Football League Watch – Week Five

Date published: Saturday 10th September 2016 10:44

David Wagner: Huddersfield boss

The international break is over, and a full football league fixture list is upon us. Get in.

Leeds to reap revenge on table-topping Terriers?

Saturday sees two West Yorkshire sides face up needing a win for completely differing reasons.

Much has already been said Huddersfield Town in this series of articles, but they completely deserve the limelight. The Terriers are still top after five games, and now have a four-point gap on Barnsley in third. Their manager, David Wagner, also won the manager of the month award for August on Friday.

Just down the M62 in Leeds, the start to the season has been more hit and miss, with the Whites sat in 21st with only one win under their belt – but that win did come against fancied Sheffield Wednesday, just a few weeks ago.

The two sides meet at Elland Road, and the home faithful will be hoping the game pans out just a little different to the time they last met there, towards the end of last season, when Huddersfield roared to a 4-1 victory.

News emerged on Friday that unpopular Leeds owner Massimo Cellino had bought the remaining shares GFH Capital, meaning he now has full control of the club. It’ll be interesting to see how that news goes down in the stands tomorrow afternoon.

Barnsley in dreamland

Third in the league, and with the Championship player of the month in Conor Hourihane on your books, there is reason for plenty of optimism across from West to South Yorkshire, in Barnsley.

Hourihane’s award is richly deserved, having already bagged two goals for himself and setting up three for his teammates. That kind of form has helped his side hit 12 goals already this season, the highest amount in the Championship.

The Tyke’s defensive record is something that will still be a worry for manager Paul Heckingbottom, having seen his side concede eight times in the first five games. Saying that, he may just be taking a leaf Brendan Rodgers book from his Liverpool days as manager – SCORE MORE THAN YOU CONCEDE AT ALL COSTS.

A trip to second bottom Preston North End is on the cards for Barnsley this weekend, and another win could see them climb into the automatic spots, should Fulham drop points.

Fresh from the international break, can Player of the Month Josh Morris help the Iron get back on the winning streak?

Scunthorpe United were left frustrated by the postponement of last Saturday’s League One tie with Charlton Athletic, due to the Addicks having three international call-ups, and requesting that the fixture be re-arranged at a later day – under the EFL rules.

The Iron were looking to get over the disappointment of the 3-1 loss to Port Vale a week prior, but all that means is that the team have had an extra week to recover to full fitness, and to work solely on their tactics for one game.

Phil Brown’s Southend United are the visitors to Glanford Park this weekend, and they arrive sitting as low as 21st in the League, with Brown himself having found himself sent to the stands in their 1-1 draw at League leaders, Bolton, last Saturday.

Despite not playing last weekend, Scunny are still fifth in the league, and they will be hoping that the announcement that their midfielder Josh Morris has been awarded the League One player of the month award, spurs him on to more success in the coming month – and beyond!

Are Accrington still hungover from play-0ff heartache?

Accrington Stanley are still most famous for ‘that’ milk ad from the 80s, rather than the football they produce at the Crown Ground. That, however, nearly changed last year when they came within a whisper of defying all of the odds to secure promotion to League One. They were denied initially because of their failure to beat Stevenage on the final day, so Bristol Rovers jumped into their automatic spot – before losing out over two legs to AFC Wimbledon in the Play Offs.

The loss of some key players over the summer was always going to leave Stanley likely to start slow, but their fans will have hoped for better than five points from six games after the dizzying heights of last season.

Their trip to Notts County on Saturday could not have come at a worse time, as the Magpies have won three out of their last four games. Stanley manager John Coleman got the best out of his small squad last year, and he will be hoping that the start to the season is just a minor blip in their road to success in League Two.

Best bets

Leeds to be leading at half time, Huddersfield to win at full time – 28/1 with William Hill.

Barnsley to beat Preston North End, but to concede in the process – 5/1 with Paddy Power.

Southend have started poorly, whilst Scunny have begun quite the opposite. I’m expecting a big win for the Iron, who put five past Gillingham in their last game at Glanford Park. – Scunthorpe -1 goals 17/10 with Betfair.

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