Dan Childs picks out his tips for a busy weekend of matches across the EFL.
Blackburn v Leeds (12:30)
Daniel Farke’s Leeds have taken 25 points from their last ten Championship matches and they can keep up the pressure on the top two by defeating Blackburn at Ewood Park.
The early weeks of the season were tricky for Leeds, who left it late to conclude the majority of their transfer business.
But the Yorkshire side have clicked into gear since the end of August and they remain hopeful of forcing their way into the automatic promotion spots.
Leeds’s first-choice front four of Crysencio Summerville, Georginio Rutter, Dan James and Joel Piroe have been tearing apart second-tier defences of late and they are sure to cause plenty of problems for Blackburn, who were beaten 3-1 at Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday.
Blackburn harbour top-six ambitions but they have lost five of their nine home league games and could be outgunned this weekend.
Exeter v Port Vale (15:00)
League One strugglers Exeter and Port Vale have not won a league game since mid-September but their key clash at St James Park could bring some relief for the visiting Valiants, who look overpriced to claim at least a share of the spoils.
Vale’s third-tier struggles have been in stark contrast to their EFL Cup exploits, which have seen them advance to the quarter-finals.
The Potteries outfit have been getting some key personnel back on the pitch recently and they showed some promise last Saturday during a 1-1 draw at high-flying Stevenage in the FA Cup.
Vale are aware of the need to start putting some more league points on the board and they appear to have a great opportunity against Exeter, who have lost eight of their last ten league fixtures.
Exeter signed off for November with a goalless draw at home to injury-ravaged Shrewsbury and they are unlikely to fare any better this weekend.
Bradford v Salford (15:00)
Bradford have recorded back-to-back League Two victories for only the second time this season and they can claim another maximum haul when lowly Salford head to Valley Parade.
Graham Alexander has been in the Bradford hotseat for just over a month but he is already getting a response from his players and will be hopeful of making further inroads on the five-point gap to the play-off places.
Salford were also expected to push for promotion this season but injuries are threatening to derail those ambitions.
The Ammies dug out a 0-0 draw at League Two leaders Stockport last weekend but they have gone six games without a win and are unlikely to stop the Bantams’ bandwagon.
Grimsby v Crewe (15:00)
Grimsby are showing positive signs under new manager David Artell and they could be too strong for fifth-placed Crewe at Blundell Park.
Artell’s Mariners drew 1-1 at in-form MK Dons in their last league game and they can defeat a Crewe side coping with a mounting injury list.
Crewe’s promotion hopes were dented by a 1-1 draw at basement boys Sutton and a tougher assignment awaits them against the Mariners, who are keen to navigate away from the lower reaches of the table.