Weekend tipping: Predictions, betting preview and free tips on Saturday's EFL
Wayn Rooney's Derby can maintain fine recent run at Rotherham
Free football tips, best bets and predictions for Saturday's EFL matches.
When to bet
Kick-offs 3pm Saturday
Derby draw no bet
2pts 5-6 BoyleSports
1pt 21-20 Hills, Ladbrokes
Southend or draw double chance
1pt 7-5 BoyleSports
Rotherham v Derby
Just goal difference separates Rotherham and Derby in the Championship table, but the pair appear to be heading in very different directions and Wayne Rooney’s Rams can leapfrog the Millers with victory at the New York Stadium.
It has been a season of struggle for Derby, who would often be seen knocking on the door of the Championship playoffs yet after 19 matches find themselves housed in the relegation zone.
However, performances are picking up under Rooney's stewardship and Wednesday’s 2-0 win at home to fourth-placed Swansea extended their unbeaten run to six.
There was no fluke about Derby’s silencing of the Swans, who failed to register a shot on target at Pride Park, and that defensive organisation has been the catalyst for their improvement.
That was a fourth consecutive clean sheet for Derby following shutouts against Stoke, Brentford and Millwall, and another determined defensive display may be enough to topple a Rotherham side with only one win in eight.
The Millers have lost four of their last five league games and they are worth opposing against Derby, who are giving little away and possess the greater attacking quality.
Northampton v Lincoln
The hectic Christmas schedule is inconveniencing injury-hit Northampton and a fourth straight League One defeat may follow at the hands of highflying Lincoln.
A second-half crumbling saw Keith Curle’s Cobblers crushed 4-0 at Oxford on Tuesday, a game in which they failed to register a shot on target.
Injuries and suspensions are not helping Curle’s cause - they were without ten players for the trip to Oxford which included five defenders - but a growing number of fans are becoming frustrated by his style of play and the pressure is mounting on him to deliver.
The Cobblers now sit just one spot above the relegation zone and there is a severe lack of attacking quality in their ranks - only cash-strapped Wigan have netted fewer than their 16-goal total in 18 games.
Lincoln have also suffered consecutive defeats against Sunderland and Shrewsbury, but they have lost only one of their eight away league games this season and are behind third-placed Peterborough only on goal difference.
The Imps have kept five clean sheets in their last six road trips, recording back-to-back wins to nil at Swindon and Rochdale, and one goal may be enough to clinch all three points against the toothless Cobblers.
Mansfield v Southend
Southend are no longer the League Two relegation certainties they looked at the start of November and they can highlight their improvements with another positive result at Mansfield.
The Shrimpers are still League Two's basement boys but after collecting just two points from their opening 11 games, they have now racked up 12 points after 17 fixtures.
Mark Molesley’s men have lost only two of their last six games, recording wins over Walsall, Scunthorpe and Grimsby, and they arrive at Field Mill unbeaten in three.
Southend are still lacking quality in the final third, but they have a far more experienced look to them defensively with Timothee Dieng, Jason Demetriou and Alan McCormack steering the younger squad members in the right direction. They have also recently acquired the services of former Cardiff man Greg Halford.
That stability and experience will be crucial for Southend in their battle to avoid the drop and they look too big to avoid defeat at a Mansfield side only four points better off having played a fixture more.
Mansfield have some great attacking players but they are underperforming and taking 4-7 about a team who have failed to win any of their nine home league games this season is thwarted with danger.
Brentford 8-11, Derby or draw double chance 4-9, Fleetwood 8-15, Lincoln Evs.
£1 acca returns £7.62 with Betway
Ivan Toney Brentford v Reading
11-4 Betfred, Paddy Power
Sometimes it can pay to stick with the obvious and Ivan Toney may again prove the difference as Brentford play host to Reading. Toney tops the Championship scoring charts having netted 16 of the Bees’ 28 league goals and Reading’s attacking threat is diminished with Lucas Joao and Yakou Meite both sidelined.
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