Blackburn v Derby
Consistency has generally been the problem for both Blackburn Rovers and Derby County this season, so it is undoubtedly no surprise whatsoever to see them both positioned in a mid-table spot. However, three wins in four for Blackburn suggests at an improvement, meaning they’ll fancy their chances over the Rams on Saturday.
Whilst we say Blackburn have begun to show some consistency, a further delve into the form suggests it may not necessarily be the case. Yes, they’ve won three of their last four, but all of those wins came at Ewood Park. Consistent home form without a doubt, and it just shows if they can pick up more points on the road then they’d be a serious play-off contender.
It is quite a familiar tale in the Derby camp as well, as they too are very strong at home. They’ve lost just once at home, winning five of their previous six at Pride Park. The big issue however comes on the road as the last time they won a Championship away was actually at Huddersfield, which was their first away match of the season. They too would be a serious promotion candidate if they could offer more away from Derbyshire.
Therefore, there is plenty to favour focusing purely on Blackburn this weekend, with Tony Mowbray’s charges having home advantage. Only Luton and Charlton has departed with all three points on this ground, and both were only slender 2-1 scores. It could be argued Blackburn haven’t necessarily faced too many of the fancied sides at home, with the probable exception of Brentford, who they beat 1-0 last time at home. Nevertheless, they look a threat against anyone at home.
The big problem for Derby at the moment is they look far too toothless on the road. They’ve failed to score in their last four, and haven’t scored in six of their last eight away in all competitions. Only bottom side Barnsley have scored fewer away, and perhaps a bigger worry for Phillip Cocu was that his team offered very limited goal threat on Saturday, and they were at home against out of form QPR.
I cannot look past Blackburn on this occasion, especially as they’ve scored two or more in nine of their 16 home games in 2019 alone. They’ll offer a greater threat, and I’m even happy to put up a Blackburn -0.75 selection on the handicap.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Blackburn -0.75 at 2.330
Fulham v Bristol City
A potentially entertaining battle will take place at Craven Cottage this weekend as Fulham and Bristol City take to the field. Both clubs go into the weekend positioned inside the play-off positions and very much hold ambitions of being a Premier League club next season.
The main positive for Fulham in recent weeks is that they have looked like a Premier League team in waiting. Four straight wins over Swansea, Derby, QPR and Birmingham, all in different manners, proves that Scott Parker is developing nicely in management and is getting a fine tune out of his talented group of players.
Bristol City are going through a little bit of an up-and-down period at present as their heavy away loss at West Brom was followed up with a heavy home win against Huddersfield last Saturday. Therefore, Lee Johnson will be wary as to how he sets up his side in what will be another away game against a promotion candidate.
Both Fulham and Bristol City have 31 goals to their name after 19 games, but Fulham have scored 20 of theirs at Craven Cottage. In fact, only Preston has managed more home points as things stand in the Championship, proving that it is indeed something of a fortress for the Cottagers. They are however going in search of three successive home wins for the first time this season, but they’re confident.
Bristol City’s record of won four, drew four and lost two away holds as one of the better numbers in the division. The concern would be that those two defeats were scored 4-1 and 3-0, whilst three of the four wins came by a one-goal margin. They can be a little inconsistent away, but if they can place themselves in the match then they can cause problems for this Fulham side.
Bristol City will be on a high after knocking five past Huddersfield last time, proving their goal threat. The worry is that they’ve just the one away clean sheet this season, but you do wonder losing heavily at WBA recently may alter Johnson’s approach. He’ll still want them to showcase their offensive positives though, so don’t expect them to park the bus or anything to that nature.
I expect goals in this encounter, specifically Over 2.5. Fulham’s home games are averaging 3.10 goals, whilst away from home Bristol City’s read 3.30. Expect two teams really going at it in this one with attack very much being the best form of defence. The price isn’t the best, but it is a selection which should be victorious.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 at 1.670
Middlesbrough v Charlton
Some national media outlets have reported that Jonathan Woodgate could soon be removed as Middlesbrough manager following a bad run of form. However, media within the Middlesbrough area suggests that is not the case, but at the time of writing he remains in a job. He has overseen a bad run of results, but also a horrendous injury list which is no fault of his own.
Speaking of injuries, Charlton and Lee Bowyer know exactly about all of that. They haven’t been able to fill their full quota of substitutes on the bench for quite a few weeks now. It is therefore no surprise to also see their recent run of results slide as they lose some key players.
Hopefully both teams will be able to find 11 find players to make up their teams this weekend, and if they do I believe this could be one of the more exciting games on the weekend card. Whilst it is two out of form sides collided, both will acknowledge this as a winnable opportunity and Woodgate and Bowyer will see up their teams accordingly. Maybe one or two players can return to fitness to further boost their ranks.
Charlton’s main issue is that they ultimately aren’t creating that many chances on goal, only 9.5 on average, which is the lowest in the league. Having said that, they are proving clinical as they’ve only failed to score in one of their previous 11 matches. On the flip side, they rarely keep clean sheets too, and only Luton are averaging more shots against them in the Championship so far. Charlton play openly, as whilst it can work, sometimes it doesn’t, and their up-and-down results reflect that.
Middlesbrough are similar in terms of allowing the opposition to fire shots away, 14.2 on average for them, which is still shy of Charlton’s 15.5. Boro do have five goals in their last four games, but they remain the lowest scorers in the Championship. They’ve at least scored in all bar three of their matches at the Riverside Stadium this season.
I still like the look of Over 2.5 Goals in this game considering both are in need of a win. Middlesbrough at home have to be positive, whilst Charlton aren’t the type to sit back and play for a draw. Games involving the Addicks in Championship action this season has finished Over 2.5 Goals 63.16% of the time, and whilst it is much lower for Middlesbrough, three of their last four saw at least three goals.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 at 1.870
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