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


Football League sponsors Sky Bet have handed over £250,000 prize money to Championship outfit Derby Country after supporter Richard Jones landed them the cash in the Sky Bet Transfer Fund. The competition ran by online betting site Sky Bet was drawn to a conclusion on the weekend live on Sky Sports and Jones saw his name pulled out of the hat.

All of the entrants to the competition were whittled down to the final ten for the live draw at random and then Derby were the final benefactors leaving the other nine finalists Peterborough, Carlisle, Ipswich, Cardiff, Rotherham, Coventry, Newport, Bolton and Southend empty handed.

Jones pocketed £5,000 for himself and Derby get the huge boost of cash which can either be spent on signing new players or on current wagers. Derby has already been busy this summer bringing in Darren Bent, Alex Pearce, Scott Carson, Chris Baird, Andreas Weimann and Tom Ince after just missing out on the Championship play-offs last term.

”We’re really pleased,” said Brandon Furse, head of ticketing, analytics and technology at Derby. ”We’re pleased for Rich Jones and we thank him for putting us forward.

“This money will certainly help. We’ve got a new football management team at Derby. This will certainly help to strengthen us and it could make a difference.

“We’ve been close the last couple of seasons and, who knows, this might just be the player that scores us that goal or saves that goal for us. We’ll put it to very, very good use.”

Derby is the second winners of the Sky Bet Transfer Fund, Nottingham Forest being the inaugural winners last December, who used the funds to get Chelsea’s Todd Kane and Aston Villa’s Gary Gardner on loan.

12th July 2015 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Bookmaker News

Championship Betting

The race for Europe’s top domestic league titles are pretty much shaping up for a non-exciting finish. Chelsea for example, are easing their way to the Premier League title, even without playing well and let’s not forget that online betting site Paddy Power paid out on a Chelsea title win back in November.

Over in Germany, Bayern Munich are massive 1/5000 odds on favourites to win the Bundesliga,ten points clear currently of nearest challengers Wolfsburg. Juventus have a massive fourteen point lead at the top of Serie A in Italy and over in Spain, Barcelona’s El Clasico win over rivals Real Madrid on the week saw the Catalans take firm control of the title race, opening a four point lead up over Carlo Ancelotti’s slumping Madrid. So there’s really no value around in the battle for major league honours across Europe, but take a look at the English Championship, and in contrast, you will find hatfuls.

Six points separate the top six sides in the Championship and there are just eight points back from the top to eighth placed Wolves. There is so much life, so many twists and turns in such a wide-open competitive league that there is value around, even on the current front runners.

The Money Race – Championship Betting 2015

It is Bournemouth who are currently sitting top of the table with a one point ascendancy over Wolves. They cruised to a 3-0 home win over Middlesbrough on the weekend and the free-scoring Cherries do look to be firing their way to the title, currently unbeaten in side. What should boost their chances of securing automatic promotion too is the fact that they only face one of the top ten sides in their run in. 12 per cent of money on the Championship winner at Paddy Power has come in for the Cherries and are 6/4 favourites to land the title.

Second placed Watford (4/1) and third placed Middlesbrough (3/1) are not only tied up on 72 points each, but they have taken similar amounts of cash to win the Championship at online bookmaker Paddy Power. Boro’s heavy loss against leaders Bournemouth on the weekend has seen them slip to four defeats in their last eight, so they aren’t exactly nailing down consistency. Watford also suffered a defeat on the weekend, losing at Ipswich, but that snapped a solid streak of five wins and a draw. The Hornets have to face Watford and Derby in the space of three days at the start of April.

Surprisingly for some, it is Derby who have taken the most support from punters to win the Championship. More than a third of the money coming in on the Championship title race has gone towards the Rams. They are slumping a little bit having gone six matches without a win, falling rapidly from their spot at the top of the table at the end of February. In their remaining seven games, they do go against each of the bottom three which should see them grab vital points.

Norwich perhaps are making their case as the strongest shots with some brilliant form. The Canaries have taken 25 per cent of Championship winner betting and have suffered just the one loss in their last 12 league matches. They have a favourable run in as well, only two games left against top half sides and both of those are at Carrow Road. The Canaries can be backed at 4/1 to grab the title.

The outsiders in the Championship title race are Ipswich Town who are out at 50/1. They are only six points off the top in sixth place but have a far weaker goal different than anyone above them. That is as good as needing an extra point in the bag to overcome it, but a win over second placed Watford on the weekend, could yet have say in the closing race.

Championship Winner Betting Odds at Paddy Power

Bournemouth 6/4, Middlesbrough 7/2, Norwich 4/1, Watford 4/1, Derby 16/1, Ipswich 50/1, Brentford 66/1

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25th March 2015 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Championship Betting

Football Betting

Derby v Chelsea Capital One Cup Betting Preview

Jose Mourinho’s men will be expected to close in on some silverware by making their way through to the semi finals of the Capital One Cup at the expense of promotion-chasing Championship side Derby. The Rams could well be taking on the likes of Chelsea in the English top flight next season but are they ready and poised to claim such a big scalp? Will home soil offer them any solace against the outfight favourite to get their hands on the Cup.

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Derby v Chelsea Betting Tips

Derby are looking ahead to a potential place in the Premier League next season, and no better way to test yourself than by going up against the best in the country? The Rams suffered a defeat on the weekend in the Championship, losing away at Middlesbrough, and perhaps they had one eye on this one. In order to set up their big tie against Chelsea, Derby beat Carlisle, Charlton, Reading and Fulham along the way, and in three of those four matches they managed to bank a clean sheet. Clearly in taking on Premier League leaders Chelsea, this is going to be a massive step up in level of opposition.

The Rams don’t have a great run of form going against Chelsea as they have lost seven and won none of their last eight matches against the Blues in all competition. They met as recently as the third round of the FA Cup last season, and Chelsea banked an away win thanks to goals from John Obi Mikel and Oscar. That was the third time in their last four home matches against Chelsea in which the Rams failed to score. They have lost their last two home games against the Blues by a 2-0 scoreline. A Chelsea 2-0 Correct Score is trading at a price of 6/1 with online bookmaker Paddy Power. Derby’s hot shot up front is Chris Martin who is 3/1 shot in the anytime goalscorer market for this one.

After their first defeat of the season against Newcastle, Chelsea quickly got back to winning ways as they took a somewhat uninspiring home win over Hull in the Premier League on the weekend. A win is a win though, and Chelsea have won 14 and lost none of their last 16 League Cup games against lower ranked sides; a run that goes back to 1999. So they will clearly make an appealing banker during the weekend in the Capital One Cup quarter finals. Didier Drogba and Loic Remy are decent even money quotes on the anytime goalscorer market, because they will probably get some action in the game, while Diego Costa is an 8/11 price.

Chelsea have fired off twelve goals in their last four matches against the Rams in all competitions, and you would imagine that they will have the class in depth to find a way through this tie. While Derby do have good home form this season, having won eight and lost just one of their twelve games played there, trying to crack Chelsea is a whole different matter. There could be a case made for backing both teams to score, because Chelsea conceded against Bolton and Shrewsbury on their way to the quarter finals.

Derby v Chelsea Betting Odds

Chelsea 1/2, Draw 3/1, Derby 6/1

Derby v Chelsea Predictions

The Blues should find a way to win this one, because they are pretty reliable and efficient at tasks like this, and it is why they are such a good cup team. They have faced tougher road trips than this, and it still worth backing them to pick up the win, but with both teams getting on the scoresheet.

Find the latest results, League Table, Top Scorer and more on our football statistics on (just choose your country & your preferred topic)

15th December 2014 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Steve McClaren (Derby)

Derby v Rotherham Betting Preview

It was heartbreak for the Rams last season as they lost in the play off final against QPR, missing their chance to taste Premier League football. So how will they respond this season? It is a tough introduction to the Championship for the newly promoted Rotherham as they head to Pride Park.

Derby v Rotherham Betting Tips

The Rams are running as favourites for this one and they haven’t lost any of their last five league matches against Rotherham, winning four and drawing the other one. So good reason to back Derby here. The last time they met was back in 2009, a match which Derby actually lost in the League Cup. There was so much to enjoy about Derby last season, including the amount of times they rescued points from losing position (22 points in total), producing a good show of never-say-die attitude and quality.

Derby are unbeaten in their last five matches played on the opening day of the season, three of them being won. They have big input up front from Chris Martin who is even money favourite in the anytime goalscorer market, but look for the influence of Craig Bryson, who was immense in the midfield for the Rams last season, weighing in with a remarkable sixteen goals. Bryson is a 2/1 shot in the anytime goalscorer market.

Rotherham haven’t won any of their last nine visits to Derby in all competitions, so really have their backs against the wall in this one it would seem. That having been said, they were great on the road last season in League One, only Wolves picking up more points away from home than they managed in the third tier. This is the first time since back in the 2004/05 season that Rotherham have contested the second tier of English football. Tough opener for them.

They will be hoping for far better fortunes though in the Championship, as on that last occasion, they won just five games all season long and picked up just 29 points in total, finishing bottom. Kieran Agard was top dog for them last season, netting 21 league goals and he is up as an 11/4 shot to find the net on the weekend.

Derby v Rotherham Betting Odds

Derby 4/7, Draw 16/5, Rotherham 5/1

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Derby v Rotherham Predictions

The Rams look as if they have the goals in them and the quality to see off the challenge of Rotherham pretty easily. Would comfortably push for the game to go over 2.5 goals and a Derby to win to nil shot is 7/4 at Stan James, which is realistic given how big of a step up it is going to be for Rotherham.

Find the latest results, League Table, Top Scorer and more on our football statistics on (just choose your country & your preferred topic)

8th August 2014 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Championship Betting

Harry Redknapp (QPR)

Derby v QPR Betting Preview
Will it be the Rams or the R’s joining Burnley and Leicester in the top flight of English football next season? This is the richest match in English football and one side stands just 90 minutes from glory. Can Harry Redknapp make an immediate return to the top flight, or will Steve McLaren’s impressive Rams deliver on favouritism?

Derby v QPR Betting Odds at online bookmaker Paddy Power
Derby 7/5, Draw 9/4, QPR 2/1

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Derby v QPR Betting Tips:
The stats in the Play Offs lean towards the Rams here, as they finished third in the regular season. Since the Championship Play Offs came into being, the team finishing third in the league standings have been promoted to the top flight the most times. As for the team who has finished fourth, in this case QPR, that is the finishing spot which has produced the fewest teams gaining promotion. Steve McLaren’s Derby saw off Brighton in their play off semi final, and it was with some ominous ease as well. After taking a 2-1 win on the south coast, they romped to a 4-1 win back at Pride Park. Striker Chris Martin netted in both of those game and he is trading at 11/10 in the anytime goalscorer market. He is certainly carrying the form as he has scored six in his last seven, and Derby overall have fired in two or more goals in seven of their last eight matches.

However, the Rams haven’t gone that well against QPR lately. They took a 1-0 win in the Championship in February at Pride Park over the R’s and that snapped a six match winless streak against the Londoners (D3 L3). They have delivered well in the Championship play offs, winning four of their last five, including including their most recent final back in 2007 over West Brom. The Rams have power up top, as Steve McLaren’s men finished the Championship season as top scorers, so you would expect them to do most of the pressing. They have form on their side, going unbeaten in their last eight matches and winning seven of those. Since former England boss McLaren took over at the club, only Leicester have won more league games than the Rams have across the top four English tiers. They have also won six games this season from behind, so they don’t lie down.

Charlie Austin will be the key man for QPR, as they need his goals. He has scored five in his last five games and is trading well at 8/5 in the anytime goalscorer market. Harry Redknapp has vast experience in his side, of the 15 players used in their semi final against Wigan, his players had notched up 2088 Premier League games between them. Only two of them, Charlie Austin and Yun-Suk-Young have never played in the top flight. So it could be precious experience that will help them out at Wembley, but they start as underdogs because of current form. Their defence fell away badly over the final stages of the season, and they managed just a W3 D3 L3 record over their last nine games. It took an extra time winner for Rangers to get past Wigan in the play-off semi’s, and despite promises of attacking football, QPR will look for stability first at the back. But they aren’t carrying the overall threat and confidence that Derby are.

The Rams clearly carry the bigger attacking threat in this one and are just running hot at the moment, carrying more conviction in their play and confidence. No reason not to back them at good value of 7/5.

Find the latest results, League Table, Top Scorer and more on our football statistics on (just choose your country & your preferred topic)

Form (all competitions)

Stat Attack
QPR’s Charlie Austin have five goal sin his last five games
Derby’s Chris Martin has scored six goals in his last seven
Derby have won just one of their last seven against the R’s
The Rams have won four of their last five play off games
QPR have won just three of their last nine matches

24th May 2014 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Championship Betting

Championship Betting

Brighton v Derby Betting Preview
The Championship play off semi finals start on Thursday night down on the south coast, as third placed Derby head to Brighton, who couldn’t have made a later, more dramatic entry into the play offs if they had scripted the action on the weekend. Who will draw first blood?

Brighton v Derby Betting Odds at online bookmaker Paddy Power
Brighton 6/4, Derby 2/1, Draw 23/10

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Brighton v Derby Betting Tips:
What late drama it was at the City Ground. With both Reading and Brighton drawing their final games of the season, it was the Royals who were holding onto sixth spot. But then up popped Leonardo Ulloa with just about the final actions of the game at the City Ground, as he glanced in a header in the second minute of stoppage time to give Brighton a 2-1 win. As Reading failed to beat Burnley, Ulloa’s goal projected the Seagulls into six place, topping the Royals out by a point. Now they move on to face the Rams, and Brighton will go as underdogs after losing to Derby twice this season already. Their game at the Amex Stadium this season resulted in a 2-1 defeat for Brighton, with Ulloa opening the scoring in that goal. The Argentine is trading at 7/5 in the anytime goalscorer market for Thursday’s game against Derby. He is also 4/1 in the First Goalscorer market. Brighton then lost 1-0 back at Pride Park.

The Seagulls have actually only taken one win in their last four against Derby, and have only won two of their last six at home against the Rams. But this almost like cup football and finishing positions in the Championship don’t always count for much when it comes to the play offs. Brighton posted a W10 D7 L6 record at the Amex Stadium, and they did finish the season on a three match unbeaten streak on home turf (W2 D1). A big factor of Brighton’s season has been their defence, and their last six home wins in the Championship season all came with a clean sheet. A Brighton to win to nil wager is trading at a price of 3/1, but with Brighton at 6/4 outright, it’s probably not worth stretching the margins there. Brighton had the second best defensive record in the Championship this season.

The Rams are favourites to move on up to the Premier League with Burnley and Leicester next season. They finished the season with a good bang, going on a six match unbeaten streak, five of those having been won. Steve McLaren’s men produced the most prolific attack of all Championship sides this season, and star man Chris Martin weighed in with 19 for the term. Martin, who scored four in Derby’s last six games of the season is trading at 6/4 in the anytime goalscorer market against Brighton. But they will be cautious because of seeing their home form go down the pan a bit towards the end of the season. They only managed to win two of their last seven away games in the Championship. It suggests that they will probably err on the side of caution and look to put the tie to bed back at Pride Park. Derby have averaged 1.5 goals per game on the road this season, and this one will probably go under 2.5 goals for a price of 4/6.

Don’t see this one being settled by any big margin anywhere. The Championship’s best attacking going up against the second best defence? Derby remember did beat Brighton twice already this season, and therefore a Derby-Draw Double Chance bet at 1/2 looks fantastic value.

Find the latest results, League Table, Top Scorer and more on our football statistics on (just choose your country & your preferred topic)

Form (all competitions)
Brighton WWDDWW, Derby WWWWWD

Stat Attack
Brighton have only won two of their last six home games against Derby
Derby have lost just one of the last four meetings with the Seagulls
Brighton had the championship’s second best defensive record this term
Derby were the Championship’s top goal scorers this season
Matches at the Amex Stadium have only averaged 2.2 goals this season

6th May 2014 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Championship Betting

Championship Betting

Derby v Notts Forest Betting Preview
Two sides pushing for promotion, but it’s also two sides who have forgotten how to win. They have posted identical results over their last four games, but the Rams are holding on to third spot in the league, six points ahead of sixth placed Forest. So big points up for grabs here.

Derby v Notts Forest Betting Odds at online bookmaker Paddy Power
Derby 23/20, Draw 23/10, Forest 12/5

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Derby v Notts Forest Betting Tips:
Problems for Derby have arisen, after picking up two defeats and two draws in their last four league games. The issue has been that they haven’t scored in any of them and the last thing you want in a push for promotion is for goals to dry up. The Rams have posted a W9 D4 L5 record at home this season and after winning four straight there, they have suffered a loss and a draw in their last two at Pride Park. Would immediately kick off your betting by looking under 2.5 goals for this one at a price of 4/6 in this one. Derby’s last seven games in the Championship have all gone under the mark, so you aren’t expecting many thrills and spills in front of goal from them. To add weight to that option, the last four league meetings between the two sides have gone under the market as well (six of the last eight have too).

Derby’s Chris Martin is priced up as 7/4 favourites in the anytime goalscorer market here and he was the last player to net for the Rams back on February 22nd. Derby lost 1-0 at rivals Forest earlier in the season and that is two games in a row against Forest without a win now for Debry.  Tough to call the outcome on this one and punters may even firmly lean towards a 1-0 Correct Score wager in this one for a price of 6/1 for Derby and 8/1 for Forest. Three of the last four meetings at Pride Park have been settled by that scoreline (two wins for Derby, one for Forest).

Forest too after a great stretch of unbeaten form have hit the skids since the end of February. They have now gone six matches in the Championship without a win, just the one in their last eight. They have picked up draws in their last two outings though, again something which points to this one being very close. The goals have dried up for Forest too, scoring just the one in their last three. Simon Cox is trading at a price of 2/1 in the anytime goalscorer market, along with a host of other players, which shows that goals aren’t expected in this one. Forest are without a win in their last three away games now (D1 L2) and have posted a W5 D9 L4 record on the road this season. The drawn matches there show their resilience and could have their backers in a Draw No Bet at 6/4. But Forest have only won one of their last 11 visits to Derby in all competitions.

Tough to split these two on the day, so it should make for a tense Saturday lunch time game. An outright draw is probably worth a shot here, but the safest and most valuable looking bet is going under 2.5 goals for a price of 4/6 with Paddy Power.

Find the latest results, League Table, Top Scorer and more on our football statistics on (just choose your country & your preferred topic)

Form (all competitions)

Stat Attack
Six of the last eight meetings have gone under 2.5 goals
Derby have failed to score a goal in their last four league matches
Forest not posted a win in their last six Championship matches
There have been five red cards in the last six meetings
Forest have won one of their last 11 at Pride Park

20th March 2014 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Championship Betting

Steve McClaren (Derby)

Burnley v Derby Betting Preview
This is a clash between second and third in the league and has the makings of a great game. The Clarets hold a two point advantage over the third placed Rams. So big points up for grabs here in the hunt for a valuable automatic promotion spot to the Premier League.

Burnley v Derby Betting Odds at online bookmaker Betfair
Burnley 5/4, Derby 21/10, Draw 9/4

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Burnley v Derby Betting Tips:
The Clarets are defending an unbeaten home record in the Championship this season, having posted a aW10 D6 L0 record so far. They have won three and drawn two of their last five at home, winning their last two. Both of their last two home games have seen them run out 3-1 winner, including an impressive victory over the in-form Nottingham Forest last time out. If you fancy a 3-1 Correct Score bet, that is up at 18/1 with Betfair in this one. The Clarets netted three goals in a 3-0 away win over Derby earlier in the season. Sam Vokes, who netted a brace last weekend, is great value at 11/10 in the anytime goalscorer market , while Danny Ings is trading at Even money as well. They form a powerful strike partnership for the Clarets. At least one of them has been in target in each of Burnley’s last five league matches.

The Clarets have bagged three goal hauls in three of their last five league matches, so have been turning up the heat. Burnley have a great run of form going against the Rams and have kept clean sheets in their last two home games against against Derby. They have actually only conceded one goal to the Rams in the last four league meetings now. So even though they are close together in the league standings, the Clarets will have some firm backing in this one and for a positive price of 5/4 on them at home looks great. It is their home form which could be the telling factor in this one, because when it has come to crunch home games against promotion rivals, they have delivered the goods.

But Derby are in a purple patch of form at the moment, having gone unbeaten in their last seven in the Championship. They have ran out wins in their last three games too, all by a 1-0 scoreline. They have actually scored ten more goals than Burnley have managed in the league this season, but the defence of the Rams hasn’t been good. They have conceded the most goals of all teams in the top 13 in the Championship heading in the weekend. So it’s a testament to their forward power that they are contention for a promotion place. But at least there has been some improvement at the back with three clean sheets on the bounce. Away from home this season, Derby have posted a W9 D4 L3 record and are unbeaten in their last three on the road (W1 D2). May be worth covering a draw and like the look of it going over 2.5 goals for a price of Even Money in this one. The firepower is around to make that happen.

Great looking game in the Championship and would simply stick with Both Teams To Score for a price of 4/5 with Betfair. This should be a pretty tight game with not much to split them, but there are quality strikers on the pitch to make it a high scoring game, rather than having it play out to a dull draw.

Find the latest results, League Table, Top Scorer and more on our football statistics on (just choose your country & your preferred topic)

Form (all competitions)
Burnley DDWWDW, Derby DWDWWW

Stat Attack
Burnley are unbeaten in nine against Derby in league competition (W7 D2)
The Rams have failed to score in three of their four league matches against the Clarets
Derby have kept three clean sheets in a row in the league now
Burnley have scored three goals in three of their last five home matches

27th February 2014 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Championship Betting

Paul Robinson (Blackburn)

Derby v Blackburn Betting Preview 
Only three points separated the two sides at the close of last season, with Derby in the ascendancy. There is a contrast between the two sides as Derby have the stability, while Blackburn still really haven’t gotten their fortunes together since falling from the top flight. The strength of Derby at home could be the big difference between this one.

Derby v Blackburn Betting Odds at online bookmaker Paddy Power 
Derby Evens, Draw 12/5, Blackburn 11/4

Online bookmaker Promotion 
There is a great money back special running at online bookmaker Paddy Power for Sunday’s big match on the opening weekend of the Championship. If Blackburn happen to beat Derby, then the bookmaker will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast single bets placed pre-kick off on the match. New customers registering an account with Paddy Power can get up to a free £50 bet as a welcome bonus, as the bookie matches the value of your first stake. 

Derby v Blackburn Betting Tips: 
The best pointer to kick things of on this one is going to be looking at the home form of Derby last season. They were only beaten four times at home last season, and Nigel Clough is running a pretty strong, solid ship there. Their ambitions will be higher this time around, and making the play offs is a big target for them. They have strengthened their squad over the summer greatly and they did round out last season with four wins from their last five home matches. Their case was helped greatly by a solid defence which conceded at a rate of under a goal per game.

One big trend which is worth looking at for your betting here, is the fact that Derby haven’t kept a clean sheet in an opening fixture for the last decade. As the Derby win looks far more likely, that lends itself to a Both Teams To Score bet for odds of 3/4 at Paddy Power, that or either taking an Over 2.5 Goals for a price of Evens at Paddy Power as well. However, there may be a little reason to push the boat out in the other direction, as it was Rovers who had the upper hand last season over the Rams. Blackburn won 3-0 at Derby last season in the FA Cup, after taking a 1-1 league draw there. They then rounded it off with a 2-0 home win over the Rams as well in the Championship. In fact, four of the last five meetings between the two clubs have been won by Blackburn, the other one being that draw.

In the overall head to head, it is Rovers who hold a 45-32 winning record from 123 previous encounters. So again, because everybody here is looking at banking on a win for Derby, should things turn around given Blackburn’s supremacy, they can be backed at odds of 9/2 for a 1 Goal Winning Margin. There are question marks though, because Rovers did only manage to post four away wins last season and recorded just one win in their last ten away games of the season, and failed to score in five of them. Can they muster themselves to keep their general good form against the Rams going at Pride Park on Sunday?

2nd August 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Championship Betting

Championship Betting

Saturday 20th August

English Premier League

Everton v QPR

Everton’s start to the season was delayed due to the riots in London whilst QPR would have been wishing for such a circumstance as they crashed 4-0 at home to Bolton last Saturday. The two sides go head to head in the hunt for their first points of the campaign.

Goodison Park has probably been the quietest of grounds in the Premier League when it comes to transfer business in the close season. There has been virtually no movement either in or out of Everton since the end of last season. The most pleasing thing for manager Davie Moyes will have been that, to date, the club have managed to be keep hold of their star players including Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Mikel Arteta. There is, of course, still time between now and the close of the window but it’s doubtful that Everton would sell with so little time left to reinvest the funds gained from the sale in replacements. The Toffee’s finished seventh last term, just four points off their city neighbours Liverpool. A repeat of that finish would surely be considered a success for the fans, management and players. Heading into tomorrow’s game they will be hoping that they can get off to a better start than what they did last season. They had to wait until October, a run of seven games, before recording their first win. The slow start is what killed them in their quest for a European spot so Moyes and his players will be under no illusions as to how important getting that first win on the board really is.

QPR were torn apart by Bolton in the second half last Saturday despite starting the game quite brightly. A Gary Cahill goal just before the break knocked the stuffing out of last season’s Championship winners but they will have to learn quick that the Premier League is not only a tough league physically, it’s also extremely draining mentally as well. Since that defeat, the club have been bought over which, for Neil Warnock’s sake, will hopefully mean that more transfer funds become available to sign the players they desperately need. A bid for Scott Parker has been rejected by West Ham but it does signal some sort of intent on Rangers’ part. What Warnock will have to avoid is another trouncing tomorrow as it will not only drain the players of confidence and motivation, but also make it more difficult for he himself to avoid suffering as a consequence. With a new owner on board, it doesn’t take much for them to throw their weight about and start looking for their own people.

Everton are normally strong at home and will look to use that form from the off tomorrow. They have not lost at home this year which bodes well. However, they are notoriously slow starters and they usually perform better when they are underdogs. They will be expected to go for it from the first whistle against a newly promoted side and there is cause for thinking that it may well play into QPR’s hands. Warnock will be looking to hit on the counter attack and with a new air of optimism surrounding the Hoops, I can see this being an entertaining game.

Everton with Louis Saha and Tim Cahill will always be a threat whilst QPR have plenty of options going forward and were a tad unlucky to to score in the first half last Saturday. Two bets I fancy are both teams to score and for their to be more than two goals in the game.

My Selection: Both teams to Score at a best priced EVENS with Skybet
            Over 2.5 goals at a best priced 5/6 available with Victor Chandler

English Championship

Derby County v Doncaster Rovers

Derby have surprised many with their 100% start to the new season whilst Doncaster too have a 100% start to their season – unfortunately for them however, it’s 100% of losses as they have failed to grab a point from their first three matches.

Nigel Clough is now into his third season in charge of County and know’s that time is fast running out for him to convince the fans and the board that the can lead Derby back into the Premier League. They’re a massive club with an excellent stadium but have done nothing of note fore over four years. Their fans will be bouyed by the start to the season but will also be well aware that it is just the start, there is still over 40 games to go. Their most recent win, a 1-0 over Blackpool, is their most impressive to date as they too had a 100% record going into the match. They looked resolute and determined from the outset and come the end of the season, I can’t see too many teams going to Bloomfield Road and leaving with all three points. Craig Bryson got the winner in the second half of the season and his signing has brought energy and drive to what was a pedestrian midfield at times last season. Clough also has a lot more options upfront than he did last season with the signings of Chris McGuire and Nathan Tyson. As yet, both have yet to play any part but it makes the squad a lot stronger and once they do get fit and get games under their belt, they will score goals.

Donny have been likened to Arsenal because of their style of play but like Arsenal, they may need to sacrifice part of their philosophy and attempt to put a run of results together in order to prevent them from being cast adrift at the bottom of the table. Admittedly, Rovers have not had the easiest of openings to their league campaign as they have faced Brighton, West Ham and most recently Nottingham Forest. They have also not been hammered as they have lost by the odd goal in each of their matches. A 3-0 cup win over Tranmere also shows that they are capable of scoring goals which they have struggled to do in the league thus far, with just one goal for. Part of the reason for that is the absence of Billy Sharp who is injured. Their top scorer from last season has not played since the opening day of the season when he got stretchered off after opening the scoring earlier in the match. He is likely to be out for several months which deals a massive blow to Sean O’Drisscoll who has delved into the transfer market in an attempt to soften the blow of losing his star striker.

Derby were the last team that Doncaster beat in the division back in March. It means that the away side have won just once in 22 games, and the match was also their only away win in the last nine months. Could it be that they can record their second win in that time at the same ground? Possibly, but not for me. The vibes coming out of Derby County after their success in midweek were very positive and I feel than can continue their excellent start to the new season.

My Selection: Derby County to beat Doncaster Rovers

Best odds available: 5/6 available with Totesport

Sunday 21st August

English Championship

West Ham v Leeds United

A match that wouldn’t look out of place in the Premier League takes place at Upton Park on Sunday as recently relegated West Ham look to continue their good form when Leeds, fresh from a resounding 4-1 over Hull, come to visit.

Sam Allardyce suffered a defeat in his first league match in charge when Cardiff scored in the last minute to win on the opening day of the season. Since then however, West Ham have looked far more accomplished and are getting the results that many expected of them before a ball was kicked. Still with Scott Parker onside, Allardyce is looking to galvanize a support who were disillusioned with many at the club, from the owners down to the players on the park. The only way he will succeed in doing that is by winning games. Tuesday’s emphatic win over Watford will have done no harm at all but consistency is the key. There’s no point in winning two matches on the road if they are unable to get maximum points in their home games. Key to that is Kevin Nolan who Allardyce worked with at Bolton, which is arguably the main reason why the former Newcastle midfielder dropped down a division when he left the Tyneside club. Nolan is forming a formidable relationship with Scott Parker, Jack Collison, Mark Noble and Matty Taylor in the West Ham midfield. There is a mix of everything and is the envy for all the other Championship managers.

Leeds lost their first two league games in a whimper before thrashing Hull on Tuesday night. It will have boosted everyone’s confidence and giving some belief back to the players who were so close to finishing in the play-off’s last season. Simon Grayson has refused to make wholesale changes during the summer instead trusting the players who have done so well for him and the club. Darren O’Dea is arguably their biggest transfer of the summer coming in on loan from Celtic. The defender has slotted straight into the first eleven and will make an impact at the club. Last weekends defeat to Middlesbrough will have hurt Grayson in more than one way. Not only did they lose the match, but certain players lost their discipline as well resulting in two yellow cards. This will be a worry for Grayson as Leeds were dogged with suspensions through all of last season. In order to have the best possible campaign this time around, Grayson and his players must keep their heads and concentrate on playing football.

It’s sure to be a fiery match as there is not much blood loss between the two sets of fans. Both are massive clubs and will be hoping that this season is just a stepping stone for better things in the near future. Leeds have been soundly beaten on their only away game to date when they lost 3-1 to Southampton, whilst as mentioned, West Ham lost their only home match thus far. Something has to give and with the form West Ham are in at the moment, I’m siding with Big Sam’s boys to do the business.

My Selection: West Ham to beat Leeds United

Best odds available: 3/4 available with William Hill

19th August 2011 / callum - Category: Championship Betting

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