Southampton v Plymouth, Cardiff v Leicester, West Brom v Leeds: Football League – live | Football League

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Stunner. Take a bow.

GOAL! Southampton 1-0 Plymouth (Alcaraz)

And just like that, Southampton find a way through! Although it’s come from a defensive midfielder in Carlos Alcaraz. Insert tennis joke about hitting it into the net … Samuel Edozie set up the Argentine.

As Southampton continue to labour against Plymouth (goalless still, after 53 minutes), a frustrated Tony Hughes emails in with a slightly different perspective on Saints’ frontline.

Che Adams. As a Scotsman, I’ve wanted him to do well for club and country but he just doesn’t score enough goals as a striker, even in the Championship. Nevertheless such is the shortage of Scottish striking talent that he’ll likely be on the plane as backup to Lyndon Dykes, who Stevie Clarke seems to prefer yet whose stats aren’t much better than Che’s. If Anthony Gordon and Harvey Barnes declare for Scotland then great, but they still won’t have a prolific striker to cross the ball to.

Does everyone who plays for Leeds have to be a descendent of someone else who also played for Leeds?

Official team news from The Hawthorns soon.

Charlie Cresswell with the #LUFC squad tonight. Remains to be seen who he replaces in Farke’s matchday squad.

— Joe Donnohue (@JoeDonnohue) December 29, 2023

Listen to the latest episode of Football Weekly while you’re waiting for the 7.45pms to get going.

This email from Peter Oh was given the superb subject line “In the bleak midwinter” …

The Wigan v Carlisle match features a delightful-sounding goalkeeper clash between Tickle and Breeze. In this season of frosty blasts of arctic air, the men between the sticks give us hope that spring may not be too far off.

Half time: Southampton 0-0 Plymouth.

Wigan v Carlisle is about to kick off.

Team news from West Brom v Leeds will land at around 7.15pm, UK time.

Team news

I can’t possibly run through the team news for 36 games and 72 teams, but here’s a run-down of the headlines:

The fact Leicester are able to name Conor Coady and Ricardo Pereira on their bench for their game at Cardiff speaks volumes about their strength in depth. A midfield of Harry Winks, Wilfred Ndidi and Hamza Choudhury looks strong. Aaron Ramsey is still missing through injury for the Bluebirds.

Ipswich will expect to beat QPR and recall Brandon Williams to their starting defence, with Freddie Ladapo also in from the start. Wes Burns misses out.

League One leaders Portsmouth make two changes to their side for their trip to Exeter as Yanic Wildschut misses out for the hosts through injury.

Paul Mullin returns to the Wrexham starting lineup as they face Walsall in League Two, while Stockport’s side to take on Bradford includes former Manchester United man Nick Powell; 16-year-old Joe Hillary is named among their subs.

A general view of the Cardiff City Stadium
Outside the Cardiff City Stadium, where Leicester play Cardiff tonight. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/REX/Shutterstock

Ben Waine of Plymouth Argyle is fouled by Shea Charles of Southampton
Ben Waine of Plymouth Argyle is fouled by Shea Charles of Southampton Photograph: James Whitehead/PPAUK/REX/Shutterstock

It’s goalless at St Mary’s as we head towards half-time. Russell Martin’s side have won their past three matches by a 10-0 aggregate scoreline of 10-0 and they’re unbeaten in 16 games. They’ve knocked on the Argyle door without success so far.

“A Coastal Clam Bake” is the suggestion from Chris Taberner on the right moniker for Southampton v Plymouth.

I’m finding that a little disturbing if I’m honest, Chris. Not sure why.

Wigan v Carlisle gets under way at 7pm and here are your obligatory team news graphics. 4/10 for the Latics; 6/10 for the visitors, in my book. You gotta have squad numbers on there.

Your final Tics line-up of 2023. ✊

Behind you all the way, lads! 💙#wafc 🔵⚪️

— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) December 29, 2023

Bradford City’s Valley Parade pitch has passed an inspection by referee Lewis Smith and the Bantams’ clash with Stockport will proceed at 7.45pm as slated. It looks a little wet, but certainly playable.

Southampton versus Plymouth is by no means a south coast derby, and I’m not about to call it one. But what’s the alternative? A martime meeting? A seafaring skirmish? Answers on a postcard or an email please.

Anyway, the in-form Saints have been bossing the early stages, with Taylor Harwood-Bellis nodding off the woodwork. Managerless Plymouth would take a point in this one, you feel.

Some cracking EFL reading here, as our very own Ben Fisher makes some bold accurate predictions about the stars of 2024 away from the top 20.


Good evening and greetings of the season to you. It’s that weird period between Christmas and New Year and that means only one thing – the football never stops! No Premier League action tonight, but good heavens there’s a stacked schedule of EFL action to keep you satisfied, with all 24 Championship teams in action, starting with Southampton v Plymouth, which has not long kicked off. Cardiff v Leicester and West Brom v Leeds are also pretty tasty encounters to keep an eye on.

League One and League Two also have full schedules tonight, with all games – bar Wigan v Carlisle (7pm) – getting under way at 7.45pm. Bradford v Stockport is a bit of a clash of the titans given the size of the two fanbases and both teams’ impressive form.

I’ll be here to keep you across Southampton v Plymouth for the time being, then I’ll bring you as much team news as I can muster, before updates from across the country. Festive football for the win.

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