that right against Southend, as the Essex side had to postpone the fixture due to COVID-19 cases within the squad. With this game also being two sides with promotion aspirations colliding, Mark Bonner will want his team to make a statement and prove to everyone that his Cambridge team belong at the top.
A top of the table clash between two of the most well-rounded teams in the league. With both a solid defence and strong attack, this is going to be an intense game where one mistake could make all the difference.
WILDCARD – Crawley Town vs Grimsby Town (24th November – KO 7:00pm)
Crawley Town have been one the most chaotic sides in the EFL this season. John Yems’s team are capable of thrashing anyone, but remain capable of being thrashed by any team they face. Although not in the league, their 6-5 win against Torquay in the FA Cup remains one of the best games of football this season. With the attacking prowess of Tom Nichols and Ashley Nadesan, Crawley have the attack to form a play-off push but need to become more consistent if they want to be anywhere near the play off positions.
Grimsby Town have also struggled at the back this season, conceding 17 goals in 11 games, but haven’t had anywhere near the attacking form that their next opposition have. Fresh off a 5-0 beatdown at the hands of Tranmere Rovers, Ian Holloway’s main concern will be keeping it tight at the back and avoiding a second successive drubbing. Prior to the Tranmere defeat, Grimsby had only conceded one goal in three games, meaning that there has been work done at the back and Grimsby fans will be hoping that version of their defence turns up at Crawley.
In a game that has all the possibilities to steal the show completely, Crawley will want to prove their superiority, but Grimsby will be desperate for a quick turnaround following their last defeat.