The race for automatic promotion from the Championship is bubbling up nicely and with four of the main protagonists in Cardiff City, Hull City, Crystal Palace and Leicester City all playing at home on Tuesday evening, there is a cracking opportunity to cash in for punters.
A punt on all four to win their respective matches would pay off at just short of 8/1 if successful, but I will be swerving the Tigers’ clash with improving Blackburn Rovers to focus on a treble on the other three.
Anyone registering with bwin today can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on Cardiff, Palace and Leicester to record victories would return an impressive £92.49 if they all do the business.
And here’s why the statistics suggest they will.
Cardiff to beat Brighton @ 19/20
It’s not often you can find a near-even money price on Cardiff when they are playing at home these days, so it is one worth taking when Brighton make the trip to South Wales.
The Bluebirds have stormed eight points clear at the top of the table and one of the cornerstones of their success has been a phenomenal record at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Malky Mackay’s men have won 13 of their 15 league games on their own patch this term, conceding just nine goals in the process, and must surely now have the scent of a long-overdue promotion to the top flight in their nostrils.
Brighton are more than capable opponents and remain play-off contenders, but they have won just one of their last six away games in the Championship and shipped 11 goals in those matches.
Failure to beat Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn and Birmingham City – hardly the most daunting of challengers – in their previous three games on the road suggests Gus Poyet’s men could be in for a long night in the Welsh capital.
Cardiff have won seven of their last nine Championship matches and I can see them moving a step closer to the promised land by shooting down the Seagulls by the odd goal.
Crystal Palace to beat Bristol City @ 53/100
Bristol City can’t pick up a win on the road for love nor money at the moment and that is not going to change this evening.
The Robins have lost their last four away games in the Championship and have not tasted victory outside of the comforts of Ashton Gate since a 3-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday over two months ago.
City, who sit second bottom, four points adrift of safety, have lost more away matches than any other team (11), while Palace have lost just once on their own patch all season – and even that came way back on the opening day against Watford.
Ian Holloway’s men have the distinction of scoring the most home goals in the division (39) and showed their attacking threat again on Saturday as they comfortably dispatched play-off contenders Middlesbrough 4-1 at Selhurst Park.
With the likes of Manchester United-bound Wilfried Zaha, fellow wing wizard Yannick Bolasie and 26–goal Championship top scorer Glenn Murray in their ranks, Palace will surely prove too strong for City.
Leicester to beat Charlton @ 11/20
Leicester currently sit in fifth place in the table but with two games in hand on the three teams above them, boss Nigel Pearson will be emphasising the importance of victory over Charlton Athletic this evening.
The Foxes also have an impressive home record this term – 11 wins and two draws from 15 league matches – and Chris Powell’s men will struggle to break down a defence that is statistically the best in the division.
After a shock 2-1 defeat at Peterborough United last time out in the Championship and an FA Cup fourth-round replay defeat by Huddersfield Town, Leicester will expect to pick up their fourth straight home league win against the Addicks.
Charlton, in fairness, have actually been better on the road than at the Valley for the majority of the campaign and have accumulated 22 of their 40 points in away matches.
However, the Londoners are in a real funk at present having lost three of their last four games (drawing the other) and they look in no sort of shape to pick up a result at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester somehow lost the reverse fixture 2-1 in August despite outplaying Charlton for the vast majority of the game but I fully expect them to show their superiority at the second time of asking.