EFL League Preview December 1
THERE was a remarkable evening at Villa Park on Wednesday, when Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest played out an extraordinary 5-5 draw.
The visitors raced into a 2-0 lead after just six minutes, but Villa responded and found themselves level just eight minutes later.
That led to a game where the lead constantly changed and the home side thought they had won it when Anwar El-Ghazi scored with a sweet strike from outside the area.
However, former Villa striker Lewis Grabban grabbed his second of the game with eight minutes of normal time remaining to secure a point.
Tammy Abraham grabbed the headlines with four goals. That, combined with his penalty in the 4-2 win over local rivals Birmingham the previous Sunday, means that he doubled his tally for the season in the space of four days.
It just goes to show that the Sky Bet Championship is one of the best leagues in the world. That game was the first 5-5 draw since...well, the end of April.
Sporting Life is the place to go to watch all the goals from the Championship this season, and you can watch the highlights of that game by heading here.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Despite that 5-5 draw, the midweek action also highlighted the entertainment on offer in League One - 37 goals were scored across the 12 games, with Peterborough’s 1-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon the only game with fewer than two goals.
Sunderland’s 4-2 victory over Barnsley caught the eye, while Oxford beat Rochdale by the same scoreline to move up to 19th in the standings. There were four goals for Luton in their win over Bradford, alongside three goals four other fixtures.
The goals were in no short supply in League Two either, with Grimsby hitting five and Bury scoring four.
Swindon edged a five-goal thriller against Stevenage, while Newport’s victory against Northampton saw four goals.
We can expect to see more goals this weekend, with Sheffield United taking on Leeds, Middlesbrough meeting Aston Villa and Birmingham welcoming Preston in the Championship.
A familiar feel in the FA Cup
The draw for the second round of the FA Cup means we will have plenty of EFL representation in round three, with a number of clubs in the same league coming up against each other.
Peterborough face Bradford, just weeks after a meeting in the league, while Sunderland travel to Walsall for the second time in the space of seven days.
Charlton also face Doncaster at the Valley for the second time this month and will be hopeful of a repeat result as they aim for progression.
Argyle v Oxford, Southend v Barnsley, Rochdale v Portsmouth and Shrewsbury v Scunthorpe are other fixtures that make this weekend seem like another round of League One fixtures.
Of course, there are a number of League Two teams involved and Grimsby will be looking to build on their five-star midweek performance as they take on National League side Chesterfield.
Lincoln take on Carlisle and it is North Wales against South as Newport travel to Wrexham. County famously beat Leeds in the third round last season and will be hoping for another big-name tie if they can secure victory here.
The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all await in the third round, alongside our Championship clubs, so there is huge rewards on offer for those who can wrap up a win this weekend.
Our Sky Bet EFL Championship Podcast episode nine is out now, as Noel Whelan, Tom Carnduff and Gareth Jones review all the key games, news and talking points.
In episode nine, we tackle the Second City derby, as Aston Villa beat Birmingham City 4-2 in a cracking game. We examine what is means for both clubs and their season aims.
After Angel Rangel's two stunning goals for QPR, plus a late equaliser from Millwall's Jake Cooper, we discuss the best goalscoring defenders to have played the game, including Matt Elliot, Ian Harte, Steve Bruce and David Wetherall.
We debate how much more is to come from Nottingham Forest after their win at Hull City and ask if the Tigers can stay up.
Sheffield United, Rotherham United, Brentford and Bristol City are all also covered.