Tips & Predictions

5 things to watch for in the EFL – Matchday 24

Your Boxing Day feast of football is served up across the EFL, with plenty at stake across the three divisions, at both ends of the table.

The Championship sees 6th to 17th separated by just five points, as Burnley and Sheffield United battle it out for top spot. While there are big relegation clashes in both League One and Two – both feature in our five things to look out for.

Check out all the latest Football League betting at William Hill.

Mowbray to get one over old club?

One of the Championship’s early games sees Tony Mowbray welcome his former side to the Stadium of Light, as Sunderland entertain Blackburn.

Rovers sit third in the table after their victory at Norwich. They beat Sunderland at Ewood Park in October and are looking to complete their first league double over the ‘Black Cats’ since the 2007-08 season. It’s 21/10 for an away win.

But Sunderland have won their last three home league games against Rovers. We’ll pay out at 13/10 on a win for Mowbray’s side, while it’s 11/5 the points are shared.

Amad Diallo has impressed in recent appearances, scoring five times in his last eight games, with three of those coming in his last four. The in-form forward is 29/10 to score anytime and 6/1 to open the scoring.

Two in a row for Critchley at QPR?

QPR climbed into the play-off places at the expense of Preston with a 1-0 win when the sides met at Deepdale in Neil Critchley’s first game in charge. Now QPR head to Wales to take on a Cardiff side who are without a win in four (D2 L2).

And it’s the London club that have won five of the last six meetings between the sides. A Rangers win is 19/10, while it’s 7/5 that the Bluebirds pick up a welcome win.

Correct scores backers might be looking at the 7/1 available on a 1-0 QPR victory. That’s how Critchley’s first game in charge ended. While the last two meetings between the sides at the Cardiff City Stadium have ended that way in favour of ‘the Super Hoops’.

Preston to continue to hold sway?

Preston have the chance to bounce back from their defeat to QPR by welcoming bottom of the table Huddersfield to Deepdale.

‘The Lilywhites’ are unbeaten in their last 16 home league games against ‘the Terriers’ (W9 D7) – a run that stretches back to 1969. You can get 4/5 on Preston extending that to 17 with victory.

Things haven’t gone Huddersfield’s way since Mark Fotheringham took over. They’ve failed to score in five of their last six league games and have won fewer points away from home than any other side in the Championship, recording just one win in 10. Believe in Christmas miracles? ‘The Terriers’ are 7/2 for a second away win of the season, while it’s 12/5 for a draw.

League 1 six-pointer

The bottom six sides in the League 1 table are separated by just six points. Two of the teams that find themselves in the relegation zone are MK Dons and Forest Green – they meet at Stadium MK.

Dean Lewington remains in caretaker charge of the Dons after the departure of Liam Manning. He led the side to an important 2-0 victory against Portsmouth before Christmas, although they were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Leicester.

The Dons are winless in nine at home in the league (D2 L7) – a run that stretches back to August. However, they are unbeaten in their two previous league games against Forest Green (W1 D1). Get 10/11 on the Dons to record consecutive league wins for the first time since April.

Meanwhile, Forest Green haven’t won an away league game since July – a run of 10 without success (D5 L5). They had gone three games unbeaten prior to a 4-0 defeat at Derby. It’s 3/1 for a Rovers win, with the draw at 12/5.

A basement battle in League 2

There hasn’t been much to cheer for either Colchester or Gillingham. Both sides find themselves at the wrong end of the League 2 table and are in real danger of slipping out of the Football League.

Gillingham prop up the table. They are winless in nine (D4 L5) and are the lowest-scoring side in the division, with just six goals in 20 games. However, they did win their last league meeting against Colchester in 2015. And it’s 13/10 they record another win over ‘the U’s’.

Colchester are also in desperate need of points. They’ve enjoyed previous away games on Boxing Day, winning five of their last six. We’ve got them at 11/5 to extend their St Stephen’s Day run. The draw, just like their EFL Trophy game in October, is priced at 21/10.

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