Championship League Tips, Odds & Predictions 2nd-4th Nov
Focusing our attention on Championship League tips, in the first weekend of November, English football’s second-tier see a full 12-fixture card played out over the course of Friday to Sunday. Firstly, Aston Villa host Blackburn to bring the curtain up live on Sky Sports from 7.45pm on Friday. The round is settled at the DW Stadium 1.30pm Sunday.
There’s all to play for at both ends of the table. Leaders, Sheffield United, are just six points better than Queens Park down in 10th; 12th placed Blackburn are 10 points clear of the relegation zone. The Championship is famous for its competitive nature and that makes for some thrilling contests and plenty of betting value.
Aston Villa – Bolton
Villa promised great things back in the summer; however, they’ve failed to live up to expectations thus far, traveling into the week with a CV showing four wins, six draws and five defeats. They’ve lost three of their last four and each of their last two, which sets alarm bells ringing with fans.
The fact the team are already seven points off Derby and the promotion play-off places won’t sit too kindly with them either. An upturn in form is required, starting with a win at Villa Park in front of an impatient audience and armchair fans viewing across the country.
Bolton Verging on Crisis
If things are desperate in the home dressing room, they are verging on crisis across the hall. Bolton sit only three places higher than the relegation zone, showing stats of 4-4-7. They spent much of last term in and around the danger area and look set to do the same again this year.
The Trotters have picked up one point from the last 15 on the table and have lost each of their last two. Failure to take anything from Friday night’s outing will pile on the pressure, especially with the teams around them picking up points.
Low-Scoring Game Expected
It’s difficult to get excited about either side being good enough to win the points here. So, on paper, this doesn’t look a match fit for live TV. However, both managers will know all too well the dangers that come with dropping more points and that will lead to a nervy 90 minutes, goals thin on the ground.
Those eager to avoid the unpredictability of the match winner market can get their stake on the contest producing less than three goals, backing under 2.5 at evens with Ladbrokes. That’ll come in handy when building your weekend accumulators. Aston Villa have been chalked up at 1/2 – top price Unibet – for the victory, 7/2 draw (Bet365) with an away day unlikely at a monster 7/1 with the same firm.
Derby – Birmingham
This rates as the pick of the bunch from the Saturday 3.00pm starts and it’s a shame most won’t get to follow the match live. Here we have two sides on a great run of form and pushing for the prize places in the Championship. Derby start the weekend in sixth, three draws and two wins making up their five most-recent outings.
A failure to finish sides off could come back to haunt them. However, at the moment, they are moving in the right direction and will fancy their chances against anyone from this division at Pride Park. They put in a season best performance when last at home, beating Sheffield United 2-1 in October.
Blues Have Won Each of Their Last Four
What a run of form Birmingham are on; they board the team bus having won each of their last four league starts. That purple patch has lifted them to ninth in the pecking order and within touching distance of the play-off places. Fans couldn’t have imagined form like that when watching last season through their fingers.
The visitors made it 12 points from the last dozen, with a 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at St Andrews, despite falling behind to a Fletcher opener on 19 minutes. Mahoney got the sides level going into the break, before Jutkiewicz and Adams made sure. That took their tally to five games in two starts and they can’t easily be written off to add to that.
Rams Red-Hot Favourites
You’ve got to fancy goals in this contest as both managers set-up to shoot for the maximum points haul. Birmingham are a cocky bunch at the minute; however, they’ve conceded in each of their last two – and giving Derby the first goal could prove costly on the road. The opener will be crucial in this one.
The Rams to score the first goal of the match has been priced as favourite; there’s no more than Ladbrokes’ 3/4 available if you fancy a punt. The home win is also jolly in the 1-X-2 market, 11/10 at William Hill, or you can aim higher and get 13/5 Birmingham, 12/5 the draw.
Stoke – Middlesbrough
This match will be shown live on Sky Sports from 5.30pm; armchair fans look to have a great watch ahead of them as both clubs will go in expecting the win. Stoke have struggled since dropping down a division and have already failed to win 10 of their first 15; the numbers are evenly poised at 5-5-5. They’ve claimed just one victory on their last three; however, it did come last time out when getting the better of Bristol City on the road.
Fletcher struck what proved to be the decisive goal in the 33rd minute. He smashed the ball home from close range, giving goalkeeper O’Leary and his defenders little chance of keeping it out. It was a hard-fought match, the final possession stats reading 51-49 in the home side’s favour. Stoke took their chance and will now target a run of form.
Boro Aiming at Automatic Promotion
If The Potters are to bag another three points, they must overturn a Middlesbrough side who are punching away in the top-three, showing 7-6-2 in their columns. That has them level with Leeds United in second; leaders Sheff Utd sit just two points ahead. A convincing win here would send out the right message to the rest of the promotion contenders.
Tony Pulis’ side failed to win each of their last two, following a goalless draw at home with Rotherham United with a 1-1 vs Derby at the Riverside. Friend scored an own-goal to put The Rams in front after 19 minutes; however, that was cancelled out when Bogle knocked the ball into his own net on 84 to level things up. Pulis pointed the finger at a slow start and will demand his boys are quicker off the mark here.
Repeat Performance Unlikely
These sides last crossed paths in the Premier League back in March 2017 with Stoke claiming a 2-0 win that day, thanks to a double from Arnautovic. Much has changed since and we expect the final result to be different too. Another home win to nil shouldn’t attract too much attention, even with Ladbrokes giving out a chunky 3/1.
Bookies do expect a home win and have Stoke as favourite for the points. If you agree with that call, you should do your betting at Bet365 as they are giving a market best price 6/4, most of the competition stuck around the 7/5 mark. The draw is yours at Unibet’s standout 23/10, but we’d prefer a shot on Boro maintaining their form at 2/1 (William Hill).
Wigan – Leeds
It’s not exactly Super Sunday from the Championship; however, those who decide to tune into Sky Sports at 1.30pm for the live coverage from the DW Stadium will have a decent game to watch. Wigan have been holding their own thus far and can be found perched in 14th. They’ve won six and drawn two of their opening 15 games. Despite that handy form, The Latics have lost two from two.
That downturn started when losing on the road at Millwall. The London club scrapped their way to the points with a 2-1 win. Wallace scored an own-goal in first-half stoppage time; however, that was overturned by a Williams penalty and Morrison winner, the latter coming in the dying minutes. Paul Cooks knows he must tighten his defence, but bookies have them as outsiders for the home win, 12/5 trading at Ladbrokes.
Leeds Pushing for Top Spot
Leeds have managed just one win in their last four at this level. However, they are second in the table, two points behind Sheffield United who set the standard on 9-2-4. Unbeaten in two, The Peacocks beat Ipswich 2-0 at Elland Road before being held to a 1-1 at the same venue when hosting Nottingham Forest last weekend; Robinson and Roofe scored the goals.
This will be the first competitive meeting between the teams since sharing the Championship during the 2016/17 season. Both matches ended in a 1-1 draw that term and we wouldn’t be in a rush to put you off a repeat. Take both teams to score in your accumulators at 8/11 – top price Unibet. Leeds are favourites for the points, 23/20 when betting at William Hill.