Lively Seasiders to find a way past the Blades
Sheffield United 1.654/6 v Blackpool 6.411/2; The Draw 4.1
Sheffield United are still one of the most inconsistent and unpredictable sides in the Championship. Slavisa Jokanovic is still getting to grips with his squad and although there has been a significant improvement since early Septemeber, they are still finding new ways to frustrate fans. Across the last five matches, only four teams have conceded more goals than the leaky Blades and they’ve kept just a single clean sheet in their last nine matches. At the other end of the field, the South Yorkshire club have plenty of firepower and they’ve managed to find the net in each of their last six matches at this venue.
Blackpool took West Lancashire bragging rights last weekend as they eased past local rivals Preston. They’ve found the net in every single away game this season and with the likes of Jerry Yates and the returning Owen Dale pulling the strings in the final third, they look likely to extend their impressive scoring sequence on the road this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back BTTS in Sheffield United vs Blackpool @ 1.9420/21
Slowly-improving Tykes to battle their way to a point
Bristol City 2.3811/8 v Barnsley 3.259/4; The Draw 3.3512/5
Bristol City’s search for a home win continues on Saturday as they welcome strugglers Barnsley to Ashton Gate. Despite their poor run of form on home soil, many fans believe that this is Nigel Pearson’s best chance of ending the club’s barren spell in BS3. Having taken just three points from a possible 18 here, the hosts will require plenty of support from the stands, and it is imperative that they make a fast start. Saturday’s opponents Barnsley have lost each of their last five matches and the majority of fans have seen enough. The calls for Markus Schopp’s dismissal are growing increasingly louder, however, the Austrian will be pleased with his side’s spirited display in the final 20 minutes of their 3-2 defeat at Bramall Lane. The Tykes looked good going forward during the latter stages of Sunday’s local derby and that may just provide them with enough confidence to take something from this contest.
Recommended Bet: Back Barnsley Draw No Bet (vs Bristol City) @ 2.26/5
Rams and Rovers to share the spoils
Derby 2.8615/8 v Blackburn 2.8615/8; The Draw 3.55
Derby are one of only four teams who remain unbeaten at home this season. Despite their off-field issues, the Rams have shown a remarkable consistency so far and they’ve lost just one of their last eight Championship matches. Wayne Rooney has managed to organise his side superbly and only three teams, including high-flying West Brom, have conceded fewer home goals this campaign. The East Midlands outfit have struggled to put the ball back in the net this year, however, the return of Colin Kazim-Richards will surely give them an added edge in the final third. Blackburn have won just one of their last five outings, and they have struggled on their travels. Nevertheless, they have a decent record against this opposition, and have been victorious in six of their last eight meetings with Derby. Tony Mowbray was accused of playing for the draw against QPR recently, however, they weren’t able to secure any points in West London. They are likely to take home a share of spoils this time around.
Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Derby vs Blackburn @ 3.55
Stalemate in West Yorkshire
Huddersfield 2.68/5 v Millwall 3.185/40; The Draw 3.39/4
Huddersfield were always likely to fall short against leaders Bournemouth last time out, however, despite that 3-0 defeat, Terriers fans can be generally satisfied with their side’s positive start to the campaign. Despite having won just three of their last nine encounters, they have managed to keep four clean sheets during that period, and appear to have a far tougher exterior than last season. They’re unbeaten in five of their last six matches at this ground, however, they are amid a tough run of games and this is unlikely to be a straightforward task. The versatility of Norwich loanee Daniel Sinani could be key to their chances of reaching the play-offs, whereas the raw creativity and energy of Sorba Thomas is always likely to cause trouble for the opposition. Millwall are enjoying a superb run of form and only the aforementioned Cherries have picked up more points across the last five matches. Gary Rowett’s men have lost just one of their last ten games and on current form, you’d expect them to take something back to Bermondsey.
Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Huddersfield vs Millwall @ 3.39/4
Coventry to banish their away day blues in Humberside
Hull 2.982/1 v Coventry 2.47/5; The Draw 3.211/5
Hull have lost nine of their opening 14 games with only freefalling Cardiff having suffered as many defeats during that period. Grant McCann remains under intense pressure and having lost here to potential relegation rivals Peterborough ten days ago, the Northern Irishman must find a way to get the home crowd back on side. The Tigers may have picked up points against both Blackpool and Middlesbrough, however, they deserved very little from either game and they could be in for another tough 90 minutes here. Coventry fans have been left bemused by their side’s failure to compete on the road with the Sky Blues have picked up just five points from a possible 21. They may be winless in five on their travels, however, this appears to be the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.
Recommended Bet: Back Coventry to beat Hull @ 2.47/5
Both sides to notch at the Riverside
Middlesbrough 2.226/5 v Birmingham 3.8514/5; The Draw 3.211/5
Middlesbrough are one of the most in-form sides in the division, however, the general concensus is that the Teessiders may have benefited from an easy run of fixtures. Neil Warnock’s men have beaten out-of-form duo Cardiff and Barnsley, whereas poor travellers Peterborough and the inconsistent Sheffield United have also visited this ground recently. The form of Martin Payero and Andraz Sporar has given Boro fans plenty of reasons to believe that their side can challenge for a top six spot this season, however, they are yet to prove themselves against the better teams in the division. Birmingham finally ended their barren run last weekend and Lee Bowyer will have been delighted by his side’s performance. Troy Deeney played an integral part in proceedings and the captain should give Boro’s makeshift back-line plenty to think about this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back BTTS in Middlesbrough vs Birmingham @ 1.9310/11
Hatters to edge past Preston at Deepdale
Preston 2.588/5 v Luton 3.1511/5; The Draw 3.185/40
The pressure on inexperienced gaffer Frankie McAvoy intensified last weekend as Preston were tamely defeated by fierce rivals Blackpool. PNE have won just one of their last nine Championship contests and with Alan Browne having been dismissed in the dying stages of last week’s derby defeat, they look significantly weaker in the centre of the park. The Lilywhites competed admirably in the EFL Cup in midweek, however, that was hardly the ideal preparation for this weekend’s clash with in-form Luton. Hatters fans have been the first to admit that their side have struggled to match the intensity of their early season performances recently, however, they’ve still managed to pick up plenty of points. Nathan Jones’ side have managed to keep clean sheets in four of their last five outings and they will be tough to break down once again. They’ve lost just one of their last ten and should take something back to Bedfordshire this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back Luton Draw No Bet (vs Preston) @ 2.111/10
Potters to edge past managerless Bluebirds
Stoke 2.0421/20 v Cardiff 4.1; The Draw 3.55/2
Despite their positive start to the campaign, Stoke are in danger of slipping back into midtable mediocrity. The Potters have lost three games in a row, and haven’t suffered four straight defeats since September 2019. Michael O’Neill’s side are badly missing Nick Powell’s effectiveness, although the return of Tyrese Campbell is certainly a positive. The Potters were competitive in the EFL Cup in midweek and although there may be some tired legs in the XI this weekend, they should still have enough to collect all three points. Their sole home defeat came against high-flying Bournemouth and they have conceded just four times in front of their own fans. Mick McCarthy was dismissed as Cardiff manager last weekend and the Bluebirds will be desperate to end a run of eight straight Championship defeats. Although a change in the dugout can often trigger an improvement in performance levels, this Cardiff squad looks devoid of creative quality and they could struggle to break down the hosts.
Recommended Bet: Back Stoke to beat Cardiff @ 2.0421/20
Swans to edge out Posh in South Wales
Swansea 1.738/11 v Peterborough 5.59/2; The Draw 3.953/1
Swansea’s superb run of form was ended by Birmingham last weekend and Russell Martin will be hoping that his side can bounce back on Saturday afternoon. They’ve conceded just once in their last five matches here and have kept clean sheets in five of their last seven home matches. The Swans are likely to have plenty of possession here and by keeping hold of the ball, they tend to limit the damage and take the pressure off their defence. Peterborough have been showing some signs of life recently and they have now won back-to-back Championship contests. Darren Ferguson’s side have plenty of quality going forward, however, they might lack the requisite quality to break down Swansea’s well-organised back-line.
Recommended Bet: Back Swansea to beat Peterborough @ 1.738/11
You can follow Jack Critchley on Twitter @jcritch7