FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) reveals his favourite selections from the EFL action on New Year's Day.
Huddersfield v Stoke | Wednesday 1st January 2020, 15:00
- Huddersfield had W0-D1-L5 when the Cowley brothers took charge – they’ve since W7-D6-L5 in their 19 games in charge, including W7-D6-L3 in their most recent 16.
- Huddersfield have conceded 2 or more goals in only 4 of those last 16 fixtures with the Cowleys putting the emphasis on a solid backline.
- Huddersfield have W4-D4-L1 in their last 9 at home, only losing to Leeds in that sample.
- Huddersfield have only lost 4 of their 15 fixtures against teams outside of the top-10.
- Huddersfield should have Jonathan Hogg fit, plus the returning Lewis O’Brien, Jayden Brown and Frazier Campbell have given the Cowleys options.
- Stoke were fortunate not to lose more than 1-0 at Fulham on Sunday – it was their 9th loss in 12 away games this season, including 4 defeats from 5 away under Michael O’Neill.
- Stoke have conceded 2+ goals in 7 of 12 away games and scored 0 or 1 goal in 10 of those 12 away days also.
- Exclude the bottom-three and Stoke have returned W3-D3-L16 this season.
Huddersfield Draw No Bet (1/1 Marathon)
QPR v Cardiff | Wednesday 1st January 2020, 15:00
- QPR lost 2-1 against Hull at home on Sunday, with Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score landing for the 9th time in 13 Loftus Road encounters this season.
- QPR’s home games are averaging 3.69 goals with 10/13 (77%) seeing Over 2.5 Goals land and 10/13 (77%) also rewarding Both Teams To Score backers.
- QPR have only kept 2/25 clean sheets this season, leaking 2 or more goals in 10/13 at home.
- QPR are generating the sixth-highest Expected Goals (xG) from open play figure in the Championship this season.
- Cardiff have seen Both Teams To Score bank in 6/9 (67%) under Neil Harris with the Welsh side scoring in all bar 1 of those 9 games – 4 of their 5 away have gone Over 2.5.
- Cardiff’s road trips are averaging 3.23 goals per-game – 9/13 (69%) have seen Over 2.5 goals land with 9/13 (69%) also landing in the BTTS column.
- Cardiff have conceded 2+ goals in 8/13 away days this term, keeping a solitary shutout.
Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (1/1 William Hill)
Newport v Cheltenham | Wednesday 1st January 2020, 15:00
- Newport’s matches are averaging just 1.82 goals per-game – a divisional-low in League Two – 17/22 (77%) have featured Under 2.5 Goals with 9/22 (41%) going Under 1.5.
- Newport have seen fewer than 3 goals in 9/12 (75%) Rodney Parade outings with 5/12 (42%) concluding with no more than 1 goal.
- Newport have scored 2 or more goals in only 4 fixtures overall this season; the Exiles have shipped more than 1 goal in just 5 games.
- Newport’s games are averaging just 0.96 Expected Goals (xG) from open play – comfortably the lowest across the whole EFL.
- Cheltenham boast the second-best defence in League Two (0.83 against per-game) and have leaked 2 goals or more on just 4 occasions in 2019/20.
- Cheltenham have seen 15/23 (65%) of matches overall produce fewer than 3 goals per-game, including 10/12 (83%) of their away games.
- Cheltenham’s road trips are averaging only 1.50 goals per-game with 5/12 (42%) concluding with no more than 1 goal. The visitors have kept clean sheets in half of those away games.
Huddersfield v Stoke – Huddersfield Draw No Bet (1/1 Marathon)
QPR v Cardiff – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (1/1 William Hill)
Newport v Cheltenham – Under 2.25 Goals (19/20 Marathon)