We have a proper Friday night ding dong at the top of the Championship as Sheffield United host Bristol City. No wins in three have seen the Blades’ promotion chase stutter in recent weeks, but 23 goals in their last five games suggest a good game is definitely on the cards – especially when you throw Bristol’s fine form into the mix. The Robins have won back-to-back games and six out of their last nine. Goals are the order of the evening in this one, so get on over 3.5 of them at 2/1 with Ladbrokes.
Barnsley have lost their last four games, including a tame display in defeat to Bolton last time out, so a visiting Derby side in decent nick wouldn’t be high on Paul Heckingbottom’s wishlist for Mr Claus. Derby have won seven of their last ten games, and their counter-attacking style away from home is tailor-made for a Barnsley side that try to get on the front foot despite a poor recent record at Oakwell. 23/20 for a Ram raid looks a smart bet.
Another solid away side to chuck in your acca has to be Preston North End as they travel to the Pirelli to face Burton Albion. North End need a win to remain in touching distance of the top six, and probably couldn’t have picked a better side to face away from home than Burton, who have lost six straight games on their home patch. This will probably blow up in my face (that’s what she said), but Preston at 21/20 looks a banker.
I’m taking some inspiration from Olly’s absolute worldie of a tip from last week into what looks like Wolves’ easy home win against Sunderland – and while I do think they’ll get the three points, I don’t think they’ll have it all their own way. Sunderland have only lose twice in their last five away games – and they were tight affairs against play-off challenging Middlesbrough and Villa – so they definitely have more about them on the road than at the Stadium of Light. Wolves are storming the league, but are due a mini-blip, so let’s whack a tenner on a Sunderland lead at half-time, with Wolves snatching victory at full-time at a whopping 25/1.
Scunthorpe let me down in my FA Cup acca last week, but look a good price to worm their way back into my good books with a win at a Walsall side that scream out “meh”. The Sadlers may have won their last home game, but that came off the back of a seven-game winless win, so there’s a vulnerability for Scunny’s attack to thrive on. The away win for the Iron is 6/4, and my weekend acca is coming along nicely…
That brings us on to Oldham, who made light of Bradford’s strong home record with a fine 1-0 win at Valley Parade in midweek, and next up for them is the visit of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Northampton. The Dutchman’s goalscoring exploits for Chelsea and Middlesbrough haven’t rubbed off on his playing squad, who haven’t even mustered a goal in their last five games. Such a dry spell looks likely to continue against a defence that has kept clean sheets in three of their last four games, so stick a tenner on the Latics for another shutout at 7/4.
The Plymouth revival is well and truly over – with four defeats out of five sending them back to the bottom of League One, and they face a Gillingham outfit whose great escape from the bottom four is on the verge of completion. A win at Home Park would round off a six-game unbeaten run and take them out of the relegation zone. That’s enough motivation for me, but the 21/10 price certainly helps.
Game of the day in the fourth tier has to be the battle of the top two at Kenilworth Road between Luton and Notts County. The Hatters have been dubbed by many (just me) as the Manchester City of League Two, mainly thanks to a run of 21 goals in their last five home games. The Magpies may sit second on goal difference, but it’s their away form that has prevented them from opening up a lead at the top – no wins and clean sheets in five outings for County makes Luton the favourites, and 5/6 is probably the best price you’ll get for them to win at home this season.
Not many sides stop Accrington Stanley at home, and I don’t fancy an off-colour Swindon side to do it this weekend. Four straight defeats for the visitors is one more than the amount of losses Stanley have suffered at the Wham Stadium in the whole of 2017. And with home form like that, you’ve gotta have faith, faith, faith in the Accrington win at 27/20 with Ladbrokes.
El Capitano’s Tip of the Day: Luton at 5/6 to win their top of the table clash with Notts County on Saturday.
Cappa’s Acca: £10 on Derby, Preston, Scunthorpe and Accrington returns a tasty £258 with Ladbrokes. Back it here!