Leeds v Derby
After a week’s break, they’re back. So, let’s kick off our Jan 12 Championship betting tips with Leeds v Derby. What promises to be another enthralling weekend from the Championship gets started on Friday night at Elland Road; current pace-setters, Leeds United, host a Derby side desperate to catapult themselves into contention for automatic promotion back to the Premier League. Sky Sports will be in attendance from 7.45pm and this looks the perfect way to get the weekend started with a competitive match lined up. Just eight points separate the sides at present; however, the table-toppers have lost each of their last two.
That drought started when Leeds were beaten 2-0 at this venue by a plucky Hull on 29 December. This result ended the year on a low point for fans, and it didn’t get any better when travelling to Nottingham Forest and watching The Tricky Trees hand out a 4-2 beating on New Year’s Day. Colback scored a double for the winning side before Murphy and Osborn chipped in to help finish the job. Leeds responded through Clarke and Alioski; both goals were scored following the sending off of Philips on 42 minutes. Marcelo Bielsa thought his men controlled the game despite having a man less on the field but there was no getting away from the fact the sending off changed the day.
Derby Suffering from Draws
Derby remains in the top-six with every chance of bagging an extended season through the play-offs. They have lost just one of their last five matches; however, a run of draws has stunted their progress and they are now just four better than Nottingham Forest in seventh. Three draws, a win and that one defeat make up their last five; however, they took only a point from their last outing when slipping to a 1-1 at home to fellow promotion contenders Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day, a match many expected them to claim.
The impressive Harry Wilson took his goal tally to the season into double figures when netting the first inside two minutes; that looked like an advantage his teammates would have no trouble building on. They couldn’t grab a second and on 52 minutes were made to pay the price when Hugill levelled things up. It was a familiar feeling for those in the stands and they certainly weren’t surprised when seeing their side throw away two points. Derby also finished level in the FA Cup when ending 2-2 at home to Southampton last weekend, Redmond goals cancelled out by Marriott and Lawrence.
Home Win Favourite
Despite losing their last two starts, bookmakers have priced Leeds United as favourites to stop the rot and bounce back to winning ways in front of the TV cameras. Punters who agree and would like to have their stake money down on the locals will find Coral’s 4/5 as the standard price in the betting ring at the time of asking, although you should be careful not to take any less as there are a few firms offering tighter odds. That’s a fair call; however, it’s not enough to grab our attention, especially given their recent form, so we look elsewhere for our value.
Derby has been written off as outsiders in the betting and those after a play on the underdogs can have them at 7/2, top price with Unibet. That’s difficult to ignore and is a bet we wouldn’t put anyone off if they were keen on having a flutter. The draw is 14/5. We’ll happily avoid the unpredictability of the match betting and take the safe ground offered by both teams to score at 8/13 (Ladbrokes). Not a bet that’s going to make you rich on its own; however, it’s one that’ll do a job added to your weekend accumulator of the day and allow you to cheer home the goals in this live match.
Check on the Stats
This will be the second meeting of these sides this season following a convincing 4-1 win for Leeds in the reverse fixture back in August. Followers of our bet will take heart from the fact both teams have scored in each of the last three renewals of this fixture, Derby winning 2-1 last season before fighting out a thrilling 2-2 in February. Let’s have more of the same.
If you enjoy placing your trust in the trends, we’d like to point out the fact these teams have produced three or more goals in each of their last three meetings and this one falling into line is worth a punt. Take over 2.5 goals in the match at 8/11 (Bet365). Another for your accas; however, there’s enough of a price there to merit going hard as a super single.
Millwall v Blackburn
The other of our Jan 12 Championship betting tips is Millwall v Blackburn. We expected another strong season from Millwall, spent fighting for the major places; however, they have been poor so far this term and can be found down in 19th with a record of seven wins and seven draws against a dozen defeats so far. They are just six points better than Bolton and the relegation zone and that will worry everyone connected to The Lions; a season stuck playing League One football would place them in real financial trouble. Any longer than a season would be disastrous. The current crop of players must rediscover their famous fighting spirit if they are to put a bit of breathing space between themselves and the bottom three.
Millwall did pull off a cracking 3-2 win over Ipswich on New Year’s Day, a result achieved thanks to goals from Ferguson, Cooper and Elliott. That was enough to silence home support who cheered goals for Lankester inside two minutes and another from the boot of Jackson near the end. The final score suggests a tight match; however, Millwall was fully deserving of the points and used the confidence that comes from it to bag a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup. They beat Hull 2-1 at this venue last week, a Ferguson double seeing off Toral’s opener. Two wins from two and Millwall are 11/10 favourites at 888Sport.
Rovers Continue to Struggle
Eight wins, 10 draws and eight defeats settled Blackburn in 15th place in the Championship, 12 better than the relegation zone but nine off the pace needed to be considered contenders for a play-off finish. A mid-table slot looks to be the best fans can hope for this season and that wouldn’t be the worst outcome given their troubles in recent years; however, everyone at Ewood Park will target a strong second half to the campaign with improvement a must. Win here and they’ll be back on track for a top-half finish.
Blackburn lost three matches on the bounce and looked in a heap of trouble; however, they were able to stop the rot and pick-up an overdue three points when beating West Brom on 1 January in what was a bit of an upset for the formbook. The match-winning goals came from Mulgrew and Dack who did enough to hold The Baggies at arm’s length, Rodriguez smashing home a penalty on 63 minutes to half the deficit.
Any chance West Brom had of salvaging a point from the game ended when Livermore was sent off on 87 minutes, his second red card of the season and that will signal a four-game ban. Fancy the away win? There’s 5/2 at Unibet on Blackburn snatching the points, a draw yours at the same price with Bet365. Both attractive but we’ll go with the level finish as our best bet of this match.