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City to clip Bluebirds’ wings

City to clip Bluebirds’ wings

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Bristol City have saved their best performances for away clashes so far this season but they have the ability to beat Cardiff City at Ashton Gate on Saturday lunchtime.

Lee Johnson’s side have been one of the surprise packages this term and are fourth in the Championship table having only narrowly avoided relegation last season. They have 27 points after 15 matches in 2017/18 after recording back-to-back victories on their travels at Sunderland and Fulham and also have a Carabao Cup match against Manchester United to look forward to.

The Robins are 7/5 to beat second-placed Cardiff with Senegal international Famara Diedhiou 19/4 to score the first goal in the encounter.

Derby County are the form team in the division having won their last four matches, including a midweek victory at Leeds United, and they can boost their promotion push by beating struggling Reading 2-0 at odds of 7/1.

On Friday, table-topping Wolves should be too good for Fulham, who have been a big disappointment in the first three months of the campaign. A fine end to last season saw the Cottagers clinch a play-off place but they are 16th this term after winning only four of their first 15 matches. Wolves are very good value at 33/20 to keep a clean sheet in the match and 6/1 to beat Slavisa Jokanovic’s team from behind.

Aston Villa have overcome a poor start to the campaign to surge up to fifth in the table and are now 9/1 to finish at the top of the pile. Steve Bruce’s side can keep their good run going by triumphing against a Sheffield Wednesday side that has under-performed recently and looks set for a disappointing mid-table finish after being involved in the play-offs in each of the last two seasons.

Sheffield United have not been involved in a draw in their first 15 matches but that sequence could come to an end when Hull City visit Bramall Lane. The Blades suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at QPR in midweek after briefly moving to the top of the table and are 51/20 to be held to a draw by Hull this weekend.

The Tigers are 18th in the table despite being the joint top-scorers in the Championship, with 27 goals, and ended October with successive home losses to Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough. A high-scoring encounter could be in prospect with the odds on there being over 3.5 goals in the game available at 21/10.

Sunderland, incredibly without a home win in 2017, make the short journey to Middlesbrough on Sunday having parted company with Simon Grayson after the 3-3 draw with rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light.
That result kept the Black Cats in the bottom three and they are in grave danger of being relegated for the second campaign in a row.

Boro have struggled at the Riverside this term and it may be worth backing the draw at 13/5 in what is sure to be a tight and tempestuous Tees-Wear-derby.

Bolton have improved of late and are unbeaten in their last four matches. They can secure only their second Championship victory of the campaign on Saturday by beating inconsistent Norwich City.

The Canaries are ninth after suffering two defeats at Carrow Road in the last week – to Derby and Wolves.
Gary Madine is 13/2 to score the first goal in the game for a Bolton team that made a terrible start to the season following last term’s promotion from League One.

Burton Albion performed a miracle when they managed to stay in the Championship last season but reality is starting to set in for Nigel Clough’s team and they have failed to win any of their last seven fixtures.
The Brewers have only found the net nine times in their first 15 matches and have conceded 31 goals, the worst record in the second tier of English football. Millwall can take advantage of Burton’s woes and ease to a routine 2-0 victory at odds of 25/4 on Saturday.

Barnsley eased their relegation concerns by winning at Burton in midweek and can move into the calm waters of mid-table by defeating shot-shy Birmingham City at Oakwell. The Blues have only scored eight goals, the worst record in the Championship, and have lost nine of their first 15 fixtures. They have not scored in their last three games so a Tykes clean sheet should not be ignored at 9/4, while a 1-0 victory for Paul Heckingbottom’s outfit can be backed at 33/4.

Leeds’ promotion push has come unstuck in the last few weeks and Tuesday’s home loss to Derby was their fifth defeat in the last six encounters. After making an outstanding start to the campaign it seemed as though United would finally be returning to the top-flight for the first time since 2004. Thomas Christiansen’s side can bring an end to their recent miserable run this weekend by beating 15th-placed Brentford at Griffin Park enticing odds of 13/5.

Goals could be at a premium in the mid-table clash at Portman Road between Ipswich Town and Preston North End.
Odds on there being only one goal in the match are available at 11/4 while Freddie Sears is 7/1 to score the first goal in the game.

Finally, QPR can continue their excellent recent run by beating a Nottingham Forest outfit that have not drawn a match yet this term. The pressure had been growing on Ian Holloway until successive victories in the last week at Loftus Road against promotion-chasing Wolves and Sheffield United lifted spirits in west London.

QPR are available at 2/1 to make it a hat-trick of victories by triumphing against Mark Warburton’s inconsistent team, who have beaten the likes of Sheffield United and Middlesbrough this season but also contrived to lose to Reading and Barnsley. Jamie Mackie is good value at 5/2 to score at any time in the encounter.

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Mark Race

Having worked in the media for nearly 30 years, Mark knows his sport inside out and at all levels.

An avid football fan, Mark also has serious knowledge of the tennis world and is quick to point out value bets in a number of other sports.