Hull are somewhat fortunate that there is such a gap between themselves and the relegation zone, because they would be in a bit of trouble if it was any closer.
To sell their two best players at the tail end of the January transfer window beggars belief and it is difficult to see where the goals will come from following the loss of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki. The pair contributed more than half of Hull’s total goals in the league this season and it seems absolutely ludicrous to let them go and only replace them with loan signings and relative unknowns.
Hull felt their absence on Saturday in a 5-1 annihilation at home to Brentford and things are looking bleaker on Humberside than they have in years.
Reading, on the other hand, have lost some of the momentum that had seen them skyrocket up the Championship table after Christmas. They are without a win in five league games after winning four on the bounce and they could do with a win to put more daylight between themselves and the bottom three. They should beat a Hull side that will struggle for potency.
Pick: Reading to win @ 10/11
As must win games go, this is an absolute six-pointer for Luton.
Lose and they are at serious risk of being cut adrift at the bottom of the Championship table. The gap between themselves and safety already stands at a significant seven points and it is home games against the likes of Cardiff – who themselves are seven points away from the playoff places – that they need to win.
They have collected just four points from their last ten games – both at home – and have kept just one league clean sheet all season.
Luton’s defence record is the worst in the league by some distance and they have conceded 24 times in that ten-game spell, including five goals in the two games they managed to win points.
They face a Cardiff side who – a 6-1 defeat at QPR aside – have been solid if unspectacular of late. The New Year’s Day defeat was an outlier for Cardiff, however, and was the only defeat they have suffered since mid-December. It has been draws that have stalled Cardiff’s playoff push – they’ve recorded a league high 13 – and they haven’t won on the road since an impressive victory at Nottingham Forest in November.
This marks a golden opportunity to improve that record and maybe, just maybe, ignite a late playoff charge.
Pick: Cardiff to win @ 5/4
Two teams in similarly poor form face off at the Kirklees Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Both sides have an identical record over the last seven league games, winning just two apiece and losing four.
For QPR, defensive frailties have been the root of their inconsistency. The Londoners have conceded a huge 54 goals this season in just 30 games, a record only bettered – for want of a better term – by Luton and Barnsley.
Huddersfield’s form is a bit more understandable given that they are in the midst of a relegation battle and have to deal with all the peaks and troughs that come with it. They have improved markedly since an abject beginning, however, and look a safe bet to remain in the second tier beyond May.
Their wins have been a bit more secure than QPR’s haphazard ones and they are the more reliable team to turn up and perform on Saturday. They should win, but QPR are as capable of the ridiculous as they are the sublime.
- Reading v Hull – Reading to win @ 10/11
- Luton v Cardiff – Cardiff to win @ 5/4
- Huddersfield v QPR – Huddersfield to win @ 13/10
A £/€1 treble on these three selections returns £/€9.88 on pp.com. Odds correct at time of posting, subject to change.