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NPower Championship Preview 26th-29th November 2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

Swansea v Portsmouth, 19:45

This weekend the Championship opens up in Wales, as Portsmouth take to the road to visit the Liberty Stadium. The Swans have an excellent home record with only one loss this season, and have conceded just twice in nine games.

Portsmouth’s revival has hit a slight reality check, with no win in four games, and this isn’t a particularly good opportunity for Pompey to arrest the decline. Odds are Swansea striker Scott Sinclair will find the target, as he has been in deadly form, and Betfred will give you 9/2 on it being the first of the game.

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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Barnsley v Watford, 15:00

For all their early season promise Watford have picked up just two points from their last six league matches, and lost the last four away games they’ve played. Barnsley have won three in a row, and will want to maintain momentum.

It’ll be tough to separate the sides on the day, with the bookies plumping for a 1-1 draw as a favourite result, but with Adam Hamill on good form I think Barnsley could win it, and the 11/1 offered by Bet365 on a 2-0 seems a good price.

Bristol City v Sheffield Utd, 15:00

Just when things were looking grim for Gary Speed, the Blades have gone three games without losing. Having said that, the club lost nearly £19m this year, news which may have cost the chairman his job. Bristol are still struggling to maintain form, but are now three points above the drop-zone.

Bristol go into the game slight favourites, probably due to home advantage, but they have only managed two wins at Ashton Gate so far this year. I’m going to defy the bookies and say the Blades could nick it and Blue Square will offer 10/1 on a 2-0 away win.

Crystal Palace v Doncaster, 15:00

Palace have relied heavily on their home form this year, and their opponents go into this game unbeaten in four matches. However, the Londoners can take solace in the fact that Donny are vulnerable defensively on their travels.

It could go either way, but I’ll again plump for a 10/1 shot, this time on Donny to win it 2-1. This is partly due to the fact that Palace are inconsistent and have won their last two at home. Odd logic, I know.

Middlesbrough v Hull, 15:00

Middlesbrough have a home record that just stinks of a lack of confidence, with a goal conceded for every one scored, and likewise wins and losses. The visit of Hull doesn’t represent the toughest challenge this league can throw at you, but Boro aren’t exactly secure.

Neither side is going great guns, although Hull have managed two wins on the spin. In truth they have relied on talented individuals like Robert Koren so far, and need to play better as a unit. Betfair offer a very equitable 13/2 on a 1-0 home win.

Preston v Millwall, 15:00

Preston are currently six points from safety, with the worst goal difference in the league and just four wins to their credit. Millwall haven’t done anything more than survive so far, but with their hosts so sickly they must fancy taking all three points home today.

With one win in six home games Darren Ferguson must be starting to fear the sack. I’d imagine this one will end in a draw, however, maybe 1-1. If you like those odds, 888sport will give you 6/1.

QPR v Cardiff, 15:00

Big games in the Championship are fairly common, and they can be big for historical, geographical or employment reasons. This one, however, is a straight class between the two best sides in the league, and the current promotion favourites.

QPR remain undefeated at home, while Cardiff have only lost twice on the road this year. Recently the Hoops have cooled slightly, and for that reason I think this will end up a draw, and for some reason 2-2 is jumping at me. Betfair offer a very fair 59/10 on such a result, close to optimum.

Reading v Leeds United, 15:00

Reading secured the loan signing of Mikele Leigertwood this week, a move that will bring depth and solidity to their midfield, while Leeds tied Andy O’Brien down until the New Year. This should be a very competitive affair, with only three points between the teams.

Leeds have an excellent home record, with fifteen points from nine games, which has propelled them into the top six. Despite that I’m going to pick Reading to win this one, but I’m not sure of the score. In that case I’ll back Luciano ‘Lucky’ Becchio to score the first of the game, Victor Chandler offering 15/2.

Scunthorpe v Coventry, 15:00

Scunthorpe really need to improve their home form as they are currently the side in possession of the league’s worst record, just one win and two draws in front of their fans this term.

Coventry are doing a little better, and lie in eighth position with one win currently enough to elevate them into a play-off spot. I’ll back them to win this one, but not by much. Basically, Betfair offer 9/1 on a 1-0 win, which is as good as it gets.

Burnley v Derby, 17:20

A win for Burnley would lift them to within a point of their opponents, who currently lie fourth in the table. Derby themselves will be chasing three points, to maintain pressure on the Welsh teams and QPR who head the table.

This game features two of the league’s top scorers, Kris Commons and Chris Iwelumo, who have ten and nine goals respectively. I’ll pick Commons, who may be on the move after contract negotiations stalled, to get the first of the game, and the odds of 7/1 from Betfred are the best price on that deal.
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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Norwich v Ipswich, 13:15

The battle to see which ‘wich is best will commence on Sunday, and Roy Keane’s tractor boys are only three points down on the Canaries of Carrow Road. It may be worth mentioning that Norwich boss Paul Lambert will watch this one from the bench, as that could influence the result.

Neither side can boast good form, as Norwich come off the back of three draws and Ipswich three losses. On this basis, and with safety in mind, I think a draw is on the cards, and Boylesports offer 11/2 on a 1-1, slightly above the industry average.
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Monday, 29 November 2010

Leicester v Nottingham Forest, 19:45

Leicester completed the signing of Chris Kirkland on loan this week, reuniting the keeper with the manager who handed him has first and only England cap. Forest will be hoping to find him a little rusty after a few weeks on the sidelines.

To be honest, Forest results have taken a back seat to Lewis McGugan’s one-man-show recently. The Nottingham star is on fire, and I’m going to back him to score (probably a stunner) in this game, with a lovely 10/3 on offer from Bet365 on his beating Kirkland afore the day is out.

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