5 Championship Tips to Watch This Weekend - Gameweek 9

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Coventry vs Reading: Reading to Win and Over 2.5 Goals

Reading survived a spirited push from Blackburn Rovers in midweek to register their seventh win in their opening eight games this season. They remain the only unbeaten side in all four English leagues up to this point, and it has certainly been an emphatic start to life in the Championship for manager Veljko Paunovic.

Aside from Blackburn, they are the second-highest scorers in the Championship so far, while conceding just three goals - two of which came in their 4-2 midweek victory. Friday evening’s opponents, Coventry City, sit in a rather precarious position just above the relegation zone, and along with Wycombe Wanderers, they have conceded the most goals in the league with 16.

With Reading leading the way by an almighty six points already, and with Coventry leaking goals, our tip goes to Reading to win and over 2.5 goals at 7/2.

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Swansea vs Blackburn: 1-1, 2-2 or 3-3 Draw

Swansea City moved back up to third in the Championship following a comfortable win over a rather feeble looking Stoke City on Tuesday evening. The Swans had gone three games without a win prior to the fixture in midweek, but a fourth win of the season saw them move level on points with Watford and Millwall

As mentioned, Blackburn gave frontrunners Reading their sternest test yet in midweek, eventually losing out 4-2. Tony Mowbray’s side have looked a real threat going forward this season, scoring 18 goals in eight games and a play-off charge could well be on the cards for them.

This could be a tough fixture for Swansea, who will be wanting to cement their place amongst the automatic promotion and play-off spots. We are expecting both teams to get on the scoresheet, so our tip goes to either a 1-1, 2-2 or 3-3 draw at 7/2.

Bristol City vs Norwich - Draw and BTTS - 100/30

This weekend’s fixture between Bristol City and Norwich City is certainly an intriguing one from a neutrals point of view.

Norwich left it late for the fourth game running in midweek, with Kenny McLean’s 87th-minute equaliser snatching a vital point away from Brentford. That result means the Canaries are now unbeaten in their last four games, showing incredible resilience in several late comebacks.

Bristol look an impressive side so far this season, losing just once along the way. They are, however, without a win in their last three fixtures and recently drew to Swansea in a top six clash. This weekend’s match sees them pitted against another promotion chaser in Norwich, so we expect both teams to be pushing for a win.

However, picking a winner in this one looks to be an impossible challenge, so we’ve tipped the match to end in a draw, with both teams getting on the scoresheet at 13/8.

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Middlesbrough vs Nottingham - Middlesbrough to Win and Under 2.5 Goals - 7/2

Nottingham Forest have endured a very slow start to this campaign, with manager Chris Hughton brought in to try and salvage their season early on.

Their only win of the season came against Blackburn on matchday five, while two consecutive 1-1 draws with Rotherham United and neighbours Derby County mean they sit just above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are unbeaten since their opening day defeat to Watford and currently find themselves in a respectable seventh place. Although they struggled to find a way past Coventry in midweek, two late goals from Britt Assombolonga and Djed Spence handed Boro their third win of the season.

The home side haven’t been free-scoring, but they should have too much quality for a Forest side who are yet to find their feet this season. Our tip goes to a Middlesbrough win, with under 2.5 goals at 7/2.

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Bournemouth vs Derby: Bournemouth to win 1-0, 2-0, or 2-1

Both of these sides are without a win in three games, but occupy hugely contrasting spots in the table. The pressure is really mounting for Phillip Cocu at Derby, who picked up just four points in seven games so far.

Bournemouth rescued a valuable point against Watford last weekend, courtesy of a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser from Chris Mepham. That was the third draw in a row for the Cherries, however, and Jason Tindall will be eager to steer his side back on track by getting the three points this weekend.

With Derby struggling near the foot of the table, and Bournemouth on a winless run, we can see the home side bouncing back by getting either a 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 win here at 13/8.

Charlie Rhodes

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