CHAMPIONSHIP fan Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) oversees Tuesday evening's action, picking out his best bets.
Cardiff v Charlton | Tuesday 30th June 2020, 18:00
Cardiff and Charlton clash in the Welsh capital needing points for differing reasons. The two teams have made the perfect start having won both of their matches, so confidence in both camps will be high.
Neil Harris saw his side climb above Preston in the final play-off spot on Saturday following their 3-1 win at Deepdale. It might not have been the prettiest of wins but sustained pressure paid off.
Under Harris, the Bluebirds record reads W10, D9, L4 with just one of those defeats coming at the Cardiff City Stadium. However, a few too many draws have hampered their progress.
Lee Bowyer will know that his Charlton side still requires a couple of wins to stave off the threat of an immediate return to League One. The Addicks have won both games 1-0 since the restart generating Expected Goals (xG) outputs of 1.93xG and 0.75xG.
A lot was made of Lyle Taylor ruling himself out of the final few weeks with a move lined up, but they haven’t really missed him. The 4-4-2 set-up has worked nicely with Aidan McGeady and Albie Morgan down the wings providing Tomer Hemed and Macauley Bonne.
With that, you won’t be surprised they attack down both flanks looking to get crosses into the box with right-back Adam Matthews supporting McGeady. But you feel that tactic won’t be too fruitful against this tall Cardiff defence.
On their travels, they do tend to struggle. It’s 11 defeats in 19 away games and worryingly three of their remaining four away games come against sides in the top six if you include this one.
Bowyer will get his side battling. They attempted 26 tackles against QPR on Saturday and 25 on their return to action at Hull. Josh Cullen and Aidan McGeady have both racked up three tackles in those two games, so if player prop markets open up, they’d be worth a look.
You have to feel this will be an attritional battle with neither side pretty on the eye. That said, it’s been effective for Harris’ side, who just look a stronger and sharper side.
Joe Ralls is one of the key men playing behind the forward, while Junior Hoilett has done well in the last two. I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert Glatzel returned to the starting XI. He’s netted in both games from the bench from limited chances, so Harris could reward him with a start.
The Bluebirds are a fair price and with Charlton’s away struggles it’s worth siding with the home side. The Addicks rank bottom for shots per 90 and fourth-lowest for shots on target per 90.
Charlton’s 11 away defeats have all seen under 4.5 goals, so putting that with a home win comes out at an attractive 21/20 with Coral.
Wigan v Stoke | Tuesday 30th June 2020, 19:45
Michael O’Neill’s mission to keep Stoke in the Championship took another hit as the Potters went down 2-0 against Middlesbrough in a performance that lacked a lot of things.
His team selection has been baffling since the restart in truth. The injury to Joe Allen has left a big hole in the middle of the park and O’Neill hasn’t worked out how to plug the problem.
For this trip to the DW Stadium, they’ll be without one of their more influential players –Nick Powell. Two yellows in the space of 90 seconds saw him dismissed, so he won’t face his former a club – a huge blow to Stoke.
Danny Batth and James Chester aren’t the centre-back partnership to keep Stoke up. While Jordan Thompson and Lasse Sorensen lack the experience in that holding role to protect them.
After the game on Saturday, O’Neill called a few of the performances unacceptable without calling anyone out. He’s vowed to freshen it up, so expect plenty of changes, so team news will make for interesting reading.
Wigan top the form table across the last six games. They’ve notched 16 points in those games (W5, D1) with nine scored and six clean sheets. It’s seen Paul Cook’s men climb five points clear of the drop zone, but they’ll still look to get more points on the board to make sure of safety.
The Latics are solid at the back and that strength should help them keep Stoke at bay. Looking back in their last four games, their opponents have all recorded Expected Goals marks under 1: Blackburn 0.95xG, Huddersfield 0.54xG, Luton 0.64xG and West Brom 0.43xG.
Sam Morsy does a brilliant job protecting the back four, while Anthony Pilkington and Jamal Lowe offer width and support to Kieffer Moore. Both sides are likely to play 4-2-3-1 but it’s the Latics who look more of a team and have more fight.
I feel this has been priced up on reputation rather than form. The fact Wigan were still around 2/1 at 5pm on Saturday was quite frankly ridiculous, so it’s no surprise to see that price trimmed.
The hosts have lost once in their last 11, won five of their last six and not conceded in six. You can get Wigan at 24/25 from a 0 start on the Asian Handicap, which is a winner for a home win, void for a draw and a loss if Stoke claim all three points.
Betfair and Paddy Power have shots markets priced up and one of Stoke’s hopes will be pinned on James McClean. The controversial winger has had nine shots in 135 minutes since the restart. He came off the bench at Reading and recorded three attempts, while he had six shots against Boro with two on target.
In 11 games this season McClean's had at least two shots and that at EVS is worth a look, as is the 6/5 on him to have a shot on target. He’s much more likely to pull the trigger than Tom Ince, and has been a better player this term, yet is a bigger price.
You feel if the Potters test this Wigan backline, McClean will be a big part of that. Both of the mentioned prices look generous, with the shot on target especially attractive.