As ever the Championship is the division where ‘anyone can beat anyone’, but one side which is starting to buck that trend this season is Wolves. The Midlands club have pulled four points clear at the top of the table and we a nearing the halfway stage of the campaign.
Wanderers are strongly fancied to beat Bolton on home soil this weekend but as the odds are too short, they are passed over in favour of one of the chasing pack. Aston Villa have moved up to fourth in the table after a run of seven wins in ten games. The Villains have arguably the best squad in the Championship – on paper, at least – and Steve Bruce will be eyeing up one of the two automatic promotion slots. This Saturday they are at home to Ipswich, who are having a decent season themselves and reside in 9th place, just outside the play offs places.
Sheffield United are four points ahead of Aston Villa and are still holding their own in the top three against all odds. The Blades were only promoted last season but they are enjoying a stunning first year back in the Championship and can take care of Birmingham on home ground in front of the TV cameras on Saturday evening.
In a difficult round of fixtures, our third bet is on the game between Hull and Bristol City. The two teams are at opposite ends of the table but one thing they have in common is a tendency to score and concede plenty of goals.
Aston Villa v Ipswich
Villa are a good bet at -143 with BetVictor to secure a 6th win in ten home games when Ipswich come to visit on Saturday.
Steve Bruce appears to have hit on a winning formula in the Midlands and watched his side beat Sunderland 2-1 during the week. That was their fourth win in five home games, after victories against Fulham, Bolton and Nottingham Forest. They remain nine points behind Wolves at the top but only five behind Cardiff in second.
Ipswich are a solid Championship side, and while they may not compete for promotion this term, they are in little danger of going the other way. However, just three wins in the last fourteen games does not read well in the context of this match. The Tractor Boys have lost five of the last seven on the road too, and another defeat is on the cards against a strong Villa team.
Sheffield United v Birmingham
Sheffield United can maintain their rollercoaster ride this term with another win at the expense of Birmingham. Odds of -154 with BetVictor about a Blades victory look fair value.
Sheffield United took part in a crazy 4-5 loss to Fulham at home on Tuesday evening but that was only their second defeat on home soil all season. They’ve won the other seven of nine home fixtures and are facing a Birmingham side which is still struggling at the foot of the table.
The Blues have won just two of their last eight games – both 1-0 home victories against Cardiff and Notts Forest. They have the outright worst away record in the division with one draw and eight defeats from nine road trips. It seems unlikely that will change this weekend and Sheffield United will be eager to put on a show for TV viewers.
Hull v Bristol City
Finally, Hull and Bristol City can combine for over 2.5 goals at -123 with 888Sport.
Both of these teams are among the top-scoring sides in the league but perhaps the reason they are at different ends of the table is their defensive records. City find themselves in 5th place while Hull are way back in 20th.
The Tigers have let in 32 goals compared to 30 scored and that is at the root of their problems. They recorded an uncharacteristic 0-0 draw away at Millwall in midweek, but their previous four games had all exceeded the 2.5 goal line.
Bristol City lost 2-1 to Preston in their midweek fixture – the fifth game in seven which had gone over 2.5 goals for the Robins. Both sides could come away with the points in an open game and the match is fancied to feature plenty of goals.
Aston Villa to beat Ipswich
Saturday 25th November, 15:00 GMT
Sheffield United to beat Birmingham
Saturday 25th November, 17:30 GMT
Hull v Bristol City – Over 2.5 Goals
Saturday 25th November, 15:00 GMT