Bournemouth [1.35] v Sheff Wed [11.0]; The Draw [5.5]
Bournemouth are holding their nerve really well and go into this game on the back of two consecutive away wins, both achieved without conceding. But they will have either been joined at the top or overtaken by Norwich or Middlesbrough come 3pm on Saturday afternoon and now is the time that the pressure really gets ramped up.
Fortunately for the Cherries they’re playing a side with nothing to play for, so I can easily see them landing the odds. As the last week has proved, facing a side that is in no danger of either relegation or promotion is a huge advantage – Bournemouth, Norwich, and Watford have all recorded away wins against such teams.
But Sheffield Wednesday neither score many or concede many and I won’t be surprised at all if Dean Court witnesses a low-scoring, nervy encounter.
The Owls have scored fewer goals this season than every team bar those in the relegation zone, but defensively only Middlesbrough and Bournemouth have conceded fewer. Stuart Gray‘s men know how to keep themselves in a game, they rarely get a good hiding.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe is probably the calmest man in Bournemouth right now, and if that translates to his players then this season’s surprise package will have no problems reaching the Premier League. To be honest they deserve to be champions, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a few nervy moments along the way, starting here in what might be a low-scoring affair.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ [2.2] (best bet)
Charlton [2.1] v Leeds [4.0]; The Draw [3.6]
I gave Leeds a chance in midweek simply because they looked over-priced, but the reality is I should have given it more thought and realised why they were being offered up at decent odds.
The main reason was that Leeds’ most recent form has been very poor and that they were playing a very in-form side. You can also argue that the club is in a right mess at the moment with off-the-field issues making more headlines than playing performances on the field.
And it’s pretty much a similar case here. Leeds are still in poor form with four consecutive defeats to their name, while Charlton won seven of nine league games before cooling off slightly. The Addicks have still only lost one of their last four however so they’ve been an extremely tough nut to crack in 2015.
This game now has a feel of one side (Charlton) really focused on obtaining the highest position possible in the Championship, while the other (Leeds) just want the season to end. These factors, and the current form of each side, make Charlton a decent bet to win at home on Saturday.
Back Charlton to Win @ [2.1]
Wigan [2.6] v Brighton [3.0]; The Draw [3.4]
Less than two years ago Wigan enjoyed arguably the greatest day in the club’s history – they defeated Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley. On Saturday they will very likely be relegated to League One, and if it’s not this Saturday then it will be the next Saturday.
I’ve been in a similar situation supporting Middlesbrough, though not for a long time thankfully. It’s a horrible feeling knowing that your club is going down and there’s every chance that the mood around the DW Stadium will translate to the players.
Even ignoring Wigan’s current plight the Latics simply have to be opposed on home soil, even if they were playing the Dog and Duck. And that’s not trying to be disrespectful in any way, shape or form, I’m just trying to emphasise how dreadful Wigan’s home form is and that regardless of who the opposition is they have to be taken on when playing in front of their own fans.
The stats are incredible. Wigan haven’t won at the DW Stadium since August last year. We’re now past the middle of April. That’s almost eight months of football, and 18 matches, without registering a home win. Confidence is at rock bottom, and I suspect so too is the mood around the place.
Brighton haven’t been in great form either of course, but they have defeated the likes of Blackburn (away) and Derby in recent weeks as well as holding in-form Wolves. They shouldn’t be the outsiders to win this game and I’m happy to get them on my side.
Back Brighton to Win @ [3.0]
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Championship 2014/15 Season P/L
*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet