Aston Villa v Sheff Utd
The first of our Feb 9 Championship betting tips is Aston Villa v Sheffield Utd. Aston Villa and Sheffield United get the weekend’s Championship fixtures started when meeting at Villa Park on Friday evening in a fixture shown live on Sky Sports from 7.45pm. The home side seek the points needed to breathe new life into their season and close the gap between themselves and Bristol City in the top-six promotion play-off places, four points the gap at present. Villa have time on their side; however, the race is as competitive as ever and fans know their team can’t afford too many more slip-ups if they are to extend their campaign.
Villa have lost only one of their last five. Having said that, the same period shows no less than three draws with a failure to finish opponents off from a winning position hampering their progress. They’ve won one and drawn two of their last three, ending all-square with Reading last time out in a match they were expected to win. The goalless finish was another disappointment and backers eager to stick with the draw can get their hands on a market best price of 13/5 with Unibet. The home cheer is favourite, 8/5 trading with the same firm. We’re sitting on the fence and taking the value about another draw.
Blades Have Cutting Edge
Sheff Utd can move into the top-two automatic promotion places with an away win and would go into Saturday joint-top of the league with Norwich and Leeds if able to see off Villa. They have won three and drawn one of their last five and the importance of taking this chance and applying real pressure to the leaders, if only overnight, won’t be lost on this ambitious group of players. Four points from the last half-dozen available has them in the mix for a place back in the Premier League and their fate is in their own hands.
The Blades were last seen dealing out a 2-0 defeat to lowly Bolton a week ago, the victory achieved thanks to goals from McGoldrick, who broke the deadlock on 56 minutes, and Sharp, who rounded things off with 76 on the clock. A comfortable afternoon’s work and although fans would love to see more of the same, they’re experienced enough to know this will be a much tougher test. Chris Wilder spoke of the importance of getting the first goal at this level and he’ll be keen to do the same again on Friday. The away win looks to have been overpriced at 17/10 (Bet365), but we’re happy with what we’ve got.
Middlesbrough v Leeds
What a game we have in store here as two sides with ambitions of playing top-flight football next season go head-to-head in a battle over three points. The Smoggies go into the weekend placed fifth in the charts, seven points behind the two automatic promotion places and with plenty of football still to be played. They enjoy a confidence boosting unbeaten run and claimed a win over West Brom last weekend, nicking the match by the odd goal in five. Bookies have the locals as 17/10 (Unibet) favourites to win and blow a hole in Leeds’ season, but we’re having both teams to score in our weekend accumulators at 10/11 – best price at Coral.
Leeds have lost three of their last five starts at this level to leave the door open to their rivals in the race for the Championship title. They were beaten by Norwich at Elland Road last weekend in what could prove a painful result come the end of the campaign. A breeze for the victors, Vrancic scored a double, added to by Pukki to put The Canaries 3-0 to the good, Leeds hitting a consolation goal deep into stoppage-time, Bamford earning his bonus in what was a miserable outing for all connected to the club. A Leeds win has been written off as 8/5 second favourite with Bet365.
Swansea v Millwall
Swansea have taken one point from the last six on the table and can be found kicking their heels down in 13th. It has been a bitterly disappointing season for the Welsh club so far and although there’s still time to turn things around, we wouldn’t have a free bet on them gaining a play-off place. They were beaten by Bristol City on the road last weekend, but odds makers have Swansea as 11/10 (Unibet) favourites for the win. We don’t back them often, but that looks about fair.
Millwall have been performing well below the level expected of them during this campaign and a run of seven wins, nine draws and 13 defeats has the Londoners down in 20th, just five points better than the relegation zone. At present, it looks like they will have enough to save themselves from the drop, losing just one of their last five, but they must find the level of consistency needed to hold the wolves at bay. The Millwall win will net you 14/5 (Bet365).
Stoke v West Brom
The late kick-off on Saturday afternoon will be decided live on Sky Sports and both sides fancy their chances of grabbing three points in what’s sure to be a competitive contest. Stoke have failed to set the heather alight so far this season and a record of 9-11-10 has them down in 15th place in the division, nine points off the promotion race and 13 better than the relegation zone. At present, an uninspiring midtable finish looks to be in the post and that will be no worse than they deserve. The locals have lost four of their last five and each of their last two, meaning they can’t be backed at 6/4 (Bet365). The draw is yours at 9/4 with the same firm.
An Away Day?
West Brom went into the round sitting just seven points off leaders Norwich and they still have a chance at breaking their way into the automatic promotion places, with an extended season through the play-offs the least fans can expect this term. They go in as the form side of the two but have won only one and drawn two of their last five. It’s difficult to get overly excited about either side putting on a winning display here but The Baggies are ranked much higher and that should show during the course of the 90 minutes. Back the away win as a super single at 19/10 – best price with Unibet.
Norwich v Ipswich
The last of our Feb 9 Championship betting tips is Norwich v Ipswich. Norwich must wait until Sunday afternoon to get back in the mix but know a home win over Ipswich will keep them at the top of the tree and move them a step closer to automatic promotion back to the head table of English football. They hammered Leeds last weekend and have now won two and drawn three of five. Another three points is expected, and we have Norwich backed to do the business at 2/5 (Unibet). A bet best suited to your accumulator of the day.
Ipswich Looking at Defeat
Ipswich have lost each of their last three and 18 of their first 30 at this level. They are ranked bottom of the division and are already eight points behind Rotherham United and safety, staring relegation dead in the face. Another defeat looks to be on the cards as top plays bottom, but if you fancy the upset there’s plenty to like about the 15/2 available on an away win at 888sport. Not enough to tempt us into taking a shot and if would go as a massive surprise if the basement boys were to get anything out of this one.