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Championship, League 1 & League 2 > September


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England Championship: Preston - Wigan

Having opposed Preston at Brentford last Saturday (L5-0) and at Bournemouth on Tuesday ( won 3-2 in extra time), I have to take them on again today in their third start inside seven days, against a better rested/prepared local rival. Wigan have been at home for ten days and preparing for this for seven, a period through which North End will have spent 17-18 hours on the team bus. They did rotate heavily for the midweek game, but seven played some part in both, the extra time meant most had more game time than would have been viewed as ideal, both games were draining, other players made the journey to the South Coast anyway and preparation for tonight, would have been severly hampered. Of course, they will have been buoyed by the win at Bournemouth, but the events of the last week seem sure to take a toll at some stage this evening and positive thoughts can quickly disappear and memories of the late capitulation at Griffin Park come to the fore, if things do not go their way early.

No cup game for Wigan, they have made priorities clear and this season is all about re-establishing themselves in the Championship and avoiding a relegation battle. They have not made a great job of things so far and sit below Preston in the table, with just five points, but they have goals in them, only eight teams have scored more and last season's League 1 joint top scorer and former Brentford striker Will Grigg has hit the ground running again with four goals at the higher level. They have , or had been putting themselves in good positions and not taking advantage and have dropped 7 points already from winning positions, conceding four goals in the last 12 minutes. They have ended the last two games much better and played promisingly in each, two down at highflying Norwich City inside 11 minutes, they dominated much of the next 75 , pulled a goal back and were close to an equaliser time and time again, with the Canaries on the back foot and under severe pressure. A City supporter described the closing stage thus : "You could tell how the balance had swung when the added time board showed 5 minutes and a groan went up from the City faithful. "From total control we were now hanging on for dear life and McGovern again had to be alert to push a close range header away for a corner. "City struggled to clear it and a Wigan forward looked bound to score but muffed his shot at the City goal only for McGovern to spill it. "Fortunately Olsson, my MOM was alert enough to shepherd the ball away from danger. "The cheers at the final whistle were of relief more than anything else."

They then failed to make the most of several really good chances in a 0-0 draw with Fulham, but there were positives to take from both performances.

The Latics should be fresher of the two today and the free midweek will have given Gary Caldwell more time to work on what he knows has been their shortcomings, he told the club website...........

“I think we are always learning; last year right throughout the season we learned and we improved and got better as the season went on. This year, we have started from a better platform than the one we had the previous season and I think we are improving all of the time. "It is now about turning that into results and that is the most important thing. “Apart from Sheffield Wednesday, I don’t think we have been outplayed in any game, but for a little bit of luck or better concentration defensively, I have no doubt we would have got more points on the board.“We have worked a lot on trying to stop goals because we believe we are a threat going forwards to score goals. "The main focus in training has been on defending but not just from defence, but as a whole team."I thought on Saturday we were excellent against a very good football team and we stopped them doing what they wanted to do by pressing high up the pitch and the forward and midfield players really putting in a high-effort defensive performance in."

I doubt Preston will have been too pleased to see Oliver Langford as referee, they are 0-1-4 in games when he has been in charge and have not scored a single goal in the last four. 2X game for me.

Wigan Athletic level ball 2.16 asian line/Sportmarket

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Norwich City v Burton Albion

Norwich City: Alex Tettey (7/0 m, doubtful), Matt Jarvis (0/0 m)

Burton Albion: Damien McCrory (2/0 d), Lucas Akins (6/1 f), Callum Reilly (0/0 m), John Mousinho (4/0 d), Stuart Beavon (5/0 f)(all doubtful), Kyle McFadzean (6/1 d, suspended)

 

QPR v Birmingham City

QPR: James Perch (6/0 d), Ben Gladwin (2/0 m), Jamie Mackie (0/0 f), Jack Robinson (0/0 d)

Birmingham City: Clayton Donaldson (8/4 f, top scorer, doubtful), Jack Storer (2/0 f), Tomasz Kuszczak (6/0 first goalkeeper), Robert Tesche (6/0 m)

 

Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 100 football leagues and competitions worldwide at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

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England Championship: Norwich - Burton

Briefly, I expect both teams to score and probably Norwich to edge home 2-1/3-2/3-1, something like that. Burton have adapted quite well to life in the Championship, have 9 points on board and only five teams have scored more goals. They are not afraid to take the game to teams and have scored in all four road games and conceded in all nine competitive starts. They are not really operating on a level Championship playing field, with a low budget and determined to stay within their means, they will need as many points as they can collect early season. They were playing non league football seven yeras ago and they have come a very long way in a short time and that almost always catches up with teams, unless they have the backing and that almost always means finances, to stay one step ahead of the game. This is a tough unrelenting league and it will be difficult for the Brewers to survive. That is for another day, for now, this is all still new and wonderful and they will enjoy their trip to Carrow Road.

I discussed Norwich and their game with Wigan in the Friday notes and how they allowed the Latics back into a game they should have run away with. The Canaries are amongst the favourites for promotion and will be there or thereabouts, but have conceded in their last three home starts and in 6 of their last 7 home starts in their Championship promotion camapign, the season before last. They can be devastating at this level when things click, but the crowd here urges them forward a little too often at times and they can lose their way in games and Albion will get opportunities, both to score @ 2.0-2.05 looks good, but easier to back is ............

"over" 2.75 goals 2.14 asian line/Sportmarket

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Going to take a treble of 3 aways today, Newcastle 6/4 at Villa, Sheffield United 19/10 and Doncaster 7/5.

Despite Newcastle's aberration at home to Wolves last Saturday, away from home they are extremely good of late and I can see them having no problems with Villa today who look totally lost in The Championship at the minute. I think Newcastle will win today no sweat.

Onto Sheffield United, can they really be ignored after 4 consecutive wins? I don't think so, we have all been waiting for them to take off under Chris Wilder and now they have. Granted Scunthorpe are formidable opponents today but they are bang in form and will be looking to maintain the momentum.

Doncaster, this could be a banana skin but Donny have a great away record, true Luton have only lost once at home but I'm not conviced by Luton, they put in some daft results at times, they lost at home to Grimsby last time out and a defeat at Crawley too. 

Edited by Kenton Schweppes
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Just looking at the list there is one price that sticks out like a sore thumb and that's Barnsley at 2/1 against Villa at home and why are Villa 13/10? This is all skew whiff to me, what have Villa done to justify the favourites tag in this game? Granted Barnsley have lost their last two but Villa have done nothing, absolutely nothing lately, a creditable draw against Newcastle ok but this ain't enough for me. Not saying Villa can't win this game but I'm not convinced and Barnsley look like a mental price here!! They score plenty of goals, granted they concede them too but for me they've got to be worth backing.

In fact out of the whole Championship there is only Huddersfield priced up under evens (rightly so).....think there is some money to be made here.

Sheffield Wednesday are priced up at 5/4 at Blackburn, borderline value, granted no away wins as yet but if it's going to come anywhere, Blackburn could well be it. Admittedly, Wednesday seem to be making a meal of games of late, grabbing late winners, here there and everywhere but you've got to be confident they can overcome Blackburn.

Wolves 13/8 at rock bottom Wigan, I must say I'm quite taken aback by Wigan's struggle therefore one has to plump for Wolves here who have put in two decent wins in the last two games, away at Newcastle and at home to Brentford.

Barnsley 2/1, Wednesday 5/4, Wolves 13/8 pays 16/1....nice....although the way I've been performing of late, is it another stinker?

 

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Nottingham F. v Fulham FC

Nottingham F.: Damien Perquis (5/1 d, probably in), Thomas Lam (3/2 d), Stephen Henderson (5/0 g), Licá (1/0 f), Jack Hobbs (0/0 d)(all doubtful), Henri Lansbury (8/2 m, suspended), Britt Assombalonga (3/3 f, top scorer), Daniel Pinillos (0/0 d), Matty Fryat (0/0 f), Matty Cash (4/0 m)

Fulham FC: Tomas Kalas (8/0 d, doubtful), Kevin Mcdonald (9/1 m, suspended), Floyd Ayité (6/0 m), Ryan Fredericks (0/0 m)

 

Blackburn Rovers v Sheffield Wed

Blackburn Rovers: Anthony Stokes (5/1 f, probably out), Charlie Mulgrew (1/0 d), Elliott Ward (1/0 d), Adam Henley (2/0 d), Scott Wharton (2/0 d)

Sheffield Wed: Tom Lees (8/0 d, probably in), Barry Bannan (9/1 m), David Jones (3/0 m), Daniel Pudil (7/0 d), Lucas Joao (2/0 f)(all doubtful), Marco Matias (0/0 f), Joe Wildsmith (0/0 g)

 

Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 100 football leagues and competitions worldwide at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

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@Kenton Schweppes, you know I'm a big fan of your picks and I have to agree with the Barnsley price. My only worry is that Villa have only lost 2 of their 9 matches so maybe a draw might be better to back.

I think Sheffield Wednesday will start to settle a bit now after a rocky start. Blackburn are relegation fodder already in my opinion.

I also think Cardiff versus Derby is a great option for lack of goals or a draw. Derby have only scored 3 goals this season and we have only scored 6 goals (two Shane Duffy OG's don't count!) so I can see a less than 2.5 goals being scored outcome here.

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5 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

@Kenton Schweppes, you know I'm a big fan of your picks and I have to agree with the Barnsley price. My only worry is that Villa have only lost 2 of their 9 matches so maybe a draw might be better to back.

I think Sheffield Wednesday will start to settle a bit now after a rocky start. Blackburn are relegation fodder already in my opinion.

I also think Cardiff versus Derby is a great option for lack of goals or a draw. Derby have only scored 3 goals this season and we have only scored 6 goals (two Shane Duffy OG's don't count!) so I can see a less than 2.5 goals being scored outcome here.

Yeah that's the fly in the ointment for me, Villa's large amount of drawn games but even with this in mind, not sure the 2/1 on Barnsley can be ignored.

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I´m fancy today Brentford. On first sight it´s a 50-50 Game but, Reading without there best Scorer McCleary and Brentford on other side have Hogan, who are on Fire. Also Reading for me a little bit overrated yet, they must Lose a game, think tonight they will be. Also Brentford win 4 of last 6 Games against Reading - Drawing 1. So think Brentford seems to be a nice Price here.

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