Sky Bet EFL: Match previews and best bets for fixtures on Saturday August 17

Check out our tips for Saturday's EFL action
Check out our tips for Saturday's EFL action

The Sky Bet EFL continues this weekend and Tom Carnduff is looking for value in goalscorers priced up at 23/10 and 12/1.


Recommended bets

1pt Jake Cooper to score anytime in Millwall v Sheffield Wednesday at 12/1

2pts Matt Warburton to score anytime in Northampton v Macclesfield at 23/10

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


Luton v West Brom

Martin Cranie scores against Middlesbrough
Martin Cranie scores against Middlesbrough

The Baggies have adjusted well to life under Slaven Bilic, picking up four points from a possible six.

Luton's arrival in the division has seen them unlucky not to earn more than the single point they have on their tally.

They hit three past Middlesbrough on opening night, only enough to earn a draw, while a 96th minute effort from Isaac Vassell saw Cardiff snatch victory last weekend.

The positive is that the Hatters have carried their attacking intent into England's second tier. They were renowned for scoring goals along the way to success in Sky Bet League One last season, and they've struck four times already.

West Brom have power going forward, but can be exposed at the back. They've conceded in both of their games so far, with Millwall netting two at the Hawthorns in the cup in midweek.

Luton will know that the majority of their points this season will come from their contests at Kenilworth Road. It's a tough ground for any visiting team, and they should see multiple games with home goals throughout the course of the campaign.

Best bet: Luton to score 2+ goals at 5/4

Opta facts

  • Luton Town and West Bromwich Albion’s most recent meeting was in the League Cup first round last season, with the Baggies winning 1-0 at the Hawthorns.
  • In league football, Luton and West Brom haven’t met since the 2006-07 season, with the Baggies unbeaten in both meetings (W1 D1 L0).
  • Luton have scored more set-piece goals than any other Championship side so far this season (3), with 45% of their efforts at goal coming from set-piece situations (9/20).
  • Excluding play-offs, 13 of West Bromwich Albion’s last 23 league goals have been scored via set-pieces.
  • Luton Town haven’t lost consecutive league matches since September 2016 – this will be their 133rd league game since then.
  • West Bromwich Albion haven’t won their opening two away league matches of a season since 2009-10, a season in which they were promoted from the Championship.

Millwall v Sheffield Wednesday

Jake Cooper wins a header against Sheffield Wednesday
Jake Cooper wins a header against Sheffield Wednesday

I backed Jake Cooper a couple of times last season to strike; landing us a 16/1 winner towards the back-end of the campaign.

This looks like the game where he can open his account for the current season. Set-pieces have been key for Millwall already, and the same will apply on Saturday.

As expected, aerial duels have been a strong area for the hosts. Their recent draw away at West Brom saw a goal which came from a corner, with the same applying to their Carabao Cup fixture at the Hawthorns in midweek.

For Wednesday, their season has started in impressive fashion but aerial duels are proving to be an area of weakness.

That will prove to be problematic against a Millwall side with a reputation for being strong at attacking set-pieces.

Cooper was directly involved in 12 goals across the course of last season, five of which were his. Almost all of those came from corners, with Cooper either finding the net or heading it back across the box for someone else to finish.

A best price of 12/1 is available on Cooper netting anytime here, 24/1 if you're feeling brave with a first goalscorer prediction, but the value is still there if that anytime price drops to the 7s or 8s mark.

Best bet: Jake Cooper to score anytime at 12/1

Opta facts

  • Millwall have won just one of their last 11 league matches against Sheffield Wednesday (W1 D4 L6), winning 2-1 in February 2018.
  • Sheffield Wednesday are looking for their first league win at the Den against Millwall since February 2015, when they won 3-1 (winless in two since).
  • Millwall striker Matt Smith has scored 14 Championship goals as a substitute – since his debut season in the competition in 2013-14, only Lucas João has scored more often as a sub (16 goals).
  • Sheffield Wednesday are looking to win their first three league matches of a season outside the top-flight for the first time since the 1990-91 campaign, winning promotion at the end of that season.
  • Millwall have kept eight clean sheets in their last 13 home Championship matches.
  • Sheffield Wednesday have named the oldest average starting XI age in the Championship so far this season (28 years and 192 days).

Northampton v Macclesfield

Matt Warburton celebrates his goal for Northampton against Swansea
Matt Warburton celebrates his goal for Northampton against Swansea

Macclesfield come into this game without a manager after the club and Sol Campbell mutually agreed to part company on Thursday.

Campbell kept Town in the Football League last season, while also guiding them to one victory from two in their start to the current Sky Bet League Two campaign.

They come up against a Northampton side who haven't started as well as hoped; but one that can get their first win of the season on Saturday.

I'm also following Matt Warburton's progress this season. I put the attacking midfielder up as top goalscorer in the division and while he hasn't netted in the league yet, he did grab his first goal in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

At home, against a managerless side with problems off the field, Warburton and Northampton should enjoy the afternoon.

Sky Bet have him at 23/10 to strike anytime which looks good value considering his efforts on Tuesday night against a Championship side in Swansea.

I'd back him to get his league tally underway in front of a home audience this weekend.

Best bet: Matt Warburton to score anytime at 23/10

Opta facts

  • Northampton have won three consecutive league matches against Macclesfield, netting three or more goals on each occasion – the Cobblers had lost their previous three EFL encounters against the Silkmen prior to this run.
  • Macclesfield have won just one of their last eight visits to Northampton in the Football League (D2 L5), a 1-0 victory in March 2011.
  • Northampton have gone 10 league games without a clean sheet – the Cobblers last went longer without a shut out between December 2017 and February 2018 (run of 14 games).
  • Macclesfield have lost just one of their last five league games (W2 D2), a 0-1 defeat against Exeter on MD1, keeping three clean sheets during this period.
  • Macclesfield’s Theo Archibald netted a 94th minute winner against Northampton for Forest Green Rovers on New Year’s Day – he has netted two goals in his last three appearances in League Two, including that strike against Northampton.

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Odds correct at 1510 BST (15/08/19)

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The Sky Bet EFL continues this weekend following some midweek action. Tom Carnduff is finding value in backing goalscorers.