Blackburn v Charlton

It feels so good to have EFL action to tuck into once again! Saturday’s acca is a biggie – with three selections from the Championship and three from League Two. Sorry League One fans!

Starting off, I have Blackburn beating Charlton.

Tony Mowbray has done a great job at Ewood Park, and once again he’s enjoyed a good summer transfer window. Sam Gallagher looks a useful addition, and keeping key players such as Bradley Dack is invaluable. This’ll be a solid season for the Lancashire side.

The Addicks, however, have been contenting with the usual array of off-field problems, and I don’t believe they’re strong enough to get anything against this solid Blackburn outfit.

Blackburn - 1pt @ 5/6

Brentford v Birmingham

Brentford are being tipped by almost everyone to have a fantastic season.

The Bees have a fantastically balanced side—particularly after adding David Raya, Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock to their defensive ranks—and I can see them beating Birmingham comfortably at Griffin Park.

The visitors are now under the stewardship of Pep Clotet, but I cannot see his side laying a glove on the strong-looking Brentford.  

Brentford - 1pt @ 10/13

Stoke v QPR

Stoke were poor last season, but with a whole pre-season for Nathan Jones to stamp his authority on this fantastic Championship squad, I see them being a serious force this time around.

Defensively I expect the Potters to be too strong for QPR (only Dean Henderson and Darren Randolph kept more clean sheets than Jack Butland last season), and though I do like a few of the visitors’ youngsters, the experience Stoke have at their disposal should see them through.

Stoke - 1pt @ 83/100

Bradford v Cambridge

With little catching my eye in League One, I head into the fourth tier, where I like Bradford beating Cambridge at home.

The Bantams were horrendous last season and were deservedly relegated, but with Gary Bowyer at the helm (who is a very safe pair of hands), I can see them enjoying a fair bit of success. James Vaughan and Clayton Donaldson make up an excellent League Two strikeforce, and they should navigate past a poor Cambridge outfit.

The visitors were also pretty dismal last year, and it’s a tough ask for them to get anything from Valley Parade – particularly because they mustered only 40 goals last season, with only Port Vale scoring fewer.

Bradford - 1pt @ 10/11

Colchester v Port Vale

Speaking of Port Vale, I expect them to succumb to Colchester away from home.

The Valiants were pretty insipid last season, scoring just 39 times, and nothing suggests to me they’ll be able to trouble a far higher-quality Colchester side on Saturday.

The hosts look to improve on their 8th place finish last season, and John McGreal is the man to deliver. 5/4 for a home win is generous.

Colchester - 1pt @ 5/4

Exeter v Macclesfield

Finally, the best of the lot: Exeter to beat Macclesfield at home, priced at a ludicrous 21/20.

Sol Campbell guided Macclesfield to an incredible escape from relegation last season, but with huge financial constraints and string of player exits to content with this year, I do seriously fear for them.

Why Exeter are that price, at home, to beat the Silkmen is astonishing – particularly because they’ve consistently been challenging towards the top of the table for the last three years. A comfortable home win is on the cards.

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Exeter - 1pt @ 21/20