FIVE key pointers to this weekend’s action:
Reading v Leeds:
Leeds face a trip to Reading having endured 120 minutes at Doncaster on Thursday night to eventually go out on penalties. The Royals also went to extra-time in their game at Colchester so there can be no excuses for fatigue so early on in the season. In the 12 Championship games between the sides, the Whites have only managed to win twice, with one of those victories coming at the Madjeski last season. Six of the Championship encounters have ended in draws, with three of them goalless – Leeds fans making the trip to Berkshire will be hopeful that the Whites can follow up last season’s victory with another strong performance.
Bradford v Shrewsbury:
A Bradford defence which is leakier than a British summer in Yorkshire will be looking to stem the flow against a Shrewsbury side who won at Ewood Park in midweek, bouncing back from the opening day defeat at home to Milwall. Reports are suggesting that Phil Parkinson is looking to sign another centre-back as Nathan Clarke needs evidently needs taking out of the firing line. His replacement, for a six-figure sum, could be Shrews centre-back Conor Goldson. Bradford fans will be able to see their transfer target first-hand if he is selected this weekend. If he isn’t, it could suggest a lot about his future.
Sheffield United v Chesterfield:
The Blades will be looking to put last weekends 4-0 demolition at Gillingham behind them with a win over the Spireites. It took a ‘93rd-minute’ winner from Neil Collins to edge past League 2 Morecambe in the cup and Nigel Adkins’s side have a lot of work to do if they are to live up to the billing of promotion favourites in League One. The last three fixtures between the two sides have produced 12 goals so anyone travelling to Brammal Lane this weekend should expect more of the same with both of Chesterfield’s games this season finishing 3-1.
Ipswich v Sheffield Wednesday:
A hugely impressive start under Carlos Carvalhal has seen renewed optimism at Wednesday. An opening day victory over Bristol City was followed by the dismantling of Mansfield in midweek in the League Cup. A sterner test will be offered by the Tractor Boys and bookmakers are suggesting that both sides will be in the play-offs or better come May. In 1994, when both sides were in the Premier League, a Mark Bright-inspired performance saw the Owls win 5-0, so more of the same, please.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Hull City:
A tricky trip to Molineux awaits Steve Bruce’s men after a hard-fought penalty shootout victory over Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night. Chuba Akpom’s scoring form for Arsenal in pre-season and for the Tigers already suggests he could fire City back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Wolves themselves have had an impressive start to the campaign with a couple of 2-1 victories over Blackburn and Newport and they, like Hull, are tipped for promotion. In this week in 2005, Damien Delaney’s own goal gifted Wolves a 1-0 victory over their Championship rivals.