It looks like Norwich is all but ready to play in the Premier League next year… with just one point needed to guarantee promotion. Who will join them? What team will fall at the final hurdle; who will drop down a league? Every game counts now. Here are our April 27 Championship betting tips.
Millwall v Stoke
Millwall are all but safe due to the poor form of the sides below them in the Championship table but they can cement their place in the second-tier for another season at least with a win in this early afternoon kick-off at The Den. The Lions went into the week with a three-point advantage over Rotherham in 22nd and bookies believe that will be enough to see them through, with only six points left to play for. They enjoy home advantage here and are 11/10 – top price at Bet365 – to make it count and grab the win in front of their own fans.
Safe from Relegation
Stoke don’t have an awful lot to aim at here and they will finish what has been a disappointing season safe from the threat of relegation, without applying pressure to the prizes. Fans expected better from their side and will be hoping this term is one where the club acclimatised to life in the Championship, before pushing towards promotion next term. The away win has been written off by odd-makers but we make it worth an interest bet as a single. Traders at Bet365 are offering 9/4 on the away day, and that will do for us. The draw goes 13/5.
Norwich v Blackburn
Norwich have been impressive this season and will take their place back at the head table of English football in the summer, an achievement which has been fully deserved. Will they do it as champions? It looks that way, The Canaries going in with a three-point cushion over Sheffield United in second, Leeds another three off the pace. Win this and they will be over the line, something bookies believe you should have your cash on. We agree, putting forward the home cheer as our best bet at 4/9 with Unibet.
Waiting for Summer
Blackburn start in midtable and, like the teams around them in the pecking order, you’d expect Rovers to be simply winding down the clock before going off on their summer holidays. That hasn’t been the case and the visitors go to the home of the league leaders as one of the form sides in the division at the moment. They’ve won four on the bounce and are chasing down five. They’ll put up a fight, but Norwich need this more and that puts us off the away win, priced at a chunky 7/1 by William Hill, the draw yours at 18/5 with the same bookie.
Sheffield United v Ipswich
A late surge has lifted Sheff Utd into the top-two automatic prize places and they have a three-point lead over nearest rivals, while sitting three behind leaders Norwich. They are still in with a title shot at the time of writing but will be happy to hold their ground and secure a place in the Premier League without the need for play-off football. The Blades are on an unbeaten run, winning three and drawing two of their last five. This looks a simple home win at 2/9 with Unibet.
A Sad Season
Ipswich have claimed just one point from the last dozen available and that ensures they will end a miserable season as the lowest ranking club in the division. Their relegation was confirmed quite some time ago and although some teams improve when the pressure is off, that hasn’t been the case for this club. They will go down and it will be a problem completely of their own making. We can’t touch Ipswich for the away win, even at 18/1 with William Hill.
Leeds v Aston Villa
It’s getting desperate for Leeds as they look set to suffer the same old fate of missing out on automatic promotion at this late stage. They have been impressive for much of the season so far but hit a wobble somewhere in the middle and are paying the price for that now. Sheff Utd have leapfrogged them into second, leaving Leeds staring at a place in the play-offs, which isn’t ideal. They’ve lost three of their last five and each of their last two, but bookies support the home win, marking it as 5/6 (Bet365) jolly.
Aston Villa provide the opposition and do so on the back of a stunning winning run that has lifted them to fifth in the table. They will go into the play-offs as one of the form sides in the division and that should give them the edge. On form alone we have to support the away day and traders have made that easier to do by offering Villa at a cracking 10/3 – top price when betting at Bet365. The draw goes 5/2 with the same firm, which won’t go unnoticed.
West Brom v Rotherham
West Brom are involved in a race to hold their ground and claim a place in the promotion play-offs at the end of the season, an extended campaign giving them half a chance of battling back into the Premier League. They are unbeaten in three, that run made up of two wins and a draw and will likely finish fourth in the table, especially if they do as expected and beat lowly Rotherham. This is a simple home win and we’ll back The Baggies at 4/7 with Bet365.
A Bad Form
Rotherham have lost three of their last four and each of their last two and that drought has sucked them down into 22nd, meaning they are staring relegation in the face. The strugglers have pulled off a great escape or two in the past, but it looks like their number might be finally up here with Millwall and safety three points ahead. Bookies write Rotherham off to beat the drop and they say they won’t win this fixture either, offering 5/1 (Unibet).
Bristol City v Derby
What a game we have in store here and this one has been picked out as match of the day by many followers of the Championship. Bristol started the week in eighth, one point behind their opponents and the promotion play-off places, Derby holding on to the final spot for an extended season. If the home team can win this, they could move into sixth with only one game left to play, so as neutrals we’d want that to happen. They are winless in three, however, and we’re not going to back Bristol to get the job done at 13/10, market best price at William Hill.
A Thrilling Finish
Derby have pushed themselves into the prizes on the back of two wins and a draw in their last three and they enjoy a narrow lead over Middlesbrough with The Smoggies trailing on goal difference. We’re set for a thrilling finish to the season, but The Rams know if they win their remaining games it’s highly likely they’ll go up at the end of the season. We’re happy to stick with the form side and take an away win at Unibet’s 9/4.
Middlesbrough v Reading
This is the last chance saloon for Boro as they bid to claim the one remaining play-off spot and they know this is a must win match if they are to have any chance. The locals do enjoy home advantage over a lowly ranked opponent and that gives them a great chance to get the points and set-up a final day shoot-out for a place in the top-six. It’ll be a great watch and Boro will do their bit at 8/13 (Bet365).
Back to the Drawing Board
Reading are unbeaten in four but have drawn three times during that run, including finishing level in each of their last two going into the week. Another draw would go down as a decent return for the visitors and that can be backed at 3/1 (Unibet), which is more likely than the away day at 11/2 with William Hill.