Last weekend’s Home Heroes effort certainly left a bitter taste in the mouth. Hull were victorious over Ipswich, but unfortunately Brighton did not manage to turn a corner as I predicted they would and went down 1-0 at home to Middlesbrough, while Charlton slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Barnsley.
Similarly to losing a football match, when you lose a bet you are desperate for a chance to make up for your mistakes and with that, I will now give you the reasons behind my latest (hopefully) wise selections.
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Ipswich to beat Sheffield Wednesday @ 5/4
This bottom-of-the-table clash is a huge game for both sides and you have to expect there will be very little between the two when they meet at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon.
However, I am going to put my neck on the line and predict an Ipswich victory. With Paul Jewell leaving the Suffolk club following Tuesday night’s defeat at home to Derby, the Ipswich players know they well and truly owe their fans a massive performance.
Neither side is in the kind of form that allows tipsters to talk them up, but I will do my best to persuade you that Ipswich are a decent bet.
In six of their last nine games, Ipswich have gone in front but have somehow not turned one of these leads into three points. Incredibly, on each of these occasions, the Tractor Boys have conceded in the last 15 minutes to prevent them from either gaining a victory or picking up a draw.
Luckily for the managerless side, Saturday’s opponents are in also in dire form and if Ipswich can once again score first, they will fancy their chances of holding on this time.
Dave Jones’s men have lost eight of their last ten Championship matches, with the other two ending in draws, so form has completely deserted the Owls in recent weeks.
Worse still, Wednesday have failed to find the back of the net in five of those matches, so even though it doesn’t stand out instantly as a obvious selection, there can be a claim made for a home success in this must-win fixture.
Leicester to beat Crystal Palace @ 12/25
Leicester: Top of the table, six wins in their last seven and absolutely flying.
Crystal Palace: Been on a blinding run in recent weeks which saw them rocket to fourth in the table, only to see their manager bail out and join out-of-sorts Bolton. A complete hammer blow to their confidence, surely?
This must be a no brainer and a Leicester win looks like the only possible outcome as the two in-form sides meet at the King Power Stadium.
Nigel Pearson’s men have taken the Championship by storm in the last few weeks and the pre-season title favourites tag now looks like a valid one.
Having reached the summit of the league, the Foxes will not want to be derailed and I do not expect that to happen at the weekend, so have faith in them extending their perfect home record to seven wins out of seven.
Peterborough to beat Derby @ 19/10
A horrendous start to the season saw Peterborough go eight games without picking up a single point, but in true Ferguson manner, Darren has got his team playing again. His Posh side continued their return to some sort of form with a superb 3-1 win over Huddersfield in midweek to further their chances of climbing the table.
Posh have won three of their last five matches – their only three wins this season – which goes to show they have managed to breathe some life back into a campaign that looked to be going badly wrong.
With the extremely talented, if sometimes lazy, George Boyd starting to pull the strings for Peterborough like their fans know he can, there is a little bit of renewed hope that Peterborough can survive another season at this level.
While I have to try to rave about why Peterborough are such a good bet at the weekend, Derby are certainly no whipping boys. They currently sit in 13th position and enter this game on the back of five without defeat, including two away wins.
One of those was obviously thanks to a 90th-minute winner against Ipswich (which all clubs do – except Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, of course).
Nonetheless, having picked up their first home league win, I expect Posh to come out firing and do enough to secure anther three points at London Road.