The Daily Acca: A 12/1 Championship treble

There might not be any Premier League football on this weekend, but there is plenty of Championship action to get stuck into, and Paul Robinson has picked out a 12/1 Daily Acca. Here are his selections:

Hard to beat Sky Blues to earn a point

Bet 1: Back The Draw in Middlesbrough v Coventry @ 23/10 – KO 15:00 GMT

Middlesbrough’s four match winning run and eight game unbeaten streak came to an end at Blackburn during the week, but Chris Wilder will still be delighted with the position they find themselves in given where they were when he took over.

They face a tough battle at the Riverside this weekend though, as they welcome a very hard to beat Coventry to Teeside.

Only five teams have lost fewer matches than the Sky Blues this term, and they made it three wins from four in all competitions by beating Stoke on Tuesday.

Given that the hosts have only been winning their games by a single goal in the main, and that Mark Robins’ men are unbeaten in five on the road, the draw has to be the way to go.

Ryan Lowe’s men to extend their BTTS run

Bet 2: Back BTTS in Preston v Bristol City @ 9/10 – KO 15:00 GMT

Preston head into the weekend on the back of a fantastic 2-0 victory at the Hawthorns on Wednesday, and while they will fancy their chances of beating the Robins, the safest bet is both teams to score.

The hosts are currently on a run of five to see goals at both ends at Deepdale, and 10 of their 13 there this term have seen BTTS backers collect.

Bristol City have a dreadful away record, taking just one point from a possible 21 of late, but they scored at least once in four of their last five on their travels – including two at Fulham, Hull and Coventry. They are yet to keep a clean sheet away from home this season, however.

Another goal-fest for Fulham

Bet 3: Back BTTS in Fulham v Blackpool @ 9/10 – KO 15:00 GMT

There is no stopping Fulham at present as they continue to score goals for fun. Clean sheets have been a rarity though, and the Seasiders should at least be able to take a goal back up north.

Since a run of five clean sheets between October and November, Marco Silva’s side have played 10 times, and their opponents have found the net in eight of them. The last four visitors to Craven Cottage have all managed to score.

The Seasiders have won their last two in the Championship, which has stabilised them after a bad run of results.

As far as the goals go, in 14 away games this term, only Birmingham and Derby have stopped them from scoring, and given those two recent wins, they will be full of confidence.

Source: Betfair UK English Championship

    

Dimitar Berbatov: Lingard and Van de Beek should follow Martial out of Old Trafford

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Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov says Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek should leave United before the transfer window closes and praises his old team-mate Wayne Rooney…

Rashford returns to form

It’s normal in football to go through a bad patch. You don’t score, you feel bad and people criticise you…but you know that all of a sudden you can turn things around, start scoring and playing well again.

Of course, the two goals Rashford has just scored will be good for his confidence, but I think overall, when you’re a good player you always know that you are a good player and sometimes your game suffers and you have bad performances. That’s a given, everybody goes through that.

For Rashford, it’s about how how fast he can get out of that that moment where you aren’t scoring. Fortunately, everybody connected with United will be happy that he’s back to scoring and looking like he’s enjoying himself again. You can see that when he scored that last winner and how much emotion he put into the celebration. It was great to see him score again.

I saw him post a picture of the goal and he captioned it Fergie Time. It is a great feeling to score a last-gasp winner. I mean every goal is a good goal, but if it’s in the last minute and you win the game, that’s something special that gives you even more of an ego boost. It doesn’t matter what kind of goal you score. A tap in or a screamer.

When it’s a last minute goal, it’s an unbelievable feeling, you can see by the emotion of the face and the body language when you score, how much it means to everybody, not only Rashford but everybody and these are the moments that make football even more magical.

It’s good for him that he’s getting back to his normal self and the positive way of playing and scoring. Obviously, it’s good for the whole team too, but even if you have someone who is going through a bad period, which is normal, that’s why you have your teammates around you, that’s why it’s a team, that’s why someone else will step up. That’s why you may have to sit on the bench until you get your form back.

This is normal in football and it’s great for everybody in the team to have one of their best strikers back in form, but don’t forget it’s a team sport. If someone is not performing well then it’s the job for someone else to step up and United are in a great position to attack the top places. Even if they keep winning by one goal, it doesn’t matter how you just get the points.

Donny van de Beek must move

Any move that gives Donny van de Beek the opportunity to play is a good move for him. It’s not working out for the Dutchman at United and it doesn’t matter who the manager is, he’s constantly on the bench, and not playing enough minutes to get into shape and form.

It’s best for him to follow Anthony Martial and leave to club to go and play elsewhere.

He never established himself as a first choice player, which is a shame because he produced great performances for Ajax. He should go on a permanent move and try to get back into the form that he was in before.

A loan move to Crystal Palace is an option and if it happens I welcome it because as I said he’s not going to play as a starter at United so he needs to go somewhere where he will be appreciated more.

If he does go to Crystal Palace he will be managed by a Premier League great in Patrick Vieira, but it’s down to Van de Beek to get back into form and up to a level that he was at before he moved to United. It’s unfortunate and this is what happens when you panic buy players. It’s not good for anybody, you spend a lot of money then the players don’t play.

It’s not easy being in his position but I don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a good enough player to rediscover his form. He has the quality, he has the eye, he’s in the middle of the park and he can read the game really well. His adaptation to the team wasn’t good, in a way he was never there because he’s not the first pick in the middle of the park.

He needs a consistent run of games so he can show what he can do, not coming on for 10 or 15 minutes as a substitute. If he gets time at Palace he could be an important player for them.

Martial needed to leave

First and foremost I’m sad to see Anthony Martial leave United, but in a way I’m happy for him because he needed to go and he needs to play more minutes. Hopefully he will get that with Sevilla and he can show his full arsenal of quality in the Spanish league.

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So we’ll see if the move is going to work for him and give him that smile back, knowing that he’s going to play every minute. He’s 26, not even at his peak yet. It’s a massive opportunity for him to get his career back on track, at a team that are challenging for the La Liga title.

Time for Lingard to move on

Jesse Lingard also needs to go and find more game time. I was surprised that he didn’t stay at West Ham and they didn’t find a solution because he did so well there and I don’t know why he’s choosing to stay United if he he’s not going play.

If United aren’t going to play him then I don’t understand why there are any problems with him leaving the club. Obviously, when you are from the academy and have spent much of your life at United, it’s difficult to let go and start a new chapter but I don’t think he should be afraid because, as he showed with West Ham, he can do it.

He’s still under 30, so he has enough time to to play and enjoy football but just sitting on the bench at United, it’s obvious he isn’t going play, I cannot accept that.

If he wants to go to the World Cup with England, he needs to find a solution quckly. Sometimes it’s easier said than done because I’ve been in the same situation. But he has to find a solution for his own good.

Dele Alli is waiting for a big club

I’m not surprised to see Dele Alli linked with a move away from Tottenham, it’s been a downhill for him in recent seasons. It started with Jose Mourinho and now it’s continued with Antonio Conte. So there must be reasons if two of the best coaches in the world are not playing you.

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If he wants to be part of the national team then he needs to play. Sometimes it’s difficult to change the environment when you spend so many years in one club. But that is the risk you need to take sometimes and get out of your comfort zone and find some other places to go and show what you can do, otherwise you sit there and do nothing.

I have seen that Brighton, Burnley, Everton and Newcastle have been linked with him. At 25, with all due respect, I’m not sure he’s going to join any of those clubs. I think he values himself highly based on what he has done with Spurs. I think he would like to go to a team that is challenging for trophies. He’s waiting for a big offer from a big club.

Rooney wise to bide time at Derby

Wayne Rooney has been linked to the Everton job and I agree with my old team-mate that maybe managing in the Premier League is still a bit too early for him. He’s doing great with all the obstacles and problems that Derby are going through. He’s getting the lessons in management every day and getting better and better for it.

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He doesn’t need to risk rushing into managing a Premier League team, especially now when Everton aren’t in great shape. He needs to calculate how he should make the next step, but for the moment it’s better for him to continue growing at Derby. Sooner or later the right chance will come and he’s going to step into a Premier League club.

As a team-mate, Rooney was a really good communicator. Anyone who was new to the team he was great with. He was one of the first people to speak to them, have a laugh and a joke and make them part of the team.

This is one of the most important things for a manager – to find a common language with every one of your players, your staff and everybody working with the club. As a player, he was really good at that.

He was selfless and was always putting the team first above him and making other players shine when they needed to shine.

I could tell that he was learning so much from Sir Alex Ferguson, and he probably is still asking for his advice from time to time.

Wayne has all the tools and that’s why I think he’s getting there slowly but surely and he will be a Premier League manager in the future.

He’s still very young in the managment profession and he’s learning the hard way in the Championship where there’s a lot of fighting and battling, but that will help him when one day he’s stepping into the big league, especially with the problems that Derby are facing.

Great to see Fulham flying

When I check how my old club Fulham are doing, I cannot help but smile. They’re getting some great results, scoring lots of goals and obviously, getting the points they need. They’re in first place and flying, I’m sure they will be back into the Premier League next season.

Hopefully they have learned their lessons and, if they get promoted, can stay up.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has an unbelievable record this season and respect must be given to him for that achievement.

It’s a little surprising to see that he hasn’t been snapped up by any Premier League side, but I think his style of play is a bit different to what the clubs are looking for in my opinion.

He’s great at finding space around the box and he bullies the defenders because he’s very strong physically. That style is great for him obviously and when you’re in the Championship, you play teams with less quality and you score more goals if your team is good enough.

But if you go to the Premier League where the level is really high, the whole team has more problems, as we have seen with Fulham in the past. If they cannot correct the mistakes and find the balance then the team will suffer and they will not score enough goals.

For now they’re doing great and all credit to them. Hopefully they’ll go back to the Premier League but if they do not learn from the mistakes of the past, the whole team is going suffer.

Source: Betfair Premier League

    

Saturday Football Cheat Sheet: All the best bets in one place

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Get the best bets from our football experts for Saturday with Mark O’Haire on a televised Championship clash plus tips for League One and Two action…

United have arguably been the Championship’s biggest underachievers. However, the Blades are beginning to find form…

Luton 2.56/4 v Blackburn 3.211/5, the Draw 3.412/5
15:00

We should see a lively contest when 10th-placed Luton host Blackburn, currently second in the Championship, on Saturday afternoon.

Jack Critchley says: “Rovers have been in terrific form this season and sit just five points off top spot.

“Although the absence of Ben Brereton-Diaz is an obvious concern, Rovers do still have plenty of firepower within their squad with Monday’s hero Sam Gallagher and loanee Reda Khadra likely to lead the line.

“The visitors have kept three clean sheets in their last four away matches, however, they looked shaky at the back against Hull and with Luton having netted in six of their last seven home fixtures, there should be goals at both ends of the pitch.”

Jacks’ bet:

Back Both Teams To Score @ 1.9110/11

Millwall 3.613/5 v West Brom 2.35/4, the Draw 3.39/4
15:00

Pandora Hughes landed a 10/1 multiple last Saturday and she’s banking on Millwall earning a point to kick off this weekend’s treble. Read the article to find out about the other legs in the bet…

Pandora says: “Both managers go into this game needing a win to ease some of the pressure they are under, but they may both be disappointed.

Gary Rowett and Valerien Ismael are feeling the heat with Millwall languishing in the bottom half of the Championship and Albion just about hanging onto a play-off spot. But wins have been thin on the ground for both teams of late. The Baggies have won three of their last eleven and Millwall are 0 from 3 in 2022.

“Given their respective styles of play, this could be a pretty ugly game to sit through. The visitors have not scored in any of their last three away fixtures in the league, while the home side are barely managing one goal a game. A tense and scrappy encounter is the likely outcome and a point apiece the best bet.”

Pandora’s bet:

Back the draw @ 3.185/40

AFC Wimbledon 2.588/5 v Shrewsbury 3.02/1, the Draw 3.412/5
15:00

Draws have been common place at Plough Lane this season and our League One expert makes the case for backing another on Saturday.

Alan Dudman says: “Shrewsbury hardly win away from home, and their record on the road is W1 D4 L9. Between them in their respective previous five matches, all of them have hit the Under 2.5 Goals target, so with a 10/10 over those games, I thought the price would be shorter than 1.774/5. Using the 0-0 Correct Score trade from 10.09/1 should present a few chances as the Dons are averaging just 0.35 goals in the first-half in all of their matches.

“AFC Wimbledon have only won one of their 14 Football League matches against Shrewsbury (D6 L7), winning 3-1 at home in May 2012, so that’s another stat onside for the outright draw bet.

“AFC Wimbledon are without a win in their last four home Football League games (D3 L1), while they’ve failed to score in their last three matches. The Dons haven’t gone four successive home league games without scoring since August 2017 (D2 L2).”

Alan’s bet:

Back the draw @ 3.55/2

Tranmere 3.259/4 v Forest Green 2.546/4, the Draw 3.185/40
15:00

The top two meet at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon and our League Two specialist thinks it will end honours even.

Ian Lamont says: “Micky Mellon’s Tranmere have conceded just six goals and won 10 matches at Prenton Park, the first club in the division to reach double figures at home. Opta point out that the six goals is an EFL best this season. Rob Edwards’ visitors have a title in their grasp, partly built on a huge 28 goals on their travels…

“Forest Green have an abundance of goals in their side, Jamille Matt (16 – matching last season’s career best, say Opta) and Matt Stevens (15, rewarded with a new contract) helping them march to the top of the league with three fifths of the team’s goals. They are now unbeaten in 14 games, winning nine, and with four clean sheets from the past five games.

“They might have to be satisfied with a fourth goalless draw of the season, and Tranmere a third. Or at least, they are likely to share the points.”

Ian’s bet:

Back Tranmere and Forest Green to draw @ 3.412/5

Gambia 9.89/1 v Cameroon 1.68/13, the Draw 3.55
16:00
Live on BBC Two

This encounter between hosts Cameroon and debutants Gambia promises to be one of the most absorbing games of the competition so far.

James Eastham says: “supporting Gambia in some way is a smart way to play given how they’ve performed at the finals.

“Gambia picked up seven points from three games in the group stage, securing two 1-0 wins and drawing 1-1. Their solid defensive performances continued as they beat Guinea 1-0 in the Last 16 stage thanks to a Musa Barrow winner.

“Cameroon have showcased some tremendous attacking firepower at the finals – Vincent Aboubakar is the tournament’s six-goal top scorer – but Gambia’s will be the meanest defence they have faced so far.

Cameroon are a short-priced 1.68/13 to win and there’s actually more appeal in backing Gambia on the Asian Handicap.”

James’ bet:

Back Gambia +1.0 @ 1.9520/21

Peterborough 4.47/2 v Sheffield United 1.9720/21, the Draw 3.65
17:30
Live on Sky Sports Football

Relegation-threatened Peterborough welcome inconsistent Sheffield United for Saturday evening’s televised clash from the Championship.

Mark O’Haire says: “Peterborough and Sheffield United have crossed swords 11 times in league action since 2009/10 with the Blades enjoying a W7-D1-L3 supremacy. That includes three successive victories over Posh, including a 6-2 thrashing at Bramall Lane in September. The visitors also boast a W3-D1-L0 return from their most recent four trips to the Weston Homes Stadium.

“Peterborough have collected 80% of their points tally and scored 63% of their overall goal output on home soil this season (W4-D4-L4). Posh have suffered a sole reverse by more than a one-goal margin at the Weston Homes Stadium yet home Expected Points (xP) and Expected Goals (xG) rankings still rate Darren Ferguson’s side amongst the bottom-seven.

“United have arguably been the Championship’s biggest underachievers. However, the Blades are beginning to find form. Expected Points (xP) ratings suggest the hosts have been the sixth best team in the division and the guests have claimed W5-D2-L1 since November’s international break, as well as W7-D3-L2 when taking on the bottom-10.”

Mark’s bet:

Back the Half-Time Draw @ 2.1011/10

Source: Betfair UK English Championship

    

Saturday Football Cheat Sheet: All the best bets in one place

steve cotterill 1280.jpg

Get the best bets from our football experts for Saturday with Mark O’Haire on a televised Championship clash plus tips for League One and Two action…

United have arguably been the Championship’s biggest underachievers. However, the Blades are beginning to find form…

Luton 2.56/4 v Blackburn 3.211/5, the Draw 3.412/5
15:00

We should see a lively contest when 10th-placed Luton host Blackburn, currently second in the Championship, on Saturday afternoon.

Jack Critchley says: “Rovers have been in terrific form this season and sit just five points off top spot.

“Although the absence of Ben Brereton-Diaz is an obvious concern, Rovers do still have plenty of firepower within their squad with Monday’s hero Sam Gallagher and loanee Reda Khadra likely to lead the line.

“The visitors have kept three clean sheets in their last four away matches, however, they looked shaky at the back against Hull and with Luton having netted in six of their last seven home fixtures, there should be goals at both ends of the pitch.”

Jacks’ bet:

Back Both Teams To Score @ 1.9110/11

Millwall 3.613/5 v West Brom 2.35/4, the Draw 3.39/4
15:00

Pandora Hughes landed a 10/1 multiple last Saturday and she’s banking on Millwall earning a point to kick off this weekend’s treble. Read the article to find out about the other legs in the bet…

Pandora says: “Both managers go into this game needing a win to ease some of the pressure they are under, but they may both be disappointed.

Gary Rowett and Valerien Ismael are feeling the heat with Millwall languishing in the bottom half of the Championship and Albion just about hanging onto a play-off spot. But wins have been thin on the ground for both teams of late. The Baggies have won three of their last eleven and Millwall are 0 from 3 in 2022.

“Given their respective styles of play, this could be a pretty ugly game to sit through. The visitors have not scored in any of their last three away fixtures in the league, while the home side are barely managing one goal a game. A tense and scrappy encounter is the likely outcome and a point apiece the best bet.”

Pandora’s bet:

Back the draw @ 3.185/40

AFC Wimbledon 2.588/5 v Shrewsbury 3.02/1, the Draw 3.412/5
15:00

Draws have been common place at Plough Lane this season and our League One expert makes the case for backing another on Saturday.

Alan Dudman says: “Shrewsbury hardly win away from home, and their record on the road is W1 D4 L9. Between them in their respective previous five matches, all of them have hit the Under 2.5 Goals target, so with a 10/10 over those games, I thought the price would be shorter than 1.774/5. Using the 0-0 Correct Score trade from 10.09/1 should present a few chances as the Dons are averaging just 0.35 goals in the first-half in all of their matches.

“AFC Wimbledon have only won one of their 14 Football League matches against Shrewsbury (D6 L7), winning 3-1 at home in May 2012, so that’s another stat onside for the outright draw bet.

“AFC Wimbledon are without a win in their last four home Football League games (D3 L1), while they’ve failed to score in their last three matches. The Dons haven’t gone four successive home league games without scoring since August 2017 (D2 L2).”

Alan’s bet:

Back the draw @ 3.55/2

Tranmere 3.259/4 v Forest Green 2.546/4, the Draw 3.185/40
15:00

The top two meet at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon and our League Two specialist thinks it will end honours even.

Ian Lamont says: “Micky Mellon’s Tranmere have conceded just six goals and won 10 matches at Prenton Park, the first club in the division to reach double figures at home. Opta point out that the six goals is an EFL best this season. Rob Edwards’ visitors have a title in their grasp, partly built on a huge 28 goals on their travels…

“Forest Green have an abundance of goals in their side, Jamille Matt (16 – matching last season’s career best, say Opta) and Matt Stevens (15, rewarded with a new contract) helping them march to the top of the league with three fifths of the team’s goals. They are now unbeaten in 14 games, winning nine, and with four clean sheets from the past five games.

“They might have to be satisfied with a fourth goalless draw of the season, and Tranmere a third. Or at least, they are likely to share the points.”

Ian’s bet:

Back Tranmere and Forest Green to draw @ 3.412/5

Gambia 9.89/1 v Cameroon 1.68/13, the Draw 3.55
16:00
Live on BBC Two

This encounter between hosts Cameroon and debutants Gambia promises to be one of the most absorbing games of the competition so far.

James Eastham says: “supporting Gambia in some way is a smart way to play given how they’ve performed at the finals.

“Gambia picked up seven points from three games in the group stage, securing two 1-0 wins and drawing 1-1. Their solid defensive performances continued as they beat Guinea 1-0 in the Last 16 stage thanks to a Musa Barrow winner.

“Cameroon have showcased some tremendous attacking firepower at the finals – Vincent Aboubakar is the tournament’s six-goal top scorer – but Gambia’s will be the meanest defence they have faced so far.

Cameroon are a short-priced 1.68/13 to win and there’s actually more appeal in backing Gambia on the Asian Handicap.”

James’ bet:

Back Gambia +1.0 @ 1.9520/21

Peterborough 4.47/2 v Sheffield United 1.9720/21, the Draw 3.65
17:30
Live on Sky Sports Football

Relegation-threatened Peterborough welcome inconsistent Sheffield United for Saturday evening’s televised clash from the Championship.

Mark O’Haire says: “Peterborough and Sheffield United have crossed swords 11 times in league action since 2009/10 with the Blades enjoying a W7-D1-L3 supremacy. That includes three successive victories over Posh, including a 6-2 thrashing at Bramall Lane in September. The visitors also boast a W3-D1-L0 return from their most recent four trips to the Weston Homes Stadium.

“Peterborough have collected 80% of their points tally and scored 63% of their overall goal output on home soil this season (W4-D4-L4). Posh have suffered a sole reverse by more than a one-goal margin at the Weston Homes Stadium yet home Expected Points (xP) and Expected Goals (xG) rankings still rate Darren Ferguson’s side amongst the bottom-seven.

“United have arguably been the Championship’s biggest underachievers. However, the Blades are beginning to find form. Expected Points (xP) ratings suggest the hosts have been the sixth best team in the division and the guests have claimed W5-D2-L1 since November’s international break, as well as W7-D3-L2 when taking on the bottom-10.”

Mark’s bet:

Back the Half-Time Draw @ 2.1011/10

Source: BetFair Tips

    

Championship Weekend Tips: Goals galore from the usual suspects

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Ste Tudor goes around the grounds, to assess where the goals, assists and three points will come from in the second tier this week.

“Forest’s accelerated rise through the league is all-the-more impressive given that no other team has used as many players in 2021/22.”

Barnsley v Bournemouth – Cherries on top

Only Fulham and Blackburn have accrued more than the Cherries’ 47 points after taking a lead and that doesn’t bode well for Barnsley because only Cardiff have conceded first more regularly this season.

The Tykes are winless in ten, their misery compounded by a Covid outbreak in-camp that has cruelly added to an injury crisis and once again we can expect a cobbled-together eleven attempting to make a better fist of their relegation scrap.

Alas, Barnsley have only won twice at Oakwell all season while Bournemouth are the clean sheet kings of the Championship. It all adds up to an away win.

Bournemouth/Bournemouth in the half time/full time market is a good shout at 13/8

Fulham v Blackpool – Goals galore from the leaders

There are so many reasons to back a comprehensive home victory here.

Most persuasively and obviously, Marco Silva’s side are free-scoring their way to the title, five points ahead of Blackburn, a side they put seven past last November. They are averaging 2.7 goals per game with Aleksandar Mitrovic having a season of seasons, firing 27 in 26. They’ve found the net 22 times in their last four games for goodness sake.

Even so, the bet to plump for concerns the visitors troubling them at some point because the Tangerines have scored in 10 of their 12 aways while no team in the top half have been involved in more games featuring both teams scoring than Fulham.

Fulham to win and both teams to score is decent value at 9/5

Luton Town v Blackburn Rovers – A hatful at home

To what extent was Blackburn’s recent loss at Hull an outlier? Certainly, their response to being walloped by Fulham last November has been highly impressive, accumulating 29 points from a possible 36 since.

Dangerous on the counter but missing their 20-goal star man Ben Brereton Diaz, second-place Rovers will once again turn to Sam Gallagher to provide their chief threat and his return has been decent this season. In the ten previous games when he’s been drafted across from the right to lead the line, the 26-year-old has scored four times.

Discipline however is a real issue for Tony Mowbray’s side, racking up 69 yellows, a league high, while Luton’s Elijah Adebayo typically thrives at Kenilworth Road. The imposing striker has scored nine of his 11 league goals this term on home soil.

Adebayo is 4/1 to score first and again find the net in front of the Hatters faithful

Middlesbrough v Coventry City – A cautionary tale

“There were so many things wrong.” That was Boro boss Chris Wilder’s assessment of his team’s 1-0 reverse at Blackburn last Monday, only their second defeat since he took charge back in November.

It was by no means an overly harsh response to a reactive performance and the Play-Off chasers must improve here against a Coventry side that last lost on their travels way back in October.

Averaging 2.3 cautions per game has not exactly helped Boro’s cause this season with midfielder Matt Crooks single-handedly responsible for eight of them though Coventry are no angels, going down to ten men on two occasions.

In what is a difficult game to call let’s instead focus on the disciplinary side though it’s worth paying attention to the end. The Sky Blues have scored seven times in added-on time in 2021/22 while the hosts have converted beyond the 90th minute twice in recent weeks.

Over 50 points in the card index throws up a tempting 6/4

Preston v Bristol City – Archery practice makes perfect

Bristol City’s inability to hold onto a lead must be a concern to Nigel Pearson. On 17 occasions the Robins have gone in front, yet they’ve only took maximum points nine times.

It is a cause – or effect, depending on your point of view – of a startling inconsistency that has seen City unable to string two victories together all campaign. Even just focusing on their January has them all over the place, with a pair of 3-2 wins at home followed immediately by defeats.

Regarding Preston, all eyes will be on Cameron Archer, the on-loan Aston Villa attacker who enjoyed a goal-scoring cameo at West Brom on Wednesday evening. His work in the channels stood out and the 20-year-old will be keen to impress the Deepdale crowd on his full debut.

Archer is 7/2 to make a strong opening impression by assisting this weekend

Peterborough v Sheffield United – A frantic finish

The hosts are in woeful form having won just once in their last 12 whereas Sheffield United have lost just once in their last eight. An away victory beckons then with the Blades hoping to push into the top ten, their games in hand making them realistic play-off contenders.

Beyond backing an away win look out for late goals at London Road. Peterborough have conceded ten of their last 15 in the closing 15 minutes of games while 72% of the visitor’s concessions in 2021/22 have come in the second half.

Look out too for Posh striker Jonson Clarke-Harris and the Blades’ Billy Sharp making an impact from the bench. Between them, the opposing forwards have scored seven and created two assists after coming on as subs.

Both teams to score in the second half is pitched a little on the generous side at 13/5

Derby County v Birmingham City – Mayhem in the Midlands

Expect the card count to be high at Pride Park with full-back Nathan Byrne and Brum’s Gary Gardner both in the top five for Championship offenders this season. Goals shouldn’t be a problem either as their last ten meetings have produced 3.4 per game.

Birmingham have gained a paltry three points all term after going behind – a league low – which should encourage Derby to go for the jugular early. Unfortunately, the Rams are hardly known for starting brightly, scoring nine of their last ten in the second period.

Pressure on the Rams to perform is a factor, now that their impossible dream of survival is becoming a barely plausible one, though the wealth of experience in Wayne Rooney’s side should handle that.

As for goal-scoring threats, Tom Lawrence has scored 30.8% of Derby’s haul this term while Scott Hogan has found the target three times in his last four games for Birmingham.

Let’s take a chance on a thriller in the Midlands. Over 3.5 goals offers up 7/2

Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest – Grabbon and enjoy the ride

Only Fulham have picked up more points than Forest since Steve Cooper’s appointment at the City Ground last autumn and the feel-good vibes from three straight wins – not to mention a fantastic FA Cup dumping of Arsenal – should see them torment a defence that has shipped in six more than rock-bottom Barnsley.

Forest’s accelerated rise through the league is all-the-more impressive given that no other team has used as many players in 2021/22 and no other team has burned through as many managers. Yet somehow, amidst such chaos, Cooper has restored order.

Having Lewis Grabbon up front helps. The Jamaican international has scored every 152 league minutes this season.

Always on the front foot, Forest have averaged 6.2 shots on target per match in recent weeks. Back them to exceed six again.

Source: Betfair UK English Championship