Norwich v Swansea
The first of our Mar 9 Championship betting tips is for Norwich v Swansea. The Championship weekend gets off to a flyer as Norwich and Swansea meet on Friday night in a match shown live on Sky Sports from 7.45pm. The hosts started the week sitting top of the league with season stats reading 20 wins and nine draws against six defeats and that would suggest they are determined to force a long-overdue return to the top-flight of English football. If we know anything of the Championship, however, it’s that nothing can be taken for granted in this division and we’ll see a few more twists before a king is crowned. Leeds in second is two points behind with third-placed Sheff Utd four off the pace.
The Canaries have won each of their last three league starts to slide into pole position and were last seen handing out an impressive 3-1 defeat to Millwall in London on Saturday 2 March. Stiepermann, Zimmermann and Pukki were all on the scoresheet that day, the beaten side responding through Williams on the stroke of half-time to send the teams into the break level at 1-1. Norwich hit back in the second 45 and ended the match deserving winners of another three points. Daniel Farke blamed sloppy passes for the match being closer than it should’ve been at the interval but was glad his players got the win their play deserved. Local cheer is 4/6 favourite at Bet365 and that’s worth a place in your accumulators.
Swans Standing Still
Swansea has failed to live up to expectations this season and will end the campaign in midtable, failing to put pressure on the promotion play-off places but finishing far enough away from the relegation zone that they don’t have to worry. A lack of consistency has cost them dear this term and their last five matches sum up how their season has gone on the whole – lose, win, lose, lose, win. They have 47 points on the board and are treading water at present. With little to play for between now and the flag, we’re not expecting too much to change.
The Swans did win last time out when beating struggling Bolton 2-0 at home, a result achieved thanks to goals from McBurnie and Celina. It was tighter than the final score would suggest, and Swansea needed a stoppage-time winner to give themselves a cushion, but they were given a helping hand by their opponents who finished the match with nine men. Noone was sent off for a second bookable offence on 43 minutes and was joined by Wheater on 73. An afternoon to forget for Bolton and they now look destined for the drop. The Swansea win is 7/2 with Bet365, a draw 3/1 with the same firm. We’ll stick with the form side.
Sheff Utd v Rotherham
The Blades are on an unbeaten run and go into game 36 of their season having won three and drawn two of their last five. They sit third in the table, but a title win remains a real possibility and they won’t be giving up on the trophy anytime soon. A top-two finish is vitally important for a side of Sheffield’s ability as it would see them move back into the Premier League without the need for play-off football and the drama that comes with it. A top-six finish now looks guaranteed but first or second will be their main aim. Sheffield won three of their last four and are 4/11 with Bet365 to add another three points. Another that’ll do a job in accas.
Making Life Tough
Rotherham is more than capable of making life difficult for their opponents in this match and although they won’t go close to the prize places, they will have a say in who does before the season is over. The visitors are down in the relegation zone but are also on an unbeaten run, drawing four and winning one of their last five. Making themselves difficult to beat is the best way to avoid the drop, they believe.
They did grab a much-needed win last weekend when beating Blackburn by the odd goal in five, Ajayi scoring a double, one either side of a Williams strike. Bell and Mulgrew hit back but the latter scored on 93 minutes from the spot, which tells us the right team won. We wouldn’t back the visitors at 17/2, best price with Unibet, but the draw is difficult to ignore, given Rotherham’s recent form. That’s top price 15/4.
QPR v Stoke
The Hoops have lost four of their last five, including defeat last weekend, and that has them down in 18th place. Much lower than fans had feared this season, but they already have enough points on the board to comfortably avoid being sucked into the relegation zone, meaning there’s not a lot to play for in the latter stages of this campaign. QPR ended on the wrong side of a 3-0 result with Brentford last time to get the month off to a poor start. They did hold on until 50 minutes but when Maupay broke the deadlock the floodgates opened, Benrahma and Canos adding to the tally. Despite that form, you’ll find QPR as favourites and the 13/8 at Bet365 is one of the better prices available. Not a bet that interests us.
Stoke was another side tipped for a promotion push this season, but they too have under-performed and you’ll find them down in 16th with season stats of 10, 14, 11. Like their opponents, they’ll get nowhere near the play-offs but shouldn’t put any pressure on the relegation battle going on below either. The Potters are unbeaten in four, following three draws with a win and they claimed that maximum last time out courtesy of a 2-0 at home to Nottingham Forest, a result that deserves our respect. Etebo scored first, his goal added to by Afobe. Another Stoke win will net backers 17/10 with Coral, but we’d prefer the draw at 21/10 with the same firm. That’s a bigger price than it should be, given Stoke’s run of shares.
Our Tip: The draw – 21/10 at Coral
Birmingham v Aston Villa
The last of our Mar 9 Championship betting tips is for Birmingham v Aston Villa. A Sunday match for followers of the Championship to enjoy and you can keep tabs on this one thanks to Sky Sports’ live coverage. The Blues enjoy home advantage and will be looking to claim the win needed to strengthen their bid for a place in the play-offs. The locals have struggled for consistency of late, however, winning one, drawing one and losing two of their last four. Traders have them chalked up as 17/10 second favourites.
Struggling for Consistency
Aston Villa is three places and two points worse off than their hosts going into the match but time looks to be running out on their hopes of landing a top-six finish and forcing an extended season. They have also struggled to nail down a run of form and have won just one of their last five, the spare coming in their most recent start when beating Derby 4-0 at Villa Park. Anything near a repeat of that performance will see them win again and backers will enjoy the 7/4 at Bet365. Neither side fills us with confidence, however, so we’ll take the draw as a super single, priced 9/4 with 888sport. With a nervy encounter expected, backers should get a real run for their money with that bet.