Birmingham v QPR: Birmingham to win – 5/4
After a marquee away win at Reading last weekend, Pep Clotet’s charges return to home comforts against a misfiring QPR side who can’t seem to catch a break.
Home teams will always have an advantage midweek, and aggression from the hosts almost always enforces the narrative early doors. As Jutkiewicz is likely to start upfront with goalscoring hero Alvaro Gimenez, that tone will definitely be set from the off.
Birmingham are one of the sides to keep onside midweek for the entire season as their squad is massive. Rotating on the flanks and in midfield is easy for them without dropping off in quality a whole pile.
They’ll likely feel the rewards here, too.
Brentford v Cardiff: Brentford to win – 8/13
One of these clubs has been building a philosophy for the last five years, and the other is trying to shake off the adverse effects of a Neil Warnock-era blight with counter-intuitive nonsense that landed them in more trouble than accounted for – only spared for so long because of the efficiency of the odd success.
What’s that very famous saying about broken clocks, again?
Now, Cardiff are a point better off than Brentford thanks largely to their three wins on the bounce, which we can absolutely attribute to a future version of Neil Warnock in Neil Harris. But, the fall is coming, and it’ll be coming quick.
Their goals-against xG is sat at 1.61 and that’s not sustainable, especially given how lucky they’ve been combating that over the last five games.
Brentford are far more efficient in front of goal, especially at home.
Wigan v West Brom: Under 2.5 Goals – 10/11
West Brom are going to struggle here. Not because they’re worse than Wigan of course – they’re countless levels above them, but the transition from playing Swansea at home to this is very tough to adjust to.
You work on patters of play for a week to break down a wide-open side in Swansea. You get major success. What’s going to be your instinct for the next game? To do the same.
Now, trying to play expansive football and then breaking at speed when the other side have to come out will not be working against Wigan, let me assure you.
That will see the opening half linger and psychologically, this will turn into a one-goal game with both sides accepting as such.
* All odds correct at time of posting.