EFL Reporter @simgholam
Sky Bet EFL: Five things to look out for in the Championship, League One and League Two this weekend
Daniel Farke turning things around at Norwich, Neal Maupay flying at Brentford and Plymouth struggling again at the start of a season.
Last Updated: 22/09/18 1:29pm
We cast our eye over five things to look out for in the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two this weekend.
Are things finally coming together for Farke?
It's a big season for Daniel Farke at Norwich. Performances were distinctly underwhelming in his first campaign and they never looked like anything other than a mid-table side, even with the talents of James Maddison, and it was essential they showed early progress this time around.
It didn't start well at all as they picked up only one win in their first six Sky Bet Championship matches and just about scraped a draw at Ipswich earlier this month, but in the past week it looks as though things may have turned a corner.
A dominant 1-0 win over a previously unbeaten Middlesbrough was impressive due to the game management on display. Norwich started well and as soon as they got their goal they sat back and absorbed pressure, knowing that Boro aren't really set up to take things to the opposition.
They followed that up with a 2-1 win at Reading on Wednesday night in which Teemu Pukki scored again, following his winner against Middlesbrough. Reading then equalised but they responded almost immediately to take the lead and secure the win.
Coming up on Saturday is a trip to in-form QPR, live on Sky Sports Football, for a fixture that looks far more difficult than it would have done a couple of weeks ago. Victory again would show that Farke's methods may just be worth sticking with for a while longer.
Maupay looking lethal for Brentford
A lot of players have impressed for Brentford so far this season as they've shot up to third in the table, but few more so than striker Neal Maupay.
Last season Maupay managed a creditable 12 in his first campaign. This time around he already has eight, and those have come in just six appearances at a rate of once every 61 minutes.
It's a remarkable statistic but the fact remains he would probably have a couple more goals already had he not received an unnecessary three-game ban for violent conduct. Since his return, he has scored three times in two games and has missed a bundle of chances as well.
The 22-year-old has been involved in 11 goals so far, which is five more than anyone in the Championship and has also had six more shots on target than anyone else in the division.
Strike rates rarely stay this high but if Brentford keep creating the chances they are for him, starting with their trip to Derby on Saturday, than Maupay could be a shoo-in for the Golden Boot this season.
Injuries not hindering Leeds yet
Leeds have lost their two first-choice strikers and one of their key playmakers to injury in the past couple of weeks, but it doesn't seem to have made too much of a difference to their charge so far.
Even without Kemar Roofe, Patrick Bamford and Pablo Hernandez they cruised easily past Preston in midweek, with Tyler Roberts snapping up his opportunity to score twice in a 3-0 win. Another chance to impress for the young Welsh forward comes at home to Birmingham on Saturday.
"This was always going to be the test for Leeds," said Andy Hinchcliffe on EFL Matters on Thursday night. "The way and intensity with which they play, when they lost a couple of key players I thought they might fall a bit short.
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"But they've settled on some young players and [Marcelo] Bielsa has a lot of trust in them. They do play a set way but it's pretty clear it's not just the starting XI that know how Bielsa wants them to play it's every single player. So if you do come into the team they know what job they have to carry out.
"Tyler Roberts scored two goals [in midweek] and for a young striker he was so composed. When opportunities come along you have to take them, he's taken his chance and that's all he can do."
Championship fixtures (Saturday 3pm KO unless stated)
Lightning unlikely to strike twice for Plymouth
There's always a chance that Derek Adams, having studied the trajectory of Plymouth Argyle's 2017/18 campaign, decided the only way forward for his side was to get off to an even worse start this time around.
That seems unlikely to be fair, but Argyle have been woeful so far. They currently have just three points and are still without a victory as they head to Charlton on Saturday. It is two points fewer than they had managed by this point last year, before they almost went on to defy 5000/1 odds and reach the top six, ultimately finishing seventh.
Argyle would have been hoping that such a positive second half to last season could be carried into this, but so far that hasn't been the case. No side has scored fewer goals or has a worse goal difference in Sky Bet League One.
Argyle are overly reliant on Graham Carey for goals, and they need others to step up when their talismanic midfielder isn't quite firing. Adams, however, is insistent that his players will improve.
"Some of the players are not performing as well as they did last year," he said. "That happens, but you don't become a bad player overnight. You will get your form back and everybody will be the same player again at some time this season."
Darren showing Yeovil the Way
First, an admittance. Last week here in Five Things we took a look at Newport after such a brilliant start to their season, and they went on to lose 6-0 at home to Yeovil the following day.
This week, then, we might as well focus on the Glovers after such an emphatic result, that capped a run of three straight wins and six unbeaten games in Sky Bet League Two. They also haven't conceded in more than a month since losing 1-0 to Aston Villa in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Not too many would have banked on Yeovil being among the contenders for promotion at the start of the season after finishing 19th in 2017/18 (a campaign that began with an 8-2 defeat against Luton), but their early-season form means it is surely time to sit up and take notice.
Credit must go to the club for sticking with Darren Way. Since back-to-back relegations from the Championship Yeovil haven't finished outside the bottom six in League Two and it would have been very easy just to pull the trigger and try something different at some point in the last couple of years.
If Way and Yeovil can continue to impress, starting with Swindon at home on Saturday, it may convince a few other clubs in the Football League to stick a bit longer with the man they entrusted with the job in the first place. If they lose 6-0 then we can only apologise.
Midweek Super 6
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