Championship betting

On this page you find articles on Championship betting and sports betting in general.

Derby v Blackburn Betting Tip 1, 2016-02-24

Championship Tips

Wednesday 23rd February 2016 Kickoff: 1945hrs                   Derby County v Blackburn Rovers                                       Football – England – Championship

Following the surprise sacking of Paul Clement earlier this month, Derby County have had to regroup and attempt to continue their quest for promotion to the Premier League. Clement was only installed as manager at the iPro Stadium last summer, and despite the club being in the top six at the time of his departure, the board decided that a change was needed. Darren Wassall was promoted to interim manager between now and the end of the campaign which is something of a gamble as his only previous experience has been with the club’s youth academy. Derby remain one of the most talented squads in the Championship and the expectation will be the same – promotion. Whether that is automatic or via the playoffs, time will tell. Wassall has overseen two games in charge thus far, losing at home to relegation-threatened MK Dons before a comprehensive 3-1 success at Brentford on Saturday. Those results, and the matches played on Tuesday night, mean the Rams are in sixth place coming into this one, eight points behind second-placed Burnley, and a further point adrift of current leaders Hull.

It was an extremely disappointing end to Blackburn’s FA Cup campaign as they were eliminated by Premier League West Ham, losing 5-1 at Ewood Park on Sunday. It started so well for Paul Lambert’s men as they took the lead but they simply could not deal with the quality of the top-flight club and were well beaten in the end. It leaves them solely focussing on remaining in the Championship for another season. Despite having three games in hand over the majority of teams below and around them, Rovers are still only eight points clear of the bottom three and will have to be wary of being sucked into a scrap in the remaining three months of the campaign. Lambert – who took charge following the sacking of Gary Bowyer towards the end of last year – has struggled for results of late and come his team have picked up only one league win in their last 10 games. It’s somewhat of a surprise as Blackburn had shown improvement in the immediate period after the manager’s appointment. Lambert will be hoping that their last league game – a 3-0 win over Fulham – is a sign that they’re getting back to something like the form shown in November and early December.

It’s anybody’s guess whether or not Clement’s sacking was purely football related or there was something else at play, but the change has been made and it’s up to the players that the former manager helped assemble to finish the job. One thing that Wassall will want to improve, and quickly, is Derby’s home record. The iPro has traditionally been something a fortress at this level but this season has seen them win just seven of their 16 home games. They actually have an identical record as they do away from home, and for any team that wishes to go up automatically from this division, they simply need to pick up more points at home. To put it into context, all the teams above them in the top six have won at least three more home games and that could prove ultimately to be the difference between finishing in the top two or having to go through the playoffs.

You do not have to look far to see what Rovers’ biggest failing has been this season. A quick look at their goals for, and comparing it to the other 24 teams in the league tells its own story. Only bottom club Charlton have scored fewer goals than Blackburn this season, and even accounting for the fact they have those games in hand, it’s an issue that doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of getting better – at least not consistently. The three goals they scored at home to Fulham was the first time they had scored more than a goal in a league game since the 5th of December. Their nine games in-between those fixtures seen them manage just three goals. The sale of Jordan Rhodes in the January transfer window will clearly not help matters, and it has to be an area that Lambert looks to improve upon.

Derby County v Blackburn Rovers Tips

Unsurprisingly, for two teams who have strong defences, Blackburn and Derby played out a rather lifeless goalless draw back in October at Ewood Park. We can only hope for a better and more entertaining encounter on Wednesday but it’s hard to envisage a deluge of goals. In actual fact, only two of the last eight meetings have ended up going over 2.5 goals. I expect more of the same tomorrow but I’m happy to ignore the goal markets in this one.

I still rate Derby was one of the best side’s in this league, certainly better than their current sixth position. That said, the team are running out of games to show that and one win in their last nine is simply not good enough. The interim manager would have been delighted with the response to the loss at home to MK Dons, however, and the result and performance away to Brentford could be the jumpstart that Derby’s season is in need of.

Although Blackburn are not on a great run of form themselves at present, they rarely lose heavily and have only conceded 16 goals on their travels. On the reverse side of that, though, they have won only three away games and may not have the firepower to trouble the home side on this occasion. With the quality Derby possess I am banking on them dominating possession and finding the net on at least one occasion to gain a vital three points.

Derby 17/20 @ Bet365


MK Dons v Middlesbrough Betting Tip 2, 2016-02-09

Championship Tips

Tuesday 9th 2016 Kickoff: 1945hrs
MK Dons v Middlesbrough
Football – England – Championship

Although this clash sees second-top Middlesbrough travel to fourth-bottom MK Dons, the competitive nature of the Championship dictates that this is anything but a foregone conclusion. Neither team have been in great form lately so three points here would be vital for their receptive causes.

This is MK Dons first season playing at this level so it was always going to be something of a fact-finding mission for manager Karl Robinson and his players, especially when they are competing against clubs such as Tuesday’s opponents who simply have a vastly superior budget at their disposal. Nevertheless, the Dons have acquitted themselves relatively well as they bid to achieve their goal of surviving for a second season in the Championship. If they are to manage that then their form thus far would dictate that the home matches will be crucial. Of their 27 points, 19 of them have come at home whilst managing just one win in their travels. It could be argued that they will have to find a way to pick up more wins and points on the road if they are to survive, but building on – and maintaining – the strength of their home form is equally important, which means even games against the top teams have to be targeted.

The last month or so has easily been Middlesbrough’s worst period of the season and it has seen them being relieved of top spot in the Championship, albeit on goals difference and with at least one game in hand over the teams around them. With respect to that, a win on Tuesday would see them return to the top but Aitor Karanka has to find a way to restore confidence and get his team back on the winning trail. ‘Boro have picked up just one point in their last three games and managed only one win in their last five games in all competitions. There is certainly no need to panic in their current situation, but last year’s memory of losing in the play-off final will still resonate and automatic promotion is without doubt their sole objective. One of the most notable aspects of their game that has to improve is find a way to score more goals – failing to score more than one goal in their last five attempts.

It’s not just one win in MK Dons last six league games, a run which has seen them slip back towards the bottom three. Like their next opponents, the Dons have struggled for goals of late, and are actually the league’s lowest scorers, managing only 23 goals in their 29 league games. It will be a concern for Robinson, particularly as the quality of their play is very good until the final decision in and around the box. For any team who struggle to score goals, it places so much importance on the defence to be consistently good and whilst they have conceded the fewest of any of the bottom six, it’s not been enough to secure more wins of late.

With the financial sums on offer in next year’s Premier League rocketing to astronomical levels, Middlesbrough have thrown all they can at ensuring they are in the top-flight come August. Following the high-profile arrivals of Stewart Downing and Christian Stuani, amongst others, during the summer, the club’s pursuit of Jordan Rhodes finally came to a satisfactory conclusion last month as the striker arrived at the Riverside in the hope that his proven goalscoring record will lead them to the Premier League. It wasn’t the dream debut for him on Saturday as he came off the bench to help his new team to a point over his previous employers.

MK Dons v Middlesbrough Betting Tips

A win for either team will obviously be of huge help as the home team look to increase the gap between themselves and the bottom three whilst ‘Boro look to return to the top of the table. However, with 16 games left to play for both these clubs after this game, there is an awful lot of football left to play and it’s likely both issues will go right to the final games.

MK Dons have won four of their last seven league games at home, including a couple of impressive victories over Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. They will have to reach that level and surpass it if they are to beat arguably the best team in this league. Middlesbrough may also be happy that they are playing away as they have won four of their last five on the road – keeping a clean sheet in all four of them. They did lose on their most recent away fixture, however.

Everything points to this game being a tight affair as neither side are in great form overall and have particularly struggled for goals of late. It’s also a meeting of the worst attack in the league and the best defence in the league, and I believe that will be the crucial factor. Although MK Dons are better at home, I think the away defence will stifle their attack and with the addition of Rhodes at the other end, should have enough to sneak one and take all three points.

Middlesbrough EVENS @ Bet365


Wolves v Leeds Betting Tip 1, 2015-12-17

Championship Tips

Thursday 17th December Kickoff: 1945hrs
Wolves v Leeds United
Football – England – Championship

With just over a week until Christmas, both Wolves and Leeds will be looking for some festive cheer as the two clash at Molineux. Neither of the teams will be pleased with their current position and the upcoming busy period provides an opportunity to improve their fortunes as the build towards the New Year.

Wolves would have thought they were on the cusp of ending their winless home run against Nottingham Forest on Friday, only to concede a late equaliser and extend that run to five games. Their last victory at Molineux came all the way back on the third of October. It had been a major source of frustration for Kenny Jackett who has enjoyed nothing but success in his spell in charge. He will be slightly comforted by the fact that his team are on an unbeaten run of five games, albeit with four of those being draws. If Wolves are to mount a serious challenge for the play-offs, it goes without saying that they must start converting those points, into three.

Leeds have been the epitome of inconsistent this term, mixing some terrific results with disastrous performances. Wins over local rivals Huddersfield and Hull are some of the highlights in what had been a largely underwhelming campaign. They currently sit in 18th position and remain closer to the bottom three than the top six. Whether or not a play-off spot is a realistic target for the club, considering the issues they are contending with off the field, is another matter, but a club their size have to strive to climb the Championship. Steve Evans – who replaced Uwe Rosler earlier in the season – is as ambitious as they come and will be drilling into his players the importance of gaining some much-needed consistency to achieve that.

Unsurprisingly on a long, winless run at home, Wolves have struggled to find the net in front of their own fans. Managing just two goals in five home games, Jackett has tried to shuffle his pack in a bid to improve their fortunes but Friday night’s game against Forest was a further illustration that the threat is still not what it needs to be. Adam Le Fondre was given the task of leading the line with Benik Afobe left on the bench. I would be surprised if that is the case against Leeds, as Afobe offers much more in a lone-striking role. Jacket may also look to play two up top as he has done in the past but whatever he decides, the manager will know that the supporters will be restless should it not be successful.

Only Brighton and Derby have lost fewer games away from home than Leeds this season which is somewhat of a surprise considering where they sit in the table. The Elland Road club have proved a difficult nut to crack for a lot of teams, with Middlesbrough and QPR the only two teams to have won on their own ground against them. Their style of play is certainly not the most attractive but it has been effective in allowing them to pick up some welcome points, and it will be no different on Thursday when they travel to face Wolves. Evans might not be everybody’s cup of tea but there’s no doubting he gets every bit of effort out his individual players and collectively, as a team.

Wolves v Leeds Betting Tips

This game is unlikely to be one of the most exciting and end-to-end contests to be played in the Championship this season, but if one of the team could get three points then that is all that matters. Wolves will certainly harbour hopes of gaining ground on the teams above them as the try to make their presence felt in the race for the play-offs, whilst Leeds will want to move away from the wrong end of the table.

Historically this is actually a high-scoring fixture with 20 goals coming in the last six encounters. I do not envisage that trend continuing as neither side have been in goalscoring form and are also short of confidence. With that in mind, I think this will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes and although Wolves have not won at home in over two months, they are in the middle of a decent run which suggests that their fortunes will turn soon. It might not be pretty and they home team will be made to work for it by Leeds, but fancy Wolves to edge it and get a vital win.

Wolves Evens @ Bet365


Middlesbrough v Burnley Betting Tip Draw, 2015-12-15

Championship Tips

Tuesday 15th December Kickoff: 1945hrs
Middlesbrough v Burnley
Football – England – Championship

The games come thick and fast at the best of times in the Championship, but there is even more football than normal to contend with in December as the hectic festive period kicks into gear. Both Middlesbrough and Burnley are riding high in England’s second-tier and will have their eyes fixed on finishing in the automatic promotion spots come the end of the season. ‘Boro have enjoyed a slightly better time of it and currently sit second, with Burnley five points adrift in fifth. Wednesday’s game will represent an opportunity to cut the back for the visitors who look to bounce straight back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Last season proved to be a case of so near yet so far for Middlesbrough in what was Aitor Karanka’s first full season in charge. A season which promised so much eventually led them to the play-off final at Wembley resulted in massive disappointment as they went down 2-0 to Norwich. ‘Boro never got going that day but it would have whetted their appetite to go one better this season – and they are making a good fist of it. Just two points behind leaders Brighton approaching the halfway point, Karanka’s team are one of the favourites to go up automatically which is surely their aim. It’s their record at the Riverside which has been the foundation for their current position with just one defeat at home in the league this season. Tuesday will be another test of that record against a Burnley team who are very difficult to beat.

Sean Dyce has already led Burnley to automatic promotion from the Championship and he will be looking to emulate the success of 2013/14 once again. The nucleus of that squad remains and considering the start that the Clarets have made, there is plenty of room for optimism around Turf Moor. Things have slightly tapered off, of late, with no wins in their last five games but they have only lost one of them, giving an indication of how resilient this Burnley side have been under Dyce. Before that they had won five out of six including an important victory away to local rivals Blackburn. It was that run of games, in particular, that propelled them into automatic promotion contention and whilst the lack of three points recently has dropped them back a couple of places, it would be foolish to think that there is not more to come from them.

One of Middlesbrough’s failings last year was the lack of a cutting edge in front of goal. It was ultimately what cost them in the chase for the top two and a major issue in the loss to Norwich at Wembley. The signings of Christian Stuani and David Nugent were signals of intent from Karanka and the club’s board, whilst the millions spent on Stewart Downing was also a massive statement. All three have definitely added much-needed quality in the final third and one of the reasons why they are keeping apace with the other top teams in the goals scored column. The manager has ensured that their improved fortunes going forward has not affected their excellent defence, however, and Middlesbrough continue to have the meanest backline in the league.

Burnley also spent big in the summer and the majority went on Andre Gray who was brought in from Brentford. There was a large Danny Ings-shaped hole in the forward line following his exit to Liverpool and Gray possesses a lot of the same qualities. His pace is a constant threat for opposition defenders whilst his tireless work ethic (a must in a side managed by Dyce) allows Burnley to defend from the front. He also gets his fair share of goals, too, and is currently on nine for the season, although he has drawn a blank in four of Burnley’s last five. There were more than a few eyebrows raised when the club splashed out the sort of money they did, on him, but whilst it’s still early days, he looks a very shrewd piece of business. And if his goals and performances lead his team to the top league, it will have been money very well spent.

Middlesbrough v Burnley Betting Tips

This is undoubtedly the best game of this round of Championship fixtures as it pits two of the favourites for autumatic promotion together. ‘Boro could go top depending on results elsewhere and will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing goalless draw at home to Birmingham on Saturday, whilst the visitors will simply be looking to get back on the winning trail again having not been victorious since the 3-1 win over Fulham at the beginning of November.

Both managers were reliable centre-halves in their day, albeit at slightly different levels, and that is clear to see from their approach to the game – with both building from the back. It’s not always the prettiest of football but it’s very effective and it will be a war of attrition on Tuesday at the Riverside. ‘Boro have conceded only two at home all season whilst there has been just 17 goals in 10 away games featuring Burnley – the joint lowest in the division.

Under 2.5 goals looks a reasonably safe option but the odds also reflect that. I am more interested in the outcome of the game, and I think the draw represents fair value. No team in the top ten have drawn more games than Burnley this season, and six of their eight draws have come on the road. With top scorer Nugent suspended for the home team, it’s even more reason to think that this will be a very close contest with little between the two teams.

Draw 5/2 @ Skybet


Blackburn Rovers v Rotherham Betting Preview, 2015-12-11

Championship Tips

Friday 11th December Kickoff: 1945hrs
Blackburn Rovers v Rotherham United
Football – England – Championship

Neither Blackburn or Rotherham have the same manager in charge at the moment that started the campaign following Gary Bowyer and Steve Evans leaving their posts earlier this season. Replacements Paul Lambert and Neil Redfearn, respectively, have enjoyed successful starts to their stints and both will be looking for another three points on Friday as they attempt to continue their climb up the table.

It’s now three games into the Paul Lambert reign at Ewood Park and the former Norwich and Aston Villa boss has made a very solid start. Seven points from that run of games – both wins coming away from home – have given Rovers’ supporters some cause for optimism following a difficult start to the season which seen them lurking in the bottom echelons of the Championship. The first of those wins came in a local derby at Preston and the result has set the standard for the subsequent games – an entertaining draw at home to high-flying Sheffield Wednesday and another professional win on the road against Bristol City. The table makes for much better reading, now, as Blackburn sit just outside the top half of the division and are a mere three points of the top six. With so much football to be played between now and the end of the year, it is not inconceivable to think they could occupy one of the play-off positions heading into 2016.

Rotherham narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing one place and five points off the bottom three. All things considered, it was something of a success to survive following their promotion from League One the previous year. Evans – the man to lead them to the Championship and keep them there for a season – is often a manager who courts attention and following a dismal beginning to this campaign he was relieved of his duties. Redfearn was the man chosen to take charge and he has at least started to move the club in something akin to a positive direction. Since taking over in October, Readfearn has overseen a couple of important victories against his former club Leeds, and fellow strugglers, Bristol City. Those wins match the number Rotherham had accrued before the current incumbent took charge. It hasn’t, however, been enough to lift them out the relegation zone where they remain entrenched. What is more positive is that five teams are separated by three points which will boost their hopes of improving on the current situation.

One of the most notable differences from Blackburn’s performances since Lambert arrived is that they look a lot more dangerous in the final third than they did for a long time under Bowyer. Rudy Gestede departure changed the formation, somewhat, and it left Jordan Rhodes as a lone striker. Under the former manager, Rhodes was often left isolated and the support from midfield was, at times, non-existent. Lambert has had an immediate impact and Rovers have now scored six goals in three games. For comparative purposes, it took them a total of eight games to score six goals previous to that. What will also be pleasing for the current manager is there has not been the reliance on Rhodes to score the bulk of those goals, either, with the Scottish Internationalist only netting once in the last three.

Rotherham’s major issue is how poor they have been defensively throughout the season. 35 goals conceded in their first 19 games is the worst record in the Championship and the main reason why they sit second-bottom. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprising, three of their four wins have come when they have managed to keep a clean sheet, illustrating how important it is for them to improve, defensively. Their record away is actually better than at home, when it comes to goals conceded, but it’s still something which can be improved on, and you would have to think, will have to be improved on if Rotherham are to start climbing the table. Two clean sheets in their last five games on the road should give them some reason for hope but they will face an on-song Rovers side this evening.

Blackburn V Rotherham Betting Tips

It’s so often the case that a new manager has an immediate positive impact on the team he takes over, and that’s certainly been the case for Paul Lambert at Blackburn. He knows exactly what is required to get out this league, of course, having won promotion with Norwich, and whilst that still looks some bit off, there is always a team who come from off the pace about this time of year and mounts a challenge for one of the automatic promotion spots. Failing that, Blackburn are most definitely in the hunt for a play-off spot and with the games coming thick and fast (Rovers play again on Monday), a win on Friday would be the perfect start to a busy period.

Rotherham have improved and look more competitive, under Redfearn, but they still have issues in defence and it will be difficult for them to keep out what looks a rejuvenated home attack. I think the hosts will have too much for them overall, but I can’t advise backing them at the current odds considering they have won just twice at Ewood Park. Instead, I suggest taking them to continue their recent goalscoring form and backing them to get at least two ore more goals for the fourth consecutive game.

Blackburn over 1.5 goals 4/5 @ Coral


Fulham v QPR Betting Tip Over 2.5 goals – 2015-09-25

Championship Tips

Fulham v QPR
Friday 25th September – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Football – England – Championship

This may not be the biggest or most glamorous of London derbies, but it will mean plenty to both sets of supporters. In terms of the Championship – and league placings – Fulham come into this game four points behind QPR, but they have played a game less, so a win for them on Friday would see them right on the heels of their rivals.

Kit Symons has been in charge of Fulham for just over a year, and has done a reasonable job – most notably guiding them to safety last season. The expectation was that the Cottagers would kick on and look to challenge for a play-off spot this time around. A slow start to the new campaign had people questioning whether or not Symons is the right man to take them forward, but the last few weeks have been a bit more encouraging. Back-to-back wins in the league against Rotherham and Blackburn followed on from a comfortable success in the League Cup against lower league opposition. Since then, they have lost away to Sheffield Wednesday, in the Championship, and at home to Stoke in the Cup. There were positives to take from both performances, however.

Having previewed QPR’s recent home game with Blackburn, not much has changed in terms of the inconsistencies that have plagued Rangers’ season. They drew that particular match 2-2, having gone behind twice. Their weekend fixture saw them draw again, but it will have been looked on more positively as it came away to Hull – a team who are currently fourth in the table. What may have frustrated manager Chris Ramsey is that his team failed to build on a winning position having taken the lead through another Charlie Austin goal. On a positive note, it is another game without defeat and means they have lost just once in their last seven league games. If they can start to turn some of those single points into three, they will certainly be capable of challenging for the play-offs – at they very least.

This has the makings of a very entertaining and open contest between two clubs whose strengths lie in attack. Fulham have yet to keep a clean sheet in any of the their seven championship games this season, but they have managed to score in every game, too. Their opponents on Friday have also been involved in games with plenty of goals, racking up 27 in the eight games they have played to date.

Fulham v QPR Betting Tips

Interestingly, this is the first time these two clubs have met each other at this level since 2001. The four meetings in-between have occurred in the top-flight which is an indication of the ambition and success that both Fulham and QPR have had in the last decade or so. If they are to be competing in the Premier League in 12 month time, these are the type of games they will be looking to win. I have alluded to the attacking nature of both teams and I think that’s the best place to look for a wager on Friday.

Charlie Austin is sitting tip of the top scorers list, and could have a terrific campaign if kept fit. He will be a massive threat for the home defence – one which I doubt they will be able to stop. At the other end, QPR have kept only one clean sheet in four away games, and have struggled for the majority of the season in defence. Both teams to score is a little on the skinny side for my liking, so opt for Over 2.5 goals instead – a bet that has been successful in five of QPR’s eight games, and five of Fulham’s seven.

Over 2.5 goals 4/5 @ Coral


Derby v Burnley Betting Preview, 2015-09-21

Championship Tips

Derby County v Burnley
Sunday 21st September – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Football – England – Championship

Big things were expected of both these clubs before the Championship kicked off last month, with Derby being many people’s favourites thanks to narrow misses over the last couple of seasons, whilst Burnley managed to keep hold of the majority of the squad who were relegated from the Premier League, last season. A win for the the visitors would see them go level on pints with Middlesborough in second place, whilst a Derby victory would lift them into the top six for the fire time in this campaign.

Former assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at PSG, Chelsea and Real Madrid, Paul Clement, took over from Steve McClaren in the summer and in the process entered into his first managerial role. Widely regarded as a world class coach, Clement was well aware of how this job would prove to be a completely challenge. Seven games into the season and it has certainly been a reality check for anybody who thought the Rams would steamroll their way through this league. Although Derby have only been defeated once, they have only won two games. Both of those victories have come since returning for the international break earlier this month, away to Preston North End and Reading, respectively. Clement and his players will take great confidence from those successes and hope they provide a platform to build upon as they look to challenge for automatic promotion.

It is never easy trying to get off to a good start in this league following relegation, but Burnley have certainly made a good fist of it. Sean Dyce’s men surprised many two seasons ago when winning promotion alongside Leicester and QPR, but despite a valiant effort, fell short of what was required to stay in the top division. Due to how well-run the club have been, however, they have been able to invest in the squad and retain the bulk of their squad. Both of those factors have resulted in them winning four of their first seven games. The Clarets actually failed to win any of their first three league games which means they will be looking for their fifth straight win in the Championship on Monday night. The trip to Derby will arguably be their biggest test to date, despite being three points better off at this stage, such is the expectation surrounding their hosts.

One of the the biggest challenges for Clement when taking over the manager’s job at Derby County was finding the consistency required to finish in the top two of this league. Despite widely being considered to be one of the top teams in last season’s Championship, McClaren’s team were unable to achieve the consistency in the second half of the campaign. That is illustrated by the fact their longest winning run was three games, and that came back in January. A win on Monday would mean they equal that for the first time in eight months, which in itself would be an achievement.

The biggest signing for Burnley in the last transfer window was undoubtedly their £10m purchase of Andre Gray from Brentford. It was a transfer which you would have expected them to make 12 months ago so it came as somewhat of a surprise to see them splash part with that sort of money following their relegation. Gray has already notched his first goal for his new club – added to the two he got with his former club – on the back of the 17 he got last term. The pace he has mean he is a real threat for opposition defenders, especially away from home, and although he never scored when playing at Derby last season, he missed a plethora of chances which would have sealed the game for Brentford before the match eventually finished 1-1.

Derby v Burnley Betting Tips

I expect both of these clubs to finish in the top eight, at the very least, come the end of the season, so Monday’s clash should be a high-quality championship encounter. Both are also coming into this in good form so will be full of confidence. Unlike in seasons gone by, Derby are not as free-flowing under Clement, evidenced scoring seven and conceding six in the early part of the season. That being said, however, five of their last six league games have all seen both teams scoring. Five of Burnley’s seven league games have also seem both teams finding the back of the net, and with the threat they will pose on the counter with the pace of Gray, I would be very surprised if Derby keep a clean sheet. As the visitors have yet to keep a clean sheet in any of their first three league games, I can see both teams to score occurring once again.

Both teams to score 17/20 @ Betvictor


Watford v Huddersfield Betting Tip Both teams to score – 3 May 2014

Champions League Tips

After missing out on promotion in the play-off final at Wembley last season, huge things were expected of Watford and their then manager Gianfranco Zola. Fast forward 12 months and it’s been an instantly forgettable season this time around. Zola has departed and Watford look set for a finish in mid-table. They have had their fair share of injury problems but the facts are they haven’t been good enough, often enough this term. 15 wins, draws and losses apiece sum up what has been a frustrating campaign. They have lost their last three games and as a result, plummeted down the table in recent weeks, putting an end to any faint hopes they had of sneaking into the top six. There’s no doubting the quality they have within their squad but the attitude needs to be right every single game and that doesn’t appear to have been the case for much of this season.

Huddersfield are one of several clubs in the Championship who probably aren’t good enough to challenge for promotion but were never in any real danger of being relegated after a strong start to the season. A dismal recent run of form has seen them fall to the bottom half of the table after one win in 12. Before that they had put together a real solid season which included wins against Wigan, Burnley and Bolton, three sides from a similar part of the country. They just lack that added bit of quality in vital areas to string together a significant run of victories which is needed to challenge for the top six in this division. They look like a side in desperate need of a holiday in order to regroup and prepare for another season in the second tier of English football.

It’s another match in the Championship which neither side really require the points from. Both teams will be happy once the final whistle has been blown and they can enjoy their summer. Watford have been responsible for entertainment right throughout the season, especially in recent weeks with their last 12 games resulting in 50 goals. Huddersfield are no stranger to games involving goals either as games involving the Terriers have averaged 2.62 a game.

This is traditionally a fixture which offers goals aplenty with the last eight providing 22. The first meeting of the two this season finished 2-1 to Watford and it could be a similar result here. Either way, I fancy both teams to find the back of the net and finish the season like the way they have played all year – in an entertaining fashion.

Both teams to score 4/7 @ Skybet



Nottingham Forest v Blackpool Betting Tip 1 – Saturday 2 November 2013

Championship Tips

Nottingham Forest were left licking their wounds as Yeovil recorded a surprise 3-1 victory at Huish Park last Saturday. It was their first defeat in eight games and only their second of the season but it was one which left their manager Billy Davies seething. He accused his players of being complacent and seen it as a wake-up call that this league is just as competitive as it has ever been. They get a chance to atone for their lacklustre display on Saturday against a side who sit two places above them. A win would see them leapfrog their opponents and get back on the winning trail. Having been tipped by many to go up this season, their current position of sixth is more than acceptable, but they know that it’s all about regaining the winning thread as soon as possible following a defeat.

I’ve left Blackpool alone for a few weeks after opposing them several times in the early part of the season. I still remain unconvinced that they are capable of remaining in the top six, or even the top half, but they have proved me wrong thus far. Having lost just one match all season (away at Millwall), they are a stubborn and well drilled side. They do find it difficult to win games, however, as their record of one win in their last seven league games will testify to. Their last away win came all the way back in the middle of September so they are by no means prolific on their travels. They’re also one of the lowest scorers in the top half of the Championship  and Tom Ince accounts for just under half of those.

Forest undoubtedly have one of the biggest squads in the league and Billy Davies has no shortage of options if he wishes to shuffle his pack after last weekend. Having not had to worry about the League Cup in midweek has will have been able to focus the minds of his squad on the match against Blackpool for the best part of a week and I’d be surprised if they don’t come out the blocks fast on Saturday.

Paul Ince will serve his third match of a five game stadium ban on Saturday after inappropriate behaviour in the away game at Bournemouth. His players have managed to pick up four points in the first two games he’s missed but both of those have been at Bloomfield Road so this presents a new challenge itself. Alex Rae has been in charge in Ince’s absence and the Scot will be hoping he can continue his unbeaten record this weekend, in what will be his sternest test to date.

No prizes for guessing that I’m siding with the home side in this one. I watched Blackpool against Wigan a couple of weeks ago and I was scratching my head at how they came away with all three points. I can’t see the same happening on Saturday as Forest will be fired up and are defending a proud unbeaten home record.

Nottingham Forest 17/20 Paddypower


Reading v Millwall Betting Tip 1 – Saturday 26 October 2013

Championship Tips

Reading have went about their business very quietly since their relegation from the Premier League last season but it’s been effective nonetheless. They currently sit in sixth spot after a run of four wins in their last six Championship matches. By taking over towards the end of last season, Nigel Adkins has been able evaluate exactly what is required for a successful promotion push. He’s not made wholesale changes to the squad but he has shored them up defensively making them harder to beat. He’s no stranger to success in the Championship after guiding Southampton to the title and promotion two seasons ago, so it’s a league he knows well and it looks as though he’s moulding Reading into a side capable of doing something similar.

Steve Lomas has had a difficult start to life as Millwall manager winning just three of his first 12 matches at the New Den. All three of those victories came in successive matches in September but they have managed just one point from their last three league games. They did, however, rescue a point in their most recent match at home to high-flying QPR. A point against a side such is that would probably be welcome no matter but what as it was secured with an injury time equaliser and prevented three consecutive losses, it was even better received by Millwall.

Reading are one of seven Championship sides who have yet to lose at home with a record of four wins and two draws. For any side wishing to be successful in this division they have to be able to pick up points at their own ground on a regular basis. Adkins will know this only too well and the fact that they have conceded just five goals at the Madjeski this season is testament to their desire to make things as difficult as possible for visiting sides.

The Lions have won just once on their travels this season and that was in their local derby against Charlton at the Valley. They have returned home with nothing from visits to Birmingham, Bournemouth and Ipswich already, whilst sharing the spoils with Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton. Having conceded 15 goals away from home in their six matches, they have allowed the second most goals on the road, only Bournemouth have shipped more.

I’m very keen on the home team’s chances here and believe they can go on a strong run ahead of the winter months. They seem to have found a good balance in their squad and can make things even bleaker for Millwall on the road by taking all three points here.

Reading 4/5 @ William Hill