We like to pick up winners in the Championship to flesh out the weekend accumulators, and we’ve got another three great bets to come on Saturday. Making the headlines this week is Aston Villa, a side which was among the favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League this season.
This is Villa’s second season in the second tier and manager Steve Bruce is under no illusions of his target this term. The Midlands club have invested heavily in the playing staff, bringing in John Terry and Robert Snodgrass among others, and anything less than promotion will be seen as a disappointment. The Villains are up to 5th place in the table – eleven points off leaders Wolves, but only seven behind 2nd placed Cardiff.
Another side in and around the hunt for the play offs is Ipswich, whose 4-2 home win over Forest last week saw them climb to 7th. Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys take the long trip up to Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon, but they can be fancied to come home with something for their efforts. They’ve only lost once in the last six games and won their latest away match 1-0 at Derby. Boro were also early favourites for promotion but are currently off the pace in 9th position. They’ve lost three of the last four games, including a 3-0 beating at home to Derby.
Our final tip features two sides known for goals – Nottingham Forest and Bolton. There have been 14 goals scored in Bolton’s last three games and results have been positive enough to see them climb out of the bottom three. Forest had a lean spell for a few matches, but normal service was resumed with that 4-2 defeat at Ipswich.
Aston Villa v Millwall
Villa are a decent price for a home win on Saturday at odds of 4/51.80-1250.80-1.250.80 with BetVictor.
Millwall are putting up a good fight in their first season back in the Championship after promotion, and are six points clear of the drop zone. They’ve had some good results at home, but are yet to win on the road – it’s five draws and five defeats from ten away games. It’s unlikely that they will break the away duck at one of the division’s strongest home teams.
Villa have won five of the last six in front of their own fans, and have an overall record of 6-3-1 from ten matches on home soil. They’d also won three in a row prior to last week’s 1-1 draw at Leeds, and Bruce’s side are closing in on the top two automatic promotion spots. This is a ‘must-win’ game for a genuine title-contender and if Villa are to push for honours, they need to beat lower-half teams on home ground.
Middlesbrough v Ipswich
Middlesbrough have underperformed this season, taking into account the amount of money spent on players. They are below Saturday’s rivals in the league table and Ipswich look a fair bet at 6/52.20+1201.201.20-0.83 with BetVictor to come away with either a win or a draw.
Boro have lost three of the last four games – away at Leeds and Bristol City, and at home to Derby. Their only win in those four was at home to a poor Birmingham side. Looking further back we discover that Boro have only managed to win two of the last six at home, and they face a decent away side here in good form.
Ipswich have had their ups and downs this season, but they are back in the ascendancy after wins at Derby and at home to Forest. Their away record isn’t amazing – from ten games on the road they have a record of 4-1-5 – but they have avoided defeat in three of the last five road games, and can do the same at Middlesbrough.
Nottingham Forest v Bolton
Finally, it’s over 2.5 goals when Forest meet Bolton, at odds of 77/1001.77-1300.77-1.300.77 with Jetbull.
Both sides have had a habit of featuring in high-scoring games this term, and another one beckons on Saturday. Both teams are among the worst defensive sides in the division – Forest have conceded 33, Bolton have let in 37. Both are also dangerous at the other end though, Forest scoring 28 already, and Bolton 19.
Most of the Trotters’ goals have come in their recent purple patch where they’ve lost just once in nine games and moved away from the bottom place they occupied for so long. Last week’s 3-1 win over Barnsley will have brought a good deal of confidence and they can go into this one with the aim of getting a result.
Forest are still the only side in the Championship yet to draw a game – arguably a result of their gung-ho approach. Of their 20 games this season in the league, nine have been won and eleven have been lost. Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Ipswich was a typical example of a Forest fixture, and we could see plenty of goals this weekend when Bolton come to town.
Aston Villa to beat Millwall
Saturday 9th December, 15:00 GMT
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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