CHAMPIONSHIP fan Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) oversees Wednesday night's action from the second-tier, picking out his best bets.
Barnsley v Derby | Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Barnsley have had a difficult start to life back in the second tier and after a rapid start against Brentford on Sunday, you’d have forgiven them if believing things were changing. However, in stepped Ollie Watkins to net a hat-trick and take the match ball, plus the three points, back to London for the visiting Bees to pile more misery on to Daniel Stendel and his men.
It’s no win since the opening day and the Tykes have collected just two points in their last eight games with draws against Charlton and Wigan.
Derby have been distracted by the publicity given to the off-field issues following the crash between Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence that also saw Richard Keogh ruled out for the season. Yet, they recorded just their second win of the season when downing Midlands rivals Birmingham on Saturday despite letting a 2-0 lead slip and Lukas Jutkiewicz missing a penalty with the game delicately poised at 2-2.
Jamie Paterson scored the winner, opening his account for the Rams, while Chris Martin bagged in successive games – it’s Martin that has an excellent record against Barnsley, with him netting six times against the Tykes, so at 11/5 (Unibet) to score, he is one of two angles into this match.
The other bet I’m interested in saw me delving through some corner stats where Barnsley are better suited than their visitors. The Tykes have recorded team corner counts of 7, 4, 4, 7, 8, 7, 5, 10 and 8 this season. They’re the bare figures, so 60 corners in nine games is an average of 6.70 per-game.
Compare that to Derby’s figures in away games and then you’ll see team counts of 0, 5, 3 and 3 in their four trips. So, 11 corners in four, at an average of 2.75 per-game.
With averages of 6.70 up against 2.75, you can see a difference in possible approaches, which leads me to take a look towards the handicap markets. All Barnsley have to do is take two more corners than Derby to get an appealing bet, especially when you see that the Rams have taken 8, 5, 3 and 3 fewer corners in each away game to date when compared to their hosts.
The -1 corner handicap is 11/8 with Bet365.
Cardiff v QPR | Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Two in-form sides clash at the Cardiff City Stadium with the Welsh hosts looking to remain unbeaten on home turf. Neil Warnock’s side are unbeaten in their last six league games (W2, D4) following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Hull, and like most good sides in this league, home form is key.
It’s three wins and a draw in their four home league games with the draw coming against likely promotion rivals Fulham, although the Bluebirds didn’t make full use of their man advantage in that draw after Harry Arter was dismissed.
You know what to expect with Cardiff. Tight, cagey affairs and that’s what’s been served up, especially at home. All three wins have come be a single goal margin, so they do enough to get over the line, even though it’s not pretty for the neutral.
QPR have made a bright start to the season under Mark Warburton and sit just narrowly outside the play-off spots early in the juncture. The R’s had won four on the spin prior to Saturday’s 2-0 defeat against West Brom, in a game that saw Yoann Barbet dismissed for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity meaning he’s suspended for this trip.
Nahki Wells, Jordan Hugill and Eberechi Eze will give this Cardiff backline plenty to think about and it’ll be a completely different style to that of the Bluebirds. Eze’s pace on the break could play a big part in this game, as QPR look to record a fourth away win after defeating Stoke, Sheff Wednesday and Millwall (all 2-1) already this term.
Six of QPR’s nine games have seen Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals (11/10 in the Bet365 Bet Builder feature) and that does appeal, but I’m taking a bit of a bolder play here.
So far, 68% of goals (19/28) in QPR matches have come after half-time, but narrow it down to their four away games, then its 73%, or eight of 11 goals in the second half. Cardiff’s first two home games of the season saw both teams net in the second half, while that’s what Warnock’s side did at Hull at the weekend when twice coming from behind to earn a point.
Barnsley v Derby – Barnsley -1 corner handicap (11/8 Bet365)
Barnsley v Derby – Chris Martin to score at anytime (11/5 Unibet)
Cardiff v QPR – Both Teams To Score in the second half (2/1 William Hill)