Midweek Championship Tips: Home specialists Coventry to ease past former landlords

Midweek Championship Tips: Home specialists Coventry to ease past former landlords

Midweek Championship Tips: Home specialists Coventry to ease past former landlords

Listless Blues to slump to yet another defeat

Coventry 1.875/6 v Birmingham 4.67/2; The Draw 3.65
Tuesday, 19:45

Coventry were second best against Sheffield United at the weekend, however, the Sky Blues will be delighted to get back to the CBS Arena on Tuesday night. With a 7-1-1 record here, they will fancy their chances of collecting yet another three points against their neighbours Birmingham. In front of their own fans, they’ve been absolutely superb and they’ve scored an average of 2.11 goals per game here so far.

Only six sides have had more shots than Mark Robins’ men so far this campaign and although Viktor Gyokeres is struggling to recapture his early season form, his teammates have been able to contribute during his recent drought.

Birmingham were ineffective against Hull at the weekend with many fans describing their display as ‘predictable’ and ‘easy to play against’. Lee Bowyer may not have been satisfied with the officiating, however, his side didn’t create enough going forward. Since scoring five times at Kenilworth Road, Brum have netted on just three occasions away from home and they may struggle to get anything from this midweek tie.

Recommended Bet: Back Coventry to beat Birmingham @ 1.855/6

WBA’s frustrations to continue by the seaside

Blackpool 43/1 v West Brom 2.1211/10; The Draw 3.55
Tuesday, 19:45

West Brom fans have become increasingly frustrated by Valerien Ismael over the past couple of weeks. At home, the Baggies have been incredibly effective and they’ve conceded just five times in their opening nine games, however, away from home, they’ve struggled to match their opponents and arrive here off the back of a frustrating 90 minutes at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Having won just one of his last four matches, the Frenchman must turn things around quickly, otherwise WBA are likely to fall even further behind the division’s early pacesetters.

Blackpool picked up a useful point on the road on Saturday and showed tremendous spirit to leave Swansea with something to show for their efforts. Unlike today’s opponents, the entire squad appears to be behind Neil Critchley and their effort and endeavour cannot be faulted. Having signed a new deal at the club, the former Liverpool coach has a bright future in the game and although his side are probably better on the road, they can more than match the visitors on Tuesday evening.

Recommended Bet: Back Blackpool Draw No Bet (vs West Brom) @ 2.757/4

Wilder to secure his maiden victory in Teesside

Middlesbrough 2.111/10 v Preston 3.8514/5; The Draw 3.45
Tuesday, 19:45

Despite the game finishing all square, most Middlesbrough fans concluded that there were plenty of positives to take from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Millwall. Chris Wilder was pleased with his side’s endeavour during the first half, although they visibly tired after the break. The former Sheffield United coach is a demanding figure and his side are likely to become one of the fittest teams in the division, however, there is clearly plenty of work to be done with this current squad.

Nevertheless, Boro have an excellent record against bottom half opposition at the Riverside and have won four of their last five matches when playing host to those below them in the table.

Preston squandered a one goal lead against Cardiff at the weekend leaving many fans to question why their side cannot seem to compete for a full 90 minutes. PNE remain one of the more inconsistent sides in the division, and have now lost three of the last five. They’ve shipped nine goals in their last four away fixtures and Boro’s renewed confidence under the new regime may just carry them over the line here.

Recommended Bet: Back Middlesbrough to beat Preston @ 2.111/10

Forest to squeak past out-of-sorts Hatters

Nottingham Forest 2.3211/8 v Luton 3.55/2; The Draw 3.39/4
Tuesday, 19:45

Nottingham Forest could only draw 1-1 with Reading at the weekend, however, Steve Cooper’s men could easily have won the game. Lewis Grabban was guilty of missing a couple of presentable opportunities and although they are incredibly hard to beat, the Tricky Trees must start turning draws into wins if they want to remain within reach of the top six.

Cooper’s only defeat in recent weeks came against high-flying Fulham and they should be able to build upon their impressive 3-0 victory over Preston here prior to the international break.

The goals appear to have dried up for Luton and the Hatters have now failed to find the back of the net in three of their last four matches. They were also second best against Middlesbrough during the first 45 minutes, however, Nathan Jones’ tactical wizardry helped them to turn things around in Teesside.

The visitors were excellent on the road last season, however, they’ve won just one of their last seven away games and have uncharacteristically, failed to net in each of their last two.

Recommended Bet: Back Nottingham Forest to beat Luton @ 2.3211/8

Royals and Blades to share the spoils in Berkshire

Reading 3.953/1 v Sheffield United 2.166/5; The Draw 3.412/5
Tuesday, 20:00

After losing four matches on the spin, Reading have subsequently managed to remain unbeaten in their last two outings. Although they still have a number of injuries to contend with, the Royals are generally competitive and having signed a number of experienced campaigners this season including Scott Dann, Danny Drinkwater and Andy Carroll, they have that little bit of extra know-how to help them navigate their way through the campaign. At home, they’ve only lost three times and have scored in eight of their opening nine matches here.

Sheffield United are the favourites for this game, however, the Blades have won just two of their last nine matches and Slavisa Jokanovic is struggling to get to grips with the job in South Yorkshire. Nevertheless, fans must give the former Fulham boss the opportunity to add to his squad in January and see if he can turn things around at Bramall Lane.

They have managed to find the back of the net in five of their last six away games and could easily pick up another point at the Madjeski on Tuesday night.

Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Reading vs Sheffield United @ 3.412/5

Both teams to find the back of the net at Oakwell

Barnsley 3.1511/5 v Swansea 2.47/5; The Draw 3.412/5
Wednesday, 19:45

Poya Ashbagi will have been in charge for just 48 hours by the time this fixture rolls around and the new Barnsley coach will have had very little time to put his ideas across. The Tykes are deeply entrenched in a relegation battle and the former IFK Gothenburg coach will need to have an immediate effect on the squad.

Under the caretaker stewardship of Jo Laumann, the South Yorkshire outfit had shown some fight and have scored three times in as many matches. Ashbagi will be hoping that the players can give the home fans something to cheer on Wednesday evening.

Russell Martin’s Swansea have been one of the more reliable home sides in the division, however, they’ve struggled to replicate that form on the road. They’ve won just twice on their travels and have conceded 18 times outside of South Wales. Although they aren’t creating as many chances on the road, they did ask questions of the Bournemouth defence prior to the international break and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them break through early in this one.

Recommended Bet: Back BTTS in Barnsley vs Swansea @ 1.834/5

Rovers to triumph at Ewood Park

Blackburn 1.695/7 v Peterborough 5.14/1; The Draw 3.65
Wednesday, 19:45

Tony Mowbray’s side were fairly insipid during the first half against Bristol City at the weekend, however, they managed to turn things around after the break and could easily have won the contest. Rovers’ crippling injury list appears to be easing and the return of players such as Daniel Ayala has been a welcome relief for the Lancashire club.

Although Ian Poveda has picked up a long-term problem, they should still have enough firepower to win this contest. They’ve scored 12 times in their last seven home matches and have had the sixth highest number of shots on target in the second tier this season.

Despite slipping to yet another away defeat, Peterborough played well against Stoke on Saturday. Posh’s downfall has been converting their chances and an over-reliance on Siriki Dembele. They’ve netted just 17 times this season, with only five of those coming away from home. They’ve failed to net in three of their last four on the road and with an average away xG of 0.67, they are likely to struggle if they fall behind at Ewood Park.

Recommended Bet: Back Blackburn to beat Peterborough @ 1.695/7

Experienced Stoke to edge past out-of-form hosts

Bristol City 3.412/5 v Stoke 2.186/5; The Draw 3.45
Wednesday, 19:45

Bristol City’s home woes have been well-documented over the last twelve months and Nigel Pearson’s side are still struggling to pick up maximum points in front of their own fans. They’ve netted just seven times at Ashton Gate and although they do tend to keep things relatively tight here, their inability to finish teams off is holding them back.

There is unlikely to much between these two sides and with the hosts having only scored 2+ goals once this season, Stoke’s defence shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping them at arm’s length.

The Potters have kept three consecutive clean sheets and although Michael O’Neill’s men had a few scares against Posh at the weekend, his side have responded superbly to their calamitous 3-3 draw with Cardiff last month. The return of Danny Batth has helped to add some much-needed solidity and experience at the back, and they should be able to restrict their goal-shy hosts on Wednesday evening.

Recommended Bet: Back Stoke to beat Bristol City @ 2.186/5

Galvanised Bluebirds to sneak past Tigers

Cardiff 2.0621/20 v Hull 3.7511/4; The Draw 3.613/5
Wednesday, 19:45

Steve Morison picked up his third victory as Cardiff manager at the weekend and many of the fans were pleased to see the former striker showing plenty of passion following the final whistle. There’s also a clear togetherness within the squad and many of the younger players have caught the eye following the managerial switch. With Mick McCarthy having barely acknowledged the supporters during his time at the club, fans are just happy to see some enthusiasm and energy restored to the dugout.

Hull have given themselves a fighting chance of survival this season and come into this game off the back of successive victories. A switch of formation and the return of George Honeyman has certainly helped to trigger the improvement, however, they may struggle to get the better of their galvanised hosts. The Tigers still lack the requisite firepower and that could potentially count against them here.

Recommended Bet: Back Cardiff to beat Hull @ 2.0621/20

High scoring encounter expected at the Cottage

Fulham 1.321/3 v Derby 11.521/2; The Draw 5.85/1
Wednesday, 19:45

Fulham eased past Barnsley at the weekend and the Cottagers have looked sensational going forward so far this season. They’ve had 22 more efforts on goal than any other side and are closing in on 300 shots for the campaigns. The return of Fabio Carvalho is a signficant boost and the talented teenager is yet another player who is capable of finding the back of the net here.

Their last four matches at this ground have contained 15 goals and we could be in for another high-scoring 90 minutes on Wednesday night.

Derby sprung a surprise on Sunday as they edged out Bournemouth in a topsy-turvy encounter. The Rams are fighting and scrapping for every point this season and Wayne Rooney’s side cannot be underestimated. Although they are likely to come up short in this midweek encounter, they should be able to play their part in an entertaining contest in West London.

Recommended Bet: Back Over 2.5 Goals in Fulham vs Derby @ 1.768/11

Both teams to notch at the Den

Millwall 3.613/5 v Bournemouth 2.26/5; The Draw 3.55/2
Wednesday, 19:45

Millwall sit comfortably in the top half of the table and although Gary Rowett’s men have been incredibly effective, they’ve not neccessarily been the most enterprising outfit in the final third. At home, they’ve averaged just 1.11 goals per game, although they’ve also conceded an average of just one goal per game. The Lions have lost just four times so far and gave high-flying Fulham at tough afternoon here back in mid-August.

Bournemouth slipped to their second defeat of the campaign on Sunday afternoon and the Cherries have now lost two of their last three Championship matches. Their defensive resolve has been tested in recent weeks and having conceded five times in their last two outings, Scott Parker’s men could easily ship another on Wednesday evening. They’ve had 24 hours less than their opponents to prepare for this game and that may be evident on Wednesday night in Bermondsey.

Recommended Bet: Back BTTS in Millwall vs Bournemouth @ 1.9310/11

Points shared in West London

QPR 2.021/1 v Huddersfield 3.953/1; The Draw 3.613/5
Wednesday, 19:45

QPR continued their excellent home form at the weekend and Mark Warburton’s side have still only lost once at Loftus Road this season. Only three sides have netted 2+ goals at this ground so far this campaign and they’ve conceded just eight times in total. The R’s come into this game four unbeaten and they’ve suffered just two defeats since September 24th.

Chris Willock has been excellent in recent weeks and although there can occasionally be an over-reliance on individual brilliance, the squad appears to have an excellent work ethic.

Huddersfield are one of the season’s surprise packages and find themselves on the fringes of the play-offs. Carlos Corberan’s side have kept things tight this campaign and have kept five clean sheets in their last eight outings. The Terriers are a hard-working side and this could be an intriguing tactical battle between two of the division’s most industrious outfits.

Recommended Bet: Back Draw in QPR vs Huddersfield @ 3.613/5

You can follow Jack Critchley on Twitter @jcritch7