We hit a couple of great results in the Championship last weekend with Brighton beating Birmingham at home, and Middlesbrough grabbing three points away at Huddersfield. The only side to let us down was Burnley, who were held at Cardiff, but we’re prepared to give them another chance this week as they face Preston in a fierce Lancashire derby.
Brighton moved clear at the top of the table, with veteran striker Bobby Zamora on target again as they got the better of Birmingham 2-1. They’re at home again this weekend to lowly Charlton although the odds look plenty short enough to us. Middlesbrough and Derby are just two points back but they both face tough away games this week at Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
Hull come next in 4th, and they’ll be keen to get back to winning ways after suffering a home defeat at the hands of Derby last weekend, with a good opportunity away at struggling Leeds. We’re also dipping into a mid-table clash between a resurgent Nottingham Forest and a managerless Fulham, with the home side fancied to come out on top.
Burnley v Preston
Burnley are odds against again for a home match, and the 11/102.10+1101.101.10-0.91 on offer with BetVictor and Coral is more than reasonable for the visit of Preston.
This will be a full-blooded derby match as East and West Lancashire come together, but Burnley have almost twice as many points as Preston already, and there is a gulf in class between the sides. Sean Dyche’s men are attempting to get straight back up to the Premier League after last year’s relegation, and the 34 points they’ve gained have put them in 5th place just 4 points behind Brighton at the top. They’ve drawn their last three games but it should be noted that two of those were away and the other was at home to the league leaders. They’re also unbeaten in the last nine games, and the home record still reads well with six wins in the last eight at Turf Moor.
Preston have made themselves hard to beat as they try to survive in this year’s Championship after promotion last term, as just two defeats in ten shows; however, they’ve also drawn six of those games and points have been hard to come by. They’ve gathered 18 so far this season which has put them in 18th place – just 3 points above the relegation zone. They’ll have a good chance of staying up if they can get points from the teams around them, but this is a tough place to go and they’ve lost on their last three visits.
Leeds v Hull
Next up it’s Hull who ought to be too good for Leeds at 6/52.20+1201.201.20-0.83 with Skybet and BetVictor
The Whites have been in dire form at Elland Road just lately, losing five of the last six in front of their long suffering fans, with only the 1-0 win against Cardiff giving them anything to shout about. They’re 17th in the table with 19 points, and it’s going to be another long old season for Steve Evans and his men. He’s only seen his team score twice in the last six games at home, so it’s easy to see where the problem lies.
Hull, like Burnley, are well-poised for a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, sitting in 4th place just 3 points off the top. They were on a run of five straight victories before a 1-1 draw at Bristol City and a surprise 2-0 home defeat to in-form Derby. Steve Bruce made seven changes to his line up for the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup in midweek, with the likes of Hernandez, Huddlestone and Diame all on the bench. That makes it clear where the Tigers priorities lie this season, and they will be fired up to get back to winning ways at toothless Leeds.
In the league it’s been four wins from six on the road for Hull, and with their better players restored to the starting line up after being rested midweek, they’ll take all the beating.
Nottingham Forest v Fulham
Finally we’re siding with Nottingham Forest at 21/202.05+1051.051.05-0.95 with Betfred, BetVictor and Totesport to beat Fulham at the City Ground.
Forest have had a resurgence of form over the last couple of weeks, and it was badly needed. They’ve beaten Derby 1-0 and Reading 3-1 in their last two home games, despite a 2-1 away loss at Brentford in-between. That’s given them a little breathing space in 16th with 20 points, and manager Dougie Freedman believes they are starting to get the results they deserve. They’d been on a dreadful run previously and the turnaround couldn’t have come at a better time.
Fulham, however, could be about to embark on a poor run of their own, and at the time of writing they are still looking for a manger to take the hotseat vacated by Kit Symons. The West London club tried to tempt Steve Clarke away from Reading, but after talks, the former Chelsea man committed his future to the Royals. That says plenty about the attraction of the job, and Fulham have now turned attention to former Brentford boss Mark Warburton, who is currently plying his trade North of the border with Rangers.
The Cottagers have failed to win any of their last four games, with two draws and two defeats, and they sit in 13th place with 22 points – three places and two points above Forest. The home side won this fixture 5-3 last season, and although we may not see such a goalfest, they look good value to leapfrog their opponents with a win.
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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