Don't Speculate: 5 football tips for Saturday's matches
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Huddersfield to beat Derby
With eight players coming in and 17 going out, Huddersfield’s much-needed clear out has improved them from the relegation-battling side of last season, but this tip is largely down to the state of Derby.
The Rams are in a sorry situation heading into the new season, with the state of their team still unclear going into this game.
Wayne Rooney’s side stayed up on the final day of last season but it remained unclear whether they would be relegated by the EFL by way of punishment anyway. After a disastrous summer, they look weaker then where they were three months ago.
QPR to beat Millwall
Only the Championship’s top two Norwich and Watford took more points than QPR from New Year’s Day onwards last season.
Mark Warburton’s side look stronger now than when they finished last season, with Stefan Johansen signing on permanent terms, talented midfielder Andre Dozzell coming in from Ipswich and centre back Jimmy Dunne arriving from Burnley.
Millwall finished last season with a 6-1 pasting away to Coventry and picked up one point from their final three on the road.
Oxford to beat Cambridge
Oxford were beaten by eventual winners Blackpool in the play-off semi-finals last term but finished their regular season with six victories from their final seven matches.
Karl Robinson has added exciting winger Billy Bodin and full back Steve Seddon to an already accomplished side, so it’s hard to see them making a poor start here.
Cambridge’s underlying numbers last season suggested that they were fortunate to win promotion and, having lost 32-goal striker Paul Mullin to non-league Wrexham, are in worse shape now.
Ipswich to beat Morecambe
Former Morecambe manager Derek Adams achieved one of the most surprising feats across the entire EFL last season by getting the club to League One, but he has since left to join Bradford City.
With Adams having left, it’s hard to be positive about the Shrimpers, who were perennial relegation strugglers prior to his arrival at the club.
Ipswich are second-favourites for the title and have built a squad capable of fulfilling that tag over summer. They should win this comfortably.
Bradford to beat Exeter
Bradford City are a different team to the one that finished 15th last season, having brought in Derek Adams – who took Morecambe to League One last term – as their new manager.
The Bantams have also brought in nine new signings, including physical midfielder Yann Songo’o, who followed Adams from Morecambe, and the permanent capture of striker Andy Cook, who was their top scorer last season with eight goals despite only joining in January.
They have also beaten League One opposition in Doncaster and Accrington in pre-season, while Exeter have lost key players Ryan Bowman and Joel Randall over summer and come into this on the back of a 1-0 friendly defeat to non-league Truro City.
*Odds subject to change.
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