THERE'S seven Championship contests to look forward to on Wednesday night. Here Tom Love (@TomLove_18) picks out his favourite fancies from the second-tier card.
Charlton V Nottingham Forest | Wednesday 21st August 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
What a job Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson have done at Charlton this year under difficult circumstances. The Addicks have started this season in the Championship as they ended last term in League One.
Crucially for Bowyer, he managed to hold onto star striker Lyle Taylor amid interest from Brentford and he could be the difference maker for the Addicks this season. Josh Cullen has come back which is an enormous boost as well, I’ve seen plenty of him when on-loan at Bradford and he is a class act.
I still think Athletic require a bit more depth and that might come to bite when injuries hit but for the meantime they’re flying and scoring goals freely.
Nottingham Forest don’t have a problem with squad depth though. They have a mammoth squad, enough to field two 23-man rosters it seems, and there will therefore pressure on them to be one of the three promoted teams come May.
The Reds managed their first win last time out against Birmingham adopting a 4-3-3 system with the dynamic Joe Lolley and dangerous Sammy Ameobi supporting Lewis Grabban. Grabban is a proven goalscorer at this level and it’s key that he stays fit. Matty Cash has been playing an unfamiliar role at full back but has done well so far getting forward.
There are goals in these sides, both have scored in every game so far and Both Teams To Score has copped in five of their six combined games. The 41/50 quotes from Marathon for a repeat look a good thing at The Valley.
QPR v Swansea | Wednesday 21st August 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
We’ll stay with the same theme here with Both Teams To Score available to back at 20/23 with Betfair at Loftus Road.
QPR impressed at Stoke on opening day and it was a nice surprise for Hoops fans after a pessimistic summer. New signing Jordan Hugill bagged on debut and the supremely talented Eberchi Eze dazzled in a Man of the Match performance. The R’s were held at home by Huddersfield and went down at Bristol City last time out 2-0 despite winning the xG battle at Ashton Gate 1.58-1.21.
Rangers are back at Loftus Road, under the lights on Wednesday night, and welcome a Swansea side that have done very little in the transfer window under Steve Cooper. However, they’ve followed the same philosophy they’ve had for years now in that they’re a possession-based side who like to get forward.
Borja Baston has come in from the dark to play a leading role up front; he’s bagged three in three and it not only showcases his own ability but also the ability of Cooper to get the best out of what little he’s got. In midfield they’re classy with Matt Grimes, Jay Fulton and Bersant Celina but they do leave themselves a tad open at the back.
Both teams have conceded in all of their games this season and I can’t see the defences being on top here. BTTS has copped in five of six collective games and is the selection here at a more than fair price.
Cardiff v Huddersfield | Wednesday 21st August 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
These two sides were relegated from the Premier League last term. Remarkably, their has already been a sacking in the EFL with Jan Siewert being dismissed by the West Yorkshire visitors. Just one win to his name didn’t reflect well, and despite his positive attitude, the Terriers couldn’t turn that around as W0-D1-L3 failed to inspire the locals.
Mark Hudson takes temporary charge as Town head to the Welsh capital and he’s already said that he wants the job on a full-time basis. He will want his troops fired up for this one but discipline has been an issue for Huddersfield this season. At Loftus Road they picked up five cards, they also saw two yellows given to them last time out. Both of those games also saw the opposition pick up at least two cards, which shows they make it a battle.
Cardiff have had a shaky start to the season and have been surprisingly poor at the back. The Bluebirds too have seen bookings occur in their games; they picked up four yellows in their defeat at Wigan, two against Luton and two at Reading last time out. Two of these games also saw the opposition collect two or more cards.
You can see where this is heading… SkyBet go 13/8 on each team to pick up 20+ Booking Points and that looks a great price considering it’s landed in four of six collective games and both sides are eager for a win. I’d have it more of a 5/4 shot.