Championship: Few goals forecast at Elland Road


CHAMPIONSHIP fan Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) oversees Tuesday night's action from the second-tier, picking out his best bets. 

Leeds v Millwall | Tuesday 28th January 2020, 19:45 | Sky Sports

Leeds have a reputation of choking towards the end of the season, and whether it’s starting early this year is hard to say. But, just one win in seven league games has a few of the natives worrying.

There’s a reliance on Pablo Hernandez in the middle of the park and it’s down to Patrick Bamford to take the chances, which is usually plentiful, but too many of them have been spurned

The Whites' last league game was a 1-0 defeat at QPR where Bamford saw his penalty saved Liam Kelly after the R’s keeper was adjudged to have fouled him.

Bielsa and co have seen the gap to Fulham, in third, shorten and it now stands at three points, so it’s a bit make-or-break, especially with them looking short on quality in reserve.

With the transfer window slowly coming to a close, the board will need to back Bielsa to bring in reinforcements to make sure they get over the line. Rumours about Che Adams remain, while Jean-Kevin Augustin has arrived at Elland Road in time to possibly make his debut against the Lions.

Millwall are on the cusp of the play-offs and this represents as their game in-hand to overtake Preston and Swansea.

Gary Rowett has worked wonders since arriving at the club. He’ll set his side up difficult for Leeds to break down meaning they’ll be compact giving the hosts two banks of four to beat. That means plenty of width for the likes of Helder Costa, Jack Harrison, plus the full-backs to operate in.

Leeds home games have seen 148 corners and that represents 11.40 per-game – that’s why the bar has been set at Over 11 at 13/10 with Bet365. Over 10 at 5/6 with the same firm appeals, but to get a slightly juicier price, I’d combine it with Under 4 goals in the match.

The hosts haven’t been as ruthless with 11/13 home games seeing three or fewer goals, while 12/14 Millwall away games have also been less than 4 goals.

Putting those two together in a Bet Builder sees a rather appealing 27/20 (Bet365). On the stats it’s you’d expect given the likelihood of the pragmatic approach Millwall will take, while the threat Leeds possess in wide areas. 

Wigan v Sheffield Wednesday | Tuesday 28th January 2020, 19:45

I’m sticking in the Championship for a stats-based punt, which surrounds late goals.

Wigan’s place in the second-tier is looking precarious with just one win in their last 16 Championship games leaving Paul Cook’s side six points adrift of safety.

Sheffield Wednesday are having their struggles in the league with four defeats in their last five, although the win was a massive 2-0 win at Leeds. Garry Monk will be re-focusing his side on the league after their 2-1 win in the FA Cup against QPR on Friday night.

The common theme of the three points picked up at Elland Road and the cup-tie at Loftus Road – late goals. Four of the five goals scored in those two examples came after 87 minutes. With the Owls netting three of those goals, then they don’t take their foot off the gas.

When looking towards markets in this game, I was instantly taken towards the second half being the highest scoring (11/10) or a late goal in the game (5/6). It’s the latter, which appeals most. With Bet365 offering 5/6 on a goal in the last 20 minutes, then it’s worth taking. Usually, this is set a couple of minutes later, so you’re getting more scope straight away.

Not only that, but 36% of goals in Sheffield Wednesday league games have come from the 71st minute until full-time. If you look at the 5-0 defeat at home to Blackburn, they conceded in the 90th minute.

On top of that, they scored twice at Leeds in the last few minutes, while go back to Boxing Day. Tom Lees put them 2-1 up against Stoke in the 74th minute, before the Potters fought back to score twice in stoppage time meaning the Owls lost 3-2.

That’s a fair few late goals involving the Owls, but there’s an equally good record involving Wigan. 62% of goals in games involving the Latics come in the second period and when you break it down even further, then 31% of goals come in the last 20 minutes of games.

Six of the 13 goals in Wigan games since Boxing Day have been after the 70th minute, and it’s been costly to their survival hopes.

I can’t see this being a high-scoring contest, but one where late drama is highly likely.

Plymouth v Crawley | Tuesday 28th January 2020, 19:45

Plymouth are on the charge after making it four wins on the spin against struggling Stevenage on Saturday.

Ryan Lowe’s side sit third, with a game in hand on those above them, as they look to strengthen their hand for an automatic spot. Lowe was able to rest Danny Mayor at the weekend, although he didn’t want his playmaker ‘kicked left, right and centre.’

That freshness could be important in the run-in to fend off the chasing pack, although this game will be tricky with Crawley having lost just once in seven – six of those have seen both teams scoring, so that looks a strong play for those looking for something to put in an acca.

Four of the hosts’ last five wins have seen them concede, while Crawley have lost five of their last nine, yet they’ve managed to score. A Plymouth win and BTTS looks rather tempting at 13/5 with Bet365.

But, it’s the man in the middle to focus on. Alan Young has the whistle, and more importantly, the cards. He averages 57.78 booking points per game this term.

Between the two sides, they’ve received 97 yellows and two reds and they’ve both had Young take charge of them once this season.

The Plymouth league game saw 50 booking points with 30 going to the Pilgrims, while his Crawley game was in the EFL Trophy and it still saw 40 booking points – 20 going to each side.

In the Trending #YourOdds section of the William Hill site, you can get Both Teams Over 1 Card at 11/4, which given the referee’s traits, I’m more than happy to back.

9/14 Crawley away games have seen over one card received, while for Plymouth at home, it’s happened in 6 of their last 11. In comparison to other bookies, it’s 6/4 for Both Teams 20+ Booking Points on Sky Bet, so there’s a bit of a difference.

So, while looking towards both teams to score as an option for a short price, I’d rather back the 11/4 shout with Hills on cards given the referee.

Best Bets 

Leeds v Millwall – Under 4 Goals and Over 10 Corners (27/20 Bet365)

Wigan v Sheffield Wednesday – Goal after 70:59 (5/6 Bet365)

Plymouth v Crawley – Both Teams Over 1 Card (11/4 William Hill)



About Author

Matt is a graduate in sports journalism and is currently plying his trade as a content editor for a major betting company. He was bitten by the betting bug when backing horses and continues to do so. His main sporting interests are football, horse racing and darts. Matt is a Stoke season ticket holder and enjoys going to gigs.

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