Brentford v Millwall
Alas, the Championship returns following the international break and there is a London derby which I like the look of in the form of Brentford versus Millwall. Now we have to be fair in saying that neither of these clubs have had the start to the season that they’d have wanted. Brentford are actually closer to the bottom-three than they are the top-six, whilst the fact Millwall have already changed manager is an indication of their form.
We’ll start with Brentford however, a team where plenty was expected of them in pre-season. Granted, they have lost star striker Neal Maupay and he most certainly has not been replaced; which is of course easier said than done. Ollie Watkins however has stepped up as best as he can in the central striker role, despite the suggestion he is more effective out wide. Only Fulham’s Mitrovic has more goals in the league so he is doing something right!
As mentioned, Millwall saw Neil Harris departed prior to the Leeds game, with Adam Barrett taking over and then overseeing a fine home win over the league leaders. They are actually unbeaten in their last three league games, with trips to Luton and Huddersfield anything but easy. Harris nevertheless felt a change was needed as it was mutually agreed he would move on, perhaps believing he has taken them as far as he can.
The first thing which jumps off the page looking ahead to Saturday is the goals column and that is where our selection will be based from. Well, we’ll let you know that now, as Under 2.5 Goals has to be the play, all things considered.
What have we considered? Firstly, we have to acknowledge the fact that goals just are not flowing in Brentford’s matches, much to the surprise of everyone. Just two of their 11 league contests this season has featured over 2.5 goals, with their games alone averaging roughly 1.60; by far the lowest in the division. Millwall’s figures aren’t exactly much higher either, with just 3/11 seeing at least three goals, averaging around 2.20.
The slight fear about backing this selection comes in the form of the Expected Goals numbers. Both of these teams would actually be positioned in the top-eight if Expected Goals was the only consideration. That therefore suggests they are created chances, but not taking enough of them. I have resisted the temptation to believe that will change as Brentford have actually failed to score in six league games, with six of their nine goals scored coming across two matches alone.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 1.950
Hull v QPR
Hull against QPR certainly has an attractive look to it when glancing across the Championship fixture card this weekend. Both teams experienced a managerial change over the summer, with Grant McCann and Mark Warburton implementing their own philosophy on proceedings. Early indications are largely positive, but each side looking a great threat going forward compared to last season.
The Tigers rather frustratingly for them only have three Championship wins to their name this season. One defeat in their last six is generally good form for a mid-table side, but that 3-0 setback did come last time out away to rivals Huddersfield, who had only won one game all season prior to that. McCann no doubt would have wanted a quick game after that to get it out of their system, but they’ll undoubtedly have worked hard over the break, although several were away with their countries.
Warburton certainly has a reputation for his team’s playing quite a bold, offensive style of play and in the early weeks of the season they scored some excellent team goals. When they click, they can certainly give any side in this league a run for their money. Two defeats in three derails their progress to a degree, but they did hit four past Blackburn before the break to get them back on track.
We again look towards the Expected Goals column ahead of this game as it really does provide rather intriguing reading. Hull find themselves 16го in the table entering this round of fixtures, but they should be in a play-off position based on the quality of chances they have created thus far. End product must be improved upon. QPR however are roughly where they should be given the opportunities they’ve had, but they are one of the highest-scorers in the league on 18.
The issue with QPR is that clean sheets are in short supply as they also have one of the leakiest defences as they’ve conceded 19 goals. That means their games are averaging around 3.40 goals; the highest in the division, and eight of their 11 contests featured over 2.5 goals. Goals, goals and more goals are just the name of the game when QPR are involved.
It therefore comes as no surprise for me to nominate Over 2.5 Goals as my selection for this game. Even when we considered Hull league matches, they have averaged 2.70 goals, but more important, 7/11 contained over 2.5 goals, proving that goals aren’t ever too far away when they’ve around, either. The fact of the matter is that both Hull and QPR will play to win this game, and it has the makings of a more open contest as opposed to a tight and cagey affair.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.670
Luton v Bristol City
Luton Town against Bristol City is another game on the weekend card which has the potential makings of an exciting affair. What we do know for certain is that both coaches will set up their respective teams to win, simply because they don’t really have any other way of playing.
The Hatters are probably still adjusting to life back in this league, but having a new manager in the form of Graeme Jones has certainly contributed towards this as he himself admits he is learning about the players all the time in what is his first outright managerial role. Two goalkeeper errors largely contributed to their loss to Derby before the international break, with many now suggesting James Shea will be recalled ahead of club record signing Simon Sluga at Kenilworth Road this Saturday.
Lee Johnson’s team on the other hand have only suffered the one league defeat so far in 11 matches. The frustration however is that they may possibly have one or two more draws than they’d have wanted. Five in total. Having said that, whilst drawing three of their last four may seem a bit of a pain, trips to Brentford and Preston plus a home clash with Swansea means they’re anything but bad results.
Nevertheless, those will be games Bristol City played to win, and Johnson will be making hard on the fine details to try and make those sort of fixtures two points extra in the future. Luton away fits into the category of the sort of game they’ll certainly target the win from, whilst Luton definitely will as Jones has stamped a real offensive approach, especially at home.
This has contributed to Luton’s league contests averaging around 3.20 goals and 8/11 featuring over 2.5 goals. Goals are also a regular occurrence, but the concern is that they themselves haven’t scored in three of their last five in league and cup. Two of those were at home, and they’d always back themselves in front of their own supporters to be positive and take their chances.
They sit 18го, but the Expected Goals tally places them in the relegation zone so they really need to be doing more in relation to creating better moments for themselves to test the opposing goalkeeper. Bristol City are over-exceeding in their case, as they’re 6го in the table but should be 14го based on the chances they’ve created. That therefore places a big emphasis on being clinical, but the good thing on Saturday is that Luton are very open and generally concede chances. Bristol therefore should create more goalscoring moments than normal.
That is ultimately why I am happy to back Bristol City 0 on the Asian Handicap. They’re clearly tough to beat and I feel they are much more advanced in comparison to Luton in terms of being competitive in this league and ultimately being effective in both boxes.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bristol City 0.00 at 1.980
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