Goals aplenty in the early TV game
Reading v Middlesbrough
Live on Sky Sports
Goals are following Reading wherever they go at the moment, and it is easy to see why. Shocking defensive numbers are offset by having two of the best technical attacking midfielders in the league in John Swift and Ovie Ejaria in fine form, leading to a total of 33 goals in their eight league games so far.
With a potential points deduction now hanging over them, they need wins and will be looking to attack whenever possible here, against a Middlesbrough side who will also be desperate for three points after being beaten at home by Blackpool and some murmurings of discontent around Neil Warnock‘s management of the club.
This has the recipe for a game full of goals, and the 20/23 about both teams getting on the scoresheet is too big to pass up.
Home win likely on current form and data
Swindon v Colchester
On the face of it three wins and 12 points from the first eight games may not seem like a great haul for a recently relegated side, but given Swindon Town’s very existence was in question just a couple of months ago it ranks as a fantastic start of a new era for the club under new owner Clem Morfuni.
There is a strong spine to the side, with Dion Conroy and Jack Payne the protagonists in defence and attack, while Jojo Woollacot has been the best ‘keeper in League Two so far.
Some quality additions such as Ben Gladwin and Romoney Crichlow have meant that the frantic summer seemingly hasn’t had a lasting negative impact, and we are already seeing more signs of manager Ben Garner‘s capability than in his brief spell as Bristol Rovers boss.
Colchester are another side who are looking to bounce back from some difficult times, spiralling last season from a play-off side to one threatened with relegation to non-league, and there have been some good results thus far, most recently beating Barrow 3-2 on the road.
Last season their slump was preceded by some alarming xG data, and the same could be happening again this time around. They have the joint second lowest xG for in open-play in the league (4.3) and and the 3rd highest against (9.5); a recipe for disaster if things do not improve.
Swindon’s under-lying data is solid, and should both teams maintain performance levels we have seen thus far then a home win should be on the cards.
Appealing price about a home victory
Harrogate v Stevenage
Stevenage’s good start to the season is now a distant memory having racked up six losses and two draws in their last eight games in all competitions. After a promising season in the last campaign, this poor run has seen them go from potential dark horses to likely relegation candidates, with little in their performances to give hope of otherwise.
Their hosts here have also been unable to maintain a very fast start, but not with such dire consequences. The loss against a strong Port Vale side is no embarrassment, and there were enough positive signs in the draws against Newport and Crawley to suggest a return to winning ways may not be too far away.
Had this game taken place a couple of weeks ago Harrogate would likely have been odds-on, and the Evens available now is more than appealing enough to get involved.