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Match Previews

Championship Betting Preview

27 February 2015

Birmingham City v Brentford

Brentford are firmly back in the play-off picture after two straight wins and they’re 11/8 favourites to make it three on the spin when they visit Birmingham. The Bees had been struggling for form but despite the impending departure of boss Mark Warburton in the summer, they promptly turned things around by stunning Bournemouth 3-1 before thrashing Blackpool 4-0 last time out. Gary Rowett’s honeymoon period at Birmingham has been over for quite a while now and the Blues, who are 15/8 to win and 12/5, head into this fixture on the back of two successive away defeats while they haven’t tasted victory since beating Wigan on January 10. Their last two games have featured 13 goals so both teams to strike in this one is unsurprisingly short at 8/13 (6/5 they don’t). Brentford striker Andre Gray is 6/1 favourite to score first and 7/4 to net anytime while Birmingham’s Clayton Donaldson is available at the same prices.

Top Tip:Andre Gray to score first 6/1


Blackpool v Wigan Athletic

Five games without a win means Blackpool are badly struggling in their battle against the drop and they are 12/5 to beat a Wigan side also desperate for maximum points on Saturday. The Seasiders were crushed 4-0 at Brentford on Tuesday night – the third time they’ve conceded four in this latest winless run - to leave them 12 points adrift of safety. Wigan aren’t doing much better having lost their last two games to nil and only taking just six points in the 16 Championship games since Malky Mackay took charge. Nevertheless the second-bottom Latics, who have just three points more than Saturday’s opponents, are 5/4 to give their survival chances a much-needed boost and 21/10 to take a draw which neither side would particularly happy with. Wigan’s Billy McKay is 11/2 favourite to score first and 6/4 to net anytime while Blackpool’s Gary Madine is 7/1 and 12/5 in the respective markets.

Top tip: Both teams to score at evens


Bolton Wanderers v Brighton and Hove Albion

Bolton are sliding worryingly back towards the relegation battle after three straight defeats and Sky Bet make them 2/1 outsiders to see off in-form Brighton at the Macron Stadium. Life under Neil Lennon had looked so good not long ago but one win in their last seven Championship games means they are just six points clear of third-bottom Millwall. Brighton have the same number of points as the Trotters – 37 – but they head into this clash boosted by back-to-back wins in an unbeaten run of four games.  The Seagulls are 7/5 to make it three on the trot and 11/5 to head back south with a draw. A repeat of the 2-1 scoreline in Brighton’s favour from earlier in the season is 17/2. Adam Le Fondre, who has netted in three of his last four games, is 6/1 favourite to score first and 7/4 to strike anytime while Brighton’s best hope is Craig Mackail-Smith at 13/2 and 2/1 respectively.

Top tip: Adam Le Fondre to score first at 6/1


AFC Bournemouth v Blackburn Rovers

For so long Bournemouth have been pushing for an automatic promotion spot this season but two consecutive defeats in a winless run of four games means they are now in danger of slipping out of the play-off spots. Eddie Howe’s side suffered a 3-1 defeat at seventh-placed Brentford last Saturday before a midweek setback at Nottingham Forest and they are now 7/10 to bounce back with a win against a Blackburn side who are pretty much out of contention. With at least one eye on an upcoming FA Cup quarter-final with Liverpool, Rovers are 15/4 to spring a surprise at the home of the division’s top scorers and 14/5 to take a point back up to Lancashire. Cherries top scorer Callum Wilson is 4/1 to score first and events to find the net anytime while Blackburn duo Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede can both be backed at 7/1 and 12/5 in those respective markets.

Top Tip: Bournemouth to score two or more at 4/6


Cardiff City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves still harbour ambitions of achieving a play-off spot having chalked up three wins in their last four games and they are 8/5 to give their chances a shot in the arm with a victory at Cardiff on Saturday. Kenny Jacket’s side managed 12 goals across those three victories against Huddersfield (4-1), Rotherham (5-0) and Fulham (3-0) so they’ll be full of confidence against a Bluebirds side with precious little to play for in mid-table. That said, Cardiff, who are 17/10 to win and 23/10 to earn a point, claimed a 1-0 victory at relegation battling Wigan on Tuesday night and drew the four games before that so Wolves won’t be expecting an easy game. An injury-time own goal gave Midlands outfit a 1-0 win when these sides met back in August and a repeat of that scoreline is 7/1. Cardiff duo Kenwyne Jones and Eoin Doyle are both 6/1 to score first and 7/4 to net anytime and those prices are also shared by Wolves pair Nouha Dicko and Benik Afobe.

Top Tip: Draw and over 2.5 goals in the match at 11/1


Charlton Athletic v Huddersfield Town

Championship draw specialists Charlton haven’t actually shared the spoils in any of their last five games but two 3-0 wins in that run mean they are well clear of the drop zone ahead of a home clash with mid-table Huddersfield. The Addicks are 8/5 to bounce back from Tuesday night’s defeat at leaders Derby with a win while their 16th draw of the season is priced up at 23/10. Huddersfield have little to play for as they lie comfortably in 12th – 17 points behind the play-offs and 11 clear of relegation – and they can be backed at 13/8.  These two sides drew 1-1 earlier in the season and a repeat scoreline is 5/1.  Igor Vetokele is 6/1 to score first and 7/4 to net anytime while Huddersfield duo Nahki Wells and James Vaughan are available at the same prices.

Top tip: Draw at 23/10


Fulham v Derby County

Fulham may not be too thrilled about facing Derby for a third time this season having shipped five against them in each of the previous two encounters. Derby are 9/1 to net four or more in this one. Fulham do, though, have a fine home record against the Rams with six wins and just one defeat in the last 10. The hosts are 3/1 for victory, with Sky Bet Championship leaders Derby 10/11 to pick up a third straight win. Derby have scored 15 goals in their last six games while Fulham have kept one clean sheet in seven. But the Cottagers have only been kept out themselves in two of those seven, and goals could be the order of the day in this one.

Top tip: Over 4.5 Goals at 9/2


Leeds United v Watford

Watford (6/5) are one of the division’s form sides having won six of their last eight, and often in entertaining fashion with wins of 5-0, 7-2, 4-3 and 3-0 among the bunch. Leeds, 9/4 for victory here, may have been more prosaic but have still picked up five wins in seven despite only one of those games featuring over 2.5 goals. Indeed, the 2-1 win at Huddersfield is the only time 2.5 goals has been breached in their last 14. It should make for a fascinating contest. Troy Deeney has five goals in his last five games against Leeds and is 5/4 to net any time.

Top tip: Draw at 23/10


Reading v Nottingham Forest

Forest are absolutely flying under Dougie Freedman with four wins and a 4-4 draw in their last five Sky Bet Championship games. All those five matches have featured over 2.5 goals, with three collecting on over 4.5 goals. The visitors are 9/4 for another victory here against the 6/5 Royals who have alternated victory and defeat in their last six games in all competitions. If the pattern continues, they’ll win this one having gone down 3-0 at Huddersfield last time out.

Top tip: Over 2.5 goals at 10/11


Rotherham United v Millwall

A huge match in the Sky Bet Championship survival scrap pitches together two teams sitting either side of the relegation line. Rotherham have conceded 11 goals in their last three matches but take on a Millwall side that has scored just eight in its last 14 league engagements. The hosts are warm favourites to get a win that would lift them six points clear of the Lions at 6/5, with the draw 23/10 and the visitors 23/10.

Top tip: Both Teams To Score: No at 5/6


Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough

Promotion contenders Middlesbrough are the 11/10 favourites for victory on the road at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Hosts Wednesday can be backed at 11/4 and the draw is on offer at 21/10. A 1-0 win over Bolton in midweek ended a three-game winless run for Boro that came after six victories on the spin. Wednesday were also winners on Tuesday night as they defeated struggling Millwall 3-1 to snap a seven-match sequence with a three-point haul. Lewis McGugan has scored first in both of Wednesday’s last two outings and can be backed at 12/1 to make it a hat-trick. The first goalscorer betting is headed by Middlesbrough forward Patrick Bamford at 11/2.

Top tip: Patrick Bamford to score first at 11/2


Norwich City v Ipswich Town

The Old Farm derby between Norwich and Ipswich is played in front of the Sky Sports cameras at 1405 GMT on Sunday. Both sides have realistic promotion aspirations and fifth-placed Norwich are the 5/6 favourites to claim victory. Third-placed Ipswich can be supported at 3/1 and the draw is a 14/5 chance. Norwich are looking for a sixth win in a row and all bar one of those victories has contained over 2.5 goals. Ipswich beat Birmingham 4-2 in midweek so this clash could provide plenty of excitement.

Top tip: Over 2.5 goals at 8/11


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