Sky Bet EFL: Match previews and best bets for fixtures on Saturday December 21

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

The Sky Bet EFL returns this weekend. Tom Carnduff previews three games with best bets provided at prices of 2/1, 23/10 and 14/5.


Recommended bets

1pt Over 12.5 corners in Luton v Swansea at 23/10

1pt Over 3.5 goals in Millwall v Barnsley at 2/1

1pt Coventry (-1 handicap) to beat Lincoln at 14/5

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


Luton v Swansea

James Collins celebrates after scoring against Middlesbrough
James Collins celebrates after scoring against Middlesbrough

Swansea have started to pick up a bit following a dip in form that threw them firmly out of the automatic promotion race.

Steve Cooper's side looked like they could have been potential contenders with victory away at Leeds in late August, but since then they've dropped off and now find themselves sat in tenth.

This week takes them to Luton where, as expected, they are in the battle to avoid the drop back down to Sky Bet League One.

They'll be boosted by two consecutive home wins though and will hold some confidence of success on Saturday - although they are 12/5 outsiders.

The best bet in this one comes in the corners market considering the high number we have seen at Kenilworth Road this season.

In Luton's last five home games, the match corner average has stood at 13.4 with both teams seeing a near equal amount in two of those contests.

It's not just Luton who have seen the high counts, but so too have Swansea with a big number in this statistic on the road in the recent weeks.

Their last five away games have brought an average of 12.4 match corners, setting this up to be a game with plenty of opportunities from set-pieces.

A small play to the home average is worth a play in this game, particularly with the 23/10 available on 13 or more corners.

Best bet: Over 12.5 corners at 23/10

Opta facts

  • Luton Town and Swansea last met in the league in February 2008 in League One, with the Swans winning 1-0 on their way to promotion that season, while the Hatters were relegated.
  • Swansea have only kept one clean sheet in their 24 league visits to Luton, drawing 0-0 in March 1925.
  • Luton have lost eight of their last 10 league games (W2), conceding 26 goals in the process. Indeed, the Hatters have conceded the most goals in the Championship this term (46).
  • Swansea’s 3-1 win at home to Middlesbrough ended a six-game winless run in the league – they last won consecutive matches at the start of November.
  • No Swansea player has scored more goals (7) or provided more assists (4) in the Championship this season than Andre Ayew.
  • Since the start of the 2017-18 season, James Collins has scored 51 league goals (incl. play-offs), 22 more than any other Luton Town player.

Millwall v Barnsley

Jed Wallace in action for Millwall
Jed Wallace in action for Millwall

Gary Rowett will be pleased with his efforts at Millwall so far as they sit two points outside of the play-offs.

The 1-0 away victory at Derby extended their unbeaten run to seven games, while they have only lost once in front of their own supporters.

The 5/6 general price on a home win looks decent value given the contrasting home/away form. Instead, backing the over goals mark provides more appeal.

Goals have been a feature for Barnsley since Gerhard Struber took charge. Four of their six games under the Austrian have brought four or more goals in the contest.

They were on the right side of a 5-3 scoreline against QPR last time out and there's little evidence to suggest that they will adopt a defensive approach just because they are away from home.

Millwall also have a track record of seeing goals in their games, particularly at home. Three of their last five games in front of their own supporters have seen over 3.5 goals, with only one of the five having under 2.5.

There's a best price of 2/1 available on over 3.5 goals in this contest, which is worth taking given recent showings.

Best bet: Over 3.5 goals in the game at 2/1

Opta facts

  • Millwall have lost their last two home league matches against Barnsley, losing 3-2 in August 2015 and 3-1 in September 2017.
  • Since winning five games in a row in all competitions against Millwall, Barnsley have lost their last two.
  • In 2019-20, Millwall have averaged 1.9 points per game under Gary Rowett (W5 D4 L1), compared to just 1.1 per game under Neil Harris (W2 D5 L3).
  • Barnsley will be looking to register consecutive wins in the Championship for the first time since November 2017.
  • Millwall are unbeaten in their last seven league games (W4 D3), since a 1-2 defeat at Reading in November – only Leeds (11) and West Brom (12) are currently on longer such runs amongst teams in the Championship in 2019-20.
  • Last time out versus QPR, Conor Chaplin became the first Barnsley player to score a hat-trick in the Championship since Craig Davies vs Birmingham in September 2012. Indeed, Chaplin has seven league goals in 20 apps this season, just one fewer than he netted in 31 apps for Coventry in 2018-19.

Coventry v Lincoln

Coventry celebrate Dominic Hyam's goal against Sunderland
Coventry celebrate Dominic Hyam's goal against Sunderland

Coventry continue to demonstrate little issue with playing their home matches in Birmingham this season.

The Sky Blues boast the second-best 'home' form in Sky Bet League One - a surprise 1-0 defeat to Tranmere being the only time they have failed to pick up at least a point in front of their own supporters.

A minor, and it is very minor, complaint is the fact that the majority of their victories at home have come by one-goal margins. They'd rather have the buffer zone heading into the closing stages but they've demonstrated an ability to hold onto leads once they have them.

There is a strong case to be made that the winning margin can be extended this weekend against a Lincoln side who have struggled since the Cowley brothers departed for Huddersfield.

The Imps did pick up a win in their last away game over Burton, but their form prior to that has been a huge concern. Seven of their eleven league fixtures on the road have ended in defeat.

Coventry recognise the importance of their home fixtures which is reflected in the fact that they are still waiting for that first victory away.

The hosts are one part of a congested area of the table looking for a spot in the play-offs. They should have enough to snap a three-game winless run on Saturday.

Best bet: Coventry (-1 handicap) to beat Lincoln at 14/5

Opta facts

  • There have been 16 goals scored in the last four league meetings between Coventry and Lincoln, with both sides netting eight times each.
  • Coventry have netted at least once in each of their five-home league matches against Lincoln (10 goals), winning three of those games (D1 L1).
  • Though only Wycombe (1) have lost fewer League One games than Coventry (3) this season, the Sky Blues have only managed to win two of their last 11 games in the competition (D6 L3).
  • Lincoln City are looking to win three successive league games for the first time since their opening three matches of League One this season.
  • John Akinde scored Lincoln’s winner at home to Tranmere last time out and is now hoping to score in back-to-back league games for the first time since March last season.

Odds correct at 1040 GMT (19/12/19)

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