MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the betting ahead of Thursday night’s Championship clash between Huddersfield and Nottingham Forest.
Huddersfield v Nottingham Forest | Thursday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
About a week ago on Twitter I suggested that Chris Powell could be on the verge of losing his job at Huddersfield. The Terriers were six without a win (W0-D3-L3) to start the season and looking a little directionless. The former Charlton boss had drifted in and out of different formations, the team were leaking goals, failing to score and fans were being left frustrated and bemused by his team selections. So what a difference seven days make.
Huddersfield deservedly beat Powell’s old club 2-1 in South London before pulling Bolton apart 4-1 at their John Smith’s Stadium home. Suddenly the sale of last season’s Player of the Season Jacob Butterfield and those early results don’t look quite so bad, do they? Now the Terriers have W2-D3-L3 and risen up to 13th in the table, just one spot below their Thursday night visitors Nottingham Forest.
The hosts still have their problems at the back – they’ve leaked in each of their eight games – but there’s enough bite and guile in midfield from Emyr Huws and Dean Whitehead to win that battle whilst Mustafa Carayol’s capture to add width and dynamism out wide has certainly helped. Even Ishmael Miller has caught the imagination when leading the attacking line.
Hands up, Forest have surprised me this season. Dougie Freedman’s travellers were unlucky not to get a point off promotion favourites Middlesbrough on Saturday and make the journey having beaten both QPR and Birmingham in their past two road trips.
Suddenly the injuries suffered to key players and the sale of Michael Antonio doesn’t look so significant as Chris O’Grady’s looked a real handful as well as his fellow new arrivals Ryan Mendes and Nelson Oliveira. The Tricky Trees have scored in all bar two of their seven matches this term and only failed to score in four of Freedman’s 26 Championship games in charge.
Immediately the Both Teams To Score bet stands out, for me. Forest may not have managed more than two goals in any of their eight league games this season but the Over 2.5 Goals bet has won in 15/20 (75%) road trips with BTTS proving profitable in 9/13 (69%) since Freedman tookover. This season, Forest’s fixtures are averaging more shots than any other second-tier side.
Despite starting their campaign with Under 2.5 Goals in their first six, Huddersfield have scored six in their past two fixtures with 10 of their most recent 16 John Smith’s Stadium dates featuring three goals or more – 16/25 (64%) of matches overseen by Powell on home soil have also produced Both Teams To Score winners. It’s been chalked up at 3/4 with 888.
I’m also going to have a small poke on the half-time draw at 6/5 with Bet365. All four of the Tricky Trees games as guests in 2015/16 have gone into the interval goalless and that now means 9/13 (69%) away fixtures under Freedman have been half-time draws. The same could be said of Huddersfield during Powell’s reign – 12/25 (48%) have been stalemates after the first 45 minutes.
Huddersfield v Nottingham Forest – Both Teams To Score (3/4 888)
Huddersfield v Nottingham Forest – Half-Time draw (6/5 Bet365)
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