Sheff Utd v West Brom
The first of our Dec 14 – 15 Championship betting tips is Sheff Utd v West Brom. Sheffield United and West Brom get the weekend started when matched on Friday night in a 7.45pm kick-off that’ll be shown live on Sky Sports. This is a fantastic way for the locals to get the jump on their main rivals for a promotion place; the three points here would move The Blades to within two of second place Leeds. A top-two finish avoids the lottery of play-off football, granting the gold and silver medallists with a free pass to the big time. Sheff Utd bring a 11-4-6 record into this contest and were winners last weekend.
That victory came at the expense of Reading who were put to the sword in front of their own fans, 2-0 the final score. That would suggest an easy afternoon’s work; however, the victors had to graft for the spoils and it took until the 83rd minute before they could make the breakthrough. Sharp broke the deadlock and that advantage doubled less than three minutes later when Baldock forced the ball into his own net under pressure. Yet more misery heaped on for The Royals, but it was a deserved three points for their opponents and a win that got their season back on track.
Baggies looking to get back to winning ways
West Brom start the weekend with stats of 10-6-5; the 36 points on the board is good enough for fifth place in the table at present. A win here would rise them to third, ahead of their hosts and within touching distance of the automatic promotion slots. The visitors are on an eye-catching unbeaten run with their last five reading three wins and a couple of draws. Despite their form, they are yet to bag a win in December and that’s something that must change, and quickly.
The Baggies were last seen scrapping their way to a share of the spoils with Aston Villa at The Hawthorns a week ago in another match given the live TV treatment. El Ghazi scored a double for The Villans, on 12 minutes and 59; however, their opponents would not be denied. Gayle hit the net on 28 minutes and Rodriguez scored a stunning 90th minute leveller when it looked like they were dead and buried. A remarkable turnaround and a fine example of the fighting spirit in the camp. They’ll need plenty more of that if they are to get anything out of this game.
Tight match expected
There’s very little between these sides on paper and we’re expecting a competitive match from start to finish – great news for neutrals who plan to watch the fixture live on TV. We’re going to sit on the fence for our bet and play both teams to score for an interest at Coral’s 4/7. That should do a job in your weekend accumulators. Remember, these sides have conceded a total of 54 goals so far and that sort of generous defending should see us land a winner without too much delay.
Taking a look at the match betting market and bookmakers expect a home win, pricing Sheffield United as favourites for the points. Ladbrokes send out 5/4 and that appears to be the general idea in the betting ring. The away win will earn you 2/1 at Bet365 while the draw has been written off at as big as 13/5, making it outsider of three. We wouldn’t put anyone off a play on the bigger price, given how tight we expect this one to be.
What the stats say
A flick through the stats makes for interesting reading and we see that the head-to-head numbers come down in favour of West Brom; however, as expected, there’s little wiggle room with the rivals so evenly matched. West Brom 43-41 Sheff Utd stands as the scores with 27 matches ending in a draw.
Both teams scored in each of the two games involving the sides when last sharing the Championship back in the 2009/10 campaign. A 2-2 draw at this venue was followed by a 3-1 West Brom cheer at The Hawthorns. After more of a return on your stake?
Bristol City v Norwich
The second of of our Dec 14 – 15 Championship betting tips takes place on Saturday evening when Sky Sports screen Bristol City v Norwich from 5.30pm in a tie that promises to have you glued to the action. Bristol started the week down in 13th ; however, they appear to be on the mend following a poor start and go into this clash unbeaten in three, that run made up of two wins and a draw. They scored a maximum last time when beating Birmingham.
In what was a shock result, The Blues started as favourites. However, they were powerless to stop a determined opponent who got the goal their play deserved on 63 minutes when Diedhiou scored what turned out to be the winner. He smashed home a header from a corner to delight the away fans. Speaking to the press post-match, Robins head coach Lee Johnson said it was a big achievement from his team and they are now looking upwards through the division. More performances like the one we saw last weekend and they’ll be knocking on the door in no time.
Canaries flying high
Norwich City sit top of the Championship and are looking like a team with real aspirations of playing Premier League football again next term. The Canaries have won 13 of their 21 games so far, drawing four and losing the other four. That has them a point ahead of second place Leeds going into the weekend and they are capable of holding their ground for Christmas. Top of the league going into new year wins you nothing, but it is great for team morale.
Norwich banked their second win in-a-row last weekend when beating Bolton by the odd goal in five in what was a Carrow Road thriller. The victors had Vrancic, Stiepermann and Pukki to thank for the points, especially the latter who held his nerve to fire a stoppage time winner, 93 minutes showing on the clock. That was a real sucker punch to a struggling Bolton side who thought they had done enough to get a point after seeing Ameobi and Beevers hit the net, before the former was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Stick with the form
It really doesn’t pay to oppose Norwich at the minute as they go with confidence. A winning team who are scoring goals for fun and edging their way towards 2019 top of the league, we’re in no great rush to take them on and will have our stake down on the away day. That bet will earn you 6/4 at Bet365 and that’s sure to show up in a fair share of accumulators this weekend.
Prefer the locals to pull off another shock result? Backers can get their hands on as much as 2/1 for the home win with a draw marked at 23/10 (Bet365), outsider of three. There has been nine goals scored in Norwich’s last two games, 3-2 v Bolton and 3-1 over Rotherham and that pushes us towards a bet on both teams to score at 4/5. Another for your accas.