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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship betting preview

5 December 2014

Look ahead to the weekend's big games

Fulham v Watford (tonight)
Fulham are 6/5 favourites with the Football League sponsors for this Friday-night clash as they look to put more distance between themselves and the relegation places in the Sky Bet Championship. Watford are 2/1 to gain a fourth away win of the season but the Hornets haven’t beaten Fulham since the pair clashed in Division Two back in the 1997/8 season. Both games between these sides in the 2007/07 Premier League season were drawn and that outcome is 13/5 with the 1-1 draw the most popular correct scoreline at 11/2. Fulham have only lost one of their last five (and that was to promotion contenders Brentford) and there have been plenty of goals with 20 being scored in those matches. In contrast, Watford have lost their last four and have failed to find the net in two of those games, scoring just once in the other – but it’s still 1/2 that both sides find the net during this fame. Hugo Rodallega is Fulham’s leading marksman and he is 11/2 to score first with big money summer signing Ross McCormack favourite at 5/1. Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney head the same market for the visitors having scored seven and four league goals respectively.
Top Tip: Fulham to win and both teams to score at 11/4.

Saturday fixtures:

Blackburn Rovers v Sheffield Wednesday
Blackburn Rovers are 19/20 favourites with the Football League sponsors as they look to bolster their strong position in the Sky Bet Championship at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Wednesday find themselves in mid-table after picking up five wins from their first 19 games and are 3/1 shots, with the draw priced at 12/5. A 1-1 draw is the most popular correct score and is 5/1, while the corresponding fixture at Ewood Park last Boxing Day ended 0-0 and a repeat can be backed at 9/1. Rovers have been involved in score draws in three of their last four league outings and both teams to find the net in this one is priced at 4/5. Blackburn’s Rudy Gestede is one of the division’s leading marksmen, with 11 to his name already, and is 7/2 joint-favourite along with strike partner Jordan Rhodes in the first goalscorer betting. Atdhe Nuhiu and Stevie May are considered most likely for the visitors in the same market and are both 15/2 to net first and 5/2 to score any time.
Top Tip: Both teams to score at 4/5.

Blackpool v Birmingham City
Blackpool are 19/10 with the Football League sponsors as Lee Clark’s men bid to claim their second win of the Sky Bet Championship season against Birmingham City at Bloomfield Road on Saturday. The Blues are 7/5 to pick up all three points and those looking to side with the draw can get odds of 23/10. Birmingham claimed a 2-1 win in the corresponding fixture last season and a repeat outcome here is 17/2. Blackpool have found the net in their last four outings, failing to win on each occasion, and a Birmingham win with both teams scoring is a 4/1 chance. The first goalscorer market is topped by Clayton Donaldson, who is 11/2 to open the scoring and 6/4 to add to his season’s tally by notching during the 90 minutes. Blackpool striker Ishmael Miller is 6/1 to provide the opening goal of the game.
Top Tip: Birmingham to win and both teams to score at 4/1.

Cardiff City v Rotherham United
Cardiff City are odds-on favourites at 17/20 as they host Rotherham (16/5) in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday. The draw is chalked up at 5/2, with 1-1 the most popular correct score at 5/1, while a repeat of Cardiff’s 2-0 victory the last time these sides met in the Welsh capital back in 2004 is 15/2. Only two of Cardiff’s eight league wins have come without reply and both teams to score can be backed here at 5/6. The first goalscorer market is dominated by Cardiff forwards, with Adam Le Fondre, Federico Macheda and Kenwyne Jones all 5/1 to claim the first goal of the game. Alex Revell is considered most likely for the Millers at 8/1 to break the deadlock. Rotherham have picked up four draws on their travels this term and might make some appeal at 2/1 with the draw-no-bet concession.
Top Tip: Alex Revell to score any time at 11/4

Derby County v Brighton & Hove Albion
Sky Bet Championship leaders Derby County go into Saturday’s clash with Brighton & Hove Albion as 4/5 favourites, with the visitors 100/30 to pick up all three points. The draw is priced at 13/5. Steve McClaren’s Rams suffered just their third defeat of the campaign at Elland Road last weekend and are 21/10 to bounce back with a win to nil over Sami Hyypia’s side. The Seagulls are without a victory in their last three games and lost all four meetings with Derby last term, including both play-off clashes. Chris Martin has 10 league goals to his name and the Derby striker is 4/1 favourite to score first and evens in the any-time market, with Brighton’s Darren Bent 13/2 to open the scoring at the iPro Stadium.
Top Tip: Chris Martin to score any time at even-money.

Huddersfield Town v Brentford
Huddersfield Town are 7/5 to pick up all three points from their Sky Bet Championship clash with high-flying Brentford on Saturday. The Bees come into the weekend’s action third in the table and can be backed at 7/4 to claim the win, with a draw priced at 5/2. The most popular correct score is 1-1, which is a 5/1 chance, and that’s exactly how it finished when the sides met earlier in the season in West Yorkshire. Huddersfield haven’t won since a 3-0 triumph over Nottingham Forest at the start of last month and the Terriers are 7/2 to win to nil again here. The home side’s Nahki Wells and James Vaughan are both 5/1 to score the first goal, with Andre Gray considered most likely for Brentford at 11/2.
Top Tip: Brentford to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 at 3/1.

Ipswich Town v Leeds United
Ipswich Town are odds-on (3/4) favourites ahead of their Sky Bet Championship clash with Leeds United at Portman Road. Town are in a rich vein of form and haven’t lost at home since the end of August – Mick McCarthy’s side are 5/2 to prevail by exactly one goal, a bet which would have paid off in their past three wins. Leeds have had another eventful week off the pitch but line up on the back of an impressive 2-0 defeat of Derby last weekend and are 15/2 to take all three points without conceding. United took the corresponding fixture 2-1 last August and are priced at 14/1 to repeat the trick. Ipswich striker Daryl Murphy is one of the league’s leading marksmen with 11 goals and is 4/1 favourite to open the scoring. Mirko Antenucci isn’t far behind Murphy with seven strikes to his name this term and the Leeds man is 13/2 to score first and 2/1 any time.
Top Tip: Daryl Murphy to score first at 4/1.

Millwall v Middlesbrough
Visitors Middlesbrough are preferred at 13/10 by the League sponsors when they travel to New Den on Saturday. They took the same fixture 2-0 last season, helped by goals from Emmanuel Ledesma and Albert Adomah, and are 9/1 to win by the same scoreline here. With just one win in their last six games at home, Millwall are the 2/1 outsiders here. That said, Millwall won their three previous matches against Boro and remain capable of toppling any side on their day, so Middlesbrough’s impressive away record this season ought not to overawe them. Kike heads the first goalscorer betting at 5/1, while it’s 9/4 that the Spaniard scores at any time during a Middlesbrough success.
Top Tip: Under 2.5 goals at 8/11.

Nottingham Forest v Charlton Athletic
Charlton come into this contest struggling for goals, having found the net just four times in their last six games, although three of those strikes did come on the road. Of course, it’s not been plain sailing for Forest either in the last couple of months, with a lapse in form after such a strong start to the campaign. However Nottingham Forest are the clear favourites at 7/10 for this clash with Sky Bet, who offer the Addicks at 4/1 and the draw at 13/5. Britt Assombalonga’s goalscoring has proved a potent weapon for Forest this season, but he misses this match after receiving a red card for a handball against Birmingham. In his absence, Matty Fryatt is favourite to score first at 5/1, but Michail Antonio always seems to be involved in his side’s goals and the 11/2 about him makes more appeal.
Top Tip: Michail Antonio to score first at 11/2.

Reading v Bolton Wanderers
Reading are 11/10 with Sky Bet to take all three points against Bolton, who are 23/10 for victory in a game that could mark the return to the club of Eidur Gudjohnsen. The draw is 5/2. Bolton’s improved form has seen them win four of their last six, but all those wins have come on home turf. The Royals’ home form is solid enough, with five wins and a draw from nine games. Reading’s last two games have finished in a 2-1 win and a 2-1 defeat, scorelines available at 8/1 and 10/1 in this one, and eight of their last nine have featured over 2.5 goals, making the 5/6 of obvious interest.
Top Tip: Over 2.5 goals at 5/6.
Wigan Athletic v Norwich City
The Latics are 13/8 to snap a five-game winless run in a match where the teams cannot be split; Norwich are the same price, with the draw 9/4. Norwich themselves are without a win in four games since a 2-1 home victory over Bolton in October. Both teams have scored in four of the Canaries’ last five games and five of Wigan’s last six, meaning the 4/5 that it happens in this match must be of interest. Cameron Jerome has nine goals in 16 games this season, and is 6/4 to find the net in this one. It’s 11/2 that he opens the scoring, making him joint-favourite along with Gary Hooper and Lewis Grabban.
Top Tip: Both teams to score at 4/5.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth
Bournemouth have been one of the stories of the season so far in the Sky Bet Championship, and still sit fourth in the table despite three straight draws after a six-match winning run. They’re 7/5 to get back to winning ways at Wolves, who are 9/5 with the draw 12/5. Bournemouth’s last two games have ended 2-2, a scoreline that can be backed at 12/1 in this one. Wolves have lost their last four games, but three of those games were on the road. Their home record reads more smartly at five wins, two draws and two defeats. They need to get back to scoring goals, having failed to find the net in their last three.
Top Tip: Over 3.5 goals at 2/1.

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The promotion closes this Monday 8th December, with a shortlist of 10 finalists being selected at random before the winner is drawn live on Sky Sports News on Tuesday 16th December.

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