Home Sports Football Championship Cardiff Can Silence Out-Of-Sorts Owls
Cardiff Can Silence Out-Of-Sorts Owls

Cardiff Can Silence Out-Of-Sorts Owls

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Cardiff City can end a fine week in style by winning at free-falling Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday evening.

The Bluebirds lost all four Championship games over the festive period but returned to form last weekend by thrashing Sunderland 4-0 and followed that result up by winning 4-1 at Mansfield Town in an FA Cup third-round replay.

Neil Warnock’s side are 17 points better off than they were after 27 games of last season while three of their six away triumphs this season have finished 1-0. Another 1-0 victory for Cardiff at Hillsborough can be backed at 25/4.

Wednesday are 14 points worse off than this time last term and have only managed to win seven matches all season. They have failed to score in their last three games and have not tasted victory on home soil since October when they edged past Millwall 2-1.

Home advantage could be crucial when promotion-chasing Derby County and Bristol City meet.

The Rams have the third best home record in the Championship while City may have one eye on their midweek EFL semi-final second-leg clash against Manchester City.

Derby have won six and drawn two of their last eight league matches while the Robins have lost their last three so Gary Rowett’s team can gain revenge for their 4-1 drubbing at Ashton Gate in September by winning Friday’s game by a two-goal margin at odds of 19/4. A Derby clean sheet in the encounter is good value at 8/5.

Barnsley have nosedived towards relegation danger after winning only one of their last 10 matches and they should be no match for an Aston Villa side that have been good at home of late.

Steve Bruce’s team are unbeaten in their last five home games and built on their impressive 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough at the end of December by thrashing Bristol City 5-0 and then winning at Nottingham Forest by a single goal.

Villa won 3-0 at Oakwell earlier in the campaign and a repeat of that scoreline looks good value at 10/1.

Bolton Wanderers have only drawn two home games this season while Ipswich Town have returned to Portman Road with one point just once in their 13 away encounters to date.

Mick McCarthy’s mid-table team can return to Suffolk with a point from a 1-1 draw, available at 11/2, while Freddie Sears is good value at 11/4 to score at any time in the match.

Fulham have surged into play-off contention by winning seven of their last 10 games and they have scored more goals (21) than any other Championship side in that period.

Only rock-bottom Sunderland have conceded more goals than Burton Albion this term so a routine Cottagers victory appears to be the likely scenario on Saturday. Fulham are 7/4 to win the match with both teams to score while a 3-1 home victory is available at 21/2.

Table-topping Wolves can move a step closer to returning to the Premier League for the first time since their relegation in 2011/12 by beating inconsistent Nottingham Forest at Molineux.

Wolves have won 10 of their 13 home games while Forest have lost eight of their matches away from The City Ground. Nuno Espírito Santo’s all-conquering team are unbeaten in 13 games since slumping to a shock 2-1 loss at QPR in October.

Wolves, who have only conceded 10 goals on home soil, are 21/20 to keep a clean sheet against Forest and 23/4 to win the match 2-0.

Millwall travel to Elland Road still searching for their first away win of the season but they are unlikely to get it at seventh-placed Leeds.

United will be desperate to return to winning ways after enduring a three-match run without a victory. They lost 1-0 at The New Den in September and can gain revenge for that setback by beating the Lions by a one-goal margin this time, available at 51/20.

A draw, available at 11/5, seems the most likely outcome at Carrow Road when Norwich City entertain Sheffield United.

The Canaries have picked up more points on their travels that at home this season and have only found the net 14 times in 13 matches on their own pitch.

Chris Wilder’s side have tasted victory just once in their last 10 league games and it is looking increasingly unlikely that they will secure back-to-back promotions.

Preston are the Championship’s draw specialists with 11 and have only scored 31 goals this season, the worst record in the top half of the table.

It could be tight at Deepdale but a 1-0 win for Alex Neil’s side against Birmingham City seems a good bet at 19/4.

Middlesbrough’s promotion push continues to be bedevilled by inconsistency despite Tony Pulis’ recent appointment.

The Teessiders have lost two of their last three matches and are 47/20 to be defeated at Loftus Road on Saturday by a QPR team that have hit form recently, recording back-to-back victories against Cardiff City and Burton Albion.

Reading can bring a woeful seven-match winless run to an end by getting the better of Brentford.

Jaap Stam’s side have only scored four goals in their recent barren sequence although they did hit the goal trail in midweek by beating Stevenage 3-0 in the FA Cup.

Brentford have won four of their last five matches so now could be a good time to place a bet on the Royals at 9/4 to return to winning ways.

The Stadium of Light hosted a game between two Premier League clubs last season when Sunderland met Hull City but there is a real danger that both teams could be plying their trade in the third tier of English football last term.

The Black Cats are at the foot of the table and three points away from safety after losing three of their last four fixtures while Hull are 20th and without a victory in six games, failing to score in five of them.

It may not help either outfit but a draw looks good value at 43/20 while Chris Coleman’s team can be backed at 43/20 to keep a rare clean sheet.

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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.