Last week was not good, not good at all. If you would have told me that Peterborough were going to beat Derby then I would have been extremely confident that the ‘Home Heroes’ treble was in the bag. However, Leicester lost to managerless Crystal Palace and Ipswich were thumped by Sheffield Wednesday 3-0, so unfortunately what looked to be a winner turned out to be a shocker.
It’s never easy to pick victories in the ever-unpredictable Championship, but nonetheless I have selected three teams that will hopefully do the business at the weekend and give us a much needed success.
New customers receive a free £20 bet for registering with bwin, and placing it on Birmingham City, Hull City and Huddersfield Town to all secure maximum points in their respective matches will provide winnings of £119.51 if successful.
Birmingham to beat Ipswich @ 9/10
I have backed Lee Clark’s side with great confidence on numerous occasions this season and every single time they have proceeded to let me down – most notably as they were embarrassingly beaten 5-0 at home to Barnsley.
It may be foolish of me to once again plump for the Blues, but after beating Leeds at Elland Road in their last outing, Birmingham should be on the biggest high they have felt all season. That victory came on the back of a sterling fightback from three down to secure an admirable 3-3 draw at Millwall, so in their current form, beating Ipswich should be a doddle.
I know Mick McCarthy has just been appointed the new manager at Portman Road and it takes a brave man to bet against a side with a new man in charge. However, it is going to take longer than three days for Mick to work his magic on a dour Ipswich side.
The Suffolk side are rock bottom and without a win in their previous 11 league fixtures, which includes a run of four successive defeats – hardly the form of a side that looks as though they are about to turn it around, so Birmingham should be a banker.
If this has not persuaded you to trust Clark’s men to do a job, the Tractor Boys have conceded 12 goals in their six away fixtures so far, plus the three at home last weekend to Sheffield Wednesday, who prior to that fixture could not score for love nor money. Trust me – Birmingham will get the points.
Hull to beat Barnsley @ 7/10
I mentioned earlier in the betting preview that Barnsley battered Birmingham 5-0 at St Andrews in September, so you may be wondering why I am tipping Hull to come out on top when the two sides meet on Saturday afternoon.
Well, since that fine win over the Blues, Keith Hill’s side have only recorded one victory. The high of beating a fancied Birmingham side has been replaced with low after low in recent weeks as the Tykes plummet dangerously down the Championship table.
They currently sit 19th, hovering above the drop zone, while their opponents at the weekend continue to climb in the standings.
Hull occupy sixth place at the moment and Steve Bruce will look at this fixture as a must-win if his team harbour any hopes of a return to the top flight come the end of the season.
The Tigers suffered three defeats on the spin at the back end of September, but seemed to have regained some of the form they showed in the early stages of the campaign. Three wins in the last four suggest Bruce’s boys mean business again and as a result, I cannot see Barnsley preventing Hull from enjoying another win.
Huddersfield to beat Bristol City @ 17/20
Huddersfield have lost their last two fixtures, conceding seven in the process, but being back on home turf should see Simon Grayson’s side return to form.
Defeats to Peterborough and Millwall stopped the Terriers in their tracks after a run which saw them pick up 15 points from a possible 21 and they will be desperate to rediscover that winning feeling this weekend.
And while those defeats are a slight concern, the good news is that Huddersfield’s opponents are on a treacherous run themselves.
The Robins are without a win in their last seven matches and have lost their last four in a row, so Huddersfield’s form looks blinding in comparison.
Grayson’s men are lying in ninth place in the Championship, which is a great feat considering they lost goal machine Jordan Rhodes in the summer transfer window. Grayson’s astute bit of business in bringing in strikers Jermaine Beckford and James Vaughan has more than made up for the departure of Rhodes to Blackburn.
The two new recruits look as though they could become a potent strike-force and given the fact that Bristol City have leaked 15 goals in their last seven Championship games, I can see Beckford and Vaughan running riot on Saturday afternoon.