EFL title sponsors, Sky Bet, preview the weekend's action.
Goals, Goals, Goals
As well as the 5-5 draw between Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, the midweek action also highlighted the entertainment on offer in League One.
37 goals were scored across the 12 games, with Peterborough’s 1-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon the only game with less than two goals. Sunderland’s 4-2 victory over Barnsley caught the eye, while Oxford beat Rochdale by the same scoreline to move up to 19th in the standings. There were four goals for Luton in their win over Bradford, alongside three goals four other fixtures.
The goals were in no short supply in League Two either, with Grimsby hitting five and Bury scoring four. Swindon edged a five-goal thriller against Stevenage, while Newport’s victory against Northampton saw four goals. We can expect to see more goals this weekend, with Sheffield United taking on Leeds, Middlesbrough meeting Aston Villa and Birmingham welcoming Preston in the Championship.
A familiar feel in the FA Cup
The draw for the second round of the FA Cup means we will have plenty of EFL representation in round three, with a number of clubs in the same league coming up against each other.
Peterborough face Bradford, just weeks after a meeting in the league, while Sunderland travel to Walsall for the second time in the space of seven days. Charlton also face Doncaster at the Valley for the second time this month and will be hopeful of a repeat result as they aim for progression. Plymouth v Oxford United, Southend v Barnsley, Rochdale v Portsmoiuth and Shrewsbury v Scunthorpe are other fixtures that make this weekend seem like another round of League One fixtures.
Of course, there are a number of League Two teams involved and Grimsby will be looking to build on their five-star midweek performance as they take on National League side Chesterfield. Lincoln take on Carlisle and it’s North Wales against South as Newport travel to Wrexham. County famously beat Leeds in the third round last season and will be hoping for another big name tie if they can secure victory here.
The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all await in the third round, alongside our Championship clubs, so there is huge rewards on offer for those who can wrap up a win this weekend.
Our Sky Bet EFL Championship Podcast episode nine is out now, as Noel Whelan, Tom Carnduff and Gareth Jones review all the key games, news and talking points.
In episode nine we tackle the Second City derby, as Aston Villa beat Birmingham City 4-2 in a cracking game. We examine what is means for both clubs and their season aims. After Angel Rangel's two stunning goals for QPR, plus a late equaliser from Millwall's Jake Cooper, we discuss the best goal scoring defenders to have played the game, including Matt Elliot, Ian Harte, Steve Bruce and David Wetherall.
We debate how much more is to come from Nottingham Forest after their win at Hull City and ask if the Tigers can stay up. Sheffield United, Rotherham United, Brentford and Bristol City are all also covered.