EFL Football Tips: Derby vs Port Vale, Norwich vs Preston, Barnsley vs Exeter

EFL expert, The Betting Desk, returns with his weekly betting previews and best bets in England’s Football League. This week’s EFL Football Tips include Derby vs Port Vale, Norwich vs Preston and Barnsley vs Exeter.

Derby vs Port Vale

Derby have just changed their manager and it looks to be a shrewd appointment in Paul Warne from Rotherham who has an impressive record at League One level. Derby currently sit 8th in the table on 17 points yet their home record is decent with W4-D0-L1 with their only defeat coming to table-topping Plymouth. At Pride Park they have scored nine goals, finding the net at least twice in 4 of their five games with an average of 1.80 goals per home fixture.

Their underlying metrics are worth noting. 1.28 xG and then in the top 8 for shots, shots on target and shots in the box. The players they have signed are experienced players and with James Collins, Mendez-Laing and Hourihane they have a sprinkling of quality.

There will be a huge crowd at Pride Park as Warne looks to start his home campaign off with a win and whilst Port Vale are taking their largest away support for nine years, a visit to a buoyant home support should help the Rams.

Port Vale currently struggling with a record of W3-D3-L5 with victories over Burton, Shrewsbury and Fleetwood with their only away win being over Burton, this was their only clean sheet on the road as well, with 10 goals conceded in their four games.

Defensively they have struggled with a 1.50 xGA and average of 2.0 goals conceded per away fixture and therefore it’s no surprise that they sit 20th for shots conceded, 17th for shots on target conceded and 19th for shots in the box against. I have them 20th on xPTS and 21st for xG ratio.

Derby should have too much for Vale on Saturday and I am happy to back them to score 2 or more goals at 4/5 with Bet365 or BetVictor.

Norwich vs Preston

Preston are yet to concede an away goal this term with a total of two goals from their five away games. They have been fortunate to not concede and to avoid defeat with a total xGA of 4.0, losing the xG battle in four of their five games on the road, whilst conceding a total of 80 shots whilst only registering 42 themselves. In fact, only one side has conceded more shots in their away goals than the Lilywhite and just seven sides concede more shots in the box. I am not convinced that Preston can continue conceding shots and xGA and not concede in Norwich, they probably face one of the best sides in the division and to date, they have faced Coventry who sit in 24th, Cardiff, Wigan, Luton and Sunderland who sit outside the play-off places down to midtable. This is a different kind of assignment.

Norwich after a slow start of W0-D1-L2 but have now gone W7-D2-L0 scoring in every game over this period. At home its now W4-D2-L0 scoring 12 goals, which is obviously 2.0 per game. Norwich have a very good squad for this level and sit 3rd for home xPTS, 3rd for xG ratio and 5th for SOT ratio. No side has scored more goals at home in the Championship, and they sit in the top three for shots, touches in the box and shots on target in the box. I believe that the Canaries will have enough quality to break Preston down and win this game.

It will be a close game and Preston won’t change shape or tactics regardless of the score or match situation, so Norwich to win the game and under four goals at 11/8 with Bet365 looks a decent angle.

Barnsley vs Exeter

Barnsley are an attractive price at home to Exeter, who have just lost their manager to Rotherham and could be at a loss without him given he had taken charge of over 200 games with Exeter guiding them to promotion to League One last summer.

Whilst Exeter do boost a return of W4-D3-L4 over the current season, on the road, it’s now one win from five games with all of their victories coming against sides in the bottom eight – Port Vale, Wycombe, MK Dons and away to Forest Green. Their performances to date have been good, but I do feel that this is a step-up facing Barnsley than previous away trips.

The hosts have been playing well and have picked up some excellent results. Over the last six games they have gone W4-D2-L0 and when you consider these games have been against the likes of Ipswich and Sheff Wednesday plus beating an excellent home side in Cambridge 3-0, their season under Michael Duff has suddenly turned a corner.

Whilst I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Barnsley to win the game, I am happy to take them on the -0.25AH at 10/11 with BetVictor, meaning should the game end in a draw we will get half our stake back.

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