Sunday sees Derby take on Cardiff at Pride Park, in a game that between two sides that have handled the pressure of chasing automatic promotion in largely contrasting manners.
For Derby, their annual wobble is in full swing. Seven games without a win, including a drab 0-0 with local rivals Nottingham Forest last Sunday tells you all you need to know about the Rams’ promotion mettle. Cardiff, meanwhile, are finding the extra gears required to sustain a push for the Premier League. Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds have won seven games in a row, and have the chance this weekend to take advantage of a Derby side not only lacking form, but also fit senior players.
In Derby County’s pre-match press conference on Friday they revealed only ten players were available for first-team training, so to say they were down to the bare bones would be an understatement. No such problems for Cardiff, though, as they have a clean bill of health, and a range of key players all hitting form at the right time.
One of those players is ex-Derby target Callum Paterson, who has scored in his last three games from midfield. The Scot is 18/5 to score anytime here, and a huge 10/1 to score first.
With Derby’s injuries, it is difficult to see anything other than a Cardiff win in this one. The visitors are on fire, and their come-from-behind victory over Brentford on Tuesday was the perfect preparation for what should be a similar test this weekend. You can get as high as 19/10 for a Cardiff away win with William Hill. And if you’re feeling extra confident of the Bluebirds taking advantage of an injury-ravaged Derby side, then back to them overcome the Rams whilst keeping a clean sheet. It would follow form – Cardiff have the second-best away defensive record in the Championship, and Derby have only scored twice in their last three Championship games. The away win to nil is 18/5 with Coral.
Tip of the Day: Middlesbrough are finding their stride under Tony Pulis, and Brentford’s top-six push is faltering. 2/1 for Boro to make their quality count and cement sixth-place with an away win is a great price.
Championship Treble: £10 on Preston, Bristol City and Cardiff returns more than £100 with William Hill.
Fancy find out some of the tricks of the trade? Find out more about some of the methods my tipping colleague are using in order to stay one step ahead of the game…