The Skybet Championship returns this weekend with another roster of games and the usual betting opportunities. The team that catch the eye this week is Derby County, who have had a middling start under new boss Paul Clement, with four draws from four games. They’ve played with good style in those games though, and Clement has vowed to continue with his brand of ‘attractive’ football. The Rams look a decent bet to grab their first win when they welcome Leeds to the iPro Stadium, and we’ve also got a couple of other outside bets at exceptional prices.
Derby v Leeds
Had this fixture had taken place last season when Derby were at the top of their game, they would have been a much shorter price and they layers are taking them on here. That’s a reasonable decision based on County’s four draws this season, but they’ve been pleasing on the eye and have so much quality that a first win can’t be far away.
Paul Clement came with an excellent reputation, having served as a coach at Chelsea, PSG, and Real Madrid, and he has already shown his commitment to his players by saying they are good enough to play his possession-based style of football. The draws this term have come away at Bolton and Birmingham, and at home to Charlton and Middlesbrough. Derby striker Chris Martin is just one goal away from the milestone of 50 goals for the club, but insists that getting their first victory will mean more than hitting the back of the net this weekend.
For Leeds it’s been a remarkably similar story, and they’ve also drawn their first four games of the Championship season – against Burnley, Reading, Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday. The news that actor Russell Crowe doesn’t want to buy the club will have been a disappointment for fans, and they’ll be preparing for another tough season. The Elland Road team have been shorn of quality over the last few years with several players leaving the club, and they’ve been beaten on their last seven consecutive visits to Derby.
Huddersfield v QPR
We tipped QPR to win at home last weekend, and they did the business with a 4-2 victory over Rotherham. They are a huge price to grab another away win for the season when they visit Huddersfield, and are worth a punt to continue their good start.
BetVictor offer +190 on a Ranger’s victory, which is too good to miss.
The Loftus Road club were meekly relegated from the Premier League last season, where their away troubles were well documented, but the Championship is a different level. They’ve already beaten Wolves (league) and Yeovil (cup) on their travels this term, and have nothing to fear when they visit the John Smith’s stadium. The longer Charlie Austin stays at QPR the more hopeful fans will be that they can retain his services for the year, and he’s already bagged four goals this season. Ranger’s have also drawn against Cardiff, with the opening day defeat to Charlton the only blot on their copy book. They currently sit in 6th position with 7 points, and are well-placed for a promotion push.
Huddersfield find themselves in 20th place in the early league table, after three draws with Blackburn, Brighton and Fulham, and one defeat to Hull. QPR recently signed goalkeeper Alex Smithies from Huddersfield, and that’s an indication of the size of the two clubs. Chris Powell is an experienced football league manager, but he’ll need every ounce of his ability to help keep his small squad in the division, and they’ll find it tough against the likes of Austin and Phillips on Saturday. QPR are never a team to trust completely, but they have scored 9 goals this season compared to Huddersfield’s 3, and could well have too much firepower for the Terriers this weekend.
Wolves v Charlton
Another bet at decent odds that catches the eye is a draw between high-flying Charlton and Wolves when they meet at Molineux. The Addicks have had a fine start, including victories over QPR and Hull at home, and away draws at Derby and Nottingham Forest. They are worth backing to continue the unbeaten run, but Wolves are a tough proposition at home, and this looks like a very tight match.
Their good start may have been a surprise to some, but Charlton have signed plenty of players under Guy Luzon and are currently considering a move for former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant. If he can recapture his form of old he could be an astute addition to an already good team. They’re third in the table after what looked like a particularly tough first few fixtures. They faced two relegated teams in QPR and Hull and beat them both, while Derby and Forest are hard places to go and get a point. They have the ability to take another away point from Wolves.
Wanderers were only promoted the season before last, but had a great time of it last year, just falling short of the play-offs. They were fancied to continue the progress by many this season, but the second year at a new level is always difficult. They opened with a good away win at Blackburn, but had to fight back to get a point at home against Hull. They’ve gone on to lose the last two – at home to QPR and away to Cardiff – and with Norwich repeatedly bidding for striker Afobe, there could be plenty to distract Wolves’ star striker. A hard-fought draw is the call for this one, at a decent price.
Derby to beat Leeds
Saturday 29th August, 12:05 GMT
QPR to beat Huddersfield
Saturday 29th August, 15:00 GMT
Wolves and Charlton to Draw
Saturday 29th August, 15:00 GMT
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