A shedload of bloody Championship midweek games. Nothing better, is there?
Well, there isn’t when Sky are offering that red button treatment where you can watch whatever game you choose – or all of them at the same time. I know what we’ll be doing!
With that in mind, we’re approaching the point of the season where everyone is back to full fitness now, so you’ll start to see sides rotating players. Clubs with bigger squads always tend to do better when it comes to contesting these gruelling stretches, so we have an edge here.
Without further ado folks, here’s what we’re backing.
Birmingham v Barnsley: Birmingham to win – 5/4
Despite nearly always having a better side than them over the last five years, Brum have consistently struggled to match Barnsley’s physicality. Under Gary Rowett and Garry Monk, the Blues went direct and played into Barnsley’s hands.
Pep Clotet might not be the finished article, but the Spaniard’s fresh footballing approach should see his new-look squad play around Barnsley instead of their trap for once.
You’d fancy the new man Álvaro Giménez to start upfront with Lukas Jutkiewicz here – which should be enough to see them win by the odd goal.
Derby v Bristol City: Derby to win – 11/10
Home wins are a staple in midweek games because preparation for these ties is already so clustered that having to hop on a coach to another part of the country is a further distraction that nobody can afford.
Derby have looked very narrow to date, but expect them to inject some width into this game to get in behind the overly-adventurous full backs of the Robins.
We expect Phillip Cocu’s men to ram home a victory in this one again their play-off rivals.
Hull City v Blackburn: Under 2.5 goals – 17/20
Both bosses here fancy their side is equal to their respective opposition. Blackburn are under slightly more pressure this early, so they’ll be content with a point here on a miserable Tuesday night on Humberside.
Usually in situations where teams are leaking goals in the early stages of a season, the message in the changing room is very simple: “keep it tight”.
There’ll certainly be no early goals in this one, and we might be relying on set pieces to break a deadlock. That won’t be happening three times though.
Middlesbrough v Wigan: Middlesbrough to win – 5/6
If there was ever a game that Middlesbrough needed right now, it was a home tie against a team who are a bit down on their luck.
Boro are set up to challenge not only for the play-offs, but for automatic promotion – and Wigan are considerably more likely to end this campaign going the other way than following Middlesbrough.
This is just the perfect storm, really. Long coach trip for Wigan, they’re a weaker side too, meaning there should be no real pressure on the home outfit. This one’s the most routine pick in our acca.
Sheffield Wednesday v Luton: Both Teams to Score: (Yes) – 8/11
We don’t need to outline how many goal threats Wednesday have, and we don’t need to point out that Luton have the worst defensive record in the division at this early stage.
What we do need to point out is how poor the Owls have looked from set plays – and just how good, conversely, that Luton have looked in the same scenarios.
You can just feel goals in this one, can’t you?
* All odds correct at time of posting.