Our football writer previews the English Football League Championship round 31 action which kicks off on Friday 9 February 2018.
It’s safe to say this is Wolverhampton’s title to lose. There hasn’t been a team capable of going toe-to-toe with the Wolves with a lack of consistency being the main factor to their title challengers downfall. The relegation dogfight is still wide open, as well as the race for the play-off places. Let’s find out what’s in store for round 31.
Friday 9 February
Millwall are coming off a 2-0 win at Reading and are unbeaten in their last seven home games, drawing four times and claiming three wins. However, Cardiff thrashed Leeds United 4-1 at Elland Road and will be buzzing with confidence.
The last seven meetings between these sides have produced a total of four goals. With that being said, get on the Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market at 13/20.
Saturday 10 February
Sheffield Wednesday 2/1
Barnsley have been dismal in recent weeks with three consecutive defeats and now lie just one point above the drop zone. Sheffield Wednesday have managed just one win from their last 14 games and have travelled poorly.
With both sides battling to find the back of the net and win games, another low-scoring affair is on the cards. Nine of the last 10 meetings have seen Under 2.5 Goals – follow the trend at 7/10.
Sheffield United 15/20
Sheffield have been poor of late with back-to-back losses, conceding four goals without finding the back of the net. However, Leeds are without a win in their last six matches, including four defeats.
The home side suffered their recent defeat at the hands of the runaway leaders and the form team in the league – Wolves. Sheffield won the reverse tie 2-1 and will be determined to capitalize on home advantage. Back the Blades to claim maximum points.
Derby are now unbeaten in their last 11 matches. Norwich have been in top form with four wins from their last five matches, including two wins on the bounce away from home so their form on the road has been good.
Both teams have been in great form and four of the last six meetings have seen both sides find the back of the net. Get on Both Teams to Score – Yes – at 9/10.
Brentford will take on Preston in what promises to be an entertaining affair. The hosts have been poor of late with back-to-back losses, conceding four goals without scoring. Preston have been in the opposite form with two straight wins and will be hopeful of adding to that.
Recent meetings between these sides have produced high-scoring crackers, with the last five head-to-heads seeing an average of 4.6 goals a game. The Totals – Over 2.5 Goals – market is on the cards at 8/10.
Burton Albion 32/10
Ipswich were impressive last time out, securing a 2-0 victory away to Sunderland. Burton Albion are bottom of the log with four losses on the trot, conceding 15 goals in the process. The home side have won the last three meetings against the Brewers and are tipped to make it four in a row.
Nottingham Forest have been terrible in recent weeks with three losses from their last four matches, including back-to-back defeats, conceding five goals without finding the back of the net. Hull are without a win in their last nine matches and have lost their last five away games.
However, Nottingham have suffered four consecutive losses and should struggle as well. The teams are tipped to cancel each other out.
Bristol City 13/20
Bristol City are gunning for the promotion play-off positions this season and will be hungry to claim all three points in front of their home support against Sunderland, who have been horrendous this season with a measly five wins from 30 matches.
The corresponding fixture ended 2-1 in favour of Bristol City. Back the Robins to complete the double over the Black Cats.
Middlesbrough and Reading will square off on Saturday late afternoon at Riverside Stadium. The Boro have been inconsistent to say the least, while Reading have struggled through the season. Both teams are battling to score goals at the moment and that doesn’t look likely to change.
Five of the last six meetings between the sides have seen Under 2.5 Goals scored. The Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market is the way to go at 13/20.
Unfortunately for relegation-candidates Bolton, an in-form Fulham side come to town with five wins on the spin. Nonetheless, Bolton have been strong at home of late with four wins from their last six games.
The reverse tie ended in a 1-1 stalemate and the Trotters will be looking to capitalize on home advantage this time around. Take Bolton on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 8/10.
Wolves ousted Sheffield United 3-0 last time out, making it two wins on the bounce for the Wanderers. QPR have travelled dismally with only two wins from 15 games, scoring just 12 goals in the process.
However, recent clashes between these two sides have produced plenty of goalmouth action. The last six meetings have seen both sides find the back of the net and I’m going to follow the pattern at 11/10.
Sunday 11 February
Aston Villa 7/10
Sunday’s only matchup sees Aston Villa square off against Birmingham in the ‘Second City’ derby. The Villains have been in top form with six victories in a row, while Birmingham have won back-to-back matches.
This is usually a cagey affair and I’m expecting another dicey contest. The Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market should be backed at 11/20.
TREBLE TIPPED @ 4/1
Barnsley vs Sheffield Wed Under 2.5 Goals 7/10
Ipswich Win 17/20
Bristol City Win 13/20