Huddersfield v Norwich - Championship

Despite a fairly convincing relegation from the Premier League, I’m backing Norwich City to return to the Championship with a bang against Huddersfield.

Daniel Farke has kept hold of all of his best players barring Jamal Lewis as we stand, and judging by how the Canaries performed in this league a couple of years ago, you can bet they’ll be right in the promotion mix once again.

Huddersfield, on the other hand, were fairly dismal last year, and Danny Cowley’s inexplicable sacking has left them looking a little rudderless, which is why this Norwich side are looking very likely to claim all three points in my eyes.

Norwich - 1pt @ 6/5

Portsmouth v Shrewsbury - League One

One thing I like about early-season punting are the generous prices on offer. Of course, there is no form to go on, so bookies tend to be a little less conservative to begin with.  

That’s what’s happening here, where Portsmouth look a very nifty price to beat Shrewsbury at Fratton Park.

Pompey were unbeaten at home last season before the season was curtailed, and while Kenny Jackett isn’t the most popular of managers, his side should still find a way to beat a Shrewsbury outfit who ended last season winning just two of their last 14 games.

Portsmouth - 1pt @ 17/20

Accrington v Peterborough United - League One

Next up, I have Peterborough beating Accrington on the road.

Posh are my pre-season picks to win League One, and after having a very real automatic promotion push cut off in its tracks by COVID last season, they’ll be out with a vengeance this time around.

The visitors have won three of their last four matches against Stanley, scoring 10 and conceding just one in the process, and once again this is a price you’re unlikely to see later on in the season.

If Darren Ferguson really does harbour automatic promotion hopes, this is a game he’ll be expecting to win.

Peterborough - 1pt @ 6/5

Swindon v Rochdale - League One

Finally, I have newly-promoted Swindon beating Rochdale at home.

COVID has disproportionally impacted Dale, who have been forced into letting go of some really key men to focus on their academy in order to stay afloat.

Swindon too have lost a lot of goals in Eoin Doyle and Jerry Yates, but Brett Pitman is a good replacement, and with so much wind in their sails from such an excellent League Two campaign, I’m confident Richie Wellens sees his side get off to a winning start.

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Swindon - 1pt @ 19/20