Aston Villa came up short last weekend when they took on Midlands rivals Wolves, going down 2-0 to the early Championship leaders. That brought to an end a run of four straight league victories, but Steve Bruce’s side are well-poised in 7th place to continue their recent resurgence.
The Villains are back on home ground on Saturday for the visit of Fulham, and the bookmakers are offering decent prices about them regaining the winning thread. Another second-tier side which is putting together a good run of home form is Derby County, and they play host to a Sheffield Wednesday side on Saturday which has struggled for recent results.
The Owls went down 2-1 at Bolton last weekend as the Trotters ended their eight-game losing run, and that made it three defeats in four for the Sheffield club. The two sides are level on points in 12th and 13th in the Championship table, but County have the better recent form to go with their home advantage. Once again the bookmakers are offering generous odds on the home win.
Nottingham Forest have been a port of call on numerous occasions this season due to their propensity to feature in high-scoring games. Forest welcome Burton Albion this weekend, and it’s a match that looks destined for goals. This fixture produced a 4-3 thriller last season and anything approaching that sort of game should reward over 2.5 goal punters on Saturday.
Aston Villa v Fulham
Villa are first at a decent price of 27/202.35+1351.351.35-0.74 with Bet365 to get back to winning ways against Fulham.
One of Steve Bruce’s biggest challenges, when he took over at Villa, was to sort out their away form. After dropping out of the Premier League two seasons ago the Villains have been largely poor on the road, but the experienced manager has seen an upturn in away form this season. What has always been good is the home form, where Villa can still draw big crowds. They’re unbeaten at Villa Park so far this season after three wins and three draws, and they’ve won the last two against Bolton and Nottingham Forest.
Fulham are not scaling the heights of last season where they went into the play-offs as favourites to win promotion, and inconsistency has been the main issue. They were held to a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage last week by Preston, and overall, have drawn six of their 12 league fixtures so far. They’ve scored some great away wins, such as the recent victories at QPR and Nottingham Forest, but were also beaten 2-1 away at Burton – evidence of the Cottager’s ability to throw in the odd poor performance.
Derby v Sheffield Wednesday
Derby also have a good recent home record and are taken to extend it by beating Sheffield Wednesday at 129/1002.29+1291.291.29-0.78 with Bet365.
The Rams have been listed among the favourites for promotion for each of the last three or four seasons, but have never quite lived up to the reputation. They’re 13th in the table at the moment, four points off the play-offs, and are in a large group of clubs that make up the chasing pack.
There have been signs recently of an upturn in fortunes though, and they’re now unbeaten in four Championship games. Draws at both Cardiff and Brentford read well in light of the form of those two clubs, and they beat local rivals Notts Forest 2-0 last time out. That was their third win in four matches on home soil, after a 5-0 thrashing of Hull and a 1-0 win over Preston.
Sheffield Wednesday were beaten play-off finalist two seasons ago and lost out in the semi-final to Huddersfield last term. This season started fairly well but they’ve lost three of the last four games, including a humiliating 4-2 home defeat to bitter rivals Sheffield United. Their only away win came at Fulham and they’ve already lost on the road to Bolton, Birmingham and Preston this season.
Nottingham Forest v Burton
Finally Forest and Burton can combine for over 2.5 goals at 4/51.80-1250.80-1.250.80 with 888Sport.
Notts Forest have lost seven of the last nine games in all competitions and have conceded 19 goals in those defeats. They have the worst defensive record outside of the bottom three clubs but are among the highest scorers in the division too. Five of their last six games have had at least three goals.
Burton are five points and eight places behind Forest, so the home side may well see this as an opportunity to follow up their 2-1 win over Sheffield United in their last home outing. Albion are desperate for their own points though, because they are in the bottom three despite last week’s creditable draw at Bristol City. Nigel Clough’s side have always been punching above their weight at this level and it is a credit to the squad that they survived last season. A repeat of that will be the aim this term, and Forest were one of the sides they beat last season. Four of Burton’s last seven games have gone over the 2.5 goal line, and the same result is expected on Saturday.
Aston Villa to beat Fulham
Saturday 21st October, 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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