Welcome to another weekly preview/review of the English Football Leagues with our must include/ignore multi tips and very little else.
PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND UP
For once the EPL will be thanking its lucky stars for the two Manchester sides after they saved the British sides from a complete washout of no wins of the second round of European fixtures. One wonders how much longer the EPL will be guaranteed four Champions League/Qualifying places. A loss by Arsenal will guarantee more Wenger out talk, unlike Chelsea where Mourinho will get on the front foot before that talk can start. Although he has less achievement this year to back himself up as the reigning Champions sit just 14th, and the curse of playing in Newcastle has continued as they came from behind to draw 2-2 against a side which had struggled for wins, goals, and something to give the extremely dedicated fans something to cheer for.
Flying under the radar somewhat, Manchester United have climbed to the top of the EPL. Despite some criticism at transfers, and playing style, and the handling of David de Gea’s potential move to Real Madrid, they now sit on top of the pile after their seemingly invincible neighbours City have slipped up the last two weeks. They’ll be happy to not play a London club for a little while.
It was hard to argue that last weekend produced the most entertaining weekend of football so far this season, and some key match ups this weekend will hopefully give it a run for its money.
Also interesting is the talk again of some Celtic and Rangers people voicing their support for a British League system. Not a bad idea, although if it killed the Scottish game then it’s hardly worth it. We’ve got a thought on that for a later time. Now for this week.
SAT 0:00 Oz – BOURNEMOUTH v WATFORD – An interesting match up between two of last year’s promoted sides, progress against the other can be checked to see if either or any of these sides will survive. Bournemouth were much vaunted and celebrated before the season, where Watford flew under the radar.
SUN 22:30 Oz – EVERTON v LIVERPOOL – A Merseyside derby that requires no introduction.
MON 01:00 Oz – ARSENAL v MANCHESTER UNITED – Always an important game, and one that occasionally has some action. Arsenal’s response after their underwhelming European adventure midweek will be of most interest. Prepare for more Wenger out if they lose.
EPL MINI STATS and MULTI TIPS
BEST FORM LAST FOUR
West Ham / Tottenham – 10 points
WORST FORM LAST FOUR
Aston Villa/Newcastle/Sunderland – 1 point
6 POINT SPREAD
5th to 17th
EPL MULTI 1 – $1 for $26
BOURNEMOUTH to beat Watford
MANCHESTER CITY to beat Newcastle
WEST HAM to beat Sunderland
CHELSEA to beat Southampton
SWANSEA to beat Spurs
EPL MULTI – Draws a Plenty – $1 for $122
DRAW – Norwich v Leicester
DRAW – Arsenal v Man Utd
DRAW – Everton v Liverpool
DRAW – Aston Villa v Stoke
Having watched League One set the standard for changing manager early in the season with three, the Championship and League Two got in on the act during the week. The removal of Terry Butcher at Newport County isn’t a surprise as they sit bottom of the Football League and were thrashed 3-0 at home by lowly Crawley Town during the week. Sydney FC fans may not be surprised either.
The tale of the Championship’s change of manager is a more interesting one. Rotherham United started the season off poorly, and with the combatable Steve Evans a change looked only a matter of time, but the timing is strange on the back of two straight wins which has seen the Millers jump out of the bottom three, it was mutual at least. Less mutual and understandable was the removal of Marinus Dijkhuizen. Not that Brentford’s 19th place is not a reason for a change, but the club made a big statement by advising previous manager Mark Warburton, who had taken them from League One to Championship playoffs last season, in February that they wanted someone to take the club to the next level the next season. It doesn’t work out a lot in Football and hasn’t this time, Warburton meanwhile has seen Rangers get off to a perfect start to their season. Silver lining for him.
League One not to be outdone saw off a fourth manager overnight with Fleetwood dispending of Graham Alexander. 20th and one point above relegation isn’t a place for management security.
Outside of managerial merry go round there is the football. Midweek fixtures in Leagues One and Two saw the surprise top 6 in League One remain with Burton Albion top of the pile from other less fancied teams Walsall, Gillingham, Bury and Rochdale. Only Sheffield United in sixth is the start of the big names. Bury are the most in form team in League One right now with 5
wins in a row. League Two saw another change in leader as Wycombe climbed to the top of the fourth tier.
The Championship sees the standard two teams out in front (unbeaten Brighton from a fast closing Middlesbrough), then a gaggle of teams fighting to stay in touch with the automatic promotion spots. Teams third to eighth are all on 15 points with varying degrees of recent form. Reading are the team on the move here with four wins in five.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS
READING V MIDDLESBROUGH – 3rd v 2nd and two most in form team. Boro have won five straight, Reading four in five.
BRISTOL CITY v MILTON KEYNES – last v second last. A nice early relegation six pointer for last year’s first and second teams from League One.
COLCHESTER v BURY – Colchester have won four in row to leap from the relegation zone. Bury’s five in a row sees them in the top six.
ACCRINGTON v OXFORD – Form team Accrington in 4th face Oxford in 6th.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE MULTI TIPS
CHAMPIONSHIP MULTI – $1 for $31
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY to beat Preston
DERBY to beat Brentford
WOLVES to beat Huddersfield
BIRMINGHAM or DRAW v Leeds
HULL or DRAW v Nottingham Forest
CARDIFF or DRAW v Brighton
LEAGUE ONE MULTI – $1 for $29
SHEFFIELD UNITED to beat Port Vale
PETERBOROUGH to beat Millwall
ROCHDALE to beat Bradford
COVENTRY to beat Shrewsbury
LEAGUE TWO MULTI – $1 for $18
WIMBLEDON to beat Barnet
PLYMOUTH to beat Crawley
WYCOMBE to beat Northampton
PORTSMOUTH to beat Yeovil
LEYTON ORIENT to beat Notts County
LEFTOVER FOOTBALL LEAGUE MULTI – $1 for $57
ACCRINGTON to beat Oxford
LUTON to beat Hartlepool
WIGAN to beat Walsall
CREWE to beat Chesterfield