With the international break over, it’s back to a full schedule of fixtures across the Football League. Let’s hope that these three teams can win their respective matches to provide us with a weekend win.
We’re backing one team from each of the three divisions in this treble that pays out at just under 4/1. With all teams in good form, we have every reason to think that they’ll get the job done. Here are our selections.
Reading v Burton Albion
Jaap Stam’s Royals are in good form this season and enter the weekend sitting fourth in the Championship table thanks largely to a home record that includes just one defeat in eight outings. The hosts will be confident about continuing their good form at the Madejski with another routine win over Burton.
The Royals aren’t the most frequent scorers in the division, but the firepower of Garath McCleary and Yann Kermogant have helped them score 10 times at home. The hosts are more than capable of increasing their tally against an away side that has shipped 15 in eight on the road, and even one goal could well be enough.
After all, the Brewers have scored just eight away goals this term and still seek their first victory on their travels. Nigel Clough’s men haven’t even scored in their last three away games, and that is a major cause for concern.
Reading, meanwhile, enter the match having won each of their last two. We’re backing them to complete a hat-trick of wins with another crucial three points here.
Sheffield United v Shrewsbury Town
In League One, Chris Wilder’s men are up to third thanks to an unbeaten run that stretches back 12 games. While the hosts are sure to see that run come to an end at some stage, they should have every chance of keeping it going against the struggling Shrews.
Sheffield United are in great scoring form, having notched 16 in their last five competitive matches, and the likes of Billy Sharp and co. will be eager to increase that tally here. Given that the visitors have already conceded 14 on their travels this term, it seems likely that they will.
The hosts do tend to concede on a fairly regular basis, which will afford some confidence to Paul Hurst’s side. Likewise, the fact they’ve won three competitive games on the spin is another reason for optimism.
Nonetheless, the trip to Bramall Lane will signal a significant step up in quality for a team that is still getting used to a new manager’s philosophies. We expect that gulf to show in the outcome.
Carlisle United v Exeter City
Keith Curle’s men had to see their unbeaten league run end at some point, but Saturday’s disappointment will be short lived if they can bounce back by underlining their promotion credentials this weekend. In truth, that’s exactly what we expect the Cumbrians to do at Brunton Park.
It’s six competitive wins on the spin for Carlisle at home, and they’ve scored at least twice in each of the last five outings. With goals coming from a wide range of sources also, there’s no reason for the hosts to worry about the loss at Newport, especially against inferior opponents.
Exeter have lost four of their last five competitive outings while Paul Tisdale’s men have conceded three in two of their last three fixtures also – including last week’s home loss to Doncaser. If they show similar deficiencies here, the hosts will be ready to capitalise.
Carlisle may have suffered a shock to the system, particularly given Newport’s position, but they shouldn’t fall into the same trap again. Back them to bounce back in style.