Sky Bet EFL: Match previews and best bets for fixtures on Tuesday August 20

Sporting Life's EFL preview package and free tips
Sporting Life's EFL preview package and free tips

It's the first round of midweek games in the Sky Bet EFL this week. Tom Carnduff has two tips as he looks at three of the standout fixtures.


Recommended bets

2pts Over 10.5 corners in Hull v Blackburn at 6/5

2pts Danny Mayor to score anytime in Plymouth v Salford at 9/2

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


Hull v Blackburn

Scroll down to watch highlights from every Sky Bet Championship match
Hull will be hoping they can continue to pick up points as they face Blackburn

This is the televised game on Tuesday night, although Sky Sports are showing the other Sky Bet Championship games on the red button if you don't fancy it.

It may not seem it on the surface but this game does have the possibility of goals. Three out of Hull's four games in all competitions under Grant McCann have seen over 2.5 goals - the same can be said for two of Blackburn's games over the same period.

One of those potential goalscorers to keep an eye on is Bradley Dack. Blackburn's attacking midfielder currently leads the division in shots taken without scoring a goal.

The best bet in this game is a shorter-priced selection, but one worth backing at a price of odds-against.

The corners market provides interest given the averages of these two teams so far. Hull have seen an average of 11.25 corners across their four fixtures, while the figure stands at 11 for Blackburn.

Over 10.5 corners is available at a best price of 6/5. We're playing to the averages a little but given the attacking game expected, we should see the ball deflected behind on multiple occasions.

Best bet: Over 10.5 corners at 6/5

Opta facts

  • Hull haven’t lost three consecutive league matches against Blackburn since March 1989.
  • Blackburn are looking to win consecutive league visits to Hull for the first time since December 1979.
  • Following their victory over Reading in their first home game, Hull are looking to win their opening two league matches of the season at the KCOM Stadium for the first time since 2015-16, when they beat Huddersfield and Fulham under Steve Bruce.
  • Blackburn have lost on each of their last four league trips to Yorkshire, conceding at least three goals in each of those matches. However, Rovers’ last such victory did come at Hull in August last season, thanks to a Bradley Dack winner.
  • Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray has recorded seven league victories against Hull City, more than versus any other team.
  • No player has had more shots in the Championship through the first three matches without scoring than Blackburn’s Bradley Dack (12 – alongside Sergi Canos).

Rochdale v Sunderland

Jim McNulty (left) battles for the ball
Jim McNulty (left) battles for the ball

Both of these sides have made a positive start to the season with five points gained from a possible nine.

They're also both unbeaten, and I'd expect those runs to continue with the points being shared at the Crown Oil Arena.

Sunderland's issue last season was an inability to turn draws into victory. 1-1 is a scoreline common to most Black Cats fans under Jack Ross, and that trend continued with both of their opening fixtures finishing like that.

They have since secured two victories - one in the league and one in the cup. In Rochdale, though, they face a side looking to build a reputation of being tough to beat at home.

I'm not sure what it is, whether physical or psychological, as to why Sunderland are unable to covert a single point into three. They're a side with the ability, but if that trend continues they will be sentenced to the play-offs again.

They may also find themselves without the majority of possession here, where as they'd expect to see most of the ball in other fixtures. Patience will be key, but Rochdale are capable of striking.

The visitors are odds-on favourites for victory, but I'd be hesitant to back a certain away win given the similar starts to the season.

Best bet: Match to be a draw at 13/5

Opta facts

  • This will be just the third league meeting between Rochdale and Sunderland; the Black Cats completed the league double over The Dale in League One last season.
  • Rochdale have lost their opening three league games against a single opponent on 12 different occasions, most recently suffering this fate versus Burton Albion in September 2012.
  • Rochdale are looking to remain unbeaten in the opening four league games of a third tier campaign for the first time since 1929-30.
  • Sunderland are winless in their last four league away games (D2 L2), they last went on a longer run without a victory in March 2018 (6 games).
  • Rochdale have recorded possession figures of 59.4% and a passing accuracy of 81.5% this season; League One highs in both categories.

Plymouth v Salford

Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe celebrates
Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe celebrates

Many tipped Salford for Sky Bet League Two success but they've experienced mixed fortunes with a win, draw and loss from their opening three games.

Graham Alexander's men are starting to adjust to life in the Football League - but Tuesday puts them up against a Plymouth side who have all the potential to go on and win the title.

Ryan Lowe has installed his attacking philosophy which the Pilgrims have adapted to despite Lowe being incredibly early into his spell at the club.

His Bury side were top scorers and title winners in League Two last season, and the four goals on their tally after three games suggests that they he can go on and repeat it in a new environment.

When Lowe joined Plymouth, he brought players with him from Bury. One of those was Danny Mayor, who can get off the mark in front of his home crowd.

The winger scored 12 and assisted the same amount across all competitions last season, following that up with an assist for his new club.

His performances haven't quite hit similar heights on the whole, though. The game against Newport was a quiet one for the wide man - “When Danny Mayor is getting man-marked, he has got to come up with something different," was Lowe's assessment afterwards.

He is a player that does possess the right ability, though. Salford can be vulnerable when teams come at them, something that could play into Mayor's hands.

Best bet: Danny Mayor to score anytime at 9/2

Opta facts

  • This will be the first Football League meeting between Plymouth and Salford.
  • Plymouth have failed to win any of their last eight matches when facing a side for the very first time in the Football League (D4 L4), last tasting victory in such a fixture back in January 2011 against MK Dons (3-1).
  • Plymouth have only lost two of their last 12 home games in league competition (W7 D3), picking up victories in each of their last two.
  • After winning their first game in the Football League (2-0 v Stevenage on the opening day), Salford are winless in their two league games since (D1 L1).
  • Plymouth’s Danny Mayor has been directly involved in four goals in his last six league appearances (two goals and two assists), however three of those came while playing for previous club Bury at the end of last season.
  • Salford have faced 48 opposition shots in their three games in League Two this season – only Cambridge (51) and Stevenage (50) have allowed more in the competition.

Odds correct at 1410 BST (19/08/19)

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Join us for coverage of Crystal Palace v Man City in the Premier League1

Live blog: Palace v Man City

Join George Pitts for coverage of the Premier League's evening kick-off, with updates, statistics and in-play betting tips.

Follow Saturday's action live with Sporting Life2

Recap: Saturday's football blog

A look back at our coverage of Saturday's football in the Premier League and key Sky Bet EFL matches, including Chelsea v Newcastle.

Watch every Premier League goal for Saturday's games by scrolling down3

PL highlights: Watford hold Spurs

Reports and video match highlights from every game from Saturday's Premier League action.

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports4

Saturday's Bets of the Day

A full round-up of the Sporting Life team's best fancies across Saturday's action, including racing, football, darts, golf and rugby.

Manchester United welcome Liverpool on Sunday5

Man U v Liverpool: Big match guide

Manchester United welcome Liverpool on Sunday. We have everything you need to know ahead of their 55th Premier League meeting.

Most Read Football

Join us for coverage of Crystal Palace v Man City in the Premier League1

Live blog: Palace v Man City

Join George Pitts for coverage of the Premier League's evening kick-off, with updates, statistics and in-play betting tips.

Follow Saturday's action live with Sporting Life2

Recap: Saturday's football blog

A look back at our coverage of Saturday's football in the Premier League and key Sky Bet EFL matches, including Chelsea v Newcastle.

Watch every Premier League goal for Saturday's games by scrolling down3

PL highlights: Watford hold Spurs

Reports and video match highlights from every game from Saturday's Premier League action.

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports4

Saturday's Bets of the Day

A full round-up of the Sporting Life team's best fancies across Saturday's action, including racing, football, darts, golf and rugby.

Manchester United welcome Liverpool on Sunday5

Man U v Liverpool: Big match guide

Manchester United welcome Liverpool on Sunday. We have everything you need to know ahead of their 55th Premier League meeting.

Football Tips

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports

Saturday's Bets of the Day

A full round-up of the Sporting Life team's best fancies across Saturday's action, including racing, football, darts, golf and rugby.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Palace v Man City tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League action with our best bets & predictions, including Chelsea and Manchester City.

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

This week's Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams from the three EFL leagues, enhanced to 18/1 with Sky Bet...