Championship – Saturday's best bets
With it being another FA Cup week, there are only four Championship matches taking place. Our Analyst has produced the best bets for each of the four matches.
Barnsley vs Fulham
Barnsley’s four match unbeaten run was brought to an end by Aston Villa last weekend, though they were unfortunate not to come away with at least a point after a very good performance, generating a host of chances (2.2 xG).
They come up against one of the in-form teams in the league in Fulham, who have won five of their last six matches, including a thumping 6-0 victory against Burton Albion last time out. They have finally hit their stride after a slow start and are now pushing in the right direction – just a point off the play-off places.
Both teams only know one way of playing – attacking – generating 32.1 xG and 42.9 xG respectively so far this season. Plenty of goals are likely at Oakwell.
Selection – Over 2.5 goals @ 4/5
Brentford vs Norwich
Dean Smith's side will feel unlucky not to be higher in the league at this stage of the season, given how they have performed in matches (according to xG). They have won five of their last six matches to get within touching distance of the playoffs, and have been the second best attacking team in the league this season behind Wolves (46.6 xG).
In contrast, Norwich City will be seeking to bounce back from a 2 - 1 defeat against Sheffield United, a defeat that ended a run of four games unbeaten. That defeat was a deserved one, as the Canaries once again failed to create many scoring chances (0.4 xG).
Brentford are the superior team in this one and Norwich will find chances hard to come by again, and so the home team are fancied to take the spoils.
Selection – Brentford win @ 19/20
Bristol City vs QPR
Bristol City will be seeking to improve upon their 0 - 0 draw against Derby County, leaving them without a win in four matches. They may be exhausted for this match having had a very busy period of late. They remain in the play-off places but need to get back to winning ways after disappointing performances of late – namely last week against Derby (0-0) where they were fortunate to escape with a point (2.4 – 0.9 xG in Derby’s favour).
QPR were deservedly beaten 3-0 by an improving Middlesbrough side last time out, as they continue to be inconsistent in both their performances and results. They are where they are expected to be based on performances in each individual game (16th in league, 16th in Infogol’s expected table).
Even though they aren’t in the best of form, and have had a hectic schedule, Bristol City look are a fair price to win here, and there is a still a small amount of value in backing them.
Selection – Bristol City win @ 20/23
Ipswich vs Wolves
Portman Road plays host to table toppers Wolves facing mid table Ipswich. The league position of Mick McCarthy's side may be flattering, the performances not quite justifying their points tally – 12th in the table but 22nd in Infogol’s expected table. They will be seeking to improve upon their 1 - 1 draw against Bolton.
Wolves were beaten for the first time in 13 matches by Nottingham Forest last weekend, though they were unfortunate to come away empty handed after neither team generated any high-quality scoring chances (0.3 – 0.4 xG). This was a strange performance from the league’s best attack (based on xG).
Ipswich will have to be at their best if they are to get a win in this match, but Wolves look a good price to bounce back from defeat last week.
Selection – Wolves win @ 4/6