The international break scuppered our chances of back-to-back ‘Home Heroes’ winning bets, but with plenty of time to muse over this week’s selections, I fancy our chances of securing another victory over the bookies with Brighton & Hove Albion to beat Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic to see off Barnsley and Hull City to squeeze past Ipswich Town.
At one stage a couple of weeks ago, it looked as though Crystal Palace were going to be our betting arch-enemies as they went two down early on against Burnley, but as Leicester and Leeds ran out victorious over Bristol City and Barnsley respectively, the Eagles produced a sterling comeback and a 4-3 victory ensured we had a profitable Saturday afternoon.
Confident I may be this week, but I refuse to go overboard and gloat too much about that 5/1 success, as the last time I displayed such hubris, I unfortunately proceeded to go on a disastrous run, with poor tip after poor tip cutting me down to size.
New customers receive a free £20 bet for registering with bwin and placing it on this ‘Home Heroes’ treble will give you a tasty £136 for your weekend if it comes in.
Brighton to beat Middlesbrough @ 7/10
Brighton’s poor recent run of form coincided with an injury to goalscoring machine Craig Mackail-Smith and in truth, it was not a coincidence at all. The Scottish striker has bagged six goals in seven appearances this season and since he picked up a hamstring problem during his side’s 2-1 victory over Millwall last month, the Seagulls have gone three games without a win, only scoring once in the process.
Gus Poyet’s side are far from a one-man team, but they clearly are more of a formidable force when Mackail-Smith, possibly the hardest working forward in the Championship, is leading the line.
Middlesbrough will be no pushovers when they visit the Amex on Saturday afternoon, but with Mackail-Smith back in the ranks, expect the Seagulls to rediscover the form that saw them record five wins on the spin not so long ago and pick up three points in the process.
Charlton to beat Barnsley @ 11/10
In any treble, there is always one selection that you look at and think ‘hmm, that could be the one to let me down’. Well, Charlton are afforded that status for us this weekend. The Addicks, like many sides in the Championship, including their opponents Barnsley, have been extremely up and down thus far during the early stages of the campaign. Nonetheless, after defeating Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in their last league fixture, Chris Powell will be looking for his side to push on following that tremendous result.
On the topic of Barnsley’s indifferent form – how can a team go from beating Birmingham 5-0 at St Andrews to then drawing with Ipswich and losing at home to bottom-of-the-table Peterborough?
It really does go to show how tough it is to win games at this level. That is why you have to throw in the odd risky one to land the big bucks in the Championship and Charlton at 11/10 is the one that will hopefully bump up our winnings this weekend.
Hull to beat Ipswich @ 91/100
Having talked up Charlton as the ‘toughie’, you would hope the third and final selection would be a banker. Although it is not a banker, I still feel extremely confident in placing my trust in Steve Bruce’s men to topple Ipswich when they visit the KC Stadium.
Paul Jewell’s side are currently 23rd in the Championship table and with the Tigers tenth and nine points clear of their opponents, Saturday’s tie should be a one-sided affair. Three defeats in succession saw Hull slide down the table and instead of looking at the automatic promotion spots, they are now desperate to get back in the top six.
It may sound silly to say that at this stage of the season, but no club wants to trail the leading pack too much as it is a very difficult league to make up ground once you slip off the pace.
A hard-fought 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday got the Tigers back on track last time out and a fixture against poor travellers in Ipswich (one win from five on the road) should see Hull continue their climb back up the table.