Ipswich v West Brom
We’re starting our Championship betting tips with Ipswich v West Brom. It’ll be a long time coming but when Ipswich and West Brom clash at Portman Road on Friday 23 November in front of the watching Sky Sports cameras domestic football will finally be back. Not a moment too soon either. Following a painfully slow international break spent watching meaningless friendlies and a UEFA Nations League competition, punters have struggled to take to from the start. We’re back where we belong and won’t waste another second.
With just one win on the board from 17 previous attempts, you’ll find Ipswich rooted to the foot of the table. They are already five points off Millwall and safety. Stats of 1-8-8 are to blame and The Tractor Boys have picked-up just two points from the last 15 available to them, following three defeats on the bounce with a couple of draws. Are they finally moving in the right direction and making themselves difficult to beat? Fans will hope so after watching their side concede 28 goals.
Baggies Eager to Pile on the Pressure
West Brom fans have had much more to cheer in the second-tier of English football; they have roared their side into the promotion play-off places with three points standing between themselves and Middlesbrough in second. The Baggies made a strong start; however, they appear to have tapered off in recent weeks and board the team bus for game 18 having bagged one win in their last five. The spare did come in their last outing, following three defeats and a draw.
Seemingly up against it when welcoming Leeds United to The Hawthorns before the international break, they blasted their way to a stunning 4-1 win thanks to goals from Kanu, Philips, Barnes and Gayle. More than enough to see off an opponent, Leeds could do little more than make things mildly interesting with a Hernandez response deep into stoppage-time. A deserved return to winning ways; it put a smile on the face of Darren Moore who told members of the press in the aftermath that everyone played their part and did very well.
Bookies Side with the Stats
Bookmakers have relied heavily on the form and stats of both teams when giving their pre-match betting odds. They have ignored home advantage and taken West Brom for the away day. Punters who agree will have to make do with 3/1 that’s generally available.
Neither side have been impressive of late with wins few and far between, but Ipswich are bottom of the table for good reason and we expect them to stay there. They are good enough to make life difficult for their opponents and both teams to score is worth a punt at 3/1 when doing your betting at 888Sport and that’s our bet.
Tight Match Expected
This will be the first meeting between these sides since December 2010 when they crossed paths on Carling Cup duty. Ipswich got the win that day at this very venue thanks to a single goal from Grant Leadbitter who smashed home a second-half penalty. That low-scoring match went against the grain however as we’ve had exactly two goals scored in three of the last four renewals.
If you had been hoping to learn from past meetings, you may be interested to know each of the last four have given us less than three goals each. The last time the rivals scored more than three was way back in September 2007. Backers who’d like to oppose our thinking can have under 2.5 goals at 4/5 (Ladbrokes). We certainly wouldn’t be in a mad rush to put anyone off if that was their call.
Rotherham v Sheff Utd
Recent stats show Rotherham United are riding high following an unbeaten run, but they also sit perilously close to the relegation zone; going into the weekend, are just two points better than the drop zone. Four wins, six draws and seven defeats has them placed 19th but much of the damage was done in the opening few weeks of the season. However, there’s no doubt they are a team finally moving in the right direction. Making themselves hard to beat, they’ve drawn four of their last five, winning the spare and that’s a strong base on which to build.
Their one recent win came when beating Swansea City in a real upset two games ago. Manning scored a double to turn the game on its head after McBurnie had handed The Swans an early lead. Confidence grew on the back of that, but they fell into old habits when ending level with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park next time. Smith fired Rotherham in front on 75 but that advantage was cut-out by Dack who hit the net on 81 to ensure an even split. Rovers deserved the points but it’s not often you get what you deserve in this league; more often you get what you work for… and the visitors’ work-ethic couldn’t be questioned.
Blades Searching for Consistency
Sheff Utd are ranked fourth in the Championship after 17 games; however, they have plenty of improvement to find if they are to hold their position and, at least, challenge for a promotion play-off place come spring. They’ve won just one of their last five with that sketchy run made up of two draws and a couple of defeats. The win did come over Hull City last month, but they’ve done little to build on the result and The Tigers are an opponent any side with serious title ambitions should be beating.
We last saw Sheffield United when they were being held to a point by city rivals Wednesday on their own patch; an even finish meant they have taken one point from the last six that was available to them. Despite enjoying home advantage and the better form over their Steel City rivals, United couldn’t break down a determined Wednesday despite posting 19 shots at goal. The fact five went on target gives an idea of where their problems lie. Manager Chris Wilder thought his boys were outstanding on the day but didn’t get the break of luck their dominance deserved.
Away Day Tipped
Bookmakers have tipped the away win and wasted no time showing their support to Sheffield United who have been chalked up as 11/4 (Unibet).
Sheff Utd have failed to score a goal in two previous matches this month and we’re expecting another slow afternoon in the final-third. Compare that to their opponents who have been involved in a match where both teams have found the net in each of their last three and we have a problem to solve. United will aim to keep things tight but if they lose a goal they’ll have to respond. Having studied the stats, we’ll grab the value on a draw at 4/1 (Ladbrokes).
Brentford v Middlesbrough
Saturday night’s live match and The Bees will be going all out to snap a poor run of form that has seen them lose four and win one of their last five; they’ve been dragged to 15th in the table as a result. Just five points stands between them and the drop zone and Brentford prepare on the back of a defeat to QPR in their most recent start, beaten by the odd goal in five on a fascinating afternoon. The locals are 17/11 – top price favourite with Unibet.
Middlesbrough are in fine form and have used an unbeaten recent run to push themselves into the top-two automatic promotion places; they’re now two points off leaders Norwich. The Smoggies drew three-in-a-row but broke that bad habit to defeat Wigan 2-0 at home last time, a double from Hugill more than enough to see off a spirited Latics. Despite those results, the away win is a cracking 19/10 with Bet365 and that’s better than we expected to find. Get your stake down on the bigger price.
Boro have drawn seven of their first 17 and that makes another share of the spoils difficult to ignore at 12/5. These teams played twice last season and couldn’t be separated on either occasion, 2-2 at the Riverside followed by a 1-1 in the reverse leg back in March. Another close-run race is expected.
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