Football Expert & Columnist
Who is David Prutton tipping for victory on the opening weekend of the Sky Bet EFL season?
Last Updated: 01/08/19 6:12pm
The Sky Bet EFL is back! The 2019/20 season starts this weekend, and with that comes the return of David Prutton’s predictions.
Our presenter and EFL expert will be predicting every Championship match throughout the campaign, as well as key fixtures from League One and League Two.
But who is he backing for victory on opening weekend? Find out here…
Luton vs Middlesbrough, Friday 7.45pm – Live on Sky Sports Football
What an occasion this promises to be for Luton Town. From the depths of despair in non-league they have risen back to the kind of level where they should be competing, and Kenilworth Road will be rocking on Friday night.
Middlesbrough will always be among the favourites to win promotion from the Championship at the start of any season due to the size of the club and the quality of their squad, but it is a huge challenge for Jonathan Woodgate in his first managerial role. I fancy a draw here.
Prutton predicts: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Luton vs M’boro
August 2, 2019, 7:00pm
Barnsley vs Fulham, Saturday 3pm
While Fulham were mixing it with the big boys in the Premier League last season, Barnsley were battling it out to win promotion back from League One. But now they both find themselves back on the same playing field in the Championship.
Barnsley will have high hopes of making a better fist of it this time around, while Fulham’s only remit is to win promotion straight back to the top flight. That being said, I have a feeling the Tykes could nick this.
Prutton predicts: 2-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Wigan vs Cardiff, Saturday 3pm
Last season may have turned into a bit of a struggle for Wigan, but to finish 18th in the end was a pretty good result for Paul Cook’s side, particularly when you consider how poor they were on the road almost all season. Progress and mid-table would be a good campaign for them in my opinion.
Cardiff, meanwhile, will want to return to the Premier League, and any side managed by Neil Warnock at this level will always be fancied for promotion in my book. Away win.
Prutton predicts: 0-1 (13/2 with Sky Bet)
Nottingham Forest vs West Brom, Saturday 5.30pm – Live on Sky Sports Football
Another season, another new manager at Nottingham Forest! The club legend Martin O’Neill didn’t last too long back at the City Ground and it will be interesting to see what Sabri Lamouchi brings to the table.
West Brom have a lot of goals to replace in their team after Dwight Gayle returned to Newcastle following his loan and Jay Rodriguez moved to Burnley. But Slaven Bilic is experienced in England and they should be there or thereabouts again. Score draw for me.
Prutton predicts: 2-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)
N Forest vs W Brom
August 3, 2019, 5:00pm
Bristol City vs Leeds, Sunday 4.30pm – Live on Sky Sports Football
It was a strange season for Bristol City. They improved upon their league position but, at the same time, they were well in the play-off race during the run-in so to miss out altogether would have been disappointing.
Not as disappointing as what happened to Leeds, however. It will be interesting to see if there is any hangover from that at the start of the season, but I’ll back them to win at Ashton Gate.
Prutton predicts: 1-2 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
Bristol C vs Leeds
August 4, 2019, 4:00pm
Huddersfield vs Derby, Monday 7.45pm – Live on Sky Sports Football
Huddersfield have had a long time to prepare for this campaign, because they were pretty much assured of relegation for most of 2019. They look in decent shape, have kept together a lot of their squad and in Karlan Grant they look to have the goalscorer they perhaps lacked the last time they won promotion.
It is all change again at Derby. Frank Lampard is gone and Phillip Cocu has got a big job on to bolster the squad following some key departures in the summer. Home win.
Prutton predicts: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)
Huddsf’ld vs Derby
August 5, 2019, 7:00pm
Sunderland vs Oxford, Saturday 3pm
It is another season in League One for Sunderland, having failed to win automatic promotion and then faltering in the play-off final in May. Jack Ross will need to rally his squad and get the fans behind them early doors.
Oxford were one of the form teams in the second half of last season. At one point it looked like they would be in a relegation dogfight, but they eventually finished in the top half of the table. Ben Woodburn could be fantastic at this level, and if they can perform over a whole season then they could have a swing at the top six. Sunderland, though, should start the season with a win.
Prutton predicts: 2-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)
Salford vs Stevenage, Saturday 12.30pm – Live on Sky Sports Football
It is always an exciting prospect having a new club in the Football League, and it will be great to follow Salford City this season and see how they get on in League Two.
Stevenage narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season and will be hoping for another push towards the top seven this campaign. It is tough to judge how Salford will get on, but I think they will start life in the EFL with a win.
Prutton predicts: 2-0 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Salford City vs Stevenage
August 3, 2019, 12:00pm
Remaining Championship predictions (all Saturday 3pm kick-off)
Soccer Saturday Super 6 is Back
FREE TO PLAY: £2m jackpot if £2m Players Enter