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Returning EFL players to provide domestic boost

The World Cup may still be going on but the Qatar journey for several EFL players is over and their attention will now turn towards domestic football.

A total of 30 players from Championship, League One and League Two clubs were selected by their countries for the major tournament, with QPR's Ilias Chair and Burnley's Anass Zaroury the only two still in the Middle East.

Winger Zaroury and attacking midfielder Chair are yet to make an appearance for Morocco, who face Portugal in the quarter-finals on Saturday, but they will be raring to go should an opportunity present itself.

Ahead of this weekend's EFL fixtures, we have picked out some of the players now back at their clubs and hopeful of enjoying the rest of the 2022/23 campaign.

Joe Allen, Ben Cabango & Olivier Ntcham - Swansea

What: Swansea v Norwich 
Where: Liberty Stadium, Swansea 
When: 15:00, Saturday 10th December 2022
Odds: Swansea 29/20, Draw 12/5, Norwich 15/8 

Wales pair Allen and Cabango had a short stay in Qatar, as the Dragons were knocked out at the group stage after finishing bottom of the standings. 

Allen played twice for Rob Page's side, while Cabango failed to make an appearance, and the duo will now be focused on helping the Swans in their promotion push. 

Cameroon international Olivier Ntcham has also returned to the Liberty Stadium and he is expected to start in Saturday's home clash against Norwich. 

Swansea, who are eighth in the Championship and only outside the playoff positions on goal difference, are 29/20 to pick up the win, while the draw is 12/5 and the Canaries are 15/8 to triumph. 

Mamadou Loum, Baba Rahman & Junior Hoilett - Reading

What: Reading v Coventry 
Where: Select Car Leasing Stadium, Reading 
When: 14:00, Saturday 10th December 2022
Odds: Reading 13/8, Draw 11/5, Coventry 9/5 

Reading had two African representatives at the World Cup, with on-loan midfielder Mamadou Loum failing to appear for Senegal and on-loan defender Baba Rahman playing in all three of Ghana's group games. 

Both players have been important for the Royals this season, making a combined 27 Championship appearances, and the duo are in line to start Saturday's home clash with Coventry. 

Canada's Junior Hoilett is also back in the mix after his country were eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage and he has also been integral for Reading, featuring 20 times in the league and scoring once. 

Reading, who beat Hull 2-1 in their last game before the season break, are 13/8 to claim all three points against the 9/5 Sky Blues. The draw is priced at 11/5

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Seny Dieng - QPR 

What: QPR v Burnley 
Where: Loftus Road Stadium, London 
When: 13:00, Sunday 11th December 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Football & Main Event 
Odds: QPR 21/10, Draw 12/5, Burnley 13/10 

QPR will have number one goalkeeper Seny Dieng back in their ranks after Senegal were eliminated from the World Cup in the last 16, going down 3-0 to England. 

The 28-year-old has been an ever-present in the Championship this season, even managing to score one goal, and his next task will be to keep out table-toppers Burnley on Sunday. 

Paul Hall has been placed in interim charge of the Hoops following the departure of Michael Beale to Rangers and it is 21/10 for the temporary boss to produce a first win since October.  

The Clarets are 13/10 to come away with the spoils, while the draw is 12/5.

Ismaila Sarr - Watford

What: Watford v Hull 
Where: Vicarage Road, Watford 
When: 15:00, Sunday 11th December 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Football 
Odds: Watford 7/10, Draw 13/5, Hull 9/2 

Watford will be glad to have their joint-top goalscorer Ismaila Sarr available for selection, as they prepare for Sunday's visit of Hull. 

Senegal ace Sarr, who has netted six times in the league this season, started all four games in Qatar and managed to get on the scoresheet once. 

The 24-year-old is 21/10 to Score Anytime against the Tigers, who are only two places and one point above the Championship relegation zone. 

lliman Ndiaye - Sheffield United 

What: Sheffield United v Huddersfield 
Where: Bramall Lane, Sheffield 
When: 15:00, Saturday 10th December 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Football 
Odds: Sheff Utd 9/20, Draw 10/3, Huddersfield 6/1 

Sheffield United also had a representative at the World Cup, with lliman Ndiaye making three appearances for Senegal, two of which were starts. 

The 22-year-old has notched nine times in the league this term - joint-top in the club's ranks alongside Oliver McBurnie - and the returning ace will be hoping for number 10 in Saturday's visit of rock-bottom Huddersfield. Ndiaye is 2/1 to Score Anytime and 11/2 to Score First.  

More returning players In terms of the other returning EFL players, Birmingham welcome back Hannibal Mejri and Krystian Bielik, Antoine Semenyo is available for Bristol City and Sunderland have both Bailey Wright and Jewison Bennette in the fold. 

Finally, Riley McGree is back with Middlesbrough, Harry Souttar returns for Stoke, Josh Sargent provides an attacking boost for Norwich and Luton have the services of Ethan Horvath again.

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