Cookie took profit on both last weekend and this week’s midweek fixtures in the Championship, and he’s convinced about a few games with big plays this weekend. Cookie has a bigger stake available this weekend due to midweek winners - so is staking approx £12,000 this weekend
Watford v Bournemouth
I’ve been quite sweet about the chances of Bournemouth in their last two games, and they have let me down on both occasions, and this is very much a case of twice bitten thrice shy for me. Watford are without Troy Deeney and Fernando Foresieri, so are missing options up front (those two have 6 of Watford’s 14 goals between them this season) but with Vydra up front and plenty of goal threats from midfield, Watford still pose enough of a threat. Bournemouth look to have a clean bill of health with Daniels and Pugh probably returning to the lineup.
I see this as two fairly evenly matched sides, and the prices to me look bang on, I can’t see there being any value here.
Brighton v Blackpool
Here we go again, Blackpool massive underdogs and realistically this is probably the first time I may have to agree. Brighton have lost back to back games against Ipswich and Brentford, but to their credit they haven’t particularly looked the worst team on either occasion. Whilst Blackpool have only lost by one goal in each of their 6 losses this season, it’s hard to see them coming away from this match with much.
This is the first time I’m not sure Blackpool even at 6/1 are value, I think Blackpool get beat here, and possibly for the first time this season by more than one, but no value in Brighton or indeed the Brighton -1 at 6/4.
Derby v Cardiff
Derby finally showed signs of last season’s form with an impressive 3-2 victory at Blackburn midweek in a game where the likes of Ward and Hughes showed exactly why Derby were such an impressive side last term. Cardiff continued to struggle midweek with a home loss to impressive Middlesbrough, and they could very much do without having to go to Derby on the back of a poor run of form that cost manager Solskjaer his job. Derby are still without George Thorne, but will likely welcome Buxton and Russell back to their starting line up whilst Cardiff have mostly everyone available for caretaker manager Danny Gabbidon.
I expect Derby to stamp their mark on this game and win well, Jamie Ward got a couple midweek, and with 5 in 5 he seems a fair price to get on the sheet again also.
£550 Derby – 8/11
£300 First Goalscorer – Jamie Ward – 7/1
£450 Anytime Goalscorer – Jamie Ward – 5/2
Fulham v Blackburn
I’m not going to lie here, as a Brentford fan, I’ve enjoyed every single moment of this Fulham complete and utter capitulation over the past 18 or so months. It’s been splendid. But it can’t last forever can it? They’ve got rid of manager Magath now and Kit Symons takes charge of this game, but you have to feel the damage has already been done. They are dependent on the players they have to get them out of this, and they are largely a youth team, and this is a tough league to blood this amount of kids in. Fulham are not a bottom of the table side when the chips settle, but for now I will enjoy it. Fulham will be without the suspended Matt Smith whilst Blackburn have a full squad to select from.
It’s hard to know what team Fulham will play week in week out with the amount of changes going on, and with a different manager in charge it’s even harder. Either way I don’t think there is much value in this game, and will keep the powder dry.
Leeds v Huddersfield
Leeds are the football equivalent of some dirty drunk staggering around town, you wouldn’t want to go too near but there’s something about him/it that you need to find out more about and somehow he gets home in the end. Leeds are not a good side yet they somehow win away at Bournemouth to stretch their unbeaten run to 3 games, but it’s not just an unbeaten run, its 7 points from those 3 games that have seen them move up to 14th place in the league. I still think they will be major relegation candidates, but at the moment, you can’t possibly fault the job that caretaker manager Neil Redfearn has done here. In Huddersfield however they meet another poor side, so with home advantage Leeds can justify favouritism, whilst both teams have a largely fully fit squads to select from, with the only possible doubt being James Vaughan of Huddersfield.
This could really go any of three ways, and I couldn’t really be sure in making a selection for this game. So best pass on this one and see which of these poor teams comes out best.
Middlesbrough v Brentford
Middlesbrough continued to impress with a midweek win at Cardiff whilst Brentford suffered their first major loss of the season, going down at home to what is probably the best team in the league in Norwich at present. Brentford however can take hope that they did once beat Middlesbrough in 1938 in a 1-0 victory, but realistically that’s about as good as things look for them coming into this game. Boro will be without Dimia and Carayol, whilst Brentford will be without Hogan, but new striker Betinho could start.
It’s hard, even as a Brentford fan, to think of an outcome that isn’t a Middlesbrough victory, and realistically they are a more than fair price. So I will put my wallet before my pride and get stuck into the Boro in various ways!
£800 Middlesbrough – 4/5
£300 Middlesbrough -1 - 2/1
£400 Half Time Result – Middlesbrough – 13/10
Millwall vs Nottingham Forest
Millwall will play at home against Britt Assombalonga on the weekend, in a matchup that couldn’t be closer. Unfortunately for Millwall Britt will also be playing with 10 randoms all aiming to give him the ball, which makes Britt favourite to win the game. But in all seriousness Forest are looking decent enough, but you have to wonder what does happen if the goals from Assombalonga do dry up, conceding 3 against a poor Fulham side will be of concern, and whilst all is currently rosy in the Forest, I don’t think they are as good as their points return suggest.
Forest are a good team, but they are not the best team in the league as the table would suggest, and at 11/8 against a Millwall side that have shown good home form this season I wouldn’t want to be against Forest in this game, so I will be.
£500 Millwall – 2/1
£1050 Millwall +1 – 4/7
Norwich v Birmingham
Norwich are probably the best team in the league, Birmingham are probably the worst. Norwich play at home to Birmingham. Norwich win this game, by lots, probably at least 3.
It’s going to be a bloodbath, start the car.
£1900 Norwich – 1/2
£500 Norwich -1 - 6/5
£500 Norwich -2 - 3/1
£500 Half-Time/Full-Time – 21/20
Rotherham v Charlton
Two team here that continue to impress, Charlton will be excited about their current standing of 5th place, and Rotherham who sit 19th may, justifiably, be thinking they could be higher for how well they are playing. Rotherham were sloppy to have lost to a poor Bolton midweek, they should really have come away with a point if it wasn’t for an inspired hat trick from Bolton’s Joe Mason. On paper this really looks like it should be a Charton win (as they are 5th in the league). They are undefeated in nine league games, they have a front man in Vetokele who has scored five and assisted another in his first seven games for Charlton, but is it that straight forward?
My ratings would make Rotherham about a 10/11 shot, and they are 6/5 at the moment. Something about the ratings making them an odds on shot doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me, but my opinion does not control the mathematical gods, I will however go easy on the staking perhaps.
£500 Rotherham 6/5
Sheffield Wednesday v Reading
Sheffield Wednesday are fresh off the back of a 2-0 victory over Birmingham, but that’s to be expected, what’s more impressive is they have got 12 points and 4 clean sheets so far against a fairly tough run of Championship fixtures that have included matches against Forest, Boro, Millwall, Derby and Brighton; so to be sat in 8th place is a great effort. Likewise though Reading's achievements should not be overlooked, they too have played Boro and Forest, but in general had easier other teams along the way. Wednesday are likely to be unchanged from their midweek game with everyone available for selections. Reading are missing the 3 they have all season in Karacan, McCleary and Robson-Kanu, but will also be largely unchanged from midweek.
Wednesday are a good team, and whereas you may not get rich backing them in this game at a touch of odds against, I think you will get richer, so we will do just that.
£500 Sheffield Wednesday – 21/20
£200 Sheffield Wednesday -1 – 11/4
£400 Half Time Result – Sheffield Wednesday – 13/8
Wolves v Bolton
Wolves have dominated a lot of games that they have played this season, and if it wasn’t for the lack of a goal scorer they would be going a lot better. Nobody has scored more than 1 past them this season in the league, and they had the best defence in league 1 last season. However, they are paying the price of not having a clinical striker up front or they would be looking towards back to back promotions and a return to the Premier League. Bolton however are a fairly poor side in all departments, as comparison Bolton have conceded a league high 129 shots on their target which is 47 more than Wolves have allowed, Wolves have conceded just 1 goal at home this season, to Boltons 6 in 3 away games.
Wolves win this and should be going off much closer to the 1/2 mark than the current price of 8/11 so we will be getting stuck into them.
£1100 Wolves – 8/11
£800 Wolves Win To Nil – 13/8
Wigan v Ipswich
Monday nights live game is a Championship fixture that see’s Wigan as short price favourites, but can they really justify this price? On paper Ipswich are 6 places higher than Wigan, have scored the same amount of goals and conceded less and they’ve probably played tougher opposition along the way. Wigan will want to get back to winning ways having not won either of recent trips away at Huddersfield and Blackburn and come into the game with a full squad to pick from. Ipswich had back to back home victories over the Weekend and midweek and their only selection problem is the long term absentee Cameron Steward.
Wigan deserve to be favourites due to home advantage, but not an odds on shot, no way. So we will take a little bit of Ipswich and Ipswich +1
£400 Ipswich – 3/1
£800 Ipswich +1 – 4/5
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