We begin festivities with a Friday night scrap in Burton. But enough about your handbags outside the kebab shop, I’m talking about the crunch game at the bottom of the Championship, where Blackburn travel to east Staffordshire in a game that could see them plunged further into trouble. Burton have had a great week, having followed up a home win over Norwich with a brilliant point at local rivals Derby in midweek. Rovers, meanwhile, replaced Owen Coyle with the equally uninspiring Tony Mowbray at the managerial helm, and haven’t won away from home in six games. Both sides sit in the bottom five in the “goals for” table, and in a tight game like this, you should be smart enough to back under 1.5 goals at an enticing 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
There’s also a West Midlands derby on Friday night between out-of-form Wolves and a similarly struggling Birmingham City. Both sides have lost three in a row, so something’s gotta give. Confidence is at a real low for both teams – Wolves haven’t scored in more than five hours of football, while Gianfranco Zola has lost nine of his 14 games in charge of the Blues. A tough one to call, this one, so go for the ever-reliable Dave Edwards to bag a goal for the home side from midfield at 15/8 with BoyleSports.
On to Saturday now and there’s a huge lunchtime game in west Yorkshire between Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday. Both sides need the points to cement their play-off spot ahead of the three o’clock kick offs, and goals are usually a given between these two. Even money for both of them to bag is very generous indeed.
And speaking of Yorkshire derbies, you’d be mad not to back in-form Huddersfield to win their match at Barnsley. David Wagner’s side have won six in a row in the league, leaving them within touching distance of the top two, while Barnsley are without a win in three at Oakwell. 23/20 is your price for some easy Championship pickings.
The Yorkshire theme continues into League One where the game of the day sees top-of-the-table Sheffield United host third-placed Bolton. It also sees the second-best home defence take on the second-best away defence, so shame on you for thinking there might be a goal glut in this one. Both sides would probably take a point, but bare in mind Bolton have only lost once at Sheffield United in the league this century. 19/4 for a Bolton away win looks overpriced. I dare ya…
Following on from last week’s worldie of a tip, my sights are firmly set on Chesterfield as a place for away sides to take some much-needed points in the third tier. Saturday’s visitors to the Proact are Oxford United, who would be top of the division if it was decided purely on away results. If that doesn’t convince you to back the away side at even-money with BoyleSports, I don’t know what will.
Another side that struggle at home are MK Dons, who are League One’s worst side when it comes to results on their own patch. They’ve won just four times at Stadium:MK, so the last thing they want it is a visit from the division’s form side, Shrewsbury. Just one defeat in eight has pulled the Shrews away from relegation trouble, and 19/4 for them to do the business once more is amazing value, and is my tip of the day.
In League Two, expect Mansfield to get back to winning ways against basement boys Newport at 4/5. The Stags may have lost last time out but haven’t lost in five at home, including three clean sheets. Newport, meanwhile, look doomed – they’re without a win in seven, and are seven points adrift of safety.
We’ll finish off with a trip north, and pretty much as far north as you’re gonna get in the EFL, where Carlisle are hosting Portsmouth. Carlisle sit in third, two places and six points ahead of their opponents, which makes you wonder why they’re priced up at a massive 5/2 for the home win. Throw in the fact that Portsmouth have the fifth-worst away goals tally in League Two and I’m really struggling to work it out. But I’m sure the answer will be looking me square in the face at 5pm on Saturday. But fuck it, back Carlisle anyway.
El Capitano’s Tip of the Day: Shrewsbury at a massive 19/4 to win at MK Dons in League One.
Cappa’s Acca: £10 on Huddersfield, Newcastle, Fleetwood, Oxford and Wycombe returns £228 with BoyleSports. Back it here!