A huge game from the top of the Championship to look forward to on Friday night. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) brings his betting views to the WLB table.
Hull v Derby | Friday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Four of the top five pre-season favourites make up the top-five positions in the Championship and Friday night’s showdown between table-topping Hull and fourth-placed Derby promises plenty for watching neutrals.
The two big fish boast the best defensive records in the division with just 20 goals leaked in 34 combined fixtures and another tight encounter looks to be in store at the KC Stadium. Indeed, the past 12 games between the duo have seen the teams concede just three goals.
No surprise then to see Under 2.5 Goals chalked up at restrictive odds of 4/6 (Marathon) but having won in 13/17 (76%) of Hull’s matches and 11/17 (65%), it’s actually a value price. Taking those two trends and finding the average suggests the chances of a repeat should be around 70.5% – that percentage probability equates to betting odds of around 4/9. See – value. Big value.
Back to that contest then and Hull take favouritism here with Ladbrokes offering 7/5 on Steve Bruce’s troops taking maximum points. The Tigers’ W6-D2-L0 record at the KC since relegation has included wins ‘to nil’ over top-half rivals Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Ipswich whilst Brentford and Cardiff have suffered a similar fate on their own patch this term.
Hull are unbeaten in 11 (W7-D4-L0) and have shutout their opponents on seven occasions during that spree. Michael Dawson’s suspension and injury keeps the captain out and left-back Andrew Robertson’s also banned for Friday night’s clash but being able to call upon Curtis Davies as a centre-back replacement shows the strength in depth of Bruce’s boys.
Across 31 KC Stadium fixtures at this level under Bruce’s leadership, Hull have W19-D6-L6 – a 61% win ratio – and have the luxury of recalling Uruguay international Abel Hernandez this weekend. So the hosts do look worthy candidates to claim maximum points at 7/5 quotes.
Visitors Derby are just two points behind the Tigers and arrive in decent nick themselves. Their derby defeat at Nottingham Forest is their only reverse in 12 (W9-D2-L1) and Paul Clement’s group have kept their sheets clean in seven of those encounters.
Again, that Forest loss is their only defeat on the road under the former Real Madrid coach but six of their eight away days have come against bottom-half dwellers. Derby have met top-six rivals on three occasions (home or away) and been held to a draw on each outing.
The guests have enjoyed more ball possession on average than any of their Championship rivals but that hasn’t often translated to a potent attack in the final third. Indeed, Hull have actually fired in more on-target efforts at goal and the suspension of influential midfielder Bradley Johnson robs the Rams of one of their most critical performers.
As you can probably tell, I do like the look of Hull here. A solitary goal could well be enough and with the Tigers scoring the opener in seven of their eight on home soil as well as in 12/17 (71%) league fixtures overall, I’m going to be bold and back the hosts to lead at half-time and full-time.
Bruce’s boys have delivered winning W-W double results in all bar two of their KC Stadium contests and at 3/1 (Bet365) I quite fancy a wee poke on a repeat. And yes, I am backing Under 2.5 Goals, simply because it’s a big value price.
Hull v Derby – Under 2.5 Goals (4/6 Marathon)
Hull v Derby – ‘Hull-Hull’ double result (3/1 BetVictor)
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