EFL Reporter @simgholam
Championship, League One and League Two talking points: Five things to look out for on Saturday
Watch Leeds vs Derby live on Sky Sports Football from 12pm on Saturday; Kick-off 12.30pm
Last Updated: 20/09/19 10:48am
Is it time for Eddie Nketiah to start at Leeds? Wonderkid Jude Bellingham is on the rise at Birmingham and Garry Monk is off to a good start with Sheffield Wednesday.
Here are five things to look out for in the Sky Bet EFL on Saturday...
Who is David Prutton tipping for victory in the Sky Bet EFL this weekend? Find out here...
Time for Nketiah at Leeds?
Marcelo Bielsa has made fewer changes to his side than any other manager in the Sky Bet Championship this season. So far, the Leeds boss has made just four alterations to his line-up in seven games.
To some extent you cannot criticise the thinking of a man who has his team top of the table heading into Saturday lunchtime's clash with Derby, live on Sky Sports Football, but every time Eddie Nketiah makes an impact off the bench he seems to be making more and more of a case for a starting place.
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The 20-year-old changed the game again when he came on at Barnsley last Sunday, scoring a late opener and then winning the penalty that secured Leeds a 2-0 win. It was his second goal in the Championship - the first another match-winning intervention against Brentford last month - and his fourth overall this season. He has a goal every 61.5 minutes this campaign.
That is not to say that Patrick Bamford, the current Leeds No 9, has started badly and necessarily deserves to lose his place. He already has four goals this season and looks an effective all-round forward in Bielsa's set-up.
But Leeds seem to burst into life more whenever Nketiah is introduced from the bench, and if he continues to play like he is then it will get harder and harder for Bielsa to leave him there.
A star is born at Birmingham
June 29, 2003. That was the day Jude Bellingham was born. To put that into context, as if any is needed, Birmingham's goalkeeper Lee Camp made his senior debut just over two months before that.
A little over 16 years later and Bellingham has two goals and four appearances to his name. Both his strikes have been winners as well, not just consolation strikes or late goals at the end of a romp.
Against Stoke a few weeks ago he came off the bench to seal a 2-1 win. At 16 years and 63 days, he broke Ryan Sessegnon's record as the youngest ever Championship goalscorer by 31 days. Last Saturday he did it again, this time grabbing the only goal to claim all three points for his side at Charlton.
In between those two goals midfielder Bellingham also made his first appearances for England U17s, scoring twice in three appearances. Despite his incredible start, though, boss Pep Clotet insists he will be patient with the youngster ahead of their clash with Preston on Saturday.
"He handles the load of the games and the training different to the [senior] pros because his body still does not have the experience when it comes to that," said Clotet. "I will use him for the best of his abilities and for the best of Birmingham City, but I will always try to handle the risk because he is a talent for us and that's the right thing to do."
Monk set for Hillsborough bow
So far, so good for Garry Monk at Sheffield Wednesday. The former Swansea, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Birmingham boss - despite being just 40! - got off to the perfect start with a 2-0 win at Huddersfield last Sunday.
This is a big job for Monk, especially after the nature of his departure from Birmingham. He did a good job at St Andrew's but needs to really prove he can take a club and challenge for promotion if he ever wants to kick on as a manager. Some Wednesday fans, after all, were less than convinced by his appointment.
"I have to say I would have preferred Chris Hughton," Owls fan Natalie Dean told Sky Sports. "Monk hasn't actually achieved anything in the Championship and the stories that surfaced after he left Birmingham are a little concerning.
"Saying that, his first result was excellent and he is saying all the right things. I only wish the owner had appointed him sooner so that we could have started the season under him. He seems to have quite a take no-nonsense attitude which is definitely what some of our players need."
A first game at Hillsborough awaits against Fulham on Saturday. Another victory against one of the promotion favourites would work a treat to help convert any more of the doubters.
Patience running out for Jackett?
Portsmouth's record in 2019 is mixed at best. A 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon on New Year's Day sent the club five points clear at the top of Sky Bet League One, with a promotion to the Championship seemingly on the cards.
Right after that, though, followed three straight defeats then five more draws. By the time of a goalless draw against Barnsley in early March they had fallen nine points adrift of leaders Luton. They would go on another good run after that, and win the Checkatrade Trophy, but eventually fell to defeat in the play-off semi-finals to Sunderland.
This season, things have barely improved and patience may be wearing thin for Kenny Jackett at Fratton Park. They began the campaign as second favourites behind Sunderland for promotion, but have so far won just one of their six games.
A stop-start schedule hasn't helped Jackett. They have played fewer matches than any side in the division so far due to two postponements and a Bury cancellation, but they have also managed to throw away a winning position at Sunderland to lose 2-1, a two-goal lead at home to a nine-man Coventry side to draw and a lead at Blackpool to draw.
On Tuesday night they were two goals down to Burton at home within six minutes, before they were eventually saved by Brett Pitman - who was stripped of the captaincy earlier this month - netting a late penalty to earn a 2-2 draw. All does not seem well, and Jackett needs a result at high-flying Wycombe on Saturday.
Banide out, Maamria in at Oldham
Oldham rarely like to be left out when it comes to the managerial merry-go-round, and it is little surprise that the third League Two departure of the season already was announced at Boundary Park on Thursday.
Laurent Banide, given an almighty 11 games at the helm, was then swiftly replaced by Dino Maamria, who himself was the second managerial departure of the season in League Two, having been sacked by Stevenage 10 days earlier.
"I'm hugely excited to join such an historical football club," said Maamria upon his appointment. "The vision and ambition of the chairman was a big factor and the first priority is to stabilise and unite this great football club."
Throwing around words like 'vision' and 'stabilise' are pretty standard for new manager interviews now, but can be taken with a pinch of salt considering he will be Oldham's third permanent boss in 2019, their fourth since the start of last season and the fifth to sit in the dugout including two caretaker spells for Pete Wild. Paul Scholes was even briefly their manager for 31 days.
If Maamria wants to make his stint there a bit of a longer-term arrangement, then victory at home to Morecambe on Saturday would be a good place to start.