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Match Previews

Championship Betting Preview

13 February 2015

Blackpool v Nottingham Forest

The hosts remain two points adrift at the foot of the table and their plight is reflected in a price of 3/1 from the league sponsors about them picking up three vital points. Once again, they emerged with plenty of credit but without the result after a battling effort against high-flying Middlesbrough in midweek, ultimately being undone by a late winner for the visitors. Nottingham Forest can be backed at 10/11 as they bid to continue their resurgence under new boss Dougie Freedman. They were clinical in dispatching Wigan 3-0 in midweek. But the draw at 12/5 could be the value option here.

Top tip: Back the draw at 12/5.

Bolton Wanderers v Watford

The Trotters are outsiders for this fixture with Sky Bet at 21/10 as they continue to battle a rash of injury problems. But that did not stop them pulling off a 3-1 victory over Fulham in midweek that halted a winless spell of five games. It is understandable to see Watford as the 5/4 favourites, given that they have won four of their last five while the stalemate can be backed at 12/5. Goals have been flowing for the Hornets on the whole of late and more could be on the cards so go for over 2.5 goals here. Their top scorer Odion Ighalo (14 goals in the League this season) heads the first goalscorer betting at 9/2, with Adam Le Fondre and the evergreen Eidur Gudjohnsen most fancied of the Bolton possibles at 6/1.

Top tip: Back over 2.5 goals at 5/6.

AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town

The Cherries continue to enjoy a fantastic season and are hot favourites at 4/9 with Sky Bet to keep up their push for automatic promotion to the top flight. Once again they looked a side lacking nothing in attacking threat when playing their part in an exciting 2-2 draw with Derby in midweek, and now host a team that blow hot and cold and have alternated wins and losses in their last eight outings. They can be backed at 6/1 to spring an upset while the draw is on offer at 100/30, but backing visiting striker James Vaughan to get on the scoresheet might be the best route to take. The former Everton man looks the most likely source of joy if Huddersfield are going to make a fist of things and the visitors played some neat football at times in midweek, despite going down to Wolves.

Top tip: Back James Vaughan to score anytime at 11/4.

Charlton Athletic v Brentford

The Bees travel across London as the 11/10 favourites as they look to get back on course following a heartbreaking late defeat to Watford in midweek. They should certainly be boosted by the knowledge they have good recent record away from Griffin Park with three straight successes on their travels. You have to go back to early November for the last time the Addicks picked up three points and it is a run of form that has them hovering just above the relegation places. A home win and a draw are both priced up at 12/5 with Sky Bet, but they can take heart from the fact that they have scored goals against highflyers and Middlesbrough and Norwich in recent weeks. However, the best play looks to be to go with the 4/5 on Brentford to score the first goal – expect them to be right on the ball from an early stage.

Top tip: Brentford to score first at 4/5.

Fulham v Ipswich Town

Ipswich have stumbled a little of late but showed some resolve in midweek to come from behind and beat Sheffield Wednesday. Sky Bet give them the thumbs up to secure three points at Craven Cottage at 11/8 with the hosts on offer at 15/8 (the draw being on offer at 12/5). They managed to win on their last trip to London at Millwall, while they will also be aiming to complete the double over the hosts having beaten them on the opening day of the season. Fulham are not the easiest side to predict, but have the firepower to score goals. Whatever the final outcome, a lively game looks in store – go for over 2.5 goals.

Top tip: Over 2.5 goals at 4/5.

Leeds United v Millwall

Leeds continued their strong run of recent form with a 2-0 victory at Reading on Tuesday night and head into Saturday’s home clash with Millwall as 23/20 favourites with Sky Bet Championship sponsors Sky Bet. The Whites were teetering on the brink of a relegation fight before a run of three wins and two draws in their last six league outings. Midfielder Luke Murphy has scored three times in that spell and he’s worth considering in the anytime goalscorer market at 7/2. Ian Holloway’s Millwall have been on the receiving end of some hefty defeats in recent weeks but ground out an invaluable 1-0 away win against Birmingham in midweek and are 5/2 to complete back-to-back victories at Elland Road on Saturday. The Lions’ away form has been a positive factor this season, losing just six of their 15 games on the road so far, and they’re 9/4 to take a draw from this game.

Top tip: Millwall in the ‘draw no bet’ market at 6/4.

Norwich City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Canaries have improved of late under Alex Neil and head into this clash as the 4/5 favourites with Sky Bet. Bar a goalless draw at Birmingham, five of their last six games have seen more than 2.5 goals and that could well be a very likely outcome once again. The visitors have been involved in some entertaining encounters themselves recently and have the firepower up front to give them hope at landing a price of 100/30 with Sky Bet for the three points. These two are closely matched in the standings and backing the draw at 11/4 is tempting too, but the most appealing bet is to go for some goals. Gary Hooper has been prominent in the Norwich scoring charts of late and he understandably heads the first goalscorer betting at 4/1. Nouha Dicko and Benik Afobe are considered most likely to net first for the visitors and are both 13/2 in the same market.

Top tip: Back over 2.5 goals at 4/5.

Sheffield Wednesday v Brighton & Hove Albion

The Owls are 13/10 at Sky Bet to make a return to winning way on their own patch having failed to pick up three points in their last five games. Brighton have themselves gone four matches without a win –albeit one of those efforts was a meritorious 2-3 defeat against Arsenal in the FA Cup – and it is 21/10 that they snap back into form here under Chris Hughton. Sam Baldock was on the mark for the visitors against Arsenal and in their latest League victory against Ipswich and could be worth a bet to find the net at any time in this match at 11/4. Leon Best is rated most likely first scorer from among the Seagulls at 13/2, with Wednesday’s Stevie May favourite at 11/2.

Top tip: Sam Baldock to score at any time at 11/4.Sky Bet are the Title Sponsor of The Football League. This season, a £250,000 Sky Bet Transfer Fund will go to a Football League club to spend on players in the summer transfer window. 

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