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Championship: EFL weekend preview

The fixtures are continuing to come thick and fast in the EFL, with another full programme to take in from the Championship, League One and League Two this weekend.

Sheffield United and Norwich continue to lead the way in the Championship, although the gap between the top two and the rest has closed after both teams dropped points during the week.

At the other end of the table, Middlesbrough are continuing their search for a new permanent manager following the departure of Chris Wilder, while the pressure is mounting on West Brom boss Steve Bruce.

Bruce running out of time at Albion

What

West Brom v Luton

Where

The Hawthorns, West Bromwich

When

15:00, Saturday 8th October 2022

How to watch

N/A

Odds

West Brom 17/20, Draw 5/2, Luton 7/2 

West Brom were being tipped by many to challenge for promotion from the Championship this season, but the Baggies have endured a disastrous start to the campaign, winning just one of their opening 12 fixtures, with Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at Preston seeing them slip into the relegation zone.

That poor start has also heaped the pressure on under-fire manager Bruce, who acknowledged after the defeat at Deepdale that there is a "nervousness" about his side, although he remains adamant they are moving in the right direction.

Bruce may be confident of turning things around, but he might not get the chance to do that if his side cannot gain a positive result when Luton visit The Hawthorns this weekend.

Albion are expected to improve sooner rather than later, as they are 9/2 to be promoted come the end of the season and 25/1 to be relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1993.

However, it may be easier said than done for that upturn to come this weekend, as they are 17/20 to get the better of a Luton side that are unbeaten in their last four Championship matches. The Hatters are priced at 7/2 to emerge victorious, with the draw 5/2.

Blades looking to rediscover cutting edge

What

Stoke v Sheffield United

Where

bet365 Stadium, Stoke

When

15:00, Saturday 8th October 2022

How to watch

N/A

Odds

Stoke 21/10, Draw 12/5, Sheff Utd 13/10 

Sheffield United had been flying in the Championship, but they saw their 10-match unbeaten run come to an end during the week, as they were beaten 1-0 on home soil by Queens Park Rangers.

Despite that defeat, the Blades remain top of the standings and they will be hopeful of recording a fourth-straight win on the road when they visit Stoke on Saturday.

Stoke will come into the fixture on the back of a credible 1-1 draw at Burnley, but the Potters home form is not so good, as they are without a win in four at the bet365 Stadium, losing 4-0 against Watford in their most recent fixture at the venue.

That should give Sheffield Utd plenty of hope heading into the fixture, with Paul Heckingbottom's table toppers priced at 13/10 to leave the Potteries with all three points.

If there are any slip ups from the Blades, then second-place Norwich could capitalise if they gain a positive result against Preston at Carrow Road.

The Canaries are 3/4 to win that contest, but 15/4 Preston are not only unbeaten away from home in the Championship this season, but they are also yet to concede a goal on their travels.

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Exeter moving on from Taylor departure

What

Barnsley v Exeter

Where

Oakwell Stadium, Barnsley

When

15:00, Saturday 8th October 2022

How to watch

N/A

Odds

Barnsley 6/5, Draw 12/5, Exeter 9/4 

Exeter were rocked by the departure of boss Matt Taylor during the week after he opted to end his four-year stay at St James Park in order to take up the vacant managerial position at Championship outfit Rotherham.

Taylor led Exeter to promotion to League One last season after a decade-long absence and he leaves the Grecians sitting comfortably in the middle of the third tier standings.

No announcement has yet been made regarding Taylor's successor in the dugout, with caretaker bosses Kevin Nicholson and Jon Hill again expected to take charge for Saturday's trip to Barnsley in the league after they oversaw the midweek victory over Southampton under-21s in the EFL Trophy.

It will be a tough first league assignment for Nicholson and Hill, as Exeter will be visiting a Barnsley side that have won four matches on the spin across all competitions and have not tasted defeat since August.

Barnsley are 6/5 to claim all three points at Oakwell, while Exeter are 9/4 and the draw is 12/5.

Quadruple threat in League Two

What

Doncaster v Leyton Orient

Where

Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster

When

15:00, Saturday 8th October 2022

How to watch

N/A

Odds

Doncaster 12/5, Draw 23/10, Leyton Orient 6/5 

It is not often that eight of the top nine in a division will be up against each other on the same day, but that is exactly the case in League Two this Saturday, with fourth-place Bradford the only side not facing a direct promotion rival.

Leaders Leyton Orient face a difficult looking trip to ninth-place Doncaster in one of those games, with Richie Wellens' table toppers looking to bounce back after they suffered their first league defeat of the season against Newport last time out.

Orient are 6/5 to emerge from their trip to South Yorkshire with all three points, but any slip ups could open the door for the chasing pack, with second-place Stevenage, who are level on points with the O's, priced at 17/20 to beat Swindon in eighth.

Northampton sit in third position, two points behind the leading pair, with Jon Brady's side available at 5/4 to beat fifth-place Salford City at Sixfields.

The final promotion clash comes at the SO Legal Stadium where Barrow in sixth will entertain a Mansfield side that sit just a point and place below them in the standings.

Barrow have lost three games on the spin across all competitions, but they are 15/8 to return to winning ways against 31/20 Mansfield, who threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with struggling Hartlepool in their most recent league fixture.

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