one year ago by Sporting Life


Data and xG experts find value for opening weekend

Friday’s Sky Bet EFL curtain raiser sees beaten Championship play-off finalists Huddersfield host a Burnley team fresh from relegation and under new management.

Vincent Kompany will be looking to transform Burnley’s style of play. Huddersfield also have a new man overseeing things after Danny Schofield replaced Carlos Corberan.

Schofield has a tough job on his hands inheriting a team who drastically over-performed last season and a squad that has suffered major outgoings.

Lewis O’Brien and Harry Toffolo have both departed and as of yet there haven’t been any incomings to replace them.

A team who performed at a mid-table level according to Infogol metrics (12th on expected points (xP)) is now considerably.

Burnley still look very strong on paper and up against a Huddersfield team with serious question marks it feels worth getting them on side.

CLICK HERE to back Burnley to win and Under 3.5 Goals with Sky Bet

More than 75% of Terriers’ games last term had fewer than four goals, so a low-scoring away win looks a sensible avenue.

All eyes turn to acca coupons on Saturday with 32 Sky Bet EFL matches taking places at 15:00 BST.

That sees the return of both the Sporting Life ACCA and Sporting Life’s Saturday Seven.

Our top tip for everyone’s coupon is NORTHAMPTON, one of the best teams in League Two last season and missing out on automatic promotion by virtue of goals scored, to beat middling Colchester.


Our accumulator sees LUTON, SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY and STOCKPORT join Northampton in a boosted four-fold available exclusively for Sky Bet customers.


Saturday rounds off with what ought to be a terrific encounter between two sides who’ll be hoping to feature in the promotion race this season as Middlesbrough face West Brom at the Riverside, a game very difficult to call.

Sunday sees a solitary Sky Bet EFL game as Sunderland return to the Championship following a four-season absence, looking to get off to a flying start at home to Coventry.

The Sky Blues have been tipped as dark horses by some to make a run for the top six this term after an impressive 21/22 so they themselves will be keen to build on that momentum.

Although they finished 12th last season, Mark Robins’ side were ranked as the eighth-best team in the second tier according to Infogol’s performance-based xG metrics. Coventry could spoil the party.

A jam-packed weekend finishes with a heavyweight clash by Sky Bet Championship standards as relegated Watford host beaten play-off semi-finalists Sheffield United.

CLICK HERE to back Sheffield United to finish in the top six with Sky Bet

The Blades are Sporting Life’s top tip to secure a play-off place this term. Watford are expected to feature prominently but under new head coach Rob Edwards there are more unknowns - you know what you’re getting with Paul Heckingbottom and Sheffield United.

This could be a tight one.

Huddersfield Town Team Insights

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Burnley Team Insights

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Coventry City Team Insights

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Sunderland Team Insights

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