Burnley boss Brian Laws(credit: Wikipedia
As always, there promises to be plenty of excitement in this weekend’s round of npower Championship fixtures, with bookmaker Blue Square seeing these as the stand-out matches worth keeping an eye on.
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Burnley can move into third place with a win over Reading, a team who conspired to lose against Bristol City in midweek and who have won only one away game all term, that coming against a Leicester team who were suffering their worst start to a season in almost 20 years.
Burnley are a well-organised and attacking team who in addition to top scorer Chris Iwelumo, also boast five-goal former Manchester United man Chris Eagles. A home win at evens looks like a safe if unexciting punt with Burnley half-time/full-time a more attractive 9/4.
Like Reading, Hull are another team who were tipped for big things at the start of the season but who are currently under-performing having taken only four points from their last five games. That record is in stark contrast to visiting Portsmouth who, as the Championship’s form team, have taken an almost maximum 13 points from the same number of games – the same tally that Hull have managed all season.
Hull will be looking to put in a performance in front of their own fans against a Portsmouth side who ran it close to win 1-0 away at Millwall in midweek and had to come from two behind to draw at Middlesbrough in their previous away game. Similarly, they had to battle back from a one-goal deficit to beat Watford last week and as such, Hull City to score first and fail to win at 9/2 is appealing.
Middlesbrough travel to Norwich in abysmal form with only one point to show from their last five matches; a sequence that led to Gordon Strachan’s resignation and Steve Agnew’s appointment as caretaker boss. Often a change in managerial personnel provides a short-term boost to a flagging team’s fortunes and it will be interesting to see how Middlesbrough react, especially as their squad is full of players who have performed well at other clubs but have yet to gel together on Teeside.
Despite this, it feels like Norwich will just prove too much for a Middlesbrough team who are leaking goals on the road and have picked up just a solitary point so far on their travels. Norwich are evens for the win and 12/5 to win to nil.