Wolverhampton Wanderers became the first team to prevent Manchester City scoring this season in their 0-0 draw at the Etihad in midweek. The Citizens eventually went on to win on penalties, but Wolves came away with their growing reputation intact after an excellent defensive performance.
Backing a side to win after playing extra-time in midweek is not often a recipe for success, but Wolves are flying at the top of the Championship and are worth backing to get the better of QPR on Saturday. Rangers are treading water in the lower reaches of the second tier under charismatic manager Ian Holloway, without a win in seven league matches. Home form has been better than away form for the Hoops, but they lost their last Loftus Road fixture to Fulham. Wolves have won 9 of their 13 Championship fixtures, including wins in the last two against top eight sides Villa and Preston.
Cardiff are only two points behind Wolves as the two teams make their unlikely cases for promotion, and the Bluebirds should be signing again on Saturday night after a home fixture against Millwall. The Lions only returned to the Championship this season but they’re doing their best to stay in the second tier. They currently sit 15th in the table and a precious six points clear of the drop zone. However, the London club are yet to win on their travels (drawn 3, lost 3) and they play a Cardiff side unbeaten this season on home soil. Neil Warnock’s men secured an impressive 1-0 away win at Middlesbrough over the weekend and can justify favouritism in front of their own fans on Saturday.
The televised evening kick-off sees Hull entertain Nottingham Forest and it catches the eye as one of the games which could be primed for goals. These two are among the top scoring and conceding sides in the division, and both are looking for points to elevate them from the mid-table mix.
QPR v Wolves
First up we’re backing Wolves to maintain this incredible start by taking three points from QPR at odds of 5/42.25+1251.251.25-0.80 with BetVictor.
Wolves might have played 120 minutes and lost on Tuesday evening, but they should have come away with heads held high and renewed vigour to earn promotion. That they held their own against a multi-million-pound team and stopped Sergio Aguero breaking City’s scoring record, speaks volumes about the progress the club has made under head coach Nuno. They beat preseason favourites for the title, Aston Villa, 2-0 at Molineux two weeks back, and were fully deserving of the points after outplaying their Midlands rivals.
By contrast, it’s been several weeks in the doldrums for QPR since their 2-1 victory over Ipswich back in early September. They’ve since gone seven league games without a victory and during that time only faced one side in the top half of the table. They’ve been held to draws in the last two matches, against bottom three clubs Sunderland and Bolton, and if Wolves play to form they should have the measure of a limited QPR side.
Cardiff have won four and drawn two of their six home matches this season, and that includes wins over Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Leeds – all sides in the top current top six. They beat a good yardstick in Middlesbrough last weekend, and continue to justify their position in the top two automatic promotion slots.
Millwall have responded well to the challenges of the Championship since promotion back to the second tier, and look well-poised to survive this term. However, it is notable that all of their wins so far have been on home ground in the intimidating atmosphere of the Den. On home results alone the Lions would be in the top six of the table, but away form figures would see them only marginally above the bottom three. They’ve only scored twice on their travels – both in a 2-2 draw at QPR – drawing blanks in every other defeat or 0-0 draw. If Cardiff can score, Millwall will find it hard to peg them back.
Hull v Nottingham Forest
Forest let us down last week with the over 2.5 goals bet, winning 2-0 at home to Burton. We’re giving them the chance to make amends this week when they visit Hull. Odds of 13/201.65-1540.65-1.540.65 are available with 888Sport about these two combining for over 2.5 goals in front of the TV cameras.
Hull’s goals record of 24:20 and Forest’s goals record of 17:21, makes them the two teams which have conceded most in the division outside of the bottom four clubs. However, unlike those four at the foot of the table, Hull and Forest also have goal-scoring records which rank among the highest in the division.
Clean sheets are a rarity for both teams – only one each in the last seven games – and both teams to score regularly lands when either side plays.
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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