, FL72 Weekend Betting Preview – 17th/18th April

FL72 Weekend Betting Preview – 17th/18th April

SBCHampionship

Championship

The crazy promotion picture continues at the top of the Championship table with a few more key battles this weekend. The relegation fight also looks more interesting after Millwall’s victory over Wigan in midweek and with Rotherham set to be deducted 3 points for fielding an ineligible player it looks likely to be a straight fight between them for safety. On top of this as the weeks go by mid-table sides have less and less to play for as they look more assured to finish in certain positions. My draw strategy paid off in that respect with 2 out of the 3 draw selections winning in matches between two sides destined for mid-table obscurity.

Norwich v Middlesbrough

Friday night’s feature game is a huge clash between Norwich and Middlesbrough who are 2nd and 4th respectively separated by just 1 point. Any kind of result for Middlesbrough would put them in prime position for an automatic spot as their last 2 games look quite straight forward. Boro beat the Canaries 4-0 at the Riverside back in November but, with their recent away form and the effect Alex Neil has had since his arrival at Carrow Road, another victory here would be a big shock. Norwich have won 5 on the bounce. They are doing whatever it takes to win games at the minute and Boro continue to lose their away games with a whimper. The hosts have 4 players in double figures this season and it’s that scoring power that should see them win tonight; Norwich have score 2 or more in 8 of their last 11 home games, compare that to just 3 Boro goals in 7 away games in all competitions this fixture screams home win and could be by a margin.

Norwich to win – 21/20 Betvictor

Wolves v Ipswich

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Saturday’s early kick off is another game with big consequences. Ipswich currently hold the last of the 4 play-off spots with a 3 point cushion over Brentford and Wolves but a return to Molineux  for Mick McCarthy could quite easily see them relinquish that advantage. Wolves have scored in 12 consecutive games, the longest scoring run of any side in the division at present. That form looks even stronger at home with 5 wins and a draw in their last 6 and 2 or more goals in all of those games. Similar to Boro, Ipswich have really struggled on the road when it’s mattered losing a whopping 6 of their last 8 away games, that’s not promotion form and deserves to be opposed. Ipswich conceded 2 or more in all of those 6 recent away defeats. Wolves home form ties in to that trend nicely. I’m expecting them to score 2 or more again and that should provide a home win.

Wolves to win – 29/20 Betvictor

Blackburn v Nottingham Forest

I’ll employ the same strategy as my midweek preview when it comes to games like this. Blackburn have lost 4 of their last 5 at Ewood Park and will want to put a stop to that but they’ve kept just 1 home clean sheet in their last 10 outings. Forest are also in bad form, they’ll want some momentum going in to next season and as a whole they’ve been much improved under Dougie Freedman who’s had to work with limited striking options following Britt Assombalonga’s long term injury. 2 away draws in a row for Rovers and 3 draws in their last 6 away games for Forest. This should be a tight game with nothing to play for and as always the draw provides the best value in the match odds market under these circumstances.

Draw – 11/4 Betvictor

Cardiff v Millwall

Millwall look overpriced to win this given their desperation to escape the relegation zone and the fact that Cardiff have nothing to play for in 13th place. The Lions have won 2 of their last 3 games and, though helped by red cards for their opposition in both of those games, that willpower to get a result could be the difference here. Considering a month ago today the Lions had lost 5 on the bounce it’s been an exceptional turnaround with 1 defeat in their last 5, even more encouraging was that that defeat was to the rampant Watford in a game where they showed their mettle throughout. Millwall have only won 9 games this season but one of those was the reverse of this fixture at the Den. It’s incredible what teams can achieve when under the kosh and I’m expecting that determination to shine through in the Welsh capital.

Millwall double chance – 4/5 William Hill

Charlton v Leeds

Charlton are the Championship’s draw specialists. It’s three 1-1 stalemates in a row for the Addicks and with nothing to play for I’m expecting a pretty bland game at the Valley this weekend. Charlton have drawn 18 of 43 games this season so the odds on offer look pretty generous. Leeds have indeed lost 4 in a row and the Elland Road circus goes on but two of those defeats were to promotion chasing sides and another was at Blackburn in a game in which a first half red card to Rodolph Austin saw the hosts win comfortably. They still have talent in their ranks, Charlton don’t need to win and the reverse fixture was a 2-2 draw so I think there are plenty of reasons to get involved in the draw again.

Draw – 13/5 Bet365

Watford v Birmingham

Just looking at the difference between this year’s and last year’s Championship tables you can tell it’s been an exciting season full of goals and tight contests. Watford are the league’s second top scorers at home with 46 goals in 21 games at Vicarage Road and I’m expecting them to turn it on against the Blues on Saturday. Birmingham’s 63 conceded is the 7th worst defensive record this season and though they’ve been a bit more watertight under Gary Rowett I can see them getting exposed here. Birmingham have conceded 2 or more in all of their last 5 away games and exactly 4 in 3 of those games. The Hornets have Odion Ighalo, Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra at their disposal, that’s a terrifying prospect at this level and with return to the Promised Land at stake I can see them winning in some style.

Watford to score 3+ goals – 6/4 William Hill

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