CHAMPIONSHIP fan Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) oversees Tuesday night's EFL action, picking out his best bets.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Bournemouth | Tuesday 3rd November 2020, 19:00 | Sky Sports
I had my reservations about Bournemouth this season with rookie boss Jason Tindall taking the reigns after Eddie Howe’s departure.
It’s four wins and five draws in their opening nine making them the only side in the Championship yet to taste defeat this term, and that can continue as they make the trip to Yorkshire.
The Cherries battled to a 1-1 draw at home to Derby on Saturday with Rodrigo Riquelme earning them a point with a late equaliser.
So far, Tindall’s side has restricted opponents in games with an expected goals against (xGA) standing at 7.4 – the lowest in the league. That said, they’ve only kept three shutouts, something they’ll look to improve.
In six of their nine games, they’ve kept their opponents to an xG of below one, so they’re doing something right defensively, if not keeping the clean sheets.
There’s plenty of strength, especially in attacking areas, in this Bournemouth side. Josh King and David Brooks came off the bench in Saturday’s draw, while Sam Surridge and Dan Gosling were unused subs.
The Cherries rank fourth for shots (115) and third for shots on target (44), so it could be a busy night for this Sheffield Wednesday backline.
The Owls are still trying to chip away at their points deduction, but four defeats on the spin haven’t helped the mood around Hillsborough. And from an outsiders’ viewpoint, the pressure could be mounting on Garry Monk.
The winless run hasn’t been helped by keeping just one clean sheet in seven and failing to score in five of their last eight – problems at both ends!
They’re underperforming in the xG having scored five from 7.99xG, while at the back, they’ve been fortunate, conceding 10 from 12.31xGA.
Going forward, Wednesday have been restricted to xG numbers below one in their last four, and in the two games here at Hillsborough, they’ve lost the xG battle – 0.36 to 1.24 against Brentford (lost 2-1) and 0.84 to 1.33 v Luton (lost 1-0).
So, Monk has his work cut out to turn it around. They brought players in during the transfer window to strengthen the squad too with Aden Flint and Jack Marriott both arriving on Deadline Day.
Flint went off injured after 17 minutes of the 3-0 defeat at Rotherham, and could still be missing, while Tom Lees was sent-off before half-time in that one causing all sorts of problems at the back for the Owls.
Lees is back from suspension for this one but Joost Van Aken serves the final game of his three-match ban following his red card against Luton.
Given the mood and disarray around the Owls combined with the strength in depth, Bournemouth have to call upon then it could be worth looking towards a low-scoring away win.
Bournemouth and under five goals looks a fine way in when combining the two in the Bet365 Bet Builder.
Bristol Rovers vs Peterborough | Tuesday 3rd November 2020, 19:00
I’ll step down a division for the second bet and it involves League 1 table-toppers Peterborough, who are unbeaten in seven, winning six
Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Shrewsbury was aided by the dismissal of Josh Vela, but Posh were ruthless in the second half with the talented Siriki Dembélé netting a hat-trick.
That takes his tally to five goals in nine appearances, but he’s one behind team-mate Jonson Clarke-Harris, who has bagged six in eight – a goal every 147 minutes.
His six goals have come from 16 efforts on target and 35 shots. Impressive figures and Peterborough’s are just that too. 143 shots (second-most) and 58 shots on target (most) shows that any side in this league will have problems limiting them.
That highlights the attacking methods Darren Ferguson continues to employ as he looks to get that elusive promotion with Posh.
But in comparison, Ben Garner’s side have mustered just 77 shots (second-fewest) and 27 shots on target, which could be still described as a work in progress.
While Jonson-Clarke and Dembélé have been grabbing the headlines, Joe Ward must get some plaudits for his six assists and two goals, so he is another man Rovers must marshal here.
And despite their recent upturn in performances, the Gas have found ways in games not to pick up three points. A couple of 1-1 draws with struggling Burton and Rochdale won’t have helped after wins against high-flying Lincoln and also Shrewsbury.
But when they’ve faced some of the ‘bigger’ and more perennial League 1 sides, they’ve been found out. Their three defeats have come by a margin of two or more goals, and tonight could be the same story.
Both Ipswich (2-0) and Hull (3-1) have left the Mem with three points and Peterborough should have too much attacking quality, so I’ll dip my toe into the Asian Handicap market on this one. I’ll take the visitors -1AH, where we’ll need Posh to win by two or more goals for this one.
Bradford vs Southend | Tuesday 3rd November 2020, 19:00
Things look pretty grim for Southend on the pitch. It’s 10 games into their season and they’re marooned at the foot of the League Two table with just two points.
If he gets the chance, Mark Molesley might have to start building this sinking ship for a campaign in the non-league given his pedigree outside the EFL.
The Shrimpers have the second-worst attack – just five goals scored – and the worst defensive record – 22 goals let in. It’s bleak at both ends and no real sign of any let-up after five consecutive defeats with just one goal netted.
Things aren’t much better at Bradford. After just one defeat in their opening six league games, the Bantams have lost their last three without scoring.
The 1-0 defeat against Bolton summed it up with Nathan Delfouneso’s match-winner being a comedy of defensive errors defensively that looked more like Sunday League stuff.
On the bare figures, you wouldn’t trust either side in the outrights or goal markets, although both have higher xGAs than xGFs. So, I’m happy to swerve those markets and dip my toe into cards.
I’m even more interested with Marc Edwards in the middle. After a quiet start to the season, which saw him visit Goodison Park in the EFL Cup, hinting at a possible promotion, he’s started to come to life.
In each of his last four, he’s dished out at least 40 booking points. And overall this term, he’s shown 28 cautions in seven games, so on average four per game. That includes six in one Football League Trophy game proving he can reach for his pocket.
Bradford ranks second for tackles (16.9) and joint-top for fouls (13.9) this season, so Stuart McCall’s side does get stuck in. They’ve only picked up 11 yellows but have a league-high three red cards.
Given those figures, the 2/1 on Bradford most booking points with Sky Bet could be worth a play, but you’ve got to remember they’re playing a struggling side and that they do rank highly for possession.
These two sides both need results and with recent poor results, it could be a night to roll up the sleeves and get stuck in. Therefore Marc Edwards could be in for a busy night and the 40+ booking points at 11/8 is a price I’ll take.