David Prutton: Sky Bet EFL predictions

Last Updated October 13 2017, 18:50Football
Daryl Murphy & Nottingham Forest celebrate
Daryl Murphy & Nottingham Forest celebrate

Sky Sports pundit David Prutton returns with his predictions ahead of this weekend's Sky Bet EFL matches...

Birmingham v Cardiff, Friday 1945 BST - Live on Sky Sports Football

Another new era for Birmingham as Steve Cotterill prepares to take charge for the first time. He's got plenty of issues to address and he would have been glad to have had a couple of weeks before this game to work with the squad after they were absolutely pumped last time out.

He'll want to make a quick impression at St Andrew's against a high-flying Cardiff side, who still sit top of the table heading into the game. But Neil Warnock won't want to get carried away, and I think this will be a draw on Friday night.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 with Lukas Jutkiewicz to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)

Wolves v Aston Villa, Saturday 1730 BST - Live on Sky Sports Football

Now this is a big game. Two teams who will be aiming for the top two, regardless of what their respective managers say, meet in the evening game on Saturday and Molineux and it should be a fascinating clash.

Villa have been on a bit of a resurgence lately, but their fixture list has been quite kind and a trip to Wolves will be a real test for them. I have to back the home side to lay down a marker.

Prutton predicts: 2-0 with Leo Bonatini to score first (28/1 with Sky Bet)

Derby v Nottingham Forest, Sunday 1315 BST - Live on Sky Sports Football

It's as nicely balanced a game as we could have wished for. Both sides have shown inconsistency so far this season, and it's a good chance for either to lay down a marker and try and get on a run, which they're both in desperate need of.

The Derby fans will be in full voice and Forest will also travel in good numbers. It'll make for a real test of the players' nerves and their mental state, as any big derby game is. It will be open, but I can't split the two.

Prutton predicts: 2-2 with Daryl Murphy to score first (75/1 with Sky Bet)

Barnsley v Middlesbrough, Saturday 1500 BST

This could be an entertaining game at Oakwell. You never really know with Barnsley but they had a great result at Millwall before the international break and Paul Heckingbottom will want to keep that momentum going.

Middlesbrough still haven't really quite gelled yet as they get used to the new style under Garry Monk, but they've always got goals in their side and I fancy a high-scoring draw.

Prutton predicts: 2-2 (14/1 with Sky Bet)

Bolton v Sheffield Wednesday, Saturday 1500 BST

More misery for Bolton here for me. It doesn't look like they have a way out of this run of results for me and every game in the Sky Bet Championship can seem incredibly tough at times like these.

Carlos Carvalhal wouldn't have wanted the international break after the fantastic win against Leeds, but with the form Bolton are in, it's the perfect game for Sheffield Wednesday to get another three points.

Prutton predicts: 0-2 (7/1 with Sky Bet)

Leeds v Reading, Saturday 1500 BST

It looked at one stage like Leeds could storm it this season, but such is the nature of the division that they quickly got dragged back in. Thomas Christiansen will have issues to address after that thumping defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, but having Liam Cooper back from suspension in defence will help a lot.

Reading, meanwhile, have had a really poor couple of months and Jaap Stam is starting to feel the heat a bit. This was the kind of game they would have fancied themselves in last season, but I just feel this will be a Leeds win.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam

Norwich v Hull, Saturday 1500 BST

These are two sides, like so many others, who would have harboured hopes of promotion at the start of the season. Norwich have been creeping up the league after a bit of a resurgence as they adjust to life under Daniel Farke and his methods.

Hull, meanwhile, had a fantastic win over Birmingham before the international break but they still have plenty of work to do to get themselves back into contention near the top. Narrow home win for me.

Prutton predicts: 1-0 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Sheffield United v Ipswich, Saturday 1500 BST

Sheffield United's momentum was halted a little by that defeat to Nottingham Forest, but we've seen before this season that Chris Wilder knows how to get his side to bounce back quickly.

Ipswich aren't right up there as they were at the start of the season, and their recent form suggests a level of inconsistency that could cost them. I feel the Blades will nick the three points.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (7/1 with Sky Bet)

Plymouth v Shrewsbury, Saturday 1500 BST

Bottom hosts top in Sky Bet League One! Plymouth just have not got used to life back in the third tier yet and it doesn't get much tougher than this.

Shrewsbury are still the only team unbeaten in the whole EFL and I can't see that run coming to an end on Saturday. Paul Hurst has done a fantastic job there, considering they were tipped to be down there near where Plymouth are at the start of the season.

Prutton predicts: 0-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)

Wycombe v Exeter, Saturday 1500 BST

This is a bit of a heavyweight clash in League Two. Exeter got themselves back to the top last week and Paul Tisdale will want to keep them there after slipping off recently.

Wycombe are a little better away from home than at Adams Park, but I think they'll battle their way to a draw here.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)

Related links

Football Tips

Harry Kane celebrates

Premier League betting tips

David John expects goals when Tottenham play host to Liverpool on Super Sunday.

Graeme Storm

Betting Zone: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed.

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.