Starting the season off on the front foot and unbeaten sets the tone for the campaign ahead and a few early opening wins can be crucial. This notion of early momentum was on show last season, with eventual winners and runners up Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion, leading the way after just 10 games.
Fast forward to the seventh game-week (eighth in League’s one and two) and there are still three EFL clubs who remain unbeaten.
The Unbeaten Three Clubs of the EFL
The Royals have made an unexpected yet magnificent start to England’s second-tier this season. The Berkshire-based club have accumulated 19 points out of a possible 21 and are five points clear at the top. Additionally, they have only conceded a single goal thus far, keeping four consecutive clean sheets up until now.
Reading were not given the easiest of starts, with away trips to Derby County, Middlesbrough and Cardiff City in their first five games. The Royals also hosted promotion-chasing Watford, where they scraped a 1-0 victory.
Blackburn Rovers is the next destination for Reading manager Veljko Paunovic and his men, which will certainly be one of the toughest fixtures yet. Despite Rovers sitting in 10th place, they have managed to find the back net 16 times already this season.
It is difficult to judge whether Reading’s start can be sustained. There are still 39 games to go and a lot of teams are still just waking up.
Sticking to the Championship and this time Bournemouth, who are also yet to face defeat. A late 95th minute equaliser from centre-back Chris Mepham ensured their unbeaten status against Watford on Saturday. However, the Cherries find themselves six points below the current table-toppers. Three wins and four draws means that the club are in fourth place, sandwiched between their Premier League relegation counterparts of last season.
In fact, the Cherries have drawn their last three games and have only managed to score twice in that period. Despite a difficult last two games against Watford and Cardiff, things for Bournemouth are not calming down as of yet. They host Bristol City on Wednesday night, who are second in the league.
Walsall (League Two)
An intriguing development in League Two sees Walsall unbeaten after eight games. It would be expected that because they are yet to taste defeat, they would be high-flying. However, this is not the case.
The saddlers currently occupy 12th position in England’s fourth tier, and have not won away from home this season. Darrell Clarke’s men have drawn six out of their first eight league games this season, but are only two points away from the play-offs.
The Saddlers drawing habits also expand outside of League Two. Walsall have also drawn their three cup matches this season thus far, with each ending in a penalty shoot-out. If Walsall are to achieve their aim of promotion then they will need to claw out the ability to win matches.
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