Burnley are absolutely flying at the top of the Championship and they landed the odds for us again in midweek with a come-from-behind win at Fulham. They’ve now opened up a four point gap at the top of the table, and with a further two points to 3rd placed Brighton, promotion is well on the cards for the Clarets. They’ve won five games on the bounce and with Andre Gray banging in the goals, they are this Saturday’s top selection when they visit lowly Huddersfield.
Meanwhile, canny old manager Neil Warnock has initiated something of a revival at Rotherham, where three wins on the spin have put them just a point from safety having looked dead and buried a few weeks ago. They host a dithering Derby County this weekend, and there’s every reason to believe they can get something from the game. We’re also going with the tried and tested method of backing any game involving Fulham featuring more than 2.5 goals – a bet that has been a real money-spinner for us this season. They take on Bristol City in a game that will see two of the worst defences in the division go head-to-head, and goals are surely on the menu.
Huddersfield v Burnley
Let’s start with Burnley though, who look a shade overpriced at +160 with BetVictor.
The Clarets were relegated from the Premier League last season, and despite losing the likes of Danny Ings to Liverpool and Kieran Trippier to Spurs, they kept the majority of the squad intact. The summer signing of Andre Gray from Brentford has paid dividends, with the prolific striker already notching 20 goals this season, including four in his last three games. They’ve won five of the last seven away games in the Championship, drawing the other two at Reading and Sheffield Wednesday, and they are expected to continue that run when they pay a visit to Huddersfield.
The Terriers lie 18th in the table with 42 points, and although they’re only seven points above the drop zone one would expect them to survive this season. Beyond that there is little left to play for. They secured a valuable 3-1 win at home against Reading in midweek, but it would be fair to say the Royals had more than one eye on Friday night’s FA Cup quarter final with Crystal Palace, and Burnley have no such distractions. They’ve won two and lost two of the last four home games with the defeats coming against Cardiff and Ipswich, and they’ll be facing the division’s in-form side here.
Fulham v Bristol City
Fulham have been a staple of this column over the course of the season and they rarely fail to let us down in the goal markets. Over 2.5 goals at -106 with Marathonbet looks like one of the bets of the weekend when they take on a leaky Bristol City.
You could even go as far as calling this a relegation six-pointer as both teams are locked together on 37 points, just two points above the bottom three. Draws are no real use to sides in that kind of position and it’s to be expected that both clubs will go looking for three points – creating the kind of game that will be wide open.
Fulham are one of the division’s top scorers with 55 goals, but they also have one of the worst defences having conceded a massive 61. Bristol City haven’t fared much better at the back, and they’ve seen 57 goals knocked past them throughout the season. Nonetheless, City have had a decent enough run of form lately with five wins from the last ten leading them out of the drop zone, and they are by no means the dead certs for relegation that they looked earlier in the campaign. However, they’ve lost the last twice to Wolves and Cardiff, and consistency is far from being a strong point.
The Cottagers can barely buy a win at the moment, and true to form they let a 2-1 lead slip during midweek at home as they went down 3-2 to Burnley. Three of their last five games have had three or more goals, as have three of Bristol City’s last five, and the last time these two met in October’s reverse fixture Fulham ran out 4-1 winners. Everything points to goals here.
Rotherham v Derby
Finally we’ll take a chance on the Rotherham or draw double chance which looks appealing at -118 with Bet365
The Millers only appointed Neil Warnock on a temporary contract on the 11th of February, but he’s already turned the club around in a short space of time. Former boss Neil Redfearn was given his marching orders after a run of eight defeats in twelve matches, but since Warnock took the reins it’s three wins in six. More importantly those three wins have come in the last three games against Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough, and the club should be brimming with confidence after finding it’s way to within one point of safety. They have something to fight for now, and that is exactly the sort of situation in which a manager like Warnock thrives.
Derby made the shock decision to sack Paul Clement in early February despite being in a healthy position near the top of the league. It hasn’t exactly back-fired as the Rams are still in the play-off positions, but new Head Coach Darren Wassall noted after the 2-0 defeat at QPR that his side have won three and lost three in his charge, and consistency is not a strong point. Rotherham has always been a particularly tough place to go, and it would be no huge surprise if Derby don’t win this game.
Despite their lowly position, Rotherham have won six of the last ten at home, while Derby have only managed three wins in the last ten on the road.
Burnley to beat Huddersfield
Saturday 12th March, 15:00 GMT
Fulham v Bristol City Over 2.5 Goals
Saturday 12th March. 15:00 GMT
Rotherham or Draw v Derby
Saturday 12th March, 15:00 GMT