Our betting preview of the 30th round of Championship fixtures begins with a Friday night clash between two sides with plenty of work to do to fulfil their domestic ambitions.
It’s not been the happiest of new years for Bolton Wanderers. Their festive revival of three wins out of four is well and truly over thanks to a run of back-to-back defeats in the Championship and League Cup, while their main source of goals, Gary Madine, completed a deadline day switch to Cardiff on Wednesday. And to make matters worse, they entertain a Bristol City side on a high following a 2-0 win over QPR –despite playing most of the game with ten men. A Robins away win looks a touch too short at evens, so add a bit of value and back them to secure all three points whilst also keeping a clean sheet, a bet which fetches around 9/4 with SkyBet.
Another side to lose their spearhead striker this week was Preston North End, who sold Jordan Hugill to Premier League West Ham with just a few hours remaining of the January transfer window. With the move in the pipeline on Tuesday he was left out of the squad for Preston’s trip to Nottingham Forest. Long story short: they didn’t miss him. A 3-0 away win which saw his long-term replacement Billy Boden find the back of the net for the first time in a North End shirt, whilst also securing their first Championship clean sheet of the calendar year. They return to action on Saturday to face a Hull City side in alarmingly poor form. The Tigers’ eight-game winless streak is one problem, but failing to score in seven of those games is an even bigger dilemma for manager Nigel Adkins. William Hill are offering better than even-money for a home win here, giving you a golden opportunity to double your money.
If you’re looking for a classic this weekend, my tip is don’t travel to Hillsbrough for Sheffield Wednesday versus Birmingham City. The Owls, managed these days by somewhat obscure Jos Luhukay, haven’t scored in their last five league games, whilst Birmingham are the lowest away scorers in the Championship. If there is going to be a winner in this one, it’ll surely be 1-0 either way, so get on under 1.5 goals at 17/10 with Ladbrokes – just don’t come looking for me when it finishes 5-4!
While goals may be at a premium in Sheffield, they probably won’t be in the capital, where Fulham host Nottingham Forest at Craven Cottage. The last eight Championship fixtures between the two sides have fetched a whopping 37 goals, at an average of over 4.5 goals per game. The west-Londoners’ form in attack suggests goals may well be on the cards too, with their last two wins seeing them trounce Burton Albion 6-0 and beat Barnsley 3-1. Nottingham Forest are a fascinating proposition this weekend after a deadline day which saw them sign six new players. All of those new faces will need time to gel, and a baptism of fire at Fulham may spell chaos. Over 3.5 goals in this one is a huge 18/5 with Ladbrokes.