Insatiable Cottagers to continue their red hot form

Potters to slip to yet another home defeat

Stoke 4.1 v Fulham 21/1; The Draw 3.65

Fulham have always been blessed with plenty of firepower, however, they’ve looked unstoppable in their recent outings. Across their last three matches, they’ve fired in 19 goals which brings their season total up to 70. Blackburn, the division’s second highest goalscorers have netted on just 44 occasions.

Crucially, several Cottagers players have contributed to that total with the likes of Neeskens Kebano and Fabio Carvalho helping to ease the burden on prolific marksman Aleksandar Mitrovic. Although they’ve been slightly more clinical on their own patch, they’ve still managed to score 34 times across their 12 away fixtures and have twice notched seven on their travels.

Although Blackpool, Millwall and Hull will all be working out how to stop the clinical Cottagers, Stoke will be faced with the daunting prospect of trying to halt this black and white juggernaut on Saturday afternoon.

The Potters have been impressive on the road, however, their home has dipped in recent months and Michael O’Neill’s side have won just one of their last seven at this venue. Worringly, they’ve scored just twice in their last four home matches and the visit of the division’s form side is far from ideal.

O’Neill’s men conceded just four times across their opening six home games, however, they’ve matched that total in their last two. They’ve added the experience of Phil Jagielka to the squad this week whilst Lewis Baker and Taylor Harwood-Bellis will add some youthful exuberance to the side.

On current evidence, the hosts don’t look like they have enough to stop the free-scoring visitors.

Recommended Bet: Back Fulham to beat Stoke @ 21/1

Entertaining 90 minutes expected at the Liberty

Swansea 2.285/4 v Preston 3.613/5; The Draw 3.211/5

Swansea have been one of the division’s most inconsistent performers this season with Russell Martin’s men still seemingly finding their feet under the former MK Dons boss. However, they picked up a useful point against in-form Huddersfield last weekend and should take plenty of confidence from that.

They are highly likely to strengthen in January and have already been linked with a move for Austrian midfielder Hannes Wolf. With Jamie Paterson still training with the youth team and Ethan Laird having been sent on loan to Bournemouth, the Swans are still a little light on numbers. At home, they kept five clean sheets in their opening six matches, however, they’ve conceded eight times in their last three matches here and could be vulnerable against a confident Preston outfit.

The Lilywhites picked up a superb point in midweek as they battled their way to a 2-2 draw despite having Andrew Hughes sent off in the first half. Under Ryan Lowe, PNE have a renewed confidence and they’ve scored seven times in their first four matches under the Liverpudlian.

Their recent matches have been very entertaining affairs and this is likely to follow suit. This could be a hugely watchable 90 minutes in South Wales.

Recommended Bet: Back Over 2.5 Goals in Swansea vs Preston @ 2.111/10

Baggies to keep Posh at arm’s length

West Brom 1.364/11 v Peterborough 1110/1; The Draw 54/1

If you’re searching for entertainment, then the Hawthorns probably isn’t the place for you. Although their home defensive record is admirable, they have been unable to deliver in the final third and their last five matches at this venue have contained a meagre six goals in total.

Last weekend, they were unable to find a way past QPR and even with the expensive addition of Daryl Dike, they are unlikely to become prolific overnight. Overall, it’s four goals in nine matches for Valerien Ismael’s side, which is exceptionally poor for a side who have ambitions to return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Nevertheless, they do possess an excellent defensive record and having conceded just six times at this ground, Peterborough could find it difficult to break them down on Saturday afternoon. Posh have scored the fewest away goals in the division (6) and are yet to keep a clean sheet on their travels. With WBA priced at a prohibitive 1.364/11, it may be best to take the 10/11 on offer on the Sportsbook for West Brom to Win to Nil.

Recommended Bet: Back West Brom to Win to Nil @ [10/11]

Struggling duo to share the points in the West Midlands

Birmingham 1.824/5 v Barnsley 4.84/1; The Draw 3.711/4

Neither of these two sides have won any of their last six Championship outings so this is unlikely to be a classic. Birmingham will be desperate to bounce back from a recent mauling at the hands of Fulham, however, they have been able to add some reinforcements this month and their home form is relatively respectable. Brum have only lost twice here since the beginning of October and these are exactly the sort of games that they need to be winning if they wish to stay clear of the bottom three.

Barnsley have seemingly improved since the managerial switch, however, a chronic lack of goals is still holding them back. The Tykes have endured a recent bout of COVID-19 and haven’t played a competitive game since their topsy-turvy victory against Barrow in the FA Cup. Since the arrival of Poya Asbarghi, they are yet to lose a game by more than a one goal margin, and they could battle their way to a point in this one.

Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Birmingham vs Barnsley @ 3.711/4

Two free-scoring sides set to impress at the CBS Arena

Coventry 2.447/5 v QPR 3.052/1; The Draw 3.45

Coventry ended their winless run by thumping Peterborough last weekend. Although Posh can be classed as fairly weak opposition, they did have a decent home record going into that contest and Mark Robins was delighted with the way his side attacked in numbers.

Ben Sheaf was particularly impressive and is instrumental to the way the Sky Blues play. Robins’ men have won just one of their last six at this ground and they will be desperate to give the home crowd something to cheer on Saturday afternoon. They’ve only failed to score twice here, and although both of those blanks have occurred relatively recently, they should be buoyed by their four goal haul seven days ago.

Only Fulham have scored more away goals than their near-neighbours QPR so far this season and Mark Warburton’s men come into this game having won four of their last five matches on the road. Although they’ve scored in every single away match so far this season, they’ve managed to keep just a single clean sheet since mid-August.

Without the services of key players such as Ilias Chair, QPR are relying heavily on the creativity of Chris Willock, however, the former Benfica B playmaker is in exceptional form and could conjure up yet another moment of magic here.

Recommended Bet: Back BTTS in Coventry vs QPR @ 1.824/5

Another entertaining encounter expected at the Vitality

Bournemouth 1.618/13 v Hull 6.411/2; The Draw 4.1

Bournemouth fans will have been disappointed to see their side switch off in injury time last weekend and drop crucial points against Luton at Kenilworth Road. Although they will be delighted to be back at the Vitality on Saturday afternoon, this will be far from an easy assignment for the promotion-hunting Cherries.

Admittedly, Scott Parker’s men have been in decent form at this ground, however, they have conceded four times in their last three home fixtures and have looked a little susceptible at the back. At the other end of the field, they’ve looked relatively efficient, and their recent matches on home turf have been thoroughly entertaining affairs. Only one of their 12 matches here has featured fewer than three goals and this could easily go the same way.

Hull, buoyed by their recent takeover, ended Blackburn’s impressive run on Wednesday night and they will take plenty of confidence into this tie. Having also given Everton a scare in the FA Cup, they aren’t scared to attack and have notched in four of their last five away trips.

Recommended Bet: Back Over 2.5 Goals in Bournemouth vs Hull @ 1.9520/21

Seasiders and Lions to claim a point each

Blackpool 2.56/4 v Millwall 3.211/5; The Draw 3.3512/5

Blackpool haven’t played a Championship match since beating Hull 1-0 on New Year’s Day and this has probably given Neil Critchley some much-needed time on the training ground. Shooting practice is likely to be on the agenda following the wastefulness on display against Hartlepool in the FA Cup a fortnight ago. The hosts don’t have a particularly strong record in Lancashire this season, however, they have won two of their last three and have managed to add Jake Beesley and Owen Dale on permanent deals this month.

It’s been a poor start to 2022 for Millwall, who blew a 2-1 lead against Bristol City, crashed out of the FA Cup to near-neighbours Crystal Palace and conceded a last-gasp goal to Nottingham Forest seven days ago. There is a feeling of negativity towards Gary Rowett, with many fans questioning his conservative tactics in recent weeks. With Matt Smith having left for Salford this week, there are likely to be new additions arriving in Bermondsey this month, however, they appear to lack the cutting edge to leave the Fylde Coast with all three points.

Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Blackpool vs Millwall @ 3.3512/5

Hatters to leave South Yorkshire with at least a point

Sheffield United 1.9520/21 v Luton 4.57/2; The Draw 3.55

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom was livid with his side’s second half performance in midweek as the Blades sacrificed a two-goal advantage to 10-man Preston at Deepdale. Following the inevitable honeymoon period, the former Barnsley boss is faced with a tough task of galvanising his squad and having failed to collect maximum points in either of their last two outings, their top six hopes are hanging by a thread.

Luton were victorious in midweek, although they rarely had to move out of second gear to beat hapless Reading. The Hatters have now won back-to-back games for the first time this season and have collected ten points from a possible 12. Nathan Jones’ side tend to travel strongly and they have lost just four times on the road this season with three of those defeats coming against top six opposition. The visitors should be confident enough to take something back to Bedfordshire this weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back Luton Draw No Bet (vs Sheffield United) @ [2/1]

Terriers to heap yet more misery on struggling Royals

Reading 3.052/1 v Huddersfield 2.486/4; The Draw 3.55/2

Reading are heading in the wrong direction. A number of their fans are already resigned to their side’s fate and although they remain just a point from safety, their recent performances have been devoid of quality. Although Vejlko Paunovic remains in charge at the time of writing, it’s hard to imagine the Serbian being able to turn things around at the Madejski. They are without a home victory since mid-October and have conceded 2+ goals in five of their last eight at this venue.

Huddersfield will have been disappointed to have dropped points against Swansea last weekend, however, they should find this contest far simpler. With a 4-5-5 record on their travels, the Terriers are perfectly capable of producing performances away from West Yorkshire and they come into this four unbeaten on the road.

They’ve conceded just four times in their last five away matches and with mis-firing Reading unlikely to give them too many headaches, they should be able to extend their impressive unbeaten sequence.

Recommended Bet: Back Huddersfield to beat Reading @ 2.486/4

You can follow Jack Critchley on Twitter @jcritch7

Author: wpadmin

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