Blackpool vs Blackburn (@1.80)
Blackpool’s troubles off the field have been well documented, with their depleted squad and lack of preparation time. Although they are not totally written off, it will be tough for them to compete against a decent looking Blackburn side who will be eager to bounce back after their poor midweek display in the cup. They have the quality, particularly through Rhodes up top, to perform well away from home against struggling sides despite an average start to the season. A tough first day fixture against Cardiff is difficult go by, but Rovers looked decent, and their surprising midweek cup loss was suffered with a second-rate team on the pitch after rotation.
Bournemouth (@1.9) vs Brentford
Bournemouth were fantastic last weekend against Huddersfield and looked like their can certainly capture some of the form that they saw last season. They also won to-nil in midweek in the cup and will look to excite the fans this weekend as they run out in front of the home crowd at Dean Court. Newly promoted Brentford could struggle away at the early league leaders, despite picking up a draw in the opening fixture, struggled slightly at home in that game with Charlton – picking up a late equaliser. They also had a midweek thriller with Dagenham & Redbridge which ended 6-6 AET and a win on pens, which would have taken its toll on the side. I would expect Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side to go in and score goals here, in what should be a confident performance.
Cardiff (@1.80) vs Huddersfield
Cardiff drew against Blackburn on the opening day, but look in decent shape to be candidates for promotion this season. Conversely, Huddersfield suffered a shock 4-0 defeat last weekend, and sacked their manager after only 1 game. They managed an extra time victory in the cup midweek against Chesterfield, although conceded 3 in the process. Home advantage for Solskjaer’s Cardiff side should ensure three points, and you would expect them to score at least a couple of goals. They have an impressive squad and will go into their first home game of the season with optimism.
Bristol City (@1.70) vs Colchester
Despite losing in the cup in midweek, Bristol City will be in high spirits in front of their home fans on Saturday, after an impressive opening day victory over Sheffield United. Colchester managed a 2-2 draw at home to Oldham in their opening game, but slumped to a 4-0 defeat in the cup. We wait to see how well they will do on their travels this season, but Aston Gate is not where they will be wanting to go this weekend. City look the stronger side and I would expect their midfield to dominate, along with Elliot, Wilbraham and Baldock threatening.
Barnet (@1.95) vs Lincoln
Barnet look very strong this season, and opening their campaign with 5-0 and 2-0 wins against Chester and Bristol Rovers respectively. John Akinde and Charlie MacDonald both know where the goal is, as Barnet will be looking to score more goals in front of their home crowd against Lincoln. The away side drew 0-0 against Kidderminster on the opening day, and subsequently gained a 2-1 victory over lowly Altrincham in midweek. They will have their work cut out to take anything away from Barnet who look to have an extremely impressive conference side this season.
Doncaster (@evens) vs Port Vale
Doncaster will be promotion candidates this season, as they look to go straight back up following their disappointing campaign last year. They started off this season in the best possible way, with an opening day victory away at Yeovil, as well as cup success away to York in midweek. Their attacking force look particularly threatening, and they will be favourites to add to their goal tally int heir first home game of the new season here. Port Vale’s away form has been inconsistent at best in the past year or so, and they will be wary of an in-form Doncaster side. However, they do have quality of their own, and despite a 1-1 draw to Walsall on the opening day, they come into the game at the Keepmoat off the back of a 6-2 cup win over Hartlepool in midweek. I would expect home advantage to edge it here for Doncaster.