Cardiff v Stoke
Two clubs with new managers take to the field in midweek in this latest round of Championship fixtures as Cardiff City entertain Stoke City in the Welsh capital. Neil Harris takes charge of his second game at the helm of the Bluebirds in fairly buoyant mood after coming from 2-0 behind to draw at Charlton at the weekend. Michael O’Neill has enjoyed a cool two from two in the job at Stoke, but now faces his toughest assignment in his short tenure.
Harris felt his side lacked a little bit of belief in the early periods of the game at Charlton but some clever alterations gave them life and ultimately grew as the match progressed. An away point at The Valley is good going considering how Cardiff have generally struggled on the road this season. They’ll hold high aspirations on home soil, albeit against a resurgent opponent, and Harris will want the crowd to play their part in his maiden home match as boss.
Northern Ireland boss O’Neill may have endured some recent struggles away to Germany in Euro 2020 qualification but he’ll have felt a lot better on Saturday night having come from behind to secure a 93rd minute winner to spark jubilant celebrations at the bet365 Stadium. They remain in the relegation zone but the feel-good factor has started to return among the Potters faithful.
Stoke have actually won two of their last four away, including at Swansea under former boss Nathan Jones. That and the triumph at Barnsley in O’Neill’s first match have been sandwiched between losses at Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall, but O’Neill will undoubtedly have a few tactical ideas up his sleeve. Then again, so will Cardiff, and Harris will certainly set them up to have a go in this one and build upon the momentum they gained from ending Saturday’s match.
Neil Warnock was not sacked as Cardiff manager because of their home form as it has generally been quite good this season. Only Bristol City has defeated them in Championship action at the Cardiff City Stadium, although rivals Bristol City did leave with three points in Warnock’s final game at the helm.
The goals angle is one which appeals on this occasion and I am backing an entertaining spectacle on Tuesday night. Over 2.5 Goals shall be the play as both teams are averaging just below three goals per match this season, with 21 of 34 league encounters combined featuring a minimum of three goals. The three games these teams have played under new management has seen Over 2.5 goals pay out, and we expect that to continue.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 at 2.300
Fulham v Derby
Fulham and Derby County both enjoyed wins in their last matches, meaning confidence should be high in both camps. It is therefore hoped that an entertaining spectacle will play out at Craven Cottage on Tuesday night. Fulham go in search of their third straight league triumph, whilst Derby are looking to cure their away-day blues in the Championship once and for all.
As mentioned, Scott Parker’s Cottagers have won their last two and both by a one-goal margin. The pre-season title favourites by many were tipped to blitz the division with their dangerous frontline, by in fact half of their Championship victories have been by a one-goal margin. That is no bad thing as winning those tight games could very much be the difference for them moving into the Christmas period.
Derby got a hard-earned win over high-flying Preston on Saturday to make it five home wins in succession. Clearly they haven’t got so much of an issue in front of their own supporters. However, they do have a bit of a problem on the road and Phillip Cocu is more than aware of this. They only have one away win to their name, which actually came on the opening day at Huddersfield. They’ve lost their last three away, each when failing to score.
The big reason for Derby’s struggles on the road is because of how toothless they ultimately are in front of goal. They’ve just the seven away goals this season and they’re not doing enough to trouble the opposition goalkeeper. Only Huddersfield have averaged a fewer amount of shots on goal in Championship away games this season in comparison to Derby.
We can compare that to Fulham, who has the fourth-highest average shot count in games overall this season, whilst the same can be said focusing purely on their home fixtures so far. Although we’ve touched upon how Fulham have been winning close matches of late, they also have wins to the nature of 4-0 and 4-1 as well. They can cut lose and with Derby lacking bite away this could be a good time for Parker’s men to make a statement.
Fulham -1 Asian Handicap is a worthy call considering how they ultimately offer plenty in front of goal and the numbers say the exact opposite for Derby away. Fulham have scored two or more goals in four of their previous five at home, so they know where the back of the net is.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Fulham -1.00 at 2.010
Blackburn v Brentford
Two other teams who can complain about consistency are probably Blackburn Rovers and Brentford. These sides very much fall into the category of ‘all or nothing’, in the sense that neither of them draw too many matches. In fact, of their 34 Championship matches this season combined, there are only six draws in there. Blackburn have won two of their last three, whilst Brentford have triumphed in five of their previous six.
The good thing for Blackburn on this occasion is that they are the home team. They clearly are a much stronger outfit at Ewood Park than they are on the road. They obviously won’t be the only team where that is the case, but you just feel they can give anyone a game on home soil and come out on top. They do have some strong away performances to their name, but few results.
Rovers have lost only twice at home this season, both a 2-1 score. They’re normally good for a goal having scored two or more in five home matches overall, including the past three in a row. In fact, their last four games has contained a minimum of three goals overall, meaning ten of their 17 fixtures has witnessed this, too. 12 of their last 14 games also saw both teams score, which further highlights how their games tend to be quite open, with Blackburn very much playing their part.
Frank’s side have started to make up for lost time. Scoring goals was actually their issue but they’ve since corrected that, despite missing a few key players through injury at various points. They’ve managed to net exactly three goals in four of their previous six, and they’ve been especially dangerous in front of goal on the road. They’ve bagged exactly three goals in four of their last five away, as well.
The numbers are pointing towards an exciting game on this occasion. The fact that both of these teams very rarely draw is really driving me further towards our selection of Over 2.5 Goals. The price is not bad at all, even more so as Blackburn are averaging just shy of three goals in their league matches in the current season, whilst Brentford are starting to score more regularly and their average is only increasing by the matchday.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 at 1.940
Preview by: @JamesOR1.
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