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Championship Betting Preview: Can Monk Stop the Rot in Match Day 36?

Last updated: 18 Dec 13:55

The Championship boasts a full schedule on Tuesday night as we head into match day 36, and with plenty of postponements over the weekend, there should be plenty of fresh legs and betting entertainment in midweek.

Second-placed Cardiff’s game at Brentford was one of those Saturday postponents, and next up for them is a home game against a Barnsley side that could pose something of a banana skin in south Wales. New manager Jose Morais has overseen two solid performances in his first couple of away games as Barnsley boss, with the Tykes winning at Birmingham and drawing at Hull. That sort of form should tell you that 11/20 for a Cardiff home win is way too short, but the Bluebirds to win, with both teams scoring, is much more like it at 11/4 with William Hill.

Aston Villa head the chasing clutch of clubs behind Cardiff, and they’re on the road on Tuesday as they head north to face bottom side Sunderland, who come into this one on the back of an encouraging draw at Millwall at the weekend. Chris Coleman’s first game as Sunderland manager was a 2-1 defeat at Villa in November, in a match where they could – and perhaps should – have got something from. Steve Bruce’s Villa didn’t play at the weekend, so could well be rusty, and while I’m nowhere near brave/stupid enough to back the home win, I think they will start the quicker of the two and bag the first goal. Sunderland to score first in this one is as high as 6/4…

Fulham weren’t at their best, but didn’t let me down as my tip of the day on Saturday when they won 2-1 at Derby to land a tasty 7/4 away victory. Those three points extend the Cottagers’ unbeaten run to 13 games, and next up is another tough game as they host Sheffield United at Craven Cottage. United were one of the sides to fall foul of the weather at the weekend as their match with Burton Albion was called off as early as Thursday afternoon, so Chris Wilder’s side should be firing on all cylinders for this one. The reverse fixture in November saw Fulham star Ryan Sessegnon score a hat-trick in an amazing 5-4 victory at Bramall Lane, and I’m expecting an almost equally exciting encounter with the Cottagers proving to be that little bit too strong again. Fulham to win this one, plus over 2.5 goals looks like value at 15/8 with Coral.

That defeat for Derby plunged the Rams down to fifth, and Gary Rowett will now be looking over his shoulder at the chasing pack as his side look to address their alarming loss of form. A trip to face QPR isn’t a bad destination to recoup some confidence and form for Derby, especially after Rangers’ last game saw them ship five goals against struggling Nottingham Forest ten days ago. Derby have won the last three meetings between these two without conceding, and have still only lost once in 13 away games in the Championship. With QPR not having too much to play for, I can see Derby returning to winning ways, so get on them to win to nil at 14/5 with Coral.

At the other end of the table, Bolton Wanders could put a seven-point gap between themselves and the Championship’s bottom three if they can take three points from what looks like a very winnable game at Reading. Bolton lost to Preston on Saturday, despite going ahead, but they had been in decent form before then, keeping back-to-back clean sheets against Sunderland and Norwich. Reading, meanwhile, are in shocking form at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals have won just once in ten games at home, and are in serious relegation danger if they lose this one - and they will. Bolton to take advantage of a hapless Reading side and claim a vital win is a huge price at 7/2 with Paddy Power.

Speaking of a terrible home record, that brings us nicely on to Burton Albion, who continue to struggle on Staffordshire soil. Eleven defeats in a 13-game winless home run for the Brewers continues to falter their push to avoid the drop, and on Tuesday they face a Brentford side that have plenty of talent going forward, as well as an eye on the top six. Neither of these sides played at the weekend due to the frosty weather, and I fancy that to be more advantageous for the visiting Bees who love to get on the front foot and attack their opposition. Brentford need three points to get back in the play-off picture, and this is the perfect place to get them, so back the away win at 5/6 with William Hill.

Can information such as a bad home record help you find winning bets? Here’s what we think…

Steve Cotterill’s disastrous spell as Birmingham City manager finally came to an end on Saturday night, just hours after their fifth straight loss in a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest. Former Swansea and Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk is now at the hflm, and he will be in charge when his former side travel to St Andrews to face his new employers. The problems at Birmingham lie beyond the managerial setup, while Middlesbrough are finding their stride, losing once in five games, and scoring three times in each of their last three Championship matches. Middlesbrough are going into my midweek treble, and at 10/11, they should probably go into yours too.

It’s the Tigers against the Lions at the KCOM Stadium, as Hull host Millwall in a game that poses a golden opportunity for both sides to grab three points for their relegation and promotion causes. Hull haven’t lost in a couple of games but are still only three points above the relegation zone, while Millwall’s top six siege stuttered on Saturday thanks to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Sunderland. Lions tails are well and truly up as far as their away form goes, having won each of their last four on the road, and with Hull desperate for points, I can see a game with plenty of goals. Picking a winner between these two is a tough one, so the easy way out that should pocket you some cash is an over 2.5 goals bet at 23/20 with Ladbrokes.

Nottingham Forest have found a bit of form under new manager Aitor Karanka, and they will fancy their chances of a third straight Championship win when they travel east to face Norwich at Carrow Road. Daniel Farke’s Norwich have had a steady, if not unspectacular season so far, and have been unconvincing on home soil this campaign. Just two wins in six in Norfolk for the home side is hardly inspiring, and is the sort of record that gives encouragement to an away side that beat QPR 5-2 on their last day out. For a Championship match in which neither side has anything to play for, 7/2 for a Forest away win is a huge price, and is well worth sticking a tenner on for a bit of interest.

Wolves will be looking to address a run of form that has seen them fail to win in three matches when they travel to Elland Road for a tricky assignment against Leeds United on Wednesday. A 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Friday night was the final nail in the coffin as far as Leeds’ play-off hopes go, so that could well play into the hands of visitors who need three points to steady the ship. Leeds have scored in ten of their last eleven home games, while Wolves have by far and away the best away record in the Championship, so we should have a cracking game here. Both teams to score look like a banker at even money, and if you fancy chucking a Wolves victory in for good measure, you’re left with a very tidy double at 7/2 with Paddy Power.

Tip of the Day: Bolton can leapfrog their opponents and establish a huge gap between themselves and the drop zone if they win at a poor Reading side, and 7/2 for them to get the job done is a brilliant price.

Championship Treble: £10 on Derby, Wolves and Brentford returns £85 with William Hill.

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Author:

Teemu Maarela

Esports & Ice Hockey Specialist

Bio:

Teemu is an enthusiastic Finn who spent his childhood around ice hockey and video games, and he has 10+ years of experience with sports betting industry. Teemu specialises in analysing esports and ice hockey games. He contributes to Betting.com website in English, writing about his two passions - ice hockey and esports.
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