The Championship – 10th & 11th August

[symple_heading type=”h4″ title=”Watford v Bournemouth” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

Although Bournemouth cost me money last week with their well deserved win over Charlton I still believe that they are a side to take on early in the season. They travel to a Watford side who have seemingly hit the ground running from last seasons disappointments. Watford were very impressive with the 1-0 victory at Birmingham last weekend and followed it up with a comfortable win over Bristol Rovers in the cup. Those two games should have improved their fitness and I see them taking control of this game early, using their higher levels of fitness  to win this by at least a couple of goals.

There are two ways Bournemouth can play this, they can sit back and try and soak up the pressure that Watford will put on, then try to hit them on the counter attack. Or they can try to match Watford’s intensity,by keeping the ball and playing at pace. If they try the first option I think that Watford will eventually wear them down by creating chance after chance, something that Charlton failed to do last week. If they opt for the second option then I think they’ll tire dramatically in the second half at which point Watford should be able to go through them. So whichever way I look at it I can’t see Watford not scoring at least one goal and if they can get the opening goal of the game I expect them to go on and score three or four.

Watford are a side who should be challenging for automatic promotion this season whilst I still believe that Bournemouth will be in the relegation fight. If this game was to be played in December it’s likely that the odds on Watford would be 1.4x outright.

[symple_box color=”green” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]Back Watford -1 Asian Handicap at 2.28 – 118Bet[/symple_box]

 

[symple_heading type=”h4″ title=”Brighton v Derby” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

Brighton come into this match on the back of losing a match in which they took the lead, for the first time in over a year, when losing at Leeds last weekend. That was then followed up by an Extra Time home defeat to League Two newboys Newport County. Although it’s to early to say with certainty that they will be unable to match last season I can’t see how they are going to. Mid to long term Tony Bloom may have to start looking at belt tightening as I believe he has basically done what Simon Jordan did at Crystal Palace, effectively gamble the club on getting to the Premier League. That all something for the future though.

At this present time  they are a club in transition after the unrest that the ‘Gus Bus’ departing over the summer caused. He potentially may have caused more unrest this week with the revelation he wanted to leave back in March. Without much early form to go on I’m going to take a long term view for this bet. I have Brighton finishing below Derby in my overall season predictions and haven’t seen anything yet to make me change my mind. The bookmakers may not have been impressed with Derby’s home draw against Blackburn last week but I stand by my view that Blackburn are challengers this season. They managed to keep Jordan Rhodes quiet and should be able to do the same against Brighton’s goal shy attack. Brighton’s most common scores at the Amex last season were 0-0 and 1-1, which happened 13% of the time.

At this present time I don’t see much between these two sides and would have Brighton at a minimum of 2.15.

[symple_box color=”red” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]Lay Brighton at 1.98 (80% of Total Stake) -Betfair[/symple_box]

[symple_box color=”green” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]Back Derby at 4.50 (20%of  Total Stake) -Bet365[/symple_box]

 

[symple_heading type=”h4″ title=”Charlton v Middlesbrough” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

Middlesbrough have been simply awful since the turn of the year. They managed to turn a realistic chance of promotion into a 15th place finish. They went from being 3rd after 25 games to losing 15 of the next 21 and finishing off in the bottom half of the table. I don’t think that they have addressed those issues over the summer and the squad looks more threadbare than the one they finished last season with. This is backed up by them losing both home games they have played so far.

Charlton done the opposite and with a good end to the season they finished 9th, only three points off the play-offs. I said last week that they had made some good summer signing and I currently have them finishing around 9th place again. They look to be in better shape than Middlesbrough and should be able to take full advantage of the visitors obvious lack of confidence. Although the hosts only played Oxford in midweek they did a professional and impressive job with a convincing 4-0 victory.

The odds on offer here have Charlton and Middlesbrough rated roughly the same, however at this time I think Charlton are on the up and are the better side. I would of priced them at around 2.20 for this match.

[symple_box color=”green” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]Back Charlton at 2.30 – BetVictor[/symple_box]

 

[symple_heading type=”h4″ title=”Blackburn v Nottingham Forest” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

If my belief that Blackburn will be up there challenging for the league this season is correct then these odds are way out of line. At the time of writing Blackburn are being given less chance of winning this than Yeovil are of beating Birmingham. That just seems crazy to me. Forest look about the same as last season, they should challenge for the play-off but not much more than that.

Blackburn have real quality in their side, Jordan Rhodes is the best striker in the league and when Leon Best came on last week he completely changed the game. They may have lost Rochina in midfield but Alex Marrow is a player I rate highly. He’s had injury problems in the past but his range of passing and composure on the ball should help him to stand out in this league. Joshua King is another player who can cause problems, Forest Right-Back Jara will need to be on top form this weekend to stop him creating chances for Jordan Rhodes.

It’s all theory at the moment with limited data to go on but I wouldn’t have Forest priced at under 3.25 here. Long term I believe that we would see them nearer the 3.75 mark in this match-up as the season progresses. At this time though I believe that they are less likely to win this than Birmingham are to win at Yeovil.

[symple_box color=”red” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]Lay Nottingham Forest at 2.72 – Betfair[/symple_box]

 

[symple_heading type=”h4″ title=”Leicester v Leeds” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

Again it seems that Leicester are being over-rated this season. It’s only the second game into a new year and they are priced up odds-on at home against a team that should be pushing for the play-offs. Leicester were excellent in the second half against Middlesbrough last week and should of won by more than the 2-1 scoreline suggested.

Leicester are one of the better Championship sides and only lost out on reaching last seasons play-off final to a last minute goal. However I can’t be having them at odds-on, they are only marginally less fancied than Watford are to beat Bournemouth based on the odds! Leicester only won three of their last seventeen games last season and they haven’t made wholesale squad changes (I don’t think they need to), but that’s not great form!

Leeds beat Brighton last week with a dubious 95th minute goal but there seems to be some fight around the club this year, something which was lacking last season. Brian McDermott knows what it takes to get results in this league, after guiding Reading to a play-off final defeat and the title in his time there.

I have got Leicester priced up at 2.00 in this match and can’t see why they are being rated at 1.80.

[symple_box color=”red” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]Lay Leicester at 1.80 – Betfair[/symple_box]

 

 

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