Prutton's EFL predictions: Aston Villa and Leeds to open with wins

David Prutton

The Sky Bet EFL season is back and with it comes the return of David Prutton's predictions!

From opening day to the play-off finals, our resident expert will be providing his tips for the pick of the Championship, League One and League Two action.

But who is Prutton backing this weekend? Read on to find out...

Aston Villa v Hull, Saturday 5.30pm - live on Sky Sports Football

With Steve Bruce and John Terry leading them, Aston Villa should be right up there and they'll want to show what they can do on opening day against a team that have just been relegated from the Premier League.

Hull have lost a fair amount of players and this might be a bit of a transition season for them. For me it's a Villa win but a narrow one.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 with Scott Hogan to score first (28/1 with Sky Bet)

Live EFL

Bolton v Leeds, Sunday 4.30pm - live on Sky Sports Football

Leeds had a poor end to last season but I fancy them to get off to a good start here. Their fans will pack out the away end and it should be a cracking atmosphere on Sunday.

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I think they should be aiming for at least the play-offs, while Phil Parkinson will be more than happy with Bolton consolidating their position in the Championship after promotion. Leeds to sneak it I reckon.

Prutton predicts: 1-2 with Chris Wood to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)

Live EFL

Fulham v Norwich, Saturday 3pm

The indecision we saw around Norwich at the back end of last season has hopefully been put to bed by the new boss coming in, and it will be intriguing to see how Daniel Farke gets on early doors.

Slavisa Jokanovic has had a bit of a grumble about recruitment at Fulham so far this summer, but he's been able to keep Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon, which is excellent news for them. I feel like both teams would take a draw here on opening day.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)

Ipswich v Birmingham, Saturday 3pm

A good solid draw at Portman Road I reckon. Two very experienced managers will be facing off in Mick McCarthy and Harry Redknapp and both will be trying to get the absolute maximum of what they have at their disposal.

Harry, in particular, will want to bring a few more faces through the door before the end of the month, and both sides will hope to be looking up rather than down this season.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)

Harry Redknapp during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham and Huddersfield Town
Image: Will Harry Redknapp's Birmingham open with a win?

QPR v Reading, Saturday 3pm

Will Reading have a hangover from the disappointment of their play-off defeat? Jaap Stam has stuck around and committed to the cause, which will lift them tremendously and they should have another crack at promotion this year.

QPR finished poorly last season and Ian Holloway will want to get off to a good start. It will be interesting to see where they're at after pre-season. They nicked an excellent win on the counter at Reading last season, but it will be a different game at Loftus Road and I'm going for an away win.

Prutton predicts: 0-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Sheffield United v Brentford, Saturday 3pm

Sheffield United made very light work of League One and Chris Wilder will be chomping at the bit to see what his team can achieve back in the Championship.

I think this will be an open, fun game with quite a few goals. Brentford have done well to hold on to their top players, and if they can build on their brilliant end to last season they could be a threat.

Prutton predicts: 2-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)

Wolves v Middlesbrough, Saturday 3pm

I think Middlesbrough will be expected to go and win here but it won't be as straightforward as that. I'll be very intrigued to see how Nuno gets on at Wolves with his new players.

Both clubs have spent plenty of money and I think they'll be looking to attack at home. It's very well poised and both sides will want to set their stall out early on with a victory at Molineux.

Prutton predicts: 2-3 (40/1 with Sky Bet)

Southend v Blackburn, Saturday 3pm

Tony Mowbray has done well to have a real good sweep of the squad that went down. The funk around Blackburn is primarily because of the owners, and he needs to make sure the crowd are more occupied by success on the pitch.

Southend will be a tough challenge and, with respect to them, this is where reality bites in League One for the former Premier League champions. But they should have enough to get the win.

Prutton predicts: 0-1 (7/1 with Sky Bet)

Forest Green v Barnet, Saturday 3pm

Forest Green are a fascinating little club for several reasons and it will be great to see how they do in their first ever Football League season. Barnet only returned to League Two themselves last year and they'll be looking to consolidate.

This should be a good game and I think it will be a respectable and entertaining draw for both.

Prutton predicts: 2-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)

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