Charlton Athletic v Cambridge United
Charlton Athletic put a marker down with a 5-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle in midweek, the Pilgrims were reduced to ten, already 1-0 down, in the opening exchanges, but the Addicks made them pay and will have built a lot of confidence ahead of the visit of Cambridge United.
Charlton will still be without Mandela Egbo and Chuks Aneke, and will want to strengthen at the top of the pitch before the window shuts. The Addicks have scored in four of five so far this season and the same statistic goes for conceding, they are devastating going forward when they click, but can be vulnerable at the back.
Mark Bonner will get a reaction after the U’s 4-1 loss at Portsmouth in midweek, where they did take the lead, and they have enough goal threats of their own to upset the odds. Ben Garner’s style of play tends to lead towards goal laden games, with both teams to score copping in three of five so far. Harvey Knibbs, Joe Ironside, Sam Smith, Jack Lankester and Shilow Tracey are all very capable at this level, and the Addicks learning to play out from the back comes with its risks.
Barnsley v Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers have suffered a little hangover from their 2021/22 play-off final defeat to Sunderland, and they still have work to do in the remainder of the transfer window. The Chairboys have conceded eight goals from 6.47 expected goals (xG) so far, a small underperformance and the fixture list has not been too kind to them.
Wycombe were the better side in a 2-1 defeat against Shrewsbury Town last weekend, and met an in-form Exeter City side in midweek. Barnsley on the other hand have been running a little hot, and scored three goals from just 0.83 xG in midweek against Bristol Rovers. The Tykes are a work in progress under Michael Duff, where Wycombe know what they are about to the finest detail.
There is an argument that Gareth Ainsworth has taken Wycombe as far as he can, regardless of that debate, the experienced manager will get a reaction after three straight defeats. Therefore, there is a chance that the bookies have underestimated them on their travels. Sam Vokes is missing through injury, which contributes to them being outsiders, but I do not put faith in Barnsley at that price just yet.
Peterborough United v Lincoln City
There is potentially some value on Peterborough when they host Lincoln City on Saturday, the price is likely to shorten as a home banker. The Posh beat pre-season league title favourites Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 in midweek, and Grant McCann has an attacking contingent that is the envy of the division. Lincoln City have accumulated just 3.24 xG from four games in the league so far, a continuation of that poor process would require an outstanding defensive display to earn a positive result. Lincoln overperformed in midweek to beat Oxford United and will be coming up against an in-form goalkeeper in Posh’s Lucas Bergstrom. Jonson Clarke-Harris is arguably the best striker in League One and has been amongst the goals already, Jack Marriott has been very bright in the opening matches as well, very pleasing to see after an injury-hit couple of seasons.
Posh have not been as strong as Lincoln so far according to the data, however, with that forward line they may not need to be. Supporters will be demanded a promotion tilt and the early signs are positive under McCann, the Imps could prove to be low-hanging fruit.
Oxford United v Morecambe
One win and three losses represents a very disappointing start to the season for Oxford United who have been in and around the play-off picture in the last few seasons. Yellows were the joint-top scorers in the division last season, despite finishing eighth, and Karl Robinson’s attempts to tighten them up defensively appear to have made them a little less effective in the final third so far.
Morecambe have scored just once in four league outings so far, picking up two draws along the way against Shrewsbury Town and Fleetwood Town. The Shrimps will defend for their lives under Derek Adams, Cole Stockton’s seems to be up in the air a touch which may disrupt the group, and they will arrive at the Kassam Stadium aiming to spoil the game.
The tension produced by both sides, and particularly Oxford, starting the season slowly could result in a lower scoring game if the deadlock is not broken early. Marcus McGuane is out with a recent injury having been an important player so far and the U’s squad is not looking as menacing yet, as it did at times last term. Morecambe will sit back and look to contain a low on confidence Oxford side.
Exeter City v Cheltenham Town
After a decade away, Exeter City have taken to League One life like a duck to water. Any early concerns about a lack of signings have been quickly brushed aside. The core of the team which finished second in League Two last has stayed in place and been added to by the permanent signing of goalkeeper Jamal Blackman from Huddersfield Town. Now possessing a solid stopper, Matt Taylor’s side are fully enjoying their time back in the third tier, having scored 16 goals in all competitions so far. The front pair of the lively Jevani Brown and the direct Sam Nombe is complimented in midfield by any combination of Matt Jay, Timothée Dieng, Archie Collins and young Harry Kite. Wing-backs Jack Sparkes and Josh Key continue to impress out wide, with Pierce Sweeney and the homegrown pair of Cheick Diabate and Alex Hartirdge contributing to a solid and technical backline.
Cheltenham’s start to 2022-23 in contrast has been poor. It all looked encouraging 45 minutes into the opening weekend when the Robins were 2-0 up at home to Peterborough United, but Wade Elliott’s side would end up losing that game 3-2 and have not scored a single goal since, with Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Fleetwood Town the only point on the board so far for them. The transition away from Michael Duff has looked a difficult one in these early stages of the season, though there have been some players who have caught the eye. West Bromwich Albion loanee Caleb Taylor plays in the centre of the Cheltenham back three and is very active in possession.
When Exeter City headed to Cheltenham Town for their first round League Cup tie, the Grecians truly showed their dominance over the Gloucestershire side, racking up a 7-0 victory with just eight shots on target. Now hosting Cheltenham, it would be wrong to assume that Exeter can pull off a margin of victory like that once again, but it would be fair to assume that they will emerge victorious against a strong relegation candidate.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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