MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has perused the Championship card from Tuesday night with four potential betting angles worth exploring.
Leeds v Ipswich | Tuesday 19.45
Hands up, who had the 5-1 correct score on Friday night for Reading’s win over Ipswich? Didn’t think so. The Royals announced themselves as promotion challengers with a ruthlessly clinical display but they weren’t without a helping hand. The Tractor Boys were goddam awful at the back and boss Mick McCarthy understandably ripped into his side as well as taking a large chunk of blame himself.
Town’s gung-ho approach left them exposed to the counter-attack with central midfield duo of Cole Skuse and Jonathan Douglas looking sluggish in their attempts to protect the back four. But then defenders Jonas Knudsen, Luke Chambers and Christophe Berra all endured an off night and goalkeeper Dean Gerken was far from convincing.
On the back of a sobering 3-2 defeat at home to Brighton before the international break, Ipswich’s six-game unbeaten start has long been consigned to the back of the form book. Next is a trip to Leeds with United just one of four teams left defending their own unbeaten start – albeit their record reading W1-D5-L0.
The Whites haven’t won at Elland Road since their 2-1 success over the Suffolk side a little more than six months ago but do look a canny side under Uwe Rosler’s watch and they’ve been involved in a few exciting contests too. Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Brentford was the sixth in seven league and cup matches that have resulted in both teams getting on the scoresheet.
That draw with the Bees involved 32 chances on either side and their derby game with Sheffield Wednesday produced 29. It’s certainly not been dull following Leeds and with Chris Wood shouldering the attacking burden and Mirko Antenucci making an impact in his cameos, United look worthy of a goal without being watertight at the back.
Ipswich have scored in every game thus far but kept just one shutout themselves. In all, seven of their eight league and cup games have produced three goals or more with a whopping 31 being plundered overall. And I fully expect this encounter to follow the early season trends. Both Teams To Score can be backed at 5/6 (888) and that looks more than fair.
The BTTS bet has banked in 12 of Town’s previous 15 Championship road trips and McCarthy said, “What do you do when you’ve had a bad day in the office? Do you go and cry in the corner, do you go and get rocking drunk, do you go and do something bonkers? Or do you go back to work and get back to doing something that you’re quite clearly good at?” in his pre-match media duties. To me, that sounds like Ipswich will play front-foot football again.
Charlton v Huddersfield | Tuesday 19.45
Charlton ruined the Football League treble on Saturday but it certainly wasn’t for the want of trying. The Addicks took Rotherham to task from the first whistle but despite dominating proceedings with 21 efforts on goal (nine on target) and over 65% possession, the Londoners couldn’t claim maximum points.
Manager Guy Luzon was furious with the Millers approach, hitting out at Steve Evans’ time-wasting and long ball tactics in quite a comical rant. It was borne out of pure frustration and is understandable when you fail to pocket a win in such circumstances.
Anyhow, as I said pre-Rotherham, the Valiants returned W9-D9-L5 at The Valley last term, including W6-D5-L1 when entertaining bottom-half dwellers. Their capital gains have included swatting aside recently relegated QPR and Hull in 2015/16 and all their attacking outlets are fit and available for Tuesday night.
Charlton are 11/8 to win with BetVictor and I’m happy to get involved at those quotes. Travelling Huddersfield failed to hit the target in their 2-0 defeat at high-flying Cardiff on Saturday and pressure is mounting on Chris Powell to steady the ship. The ex-Addick sounded like a man that knows his job is on the line post-match when suggesting he ‘needs time to gel the side’ after various comings and goings.
The Terriers are winless in six (W0-D3-L3) and supporters have grown impatient with Powell’s cautious football. There’s a real lack of ambition to Huddersfield’s play and confidence is clearly lacking in the ranks. The visiting boss would love to spoil his old club’s night but a W4-D8-L10 road record under his tutelage makes victory look unlikely.
The visitors have failed to score in nine of those 22 away days, keeping just four clean sheets. The Terriers have notched just five goals in their past 10 road trips and look devoid of leadership following the sale of last term’s Player of the Year Jacob Butterfield. Home win, please.
Burnley v MK Dons | Tuesday 19.45
Burnley boss Sean Dyche was understandably thrilled with his side’s 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Turf Moor on Saturday, not least because big-money signing Andre Gray had a big hand in the victory. The headline striker netted a goal, created another and was a constant thorn in the Owls’ backside.
It means the recently relegated side have bagged three successive league wins to move into the top-six ahead of Tuesday’s tussle with MK Dons. Joey Barton and Matt Lowton have been added to the squad for the midweek meeting but more importantly, Michael Duff and Michael Keane are beginning to tighten up in central defence following the departure of club captain Jason Shackell in the summer.
It gives the Clarets an excellent base to work from and with George Boyd and Michael Kightly providing the ammo for Gray and Sam Vokes up top, the hosts have enough about them to cement their place amongst the front-runners of the league. Coral are offering 5/6 on a home win against the Dons and it’s a price worth taking.
I’m often putting the boot into Karl Robinson but in fairness, his side produced a sterling effort at Middlesbrough on Saturday. MK were organised and resolute, restricting my pre-season title fancies to half chances for the most part. Simon Church hit a post for the Buckinghamshire boys but Stuart Downing and David Nugent goals were enough for Aitor Karanka’s men to deservedly take the points.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat means Robinson’s troops have failed to find the back of the net in three successive Championship games, managing one goal in five. The Dons plundered four in their opener at Rotherham in fortuitous circumstances but were out-played in that encounter and make the journey north with a number of injury concerns.
Ben Reeves has a hamstring problem and Joe Walsh, Mark Randall, Dale Jennings, Darren Potter and Cody Cropper all have knee problems. Robinson’s men are averaging just 2.33 shots-on-target per game (a league low) whilst only four Championship clubs have conceded more. Burnley’s second tier record at home under Dyche reads W23-D13-L7, including a haul of 18 clean sheets. Home win.
Leeds v Ipswich – Both Teams To Score (5/6 888)
Charlton v Huddersfield – Charlton to win (11/8 BetVictor)
Burnley v MK Dons – Burnley to win (5/6 Coral)
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