It’s barely been six weeks since the last Football League season officially ended, but here we are ready to go for the new campaign already.
With fans still not allowed into grounds, there’s a full slate of non-stop English football fixtures from 12:30 all the way through until 10pm – which means you can settle in on the sofa and fully take in the first day of the new season with no distractions.
If you’re looking for something to spice up the day though, check out this 6/1 treble I’ve picked out from Gameweek 1 in the Football League.
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Cardiff v Sheffield Wednesday: Cardiff to win @ 23/20
Cardiff shocked everyone when they appointed Neil Harris last November but they were the ones laughing when their late season form saw them surge into play-off contention.
The Bluebirds won 7 of their 10 games after the restart and, though they were soundly beaten by Fulham in the play-offs, will be looking to kick on this season.
The shock departure of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing aside, Harris has retained the majority of the side that finished 5th last term – and some would argue they have strengthened it with the addition of Kieffer Moore from Wigan Athletic. The same can’t be said for their opponents.
Starting the season with a 12-point deduction, Sheffield Wednesday are already up against it. To make matters worse, they’ve lost the three players involved in most of their goals last season.
Steven Fletcher and Atdhe Nuhiu have both left the club while they are battling to resign influential Newcastle loanee Josh Murphy – who was involved in 15 goals in 24 starts during his spell.
After beating Leeds in January, the Owls won just three times in their final 19 games – form which saw them freefall from 3rd in December to 16th at the end of the season. With so little time to turn it around, expect Cardiff to come out on top in Wales.
Fleetwood Town v Burton Albion: Both Teams to Score @ 17/20
Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town side will be hoping to build on last season’s play-off heartbreak, and it seems they will look to do so by scoring as many goals as possible.
Whether that’s through design or necessity remains to be seen though, as the Cod Army have lost four members of the back-five that led them to 6th in Barton’s second season in charge.
What they lack in defensive solidity, they should more than make up for in attacking prowess. Ched Evans, Paddy Madden and Josh Morris are all proven goalscorers at this level, while the signing of Callum Camps from Rochdale brings some welcome creativity to their midfield.
While Fleetwood will be looking for more of the same, a new era is brewing over at the Pirelli Stadium. Nigel Clough is out after spending 15 of the last 22 years in Staffordshire and in his place comes first-time player-Manager Jake Buxton.
His main goal will undoubtedly be survival first and foremost, but the Brewers are capable of mixing it with the best of them.
They only failed to score 4 times in 18 away games last term, while Fleetwood bagged in 14 of their 18 home matches. There have been 13 goals in the 3 competitive matches played by the two sides already this season, so we’ll be hoping for more of that.
Cheltenham v Morecambe: Cheltenham to Win @ 10/11.
Cheltenham were arguably one of the biggest losers of the COVID-19 lockdown ending the football league season prematurely. The Robins were absolutely flying before the shut down – with 6 wins in their final 8 games leading people to believe they could have made automatic promotion had the season been played out.
Michael Duff won’t want to be reminded of how his side capitulated in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals against Northampton – squandering a 2-0 first leg advantage in a devastating 3-0 home defeat.
They will be looking to put those demons to bed though, and have retained the majority of the squad that gave them the league’s best defence in 2019/20. Their unit conceded just 27 goals in 36 games, and that won’t be encouraging news for the visiting Shrimps.
Derek Adams’ side scored just 20 goals in 19 games following his appointment in November last year, and were the second worst away team in the entire division. Morecambe aren’t pushovers by any means, but Cheltenham should have too much quality.
You can back the treble at a shade over 6/1!
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