EFL Championship Preview, Betting Odds and Key Statistics – 22nd & 23rd December
The Christmas schedule in the Championship is well underway. There are three rounds of games in the next week, and you can see the best of them in our handy guide for the Festive season. On top of that, we’ve covered all of the weekend’s action in our Championship previews. However, we’ve also picked out the four biggest matches, putting them together in this analysis of the fixtures.
Here we’re looking through the pick of the weekend’s Championship action while providing key statistics on each game. With sides fighting to stay out of danger or in the play-off race across Christmas, we’re looking at the high stakes games from what should be an action-packed weekend. You can see our predictions for all four matches below, along with the combined accumulator.
Nottingham Forest v QPR
This clash is a historic one in the Championship, with Forest looking to continue and EFL record. In 2017 they beat QPR 4-0, continuing their unbeaten record against them at the City Ground. QPR have never won at this stadium, adding to a record run of matches without winning a fixture in the Football League. With no wins from 34 attempts, can QPR finally end that run?
Last season they didn’t come close, conceding nine times across their two league defeats to Forest. While things have changed for QPR this season, it’s hard to see a massive impact. They’ve moved for Steve McClaren, a man who has lost three straight games against opposite number Aitor Karanka. That run has seen McClaren’s team fail to score, and they meet one of the division’s best defences this weekend.
All in all, we are siding with a Forest win, given their record against QPR. Rangers haven’t been great on the road this season, which has prompted us to side with the hosts.
Stoke v Millwall
Another side who are poor on the road are Millwall, who won’t relish a visit to the bet365 on Saturday. They come into this one having lost seven of their last nine trips to this ground, a run which isn’t likely to change this weekend. The Potters have been priced up as the clear favourites for Saturday’s meeting, something we fully agree with.
Millwall come here without a win in seven games, shipping over two goals per game in that run. They are really struggling going forward, to the point that shipping that many all but ends their ambitions. Stoke have found their feet in front of goal of late, so we see them adding a couple of goals to their tally in a straightforward clash this weekend. After all, Stoke have scored at least twice in five straight matches, while Millwall have let in two or more in seven of their last eight.
While Millwall have failed to win in 13 away trips – losing nine – Stoke are unbeaten home and away since October. We struggle to see this one going any other way than to form, with Stoke showing real ambitions of making the play-offs this season. They’re still value for the win despite the gulf in class and results, so we’ve added a Stoke victory in this weekend’s Championship predictions.
Rotherham v West Brom
West Brom are among the form sides in the Championship of late, but can they pull off a rare away win at the New York Stadium? Rotherham have been quite solid at their own ground this term, although that hasn’t exactly stopped them from conceding goals in front of their home support. They have picked up a large chunk of their points here, enough to keep them clear of the drop zone for the time being.
West Brom have been an entertaining side to watch in the league, with 77 goals scored in their first 22 matches of the campaign. They’ve been awful defensively, conceding in 100% of their trips. They’ve kept a clean sheet in just 5% of their games overall, while Rotherham’s home form should see them hurt the Baggies.
The Millers have scored in 91% of their home games, but they’ve conceded 12 times in 11 home matches. They face the league’s top scorers this weekend, a side who have seen BTTS land in 82% of their Championship games. That includes eight of their last nine league games, while Rotherham’s last eight matches haven’t seen a clean sheet. Overall, we think it’s worth backing more goals when the pair meet on Saturday.
Aston Villa v Leeds
1:30 pm, Sky Sports Main Event
The weekend action rounds off with Sunday’s meeting between Aston Villa and Leeds. We certainly expect a high scoring afternoon at Villa Park, with the Villains charging towards the top six of late. Dean Smith is unbeaten at home since taking over at the club, while Leeds have managed to win their previous five to move into first place in the Championship. That’s made this a mouth-watering clash, but will it live up to the hype?
These two sides lead the way in scoring consistency this season. So far, both sides have found the net in 95% of their league matches this term. Overall, Aston Villa have scored in every one of their home matches, while Leeds have scored in 100% of their trips. Neither side have been stellar in defence this season, something a pair of talented attacks are likely to make the most out of.
Of late, Aston Villa have been really high scoring under Smith. They’ve seen over 2.5 goals in their last six outings, conceding twice in three straight home games. At the other end, they’ve hit at least two in their last seven matches. With Leeds coming here in fine form with a strong record going forward, we see both teams scoring in the final match of the weekend.
Championship Betting Tips
Altogether, we’ve picked out an 8/1 Championship accumulator with the tips we have above. With two home wins and a couple of high scoring games, it’s a decent priced bet pieced together from the latest Championship statistics. If you’re looking for a Championship bet to cover the full weekend of action, our selections from our Championship betting previews are worth considering.
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Source: Football News