The Gurgler always champions the Football League so why not give the Championship, and Leagues One and Two its own edition of the Own Goal.
Settle in for one the rare roundups of the Football League that can be ignored with glee on an Australian website. And it’ll be here every week.
Here’s this week’s playground of Football League….
MERRY GO ROUND
Midweek news saw yet another managerial change at Leeds United with Uwe Rosler given the boot and Steve Evans, formerly of Rotherham until a few weeks ago, quickly ushered in to take over. Thankfully it was all bad manager news – the renegade owner Massimo Cellino who sacked 42 managers at his previous club in Italy in 20 years – was himself banned again. Steve Evans may be a strange choice, but there is plenty of merit about his appointment, he is the kind of manager who won’t really care what is said and that feistiness will be needed in the Football League’s most poisoned chalice.
Brighton aside it has been an up and down season in the top 6 in the Championship. Early on teams like Ipswich, Charlton, Milton Keynes and QPR were up the sharp end. Cue winless runs of 5 for Ipswich, 8 for Charlton and indifferent form for QPR and Milton Keynes has seen these clubs drop to midfield at best. Charlton have even dropped as far as the bottom three. On the other hand teams like Birmingham and Reading have turned around slow starts to feature up the top. Reading were as low as 19th without a home win or goal before they thrashed Ipswich 5-1. Birmingham looked unlikely to feature at the top before the season but are now 2nd. Middlesbrough are the ultimate see-sewing team as they go from top contender to top six to outside and back again.
BRIGHTON remain the only unbeaten side in the second tier – but 6th in the last 6 form.
DERBY are on a seven game unbeaten run – and 1st in last 6 form.
CHARLTON are on the worst winless run of 8.
3 Teams have drawn half of their games – DERBY, BLACKBURN, LEEDS.
BRIGHTON to beat Preston
QPR to beat Milton Keynes
DERBY or DRAW v Huddersfield
LEEDS or DRAW v Bolton
$1 for $7.50
A curious case of imitation in League One as the losing playoff finalist from last year are struggling in the next season. In 2013-2014 Leyton Orient almost achieved a promotion into the Championship, but just 12 months later were relegated into League 2. As the O’s were getting relegated last season, Swindon were lining up Preston for their chance to return to the second tier. Unfortunately history has repeated as last year’s losing finalist Swindon are currently second last two points from safety and the bottom of the table.
WIGAN are on the biggest current unbeaten run of 7 games.
Surprisingly BLACKPOOL are on a run of 4 unbeaten after going 20+ games without a win.
SWINDON TOWN have not won in 8 games.
OLDHAM have drawn 64% of their games
DONCASTER to beat Peterborough
GILLINGHAM to beat Southend
SHEFFIELD UTD to beat Millwall
DRAW – Rochdale v Oldham
COVENTRY to beat Swindon
$1 for TBA due to slackarse Betting Organisation.
SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS
Two pre season managerial appointments caught the eye before the season started with two big names of football from back in the day taking charge of a League Two side. Teddy Sherringham and Terry Butcher took over at Stevenage and Newport County respectively and there was high hopes that both names could turn around their fortunes. And League Two has been kind to big names started out in the fourth tier with recent success stories being Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank at Burton who were promoted from this division last year, and Paolo di Canio with Swindon a few years before that.
No success story this year with Terry Butcher already dismissed and Stevenage in trouble sitting 20th on the table. They are still going better than Newport who are last with 5 fewer points. Hopefully Teddy gets more than the current average lifespan of a Football League manager.
LEAGUE TWO has the most goals per game of all the Football League with 2.74 (2.46 CH and 2.68 L1)
OXFORD have the best unbeaten run with 8 games.
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE and YORK are vying for worst run without winning with 8 games.
DAGENHAM and NEWPORT are yet to win at home. STEVENAGE and BARNET yet to win away.
DRAW – Portsmouth v Mansfield
NORTHAMPTON to beat Stevenage
OXFORD to beat Barnet
WIMBLEDON to beat York
$1 pays $27