Our football writer previews the English Football League Championship round 27 action which kicks off on Friday 12 January 2018.
With 20 rounds of Championship football to go, Wolves lead the pack by a staggering 12 points. Focus and determination will be key as they look more than likely to make a return to the English Premier League!
The race for the play-off places remains wide open, while the relegation battle is likely to go down to the wire as well. It’s been a season full of thrilling action and I expect gameweek 27 to prove no different.
Friday 12 January
Sheffield Utd 17/20 | Draw 23/10 | Sheffield Wed 32/10 (21:45)
We open proceedings on Friday evening with a Steel City Derby (or Sheffield Derby). The hosts have been strong on home soil but have lacked consistency in recent weeks. Sheffield Wednesday have been dismal on their travels with five losses from their last six matches.
The Owls have also suffered back-to-back defeats, conceding five goals without finding the back of the net. A narrow home win is tipped.
Saturday 13 January
Cardiff 7/10 | Draw 49/20 | Sunderland 38/10 (14:30)
Saturday’s early kick-off pits Cardiff up against bottom-dwellers Sunderland. The Bluebirds have been horrendous in recent weeks with four consecutive losses.
The Black Cats earned their first victory away from home on their last trip with a 2-0 win away to Reading and will be looking to build on that as they attempt to make the great escape. Five of the last six meetings between the sides have produced Over 2.5 Goals and I’m expecting that trend to continue.
Burton Albion 37/20 | Draw 2/1 | QPR 15/10 (17:00)
Burton Albion were outstanding last time out, hammering Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 away from home. However, they are without a win in their last nine matches in front of their own fans, suffering eight defeats.
QPR ground out a hard-fought 2-1 home win against Cardiff in round 26 and will be determined to maintain that form. A tight affair is on the cards with Under 2.5 Goals tipped at 6/10.
Hull City 21/20 | Draw 23/10 | Reading 5/2 (17:00)
Hull City and Reading will square off in what promises to be an entertaining matchup. The Tigers are winless in their last five matches, while Reading are without a victory in their last six games, including four losses.
With both teams struggling to win matches, another low-scoring clash looks to be the verdict. Get on the Under 2.5 Goals market at 8/10.
Bristol City 12/10 | Draw 23/10 | Norwich 43/20 (17:00)
Bristol City have been poor of late with two losses on the bounce, including a 5-0 thumping at Aston Villa last time out. Norwich are unbeaten in their last three league matches and will be looking to keep that form up following a goalless draw against Chelsea in the FA Cup.
The Canaries are playing some organised football at present and judging by form, they should get a result here. The Win/Draw Double Chance on Norwich is tipped at 6/10.
Brentford 11/20 | Draw 31/10 | Bolton 17/4 (17:00)
Brentford are unbeaten at home since their opening day 4-3 defeat against Nottingham – that’s an unbeaten run of 12 matches on their ground. Bolton have managed just one win from 13 games, scoring nine goals and conceding 24 times.
Brentford won the reverse tie 3-0 and are well worth a punt to pull the double over their opponents. The home win is the way to go.
Birmingham 47/20 | Draw 2/1 | Derby 5/4 (17:00)
Birmingham have shown some fight in recent weeks with back-to-back wins, scoring three goals without conceding. Second place Derby are unbeaten in their last nine travels with five wins and four draws.
Derby are playing with confidence and won this fixture 2-1 last season. It won’t be a walk in the park but the Rams should do enough to get the win.
Barnsley 4/1 | Draw 26/10 | Wolves 13/20 (17:00)
Barnsley and Wolves will go toe-to-toe on Saturday at Oakwell. The home side are winless on their grounds in the last five matches with three losses. Table-toppers Wolves are undefeated in their last 12 games with 10 wins.
The reverse fixture was won 2-1 by Wolves and they are firm favourites to claim the win here. Get on the away win.
Millwall 15/10 | Draw 2/1 | Preston 37/20 (17:00)
Millwall are unbeaten in their last five matches at home with three wins in the process. However, Preston have been just as impressive on the road.
The Lions have won the last four meetings at home against Preston and are tipped to build on that. Back Millwall to capitalize on home advantage.
Middlesbrough 21/20 | Draw 47/20 | Fulham 49/20 (17:00)
Middlesbrough have been excellent at home in recent weeks with four wins from their last six games. Fulham are undefeated in their last four matches with three wins, including a 4-1 home win over Ipswich last time out.
With both teams showing great form, this one could go either way. However, a cagey affair is expected and the sides are tipped to share the spoils.
Ipswich 39/20 | Draw 21/10 | Leeds 14/10 (17:00)
Ipswich are without a win in their last four matches with back-to-back losses. Leeds have also struggled of late but will be desperate for the win in order to maintain their spot in the play-off places.
The last four meetings between the sides have seen both teams find the back of the net. With that being said, Both Teams to Score – Yes – is tipped at 9/10.
Nottingham 19/10 | Draw 2/1 | Aston Villa 29/20 (19:30)
Nottingham Forest will be confident after their outstanding performance against reigning FA Cup champions Arsenal – claiming a 4-2 win over the Gunners! However, in the league, the Reds are winless in their last five matches, including back-to-back defeats on home soil.
Aston Villa have won back-to-back matches, including a 5-0 demolition of Bristol City at home last time out. Another tight contest is expected, but Aston Villa are tipped to edge the win.
TREBLE TIPPED @ 11/2
Brentford Win 11/20
Wolves Win 13/20
Millwall Win 15/10