CHAMPIONSHIP fan Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) oversees Tuesday night's action, picking out his best bets.
Wigan v Hull | Tuesday 14th July 2020, 18:00
The relegation battle in the Championship intensifies and with Wigan’s 12-point deduction looming, it could be Hull that benefit and escape the dreaded drop. As it stands, the Latics are nine points clear of the Tigers, so a home win here extends that to 12 making it very interesting going into the final two games.
Paul Cook’s side have been admirable given all the unrest and all the unknowns off the pitch. They fought for a goalless draw at Barnsley after having Daniel Fox sent off, although Antonee Robinson was lucky his first-half challenge only resulted in a caution.
It was a battling, spirited performance, and although they didn’t register a shot on goal, they still came away with a point and a clean sheet.
The Latics have been on an unbelievable run of form in truth – only Brentford have won more points in 2020. They’ve only lost twice in 15 with those coming against Brentford and Preston, who are both chasing promotion.
Saturday’s clean sheet was also their ninth in their last 10 games. We know the Latics are built on strong foundations, and at home, they’ve unbeaten in six, keeping clean sheets in their last five.
Hull may only survive relegation because of Wigan’s behind the scenes misfortune. However, Grant McCann’s side need results, something they haven’t got enough of in 2020.
On Saturday, they went down to a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Millwall. Being just one goal behind at the break flattered Hull, but despite a better second-half showing, they couldn’t muster the equaliser.
After the game, BBC Humberside’s David Burns interviewed McCann and it’s fair to say it was heated. It covered the fans anger towards the gaffer, the calls for him to resign, changing systems and why Jon Toral didn’t feature in the defeat.
McCann seemed stubborn in his responses about his system, but did say the physical nature of Millwall meant Toral might not have been up to the test, so he could well feature here.
That 1-0 loss to Millwall was their 13th league defeat in 2020, and with games running out, they need to pick points up from those around them. That must start here.
However, it’s a fairly young Hull side that lost their key assets in January without them being replaced. Mallik Wilks made an instant impact against Middlesbrough in Hull’s only win since New Year’s Day.
Wigan are a shade of odds-on here and you’ve got to side with them given the resolve they’re showing on the pitch. Paul Cook will demand it of his players and with Sam Morsy dictating in midfield, this will be a stern test for the visitors.
Hull’s defensive struggles are highlighted by the fact they have conceded first in eight of their last nine, so the likes of Kieffer Moore, Jamal Lowe and Kai Naismith could profit.
With Wigan’s impressive defensive record, if you add Under 4.5 Goals to the home win, it’s boosted to 23/20 with Betway. Eight of Wigan’s nine home wins this season have seen four or fewer goals and up against a Hull side on a downward spiral, they can boost their chances of survival, even after the points deduction.
Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield | Tuesday 14th July 2020, 19:45
Sheffield Wednesday ended a three-match losing run with a 3-0 win over QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday. Now they have the opportunity to notch their first win at Hillsborough since February.
Garry Monk’s side will look to play on the front foot with their direct style likely to pin Huddersfield back in their own defensive third.
The Owls do have some depth in their squad with Adam Reach and Jordan Rhodes both unused subs on Saturday, so that pair are likely to come back in and offer some freshness to the team.
Huddersfield are just two points above the relegation zone and the worrying thing for the Cowley brothers was how disjointed they looked in defeat to fellow strugglers Luton.
It’s now three games on the bounce where the Terriers have failed to score. They’ve struggled to cut out any clear-cut chances in those games too. Expected Goals outputs of 0.05xG, 0.53xG and 0.51xG reflect that, and it’s their reliance on Karlan Grant that’s a worry.
Their final two games come against sides that’ll need points for play-off spots and promotion in Millwall and West Brom respectively, so this is the one where they need to pick up at least a point.
That said this direct Wednesday side should be able to bully them and unpick a defence that’s kept two consecutive clean sheets on their travels.
I went with corners in the Owls’ trip to the capital at the weekend, and there’s a chance to get with them again here. On Saturday, the bar was set for 10, however, Bet365 go Over 9 at 10/11 for this one, which looks good. However, if you put a Wednesday goal with Wednesday to take over four corners you get 11/8 in the Bet365 Bet Builder.
Eight of Wednesday’s last nine league games have seen double-figure corner counts with their team totals hitting 11, 9, 7, 7, 9, 12, 8, 7 & 4. That latter figure of four came on Saturday with each of those coming in the first half at Loftus Road – a game that saw 11 corners in total.
I’ll take the 11/8 given all the stats point to home corners and at least one Wednesday goal, which could plunge Huddersfield into further peril.