Championship Round-Up: 24/08/2018 – 25/08/2018

Championship Round-Up: 24/08/2018 – 25/08/2018

Middlesbrough vs West Brom

Arguably the outstanding game of this weekend’s round of Championship fixtures comes from the Riverside Stadium, as Middlesbrough take on West Brom in a meeting of two sides that will fancy their chances of promotion this season. Boro currently sit joint-top of the table and can pull three points clear of Leeds United for a day or so with a win here, having taken 10 points from their first four games so far. Tony Pulis will be delighted with the way his team have begun, particularly in the wake of a transfer window that saw them lose some key players. His side won 2-0 away to Bristol City last weekend and have a 100% record at home coming into Friday night. As for West Brom, they have overcome a shaky start to now find themselves 7th in the Championship table, having now won three in a row in all competitions. Darren Moore’s side humiliated QPR last weekend, winning 7-1 at The Hawthorns and have now scored 11 goals in their last two games in the Championship. Both teams will be in a confident mood heading into this one and don’t be surprised to see them cancel each other out.

Recommended bet: Score draw at 10/3 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Aston Villa vs Reading

Aston Villa continue their quest to return to the Premier League as Reading visit Villa Park. Coincidentally, both sides come into this game on the back of 2-2 draws during the midweek round of action. Villa needed an injury-time goal from Jonathan Kodjia to salvage a draw against Brentford, as the hosts currently find themselves in fifth spot with eight points. They are yet to lose a game, and with a major loan signing in Yannick Bolasie close to being completed, there are reasons for optimism at Villa. Meanwhile, Reading are struggling at the other end of the table. They missed a huge opportunity in midweek as they blew up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Blackburn Rovers. Nevertheless, it was their first point of the season, but this will be a huge test for the Royals.

Recommended bet: Aston Villa -1 handicap at 13/8 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Blackburn Rovers vs Brentford

Blackburn Rovers have exceeded expectations following their return to the Championship. The Rovers have picked up six points from their first four games and sit in ninth place heading into this weekend. They salvaged a 2-2 draw against Reading on Wednesday, despite being 2-0 down in the first half thanks to a pair of penalties from Charlie Mulgrew. Tony Mowbray has instilled a certain grit and determination to his side, but will it be enough against promotion-chasing Brentford? The Bees are undefeated this season too, and they have picked up eight points from their share of games. Neal Maupay has scored five goals in four games, and will be the main threat for Blackburn defence, along with Ollie Watkins who also has three. It’s going to be a tough ask for the hosts to deny their opponents in-form attack this weekend.

Recommended bet: Ollie Watkins to score anytime at 21/10 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Bolton Wanderers vs Sheffield United

Bolton continued their bewildering start to the season with a 1-0 home win over Birmingham City on Wednesday. The Wanderers survived relegation on the last day of the last season, but currently they sit joint-top of the league table with ten points from their four games. Bolton’s form might not continue over the course of the season, but they look far from relegation-material that many anticipated they would be this term. Meanwhile, the Blades come into this game on the back of a 2-1 home win over Norwich City on Saturday. Billy Sharp scored the 93th-minute winner to grab a second consecutive win for United. The Blades had opened their season with two consecutive defeats, but the ship has steadied a bit in recent weeks.

Recommended bet: Both teams to score at 5/6 with SkyBet – BET HERE

Derby County vs Preston North End

Frank Lampard’s Derby have struggled to find consistency in the opening weeks of their new Championship campaign. The season-opening win over Reading was followed by consecutive defeats to Leeds and Millwall, though the Rams returned to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over Ipswich Town on Tuesday. They would hope to build upon that win against Preston this weekend by making it back-to-back wins at home. The Lilywhites have endured a worse start than their opponents, after only taking four points from their opening four games of the season. They were involved in a 2-0 defeat at Norwich City on Wednesday night, which would’ve been especially disappointing for boss Alex Neil on a personal level.  They had opened their season with an unimpressive 1-0 win over QPR, and since then, they have picked up only one point in their last three games.

Recommended bet: Derby win at 11/8 with SkyBet – BET HERE

Norwich City vs Leeds United

Norwich City registered their first win of the season as they defeated Preston 2-0 at Carrow Road on Wednesday night. There is already pressure building on Daniel Farke, though that was relieved to a certain extent as his team secured three points. However, a game against an in-form Leeds United has come at a wrong time for them. As things stand, the Canaries sit in the 15th spot with four points. Meanwhile, Leeds have already instilled themselves as favourites for promotion under Marcelo Bielsa. The Whites dropped their first points of the season as they could only manage a 2-2 draw at Swansea on Tuesday, though they did well considering the defensive problems they had going into the game. Leeds currently sit at the top of the Championship table with 10 points from four games and will be looking to make that 13 this weekend.

Recommended bet: Leeds to win 2-1 at 17/2 with William Hill – BET HERE

Queens Park Rangers vs Wigan Athletic

Despite being just four games into the new Championship season, Steve McClaren is already under immense pressure at QPR. The Rs currently sit at the bottom of the table after failing to take any points from their four games. This run of games also includes an embarrassing 7-1 defeat at West Bromwich and it didn’t get better for them during midweek as they lost 3-0 to Bristol City at home on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Wigan have made a fine return to the Championship following promotion from League One as champions last term. The Latics have picked up seven points from their four games and occupy the eighth spot in the table. They come into this game following an impressive 3-0 win at Stoke City on Wednesday night and Wigan’s only defeat thus far has come against another top side in the division in Aston Villa.

Recommended bet: Both teams to score at 4/6 with William Hill – BET HERE

Sheffield Wednesday vs Ipswich Town

Sheffield Wednesday picked up their first three points of the season with a 2-1 win over Millwall on Wednesday night, giving them a timely morale boost ahead of this contest. They host winless Ipswich Town on Saturday, and it’s a perfect opportunity for the Owls to build up some form. Wednesday have picked up four points from their two home games so far and look set to be reliant on their form at Hillsborough over the next eight months. Thus, they will be aiming for all three points in this fixture. It hasn’t been a nice start to the season for Ipswich Town, who also look set to struggle towards the foot of the Championship table this term. The Tractor Boys have picked up only two points thus far, coming in the form of two home draws. They have lost both of their away games, and this doesn’t bode well for their chances on Saturday.

Recommended bet: Sheffield Wednesday win, draw no bet at 8/13 with William Hill – BET HERE

Stoke City vs Hull City

Having recently been relegated from the Premier League, many feel Stoke City should be front-runners in the promotion race. However, their performances in the first four games suggest otherwise, with a dreadful start to the campaign already leaving them well off the pace of those above them. The Potters, currently placed 22nd in the table, have picked up just two points from their opening four games. The 3-0 home defeat to Wigan on Wednesday further compounded their misery and they have learnt a cruel early reminder about the ruthlessness of the Championship. The Tigers haven’t fared much better, taking just two more points than their opponents but got their first win of the new season in midweek. All of these points have come in two away games, giving Stoke plenty of reasons to be wary of the threat Nigel Adkins’ team pose. On Wednesday, Hull won 3-2 at Rotherham to register their first win of the season, but Stoke should be too good for them here.

Recommended bet: Stoke to win 1-0 at 6/1 with Betfair – BET HERE

Swansea City vs Bristol City

Swansea City have made a decent start to life back in the Championship, taking eight points from their first two games and became the first side to get points from Leeds this season as they claimed a 2-2 home draw against the Whites on Tuesday. Swansea are yet to lose a game, and they have managed two wins and two draws from their four games. After consecutive draws against Birmingham and Leeds, Swansea will be desperate to return to winning ways against Bristol City. However, they will face a confident Robins side who registered their first win of the season against a subdued QPR in midweek, winning 3-0 at Loftus Road. With one win and two draws, City have picked up five points from their share of games so far. Bristol are yet to lose a game on the road this season, and they are capable of troubling Swansea, though the hosts are favourites for a reason.

Recommended bet: Oliver McBurnie to score first and Swansea win at 9/1 with Betfair – BET HERE

Nottingham Forest vs Birmingham City

Aitor Karanka’s Forest have proved difficult to beat early on this season. They might not find themselves among the frontrunners in early weeks, but they remain undefeated in their first four games. Forest have picked up three draws and a single win so far, but will be hoping to improve their win column in the coming weeks. Their only win came at the City Ground against Reading and they will now target a second home victory against a struggling side this weekend. They will certainly fancy their chances against Birmingham, who are struggling with only two points to their name after four matches. Blues are yet to register an away point, with both of their points have coming via two draws at St. Andrew’s. Garry Monk’s side have failed to score in any of their last four games in all competitions, making a drilled, regimented side towards the bottom of their list of favourable opponents at this moment in time. A low-scoring home win looks like the best bet in this game.

Recommended bet: Nottingham Forest win and under 2.5 goals at 3/1 with Coral – BET HERE

Rotherham United vs Millwall

The final Championship game this weekend sees Rotherham take on Millwall at the New York Stadium, with just a point separating the two sides before Sunday’s clash. Rotherham will be looking to bounce back from two successive league defeats and avoid losing three games in the space of a week. The Millers fell to a 2-0 loss at Yorkshire rivals Leeds United last weekend, before being upset 3-2 by Hull City at home in midweek, making it imperative they take a positive result from this contest. They come up against a Millwall side that have performed well at home but have struggled on their travels in the Championship in the early weeks of this campaign. Neil Harris’ men have taken just a point from their two games on the road so far and came away with nothing when they faced Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Wednesday night, falling to a 2-1 defeat. They return to Yorkshire this weekend with the task of trying to get back to winning ways and climb back towards the top half of the table.

Recommended bet: Millwall win at 23/20 with Coral – BET HERE