Leeds v QPR
The first of our Championship Betting Tips & Predictions 7 December is Leeds v QPR. Leeds United went into the week second top of the Championship – the most competitive division in English football; they’ll be hoping to get out of another hectic seven days still in contention. The Elland Road side boast a record of 11 wins and six draws against three defeats; this has left them on 39 points, one behind Norwich City and four better than Middlesbrough in third. Holding on to an automatic promotion slot will be the club’s main goal this season; however, fans would love a return to Premier League football as champions.
Three wins on the bounce was started with a 2-0 at this venue over Bristol City; they quickly followed that success with a cheer when hosting Reading a few days later. A fine way to bring the curtain down on November and it set the pace for winter with high-flying Sheffield United scalped in front of their own fans last Saturday. Pablo Hernandez scored the only goal of the game when netting his seventh of the season on 82 minutes to settle what had been a tight contest. The goal was handed to him thanks to a mix-up in the Sheffield defence and his form ensured it wasn’t an early Christmas present he was about to pass-up.
Hoops are out of form
QPR sit in midtable and their recent stats would suggest that’s where they will remain for the remainder of the season. The London club started the week with stats of 8-4-8; their recent form returns win-draw-draw-lose. They have a solid foundation on which to build but are going nowhere fast until they learn to win ugly, turning one point into three. An 11th place finish is an improvement; however they have drawn two of their last three. If they had won each of those, they’d be above Aston Villa in eighth, within touching distance of the play-offs.
Rangers lost last weekend when falling to a 3-2 loss at home to Hull City on Saturday. An entertaining game for those who had paid the entrance fee; however, it was all for nothing as far as the locals were concerned as they scored two goals but managed to leave empty-handed. Wszolek and Freeman were on the scoresheet, but the latter netted with 92 minutes on the clock and that did nothing more than to make the final score look a little more respectable than it was. Those strikes were bettered by a Bowen double and Henriksen goal; the result never looking in trouble. Steve McLaren called it a failed gamble; however, we expect his followers would prefer to win a boring 1-0 than lose by the odd goal in five.
Stats say back Leeds
Leeds United lead the head-to-head stats between these rivals with a score of 22-18 and 16 draws. They have helped boost their advantage in recent meetings and managed to beat QPR home and away last season, strolling to a 3-1 in December 2017 before claiming a 2-0 at Elland Road earlier this year, Roofe and Phillips on target. It was a match the victors dominated, and they’ll be eager to pick-up where they left off.
Looking for a trend to follow from the past and we see that Leeds haven’t lost to Rangers in three, a run stretching back to August 2016. QPR haven’t won at this venue since 2013 and that won’t fall on deaf ears amongst followers of the formbook. Another stat worth jotting down in your notepads when approaching this match is that at least one team has failed to score in three of the last four renewals and that pushes us towards a punt on no from the both to score coupon. There has been under 2.5 goals in six of eight, suggesting a low-scoring match.
How to bet on this match
Bookies have Leeds as odds-on favourites and we’re not in a position to argue against that stance; especially when keeping in mind QPR’s recent form and how the head-to-head numbers look. If you fancy a financial interest on the locals the 8/13 at Ladbrokes is one of the best prices available. That’s best suited to accumulators but we expect it to be popular. A win to nil is there for the more assured player, 7/4 when playing with Bet365.
Prefer to take on the traders and shoot for a bit of an upset? This is an unpredictable division, to say the least, and there’s lots to like about the 5/1 at Unibet on an away win. That’s much bigger than we expected to find on Rangers and goes as a bit of an insult. The draw is more likely, according to the money men, 3/1 chalked up by most firms, including Bet365. We’re happy with the home win to nil for lower stakes.
Norwich v Bolton
Norwich currently top the table with a dozen wins and four draws from their 20 starts so far. The 40 points on the board has them one ahead of Leeds United and five better than a determined West Brom in third, ensuring everyone at the club will be keen to keep their feet on the ground. If they can hold their place until the end of January they can then look forward with hope; however, the festive period is always a crucial time of year at both ends of the table. Getting out of the Championship isn’t about playing attractive football, it’s about winning points at all costs. The eye-catching stuff can be saved for life in the Premier League.
The Canaries are on a fantastic unbeaten recent run with their last five showing four wins and a draw. The spare came on their penultimate start when playing out an entertaining 0-0 with Hull City on the road – not the worst result given The Tigers’ experience of making life difficult for opponents. They returned to winning ways at the first time of asking when starting December with a 3-1 home cheer over Rotherham United on Saturday, Cantwell, Aarons and Pukki on the scoresheet to deny Towell who have put his employers ahead inside 11 minutes. Home win is our advice at 4/11 (Ladbrokes).
Trotters struggling for wins
Bolton spent most of last season fighting against the drop and it looks like this year will follow a similar path. With 20 games in the books they have managed to bag just four wins, drawing six and losing 10. That’s the reason you’ll find them in 23rd with only Ipswich Town worse off at the time of writing. It’s too early to panic, however, as the 18 points on the board means they are level with Reading who are the current gatekeepers to safety and another season in the division. There’s all to play for as we head towards the turn of a new year.
A lack of recent wins will cause alarm amongst fans however. They make the trip for this match having lost three and drawn two of their five most recent goes. Bolton collected two points from the last nine available and that run began with a 1-1 away to Milwall. They were then beaten by Sheffield Wednesday courtesy of a 1-0 at the end of last month before holding on for a 1-1 at the Macron when Wigan came calling on Saturday 1 December. Buckley broke the deadlock that day on seven minutes, but it was a goal matched by Grigg on 25, the equaliser coming from the penalty spot. Phil Parkinson thought his boys were harshly treated by the referee awarding a penalty. Bolton are 11/1 outsiders with Bet365, the draw 10/3.