Norwich v Sheff Utd
The first of our Jan 26 Championship tips takes us to Norwich v Sheffield United. Only six games take place from the Championship on Saturday due to the FA Cup Fourth Round; that’ll be music to the ears of punters wishing to stick with form and minimise the risk posed to their stake money.
The game of the day, without doubt, takes place at Carrow Road where two promotion contenders meet in a 3.00pm kick-off. Norwich enjoys home advantage and goes in search of the points needed to keep them in the hunt for the title; meanwhile, their opponents start down in fourth but could leapfrog their hosts with the right result. This will be a cracker and those in attendance should prepare themselves for a thrilling contest.
Norwich start the week with a record of 15 wins and eight draws against just five defeats, leaving them a point off leaders Leeds United; however, it’s a title no side seems to want to win at the minute. Leeds have lost three of their last four, winning the spare, while The Canaries have won only one of their last five. Their form in that period also shows three draws and a defeat with two of their last three ending in a level finish.
The title hopefuls did make a welcome return to winning ways last time; they beat Birmingham City at this venue last Friday night, dishing out a 3-1 defeat to The Blues thanks to goals from Pukki, Vrancic and Trybull. All three came inside the first 25 minutes of that match. Another fast start would suit home support perfectly.
Blades Finding Their Edge
Four wins in their last five Championship matches has thrown Sheff Utd into contention for the title. Now they will rate their chances of beating a rival and adding weight to their chances of, at least, bagging a return to the Premier League without the need for the play-offs.
The Blades started the year with a convincing win over Wigan Athletic on the road, before beating QPR at home. They did suffer what was their sixth defeat of the campaign last weekend when leaving Wales empty-handed, ending on the wrong side of a 1-0 result at Swansea City.
That must go down as a bit of a shock result, given the form of both teams involved; however, there will be plenty of ups and downs on a bumpy road between now and the final count.
Losing matches won’t stop them grabbing success, it’ll be how they respond to defeat that’ll matter most. McBurnie scored the only goal at the Liberty Stadium that day, bulging the net on 65 minutes; however, the final score did nothing to dampen manager Chris Wilder’s spirits. The beaten gaffer told members of the press in his post-match chat he thought his boys were outstanding in the first half but paid the price for missed chances.
This Will Be Close
The main focus of punters this weekend will be on trying to pick the value out of the FA Cup matches; however, this tie will be a great advert for Championship football and is sure to receive a fair share of attention.
On paper, it looks to be a 50/50, pick-em match-up but bookmakers have set-up in support of the locals and have Norwich priced as favourites for the result. Backers looking to follow that thinking should do so at Bet365 where they’ll get their hands on a useful 7/5. The draw is yours at 12/5 with the same firm and that catches our eye as its outsider of three in the match betting. A bet on Sheff Utd will give you a shot at 15/8 with Coral.
This will be the second meeting of these sides this season following Sheffield United’s hard-fought 2-1 win at Bramall Lane back in August; Sharp grabbed a 90th-minute winner to decide the tie.
Norwich will be out for revenge; however, it’s worth noting each of the last two meetings between these rivals has ended with both teams on the scoresheet and a third will do us at 4/6 – best price with Bet365. After more? Interestingly, 2-1 has been the final score in three of the last four clashes, The Blades winning the two most recent of them. 2-1 Sheff Utd may be worth a punt at interest stakes with 10/1 available at Bet365.
Rotherham v Leeds
The other of our Jan 26 Championship betting tips are for Rotherham v Leeds. Rotherham have a real challenge on their hands this weekend when welcoming Leeds United to town in what will be game 29 for both sides.
This is billed as a meeting of two teams on very different paths and if things continue the way they have been going there’s every chance there will be two levels between the clubs next season. Leeds are plying their trade in the Premier League, possibly as Championship winners, with Rotherham forced back to the drawing board in League One following a painful relegation. There’s still plenty of football to be played and anything can happen between now and the final tally.
The home side suffered their 12th and 13th defeats of the season in their last two Championship outings when gunned down by Ipswich in a 1-0 away day; they were then trampled on by a rampant Brentford who blasted their way to a stunning 4-2 win at this very venue last weekend.
The beaten side was on the scoresheet thanks to a Taylor goal on 20 minutes and Konsa OG on 73; however, that was bettered by a Mokotjo double, as well as strikes from Benrahma and Maupay. Manager Paul Warne spoke to the media at full-time and told fans his players didn’t heed the warnings they were given in the dressing room before the start, conceding an early goal. They must be switched on from the first whistle if they are to have any chance of stopping the rot here. The betting is dead against a home win with backers finding 9/2 at Ladbrokes, the draw 3/1 – top price at Bet365.
Leeds United may be on top of the table with a CV showing 16 wins and six draws against six defeats, but half of those losses have come in their last four starts; that’s a slump that has fans worried, especially after seeing their side throw away a promotion challenge down the home straight more times than they’d care to remember. The Peacocks were beaten by Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the year that was followed by a 2-0 win over Derby County and Elland Road and 2-1 loss when visiting Stoke City last weekend.
That travel sickness has blown the title wide open and Leeds are in trouble of seeing their good early work undone as we get into the business end of winter. Clucas and Allen hit the target for The Potters who did more than enough to deserve all three points; Alioski scored a consolation goal with 95 minutes on the clock, the game already over as a contest.
Jansson was sent off after picking up two bookings, sent for an early bath with 15 minutes remaining. That didn’t help his employer’s chances any. Both teams have scored in three of Leeds previous four matches in all competitions this month and more of the same is our best bet at 5/6 with Bet365. The Leeds win is favourite across the board with Coral handing out 8/13. We wouldn’t put anyone off an interest in the jolly if preferring to pick sides in their weekend accumulators.