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Football League

  1. Is this finally Leeds United's season?

    There are not many more iconic names in British football than Leeds United. The problem for the West Yorkshire club is that, despite their illustrious history and huge fan base, the club have been outside the Premier League for over a decade and are seemingly no closer to returning to the top flight than they were in 2004.

    Having failed to secure an immediate return to the big time following relegation into the Championship, Leeds dropped into League One before earning promotion back into the second tier in 2010.

    With the gap between the Premier League and the Championship growing bigger each campaign, Leeds' colourful Italian owner, Massimo Cellino, will not be able to ignore the fact that the club is in danger of being reduced to an example of one of modern ...

    Updated 22nd September 2015 at 05:39 PM by 11v11

    Tags: leeds united
    Competitions , Football League
  2. Can Derby record their first win of the season at Preston?

    Despite being installed among the strong favourites for promotion in the Championship, Derby have made a less than auspicious start to the season.

    It has undoubtedly been a steep and immediate learning curve for Paul Clement, who is in his first managerial position at the iPro Stadium after years working as a coach at Chelsea and Real Madrid, as his team have yet to hit the heights that many expected. Patience may be the name of the game for Derby fans who may already be concerned that a team that is packed with considerable quality in every area has yet to register a victory, but the upcoming trip to Preston presents a difficult challenge.

    Fellow promotion favourites Middlesbrough and Ipswich certainly found the going tough at Deepdale against ...

    Updated 18th September 2015 at 09:06 AM by 11v11

    Betting , Competitions , Football League
  3. Can Burnley earn promotion back to the Premier League?

    After a disappointing 2014-15 campaign, the Clarets are targeting a return to England's top flight in the new season. Sean Dyche's side struggled throughout their brief spell in the Premier League and they were relegated to the Championship after just one season back in the top division. And, although Burnley have lost top goalscorer Danny Ings - who will join Liverpool this summer - the Clarets have already started to bring new players into the club, including Aston Villa full-back Matthew Lowton.

    With a few more signings, Burnley certainly stand a chance of securing automatic promotion this season and many punters will be looking to back Dyche's side in the Championship betting markets before the season gets under way on August 8th.

    Burnley are more than capable ...
  4. Who was the best player in the Championship this year?

    It has been yet another wonderful season in the Championship, with 2014/2015 seeing one of the closest races for the title, play-off spots and relegation places in recent years. The quality of football continues to increase year-by-year, with the ability for any team to beat anyone illustrates just how difficult it is to secure promotion to the Premier League. Top flight teams who have recently dropped down a division will vouch for how hard it has become to bounce straight back up, with former Premier League side Wigan and Blackpool suffering the ignominy of being relegated to League 1 after a season to forget on and off the pitch for both clubs.

    Although there is still plenty to play for in the final game of the season, the Football League awards have already been handed out ...

    Updated 13th May 2015 at 10:14 PM by 11v11

    Players , Competitions , Football League
  5. Key games at the bottom of League One

    Yeovil Town have already been relegated with new boss Paul Sturrock now planning for life in League Two, but who will be joining the Glovers in the basement division in 2015-16?

    This week’s fixtures have some more of those clichéd six-pointers for the sides still fighting for their League One lives. Next to bottom Colchester United entertain Scunthorpe United and third from bottom Crawley Town play the team just above them, Notts County.

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    Elsewhere, struggling Crewe Alexandra host Walsall, who look to be safe while Port Vale visit high-flying Preston North End on Friday night and Leyton Orient make the short but tricky trip to promotion chasing Milton Keynes Dons.

    If these latter games go with ...

    Updated 16th April 2015 at 10:14 PM by Veritas

    Competitions , Football League
  6. Best strikers in the English Championship

    As we near the end of another fascinating Championship season, the best strikers in the league are battling it out to finish as the division's leading scorer. There has been no shortage of prolific front men in the Championship this year, and at this point of the season it could well be one of those strikers who fires their team to the play-offs or better still, the Premier League.

    With it as close as it has ever been at the top of the table at this stage in the season, those teams vying for promotion will need their forwards firing on all cylinders between now and the beginning of May.

    So who have been the Championship's sharpest shooters this season, and what might the future hold come for those players who have in fact caught the eye this year.

    Updated 15th April 2015 at 07:40 AM by Veritas

    Players , Competitions , Football League
  7. The battle for Football League survival

    As 2015 took its first tentative steps, it seemed that putting your mortgage on Hartlepool United to be relegated was one of the safest investments you could make for the New Year. Not only were Pool bottom of the league, they had just been dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Blyth Spartans in front of a national TV audience.

    by Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    But Hartlepool weren’t just rock bottom of League Two, they were cast adrift without a paddle, ten points behind third from bottom Carlisle United and seemingly doomed.

    When you look at the table today it makes unbelievable reading, as the north-east side have lifted themselves out of the bottom two and can now look down on both Cheltenham Town and Tranmere Rovers with a degree of satisfaction ...
  8. Away the lads – Four possible away wins to consider

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    I was reading about an electrician in his 30s who won £74,844 last Saturday which has inspired me to pick four matches for this weekend in which an away win looks likely.

    The Scarborough-based punter (who wishes to remain anonymous) placed a £5 bet on six matches on Coral’s Winning Ways coupon on Saturday, waking up to a £74,844 win.

    Well, I’m not ambitious enough to predict six games, so won’t be winning anyone enough to buy a holiday home in Spain – but maybe a set of new pans for the kitchen or an interesting water feature for the garden isn't out of the question!

    Brentford v AFC Bournemouth

    The Bees seem to have been destabilised in recent matches by speculation over the future of ...
  9. Home comforts - This weekend's football picks

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    After a few attempts at trying to pick teams that either would or wouldn't score a goal in a particular match, I've gone back to basics this week to find a few teams who look set for a home win.

    It might be a bit ambitious trying to choose seven, but I can always perm less games into an accumulator to improve the chances of landing the punt.

    Manchester City v Hull City
    Not rocket science this one with a team looking to win the Premier League entertaining the struggling Tigers, who have failed to score in their last four games.

    Brighton & Hove Albion v Nottingham Forest
    A win at Derby suggested better times ahead for Forest but that result is surrounded by six defeats, including a ...
  10. Did Wigan’s season just start?

    Few people gave Wigan a cat in hell’s chance of coming away with three points from Championship leaders Derby whose unbeaten run had extended since August 19th when they lost away at Charlton Athletic.

    But closer observers of the game and particularly those of us who have followed Wigan with Uwe Rösler at the helm weren’t at all surprised. This is exactly what Wigan do – losing games you’d expect them to win and vice-versa. Wigan have long enjoyed a reputation for trying to play free-flowing football and hat hasn’t changed one iota since Rösler took over as manager last December.

    In last year’s Championship race, after a poor start, Wigan made relentless progress up the division under Rösler, eventually reaching the play-offs where only extra time at Loftus Road ...