On Saturday, we came so close to celebrating a victory, but unfortunately Birmingham City slumped to a defeat against bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town. Hull City and Huddersfield Town were both good picks though, as both sides won 1-0 against Barnsley and Bristol City respectively.
As always, there are no easy pickings in the Championship and it has proved very tough to find three teams that I feel confident enough about tipping to win in a full midweek programme.
However, I am quietly optimistic about bringing you Birmingham (don’t let me down again, Blues!) to beat Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion to overcome Peterborough United and Crystal Palace to topple Ipswich.
New customers can claim a free £20 bet when registering with bwin and placing it on this ‘Home Heroes’ treble would return £113.95 if successful.
Birmingham to beat Bristol City @ 9/10
Honestly, I cannot even remember how many times I have tipped Birmingham to win this season and every single time they have let me down. This does feel slightly déjà vu, I must admit, as I seem to remember writing exactly the same thing for the weekend preview.
So why am I once again sticking with Lee Clark’s frustratingly average side? Well, for one thing, the midweek set of fixtures has thrown up some games that I would class as ‘untouchable’ in betting terms. And secondly, this one appears to make sense simply because Bristol City are so poor.
The lesser of two evils theory is maybe not the best one to apply to punting, but Birmingham did show signs of promise before Saturday’s disastrous showing, so I am going to give Blues one final chance before turning my back on them for the foreseeable future.
Despite the very poor start to Birmingham’s season, Derek McInnes’ side have endured a horrendous last two months. The Robins have not tasted victory since the September 18th, when they defeated Peterborough, and since then they have only picked up two points from a possible 24.
Although Birmingham’s current form is rather shabby, even they possess a better record than poor old Bristol City. Clark’s men have gained eight points from their last eight fixtures and I pray they secure maximum points at St Andrews tomorrow evening as this really is the last-chance Home Heroes saloon for the Brummie boys.
Brighton to beat Peterborough @ 57/100
This is another game where both competitors have struggled to find any consistency of late and it is a selection of belief more than certainty.
A shocking run has seen Brighton slip from top of the table to tenth spot in the space of a few weeks as the Championship continues to amaze football supporters with its topsy-turvy nature.
Gus Poyet’s men have at least picked up a couple of decent draws in their last two games (against Blackpool and Leeds – the latter would have been all three points if it was not for a missed penalty by Craig Mackail-Smith, who was on a hat-trick at the time) so hopefully those two acceptable results will ensure the Seagulls have regained a bit of confidence going into Tuesday’s clash.
As with our first selection of Birmingham, fortunately Brighton’s opponents are towards the foot of the table. Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough side had rediscovered a bit of form prior to Saturday’s crunch tie against fellow relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday, but a 2-0 loss means they are still struggling to find their way out of the bottom three for the first time this season.
Goals have been slightly hard to come by in recent weeks for the Seagulls, but 11 in seven at the Amex is still respectable and the fact that Posh have already leaked 12 goals on the road suggests that Brighton could find their shooting boots once again and give Peterborough a good midweek beating.
Crystal Palace to beat Ipswich @ 91/100
Having picked Ipswich to beat Sheffield Wednesday two weeks ago when they were humiliated 3-0 by the Owls, I thought Birmingham to defeat Ipswich at the weekend was a banker. How wrong I was though, as Mick McCarthy led his new side to an impressive win in his first match in charge.
Perhaps I should steer clear of the Tractor Boys this week given these stats, but I will trust my instincts and plump for a Palace win when the two sides clash at Selhurst Park.
Ian Holloway has been brought in to replace the departed Dougie Freedman and although the former Blackpool boss was not officially at the helm for Saturday’s match against Blackburn, he would have thoroughly enjoyed what he witnessed.
Glenn Murray was at the double to take his tally to ten Championship goals for the season and with the striker in blistering form, he will fancy his chances of adding to that total against a hapless Ipswich back line.
The Portman Road side have conceded 26 goals in their opening 14 league fixtures and on eight occasions have conceded two or more goals. Given the fact that the Eagles average 2.29 goals per game at home, it does not look promising for Ipswich.
Palace currently sit third in the table following a tremendous run which has seen them pick up 20 points from a possible 24 and with Cardiff and Middlesbrough facing tricky away ties at Charlton and Nottingham Forest, Palace could find themselves top of the tree by the end of Tuesday evening.
With this as a very realistic possibility, I cannot see them letting this opportunity slide, especially with the injection of positivity supplied by Holloway in his first official game in charge.