Pearson’s men to enjoy home comforts once again
Bristol City’s well-documented struggles at Ashton Gate are a thing of the past. Nigel Pearson’s side went 17 games without a win at this venue, however, they have subsequently won three of their last four contests and have also managed to keep consecutive clean sheets. Although they remain a little inconsistent on their travels, the Robins have become incredibly tough to beat on their own patch, and having recently nabbed a point off high-flying Blackburn, the home fans will be feeling confident of another positive display.
The hosts have a fantastic record against Huddersfield and have won each of the last five meetings between these sides at Ashton Gate. The Robins also did the double over this opposition last season, winning both ties by the same scoreline (2-1).
Pearson’s men have averaged just 1.09 goals per game this season and are unlikely to blow teams away. However, their defence has largely held firm in recent weeks and they’ve conceded just twice in their last four home matches.
Huddersfield sit comfortably mid-table, however, they’ve won just one of their last six matches. Carlos Corberan’s men have picked up the majority of their points in West Yorkshire this season and haven’t won away from home since mid-September. The Terriers have failed to find the net in four of their last seven away matches and failed to beat struggling Barnsley last time out.
Given their poor record at this ground, the visitors look likely to struggle once again in BS3.
Recommended Bet: Back Bristol City to beat Huddersfield @ 2.727/4
Rovers’ upward momentum to continue
It’s been a remarkable campaign for Blackburn and Tony Mowbray’s side will be feeling extremely confident heading into the festive period. The hosts have been free-scoring this season, however, since switching to a 3-4-1-2 formation, they’ve also tightened up defensively. The Lancashire outfit have conceded just twice in their last six matches and managed to keep a clean sheet against high-flying Bournemouth last time out. Only Fulham and West Brom have left this stadium with maximum points this season and having scored eight times in their last three home outings, the fans will fancy their chances of witnessing yet another success at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon.
Birmingham’s away form has been a complete mixed bag so far this season and despite possessing a 3-3-5 record on the road, two of those three victories arrived back in August. Goals have been hard to come by on their travels and they’ve scored just three times since the end of August. Despite their poor recent run, they have battled admirably with Matija Sarkic’s heroics at the CBS Arena helping the Blues to pick up an important point against Coventry last month.
Brum could struggle to find a way through here, and it’s hard to imagine them keeping the in-form Ben Brereton-Diaz quiet for 90 minutes.
Recommended Bet: Back Blackburn to beat Birmingham @ 21/1
Low-scoring 90 minutes beside the Seaside
Blackpool have hit a sticky patch and Neil Critchley’s side have been struggling to convert their chances. They’ve failed to score in each of their last four outings and have found the net in just two of their last seven Championship games. The 3-0 defeat to Luton aside, the Seasiders have been relatively solid defensively with the Hatters being the only side to score 2+ goals against them since mid-October. Shayne Lavery has struggled to recapture his early season form since returning from injury, whereas the goals have also dried up for both Keshi Anderson and Jerry Yates. Having plundered just seven home goals this season, the Fylde Coast club may need to dip into the transfer market next month in order to bolster their attacking options.
Peterborough picked up a much-needed victory against Millwall last weekend, their first victory since October 23rd. Posh have struggled on the road this season and they’ve failed to score in each of their last three away matches. Having drawn a blank in six of their last seven away trips, the travelling fans are unlikely to arrive in Lancashire expecing a goal-fest. They’ve also lost their last two visits to this stadium. Although they’ve conceded 30 times on the road, they are unlikely to be blown away by shot-shy Seasiders and this could be a tight and low quality affair.
Recommended Bet: Back Under 2.5 Goals in Blackpool vs Peterborough @ 1.845/6
Potters to take something back to Staffordshire
Coventry’s imperious home form has dropped off in recent weeks and the Sky Blues come into this game having won just one of their last five matches at this venue. Mark Robins admitted that he got his tactics wrong against West Brom last time out, however, they’ve also dropped points against Swansea, Birmingham and Derby. It’s now five matches without a win for the hosts, although their knack of scoring late goals often means that they cannot be written off at any point. Since netting three times against Bristol City, they’ve scored just four times and the goals have dried up for early pacesetter Viktor Gyokeres.
Stoke beat QPR at Loftus Road last time out and the Potters will be feeling confident ahead of their visit to the CBS Arena. The Staffordshire outfit have been incredibly inconsistent on their travels, however, they’ve won three of their last four and have kept clean sheets in each of those ties. Michael O’Neill would prefer his side to be more prolific on the road and with just 11 away goals so far, the visitors are unlikely to win at a canter. However, they have shown enough nous in recent weeks to suggest that they can continue their decent run of form.
Recommended Bet: Back Stoke Draw No Bet (vs Coventry) @ 2.111/10
Confident Forest to edge out in-form Tigers
Steve Cooper has still lost just a single game since taking charge of Nottingham Forest. The former Swansea boss also oversaw an eye-catching victory against his old club last weekend and fans will be feeling confident of yet another swashbuckling display this time around. The Tricky Trees lost their opening four matches at the City Ground, however, they’ve won two of their last three and haven’t conceded a home goal since the beginning of November. Table-topping Fulham are the only side to have won here since mid-September and with the likes of Brennan Johnson and Philip Zinckernagel full of confidence in the final third, they should be able to continue their recent run of form.
Hull have turned things around under Grant McCann and the Tigers are now unbeaten in six Championship matches. They will have been disappointed to have dropped two points against Bristol City last weekend and they will be hoping to bounce back at the first time of asking. Despite their recent upturn in form, the Humberside outfit have struggled when visiting top half opposition this season and have failed to score in each of their six away fixtures against teams occupying the top 12. Forest could have too much firepower for McCann’s men.
Recommended Bet: Back Nottingham Forest to beat Hull @ 2.021/1
You can follow Jack Critchley on Twitter @jcritch7