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Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action
Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action

The EFL returns this weekend following the 'excitement' of deadline day. Tom Carnduff has 19/10, 6/1 and 16/1 best bets.


Recommended bets

1pt Jack O'Connell to score anytime in Sheffield United v Bolton at 16/1

1pt Bristol City to win and over 3.5 goals in the game at 6/1

1pt Scunthorpe/Draw on double chance at 19/10

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Bristol City v Swansea

Daniel James has joined Leeds United
Daniel James was denied a move he wanted to Leeds

The January transfer window was a disaster for Swansea.

City saw Tom Carroll, Wilfried Bony and Jefferson Montero all leave on loan deals and they failed to bring in anyone who could help them improve on their current position of 11th.

To make things worse, the club denied Daniel James a move he wanted to Leeds by pulling the plug on it at the last minute, that's despite the player agreeing to personal terms and passing a medical.

They even used the line 'Wales international James will be welcomed back into the squad with immediate effect with the goal of continuing his rich vein of form' when announcing he was staying on their club website. Good luck with that one.

His agent was furious, telling Telegraph Sport "Swansea made no attempt to keep the player and at the first sign of money they couldn’t show him the door quickly enough. It is very disappointing but the player is philosophical about it."

Not only that but cryptic Tweets were also sent from some of those involved at the club. Everything points to an unhappy environment, even with James and Leroy Fer staying.

Essentially, Graham Potter is going to have to try and get his team going and pretend that none of this happened. Fair enough one or two players weren't starters, but the Swans are lighter on numbers and that could mean next to no chance of making the play-offs.

The bad news is that they have to now go to a Bristol City side who have won their last six in all competitions and are also currently enjoying a 12-game unbeaten run.

That gives them the best form in the Sky Bet Championship, and while Swansea have also been picking up points in recent weeks, a weak January window has clearly affected the mood in the camp.

There's a potential for goals in this game though given the outstanding form of Swans forward Oli McBurnie. He has five goals in his last three league appearances and could continue that run here.

Ultimately though, it's set up to be a home victory. That's available at a general price of 13/10, which is one to include in the Saturday acca, but the 6/1 on a Bristol City win and over 3.5 goals in the game at 6/1 is far more appealing.

Best bet: Bristol City to win and over 3.5 goals in the game at 6/1

Opta facts

  • Bristol City haven’t hosted Swansea in a league match since February 2011, a 0-2 defeat.
  • Swansea have failed to score in eight of their last 10 league meetings with Bristol City.
  • Swansea are looking to secure consecutive away league wins against Bristol City for the first time (P26 W5 D7 L14)
  • Bristol City have won their last four Championship games – no side is on a current longer run in the competition. They last won five league games in a row in League One in March 2015.
  • Swansea have scored at least once in each of their last seven away league games (W3 D1 L3), though they’ve only kept one clean sheet in that time.
  • Since his Championship debut on February 3rd 2018, only Billy Sharp (23) has scored more Championship goals than Oliver McBurnie (22 – 9 for Barnsley, 13 for Swansea).

Sheffield United v Bolton

Jack O'Connell has a shot on goal
Jack O'Connell has a shot on goal

Chris Wilder's side dropped points in an away draw at Norwich last time out, but they will see it as a point gained away at a tricky Carrow Road.

They can capitalise on Leeds facing Norwich in the late kick-off with victory over Bolton, and their general price of 3/10 highlights how they are expected to do just that.

Wanderers are battling against relegation, but off-the-field issues continue to pile on the pressure and Phil Parkinson is doing an extraordinary job in very difficult circumstances.

They should leave empty-handed once again, with Bramall Lane a difficult venue for visiting teams. The Blades have a strong home record having won eight of their 14 in front of their own supporters.

This is the type of games where Jack O'Connell can get himself among the goalscorers. The centre-back has had a direct involvement in three league goals this season but has possessed a constant attacking threat.

He's also been a key figure in the heart of the Blades defence, playing every single minute of their Sky Bet Championship campaign so far.

What stood out for me in Bolton's recent defeat to West Brom was their inability to defend set-pieces. It came as a bit of a surprise, but they were completely static from a free-kick and the Baggies scored with ease.

The Blades have hardly been prolific from set-piece situations this season, but their eight goals scored as a direct result of them shows that they're not exactly useless when they get the chances.

The attacking-minded Chris Basham will cause all sorts of problems with the runs he'll make at corners, while John Egan will be one to watch closely as well. O'Connell's aerial threat is a difficult one to defend against and that should mean goals in a game such as this.

O'Connell has won over twice as many aerial duels than he has lost. That puts him in the top-eleven in the Championship for headers won and Bolton will likely put Mark Beevers on marking duty in order to try and nullify his presence.

At an attacking situation though, with O'Connell on the front foot when going for the ball, he should come out on top in those battles between him and his Wanderers counterpart.

It's worth a play at a price of 16/1. Bolton have conceded 35 corners in their last five league away games, a worrying trend that gives opposition teams strong chances to score from a dead-ball situation.

Another bet to consider involves Scott Hogan. The Aston Villa forward joined the Blades on-loan on deadline day and may well get a cameo appearance from the bench here.

Against a weak Bolton defence, there's every chance he could get himself onto the scoresheet if he was involved. One to look at in the last goalscorer market when the odds become available.

Best bet: Jack O'Connell to score anytime at 16/1

Opta facts

  • Sheffield United haven’t completed a league double over Bolton since the 1947-48 season.
  • Bolton have scored just one goal in their last four league meetings with Sheffield United (W1 L3), with current Blades forward Gary Madine scoring the winner in December 2017.
  • Sheffield United have won their last three home league games, last winning four in a row at Bramall Lane in November 2017.
  • After winning their first two away league games this season, Bolton are winless in their last 12 on the road (D4 L8), losing each of their last five.
  • As manager of Sheffield United, Chris Wilder has lost three games against Bolton in all competitions – against no side has he lost more (also three against Walsall).
  • Bolton winger Sammy Ameobi has been involved in more Championship goals than any other Trotters player this season (6 – 3 goals, 3 assists).

Barnsley v Scunthorpe

Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel
Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel

This is an intriguing clash between a side with very strong home form coming up against one who have seen an upturn in results following a strong January transfer window.

The Tykes are unbeaten at Oakwell in their 14 league games this season, that gives them the third best home record in Sky Bet League One. However, they have dropped points on five occasions.

Scunthorpe were struggling for results and didn't see the instant impact they would have hoped from Stuart McCall's arrival at the club. However, with time to work with the squad and his own arrivals this month, the Iron have started to play and most importantly, pick up results.

They are also enjoying a six-game unbeaten run in the league. That run has seen them pick up a points against promotion hopefuls Sunderland and Peterborough, alongside wins at sides such as Fleetwood who boast a fairly decent home record.

The points have fired them away from any immediate relegation trouble. They now sit six points clear of Bradford in the final drop zone place, and their form could potentially see them have a bit of a run at the play-offs in the last third of the season.

Barnsley's home form is strong and they are a team who will fancy their chances of a return to the Championship. However, Scunthorpe's recent results shows how a price of 19/10 on the double chance in their favour is too big.

It'd be understandable in the earlier part of the campaign when they looked like a side who would be battling against the drop. Now though, they've made the right changes to turn around their fortunes and they've already demonstrated an ability to get something against those at the top.

Even during their sub-par start, they still managed to hit five past play-off capable Charlton. They also secured an away win against Bristol Rovers.

This is one for the double chance. However, if you are feeling brave, going with the line that Barnsley will have to lose at home eventually, Scunthorpe are available at 7/1.

Best bet: Scunthorpe/Draw on double chance at 19/10

Opta facts

  • Barnsley have lost one of their last 17 home matches against Scunthorpe (W11 D5), a 1-2 reverse in League One in November 2014.
  • Scunthorpe have lost just two of their last 10 league games against Barnsley (W3 D5), with the last two meetings ending as draws.
  • Barnsley are unbeaten in their last nine league games (W6 D3), last going 10 without defeat in December 2005 during a season in which they were promoted to the Championship.
  • Scunthorpe have won one of their last 13 league games in February (D7 L5), a 3-2 win over Fleetwood Town last February.
  • Barnsley’s Jacob Brown has been directly involved in four goals in his last four League One games (one goal, three assists), one more than his first 30 appearances in the Football League combined before this (two goals, one assist).

Odds correct at 1355 GMT (01/02/19)

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Most Read Football

The latest rumour and gossip from the back pgaes1

Paper Talk: Lukaku to go?

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi3

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