Weekend Football League TV Preview
The second weekend of the League One season kicks off on Friday evening with a London derby as Leyton Orient take on Charlton Athletic.
Russell Slade’s side were a tad unlucky to lose their opening match of the season at Yeovil. A fumble from keeper Jamie Jones led to the home side’s winner before half time, although the O’s outplayed their opponents for much of the match. However, Orient did gain a great result in the Carling Cup in midweek, defeating Swindon Town 2-1 at the County Ground.
It could be a make or break season for Phil Parkinson at Charlton Athletic. After their disappointing play-off semi-final defeat in May, hopes of automatic promotion are high, although they have lost two of their better players in Jonjo Shelvey and former captain Nicky Bailey. A few pundits expected them to come an early season cropper at home to Bournemouth last weekend, but a goal from Akpo Sodje was enough to secure a 1-0 win.
Even though it may have been the league cup, losing a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 at League Two Shrewsbury in midweek must have done the Addicks’ confidence no good at all. Home striker Alex Revell has opened the season in great form, and I think Leyton Orient can get revenge for their 2-1 defeat in this fixture last season by winning this one at 19/10.
If you believe everything that you read in The Damned United, Brian Clough reserved a special place in his heart – albeit not a kind one – for this fixture. Rivalries have changed much in the intervening thirty years or so, but there is no arguing that, on paper, Nottingham Forest versus Leeds United is a big game.
Both clubs have been in the relative doldrums in recent years, spending time in the third tier and struggling to regain former glories. Nottingham Forest almost made a return to the big time last season, finishing third in the Championship before imploding to Blackpool in the play-off semi-finals. Billy Davies’ side are the second favourites to win the Championship this season.
Forest are an attractive, passing side but there is unease in the city about the lack of incoming reinforcements for the season ahead. Julian Bennett, Joe Garner and James Perch have left the club with only young Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand arriving to date. The club desperately need an assured central midfielder and defensive cover if they are going to seriously challenge for the title.
It looks like being a season of consolidation for Leeds United. Their opening match was a 2-1 defeat at home to Derby County and, although they played well in patches, the lack of a serious attacking threat will worry Simon Grayson. The loss of Jermaine Beckford’s goals will be crucial, and the Yorkshire side could do with one or two attacking reinforcements as soon as possible.
Forest have lost their opening two matches – at Burnley and Bradford City in the Carling Cup – but I still expect them to win this one. I expect Billy Davies to restore talented young Pole Radoslav Mjewski to the starting line-up, and Paul Anderson will also be pushing for a place after his 20 minute cameo at Turf Moor.
Forest’s home form last season was excellent and I really fancy them to put on a show in front of the TV cameras on Sunday lunchtime. Back the home side at 5/6.