Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City | Sunday 22nd December 2019, 12:00 | Sky Sports
We’re very much entering the thick of the EFL Christmas schedule and this Friday night televised viewing from the Championship kicks that off. Sheffield Wednesday, fresh on the back of a fine 4-0 away win at Nottingham Forest, look to back it up at home to a hurting Bristol City outfit that has suffered back-to-back defeats.
There has been much talk around the footballing scene that Sheffield Wednesday are a team ‘going under the radar’ with regards to their promotion credentials. That is a phrase I personally am not a fan of, especially as I for one don’t view them as a team that has been unrecognised. They shouldn’t be anyway, as the Owls are unbeaten in five.
Garry Monk has reinvented the wheel since taking the helm at Hillsborough, nor has he really given Einstein a run for his money, but he has done an admirable and effective job at making this team not just hard to beat, but a real attacking threat. One slight frustration is that whilst they haven’t lost a league game at home under his tenure, there are three draws in there too. Still, tough to beat.
Bristol City are a gamblers nightmare in many senses on the basis of them being incredibly unpredictable and rather volatile in how they jump from being in-form to out-of-sorts almost in the blink of an eye. It depends which way you want to look at it, there is two losses in a row, or three defeats in their past 20 in league action. The here and now is most important however, and they need to respond on Friday.
Lee Johnson will probably be glad to get away from Ashton Gate for a game after losing their last two in front of their home fans. The supporters are quick to voice their opinion and they’ve actually got a solid record on the road. They’ve got recent wins at Fulham and Cardiff to their name, but also a heavy loss at Luton not so long ago. That again highlights how inconsistent they can be, but they’re capable, without doubt.
I do think Sheff Wed are the team to have on side, at least in terms of avoiding defeat. They’re yet to lose at home under Monk and I’m not prepared to back Bristol City given their current state. Of course they can win this game, but I do wonder if Sheff Wed are the best type of opponent for them right now in relation to getting the best out of themselves.
We can’t ignore what Jordan Rhodes did at the City Ground last weekend. Sheff Wed were 4-0 up at half-time, with the recalled Rhodes netting a hat-trick in the process. It was a surprise from Monk to hand Rhodes another start given he has not been a regular for some time. However, once he gets on a roll he is a danger to the rest of the Championship.
His numbers are quite interesting and I do think we should judge him on the basis of his starts, as opposed to his sub appearances which quite often have been short and sweet in recent years. So this season, two league starts and three goals. With Norwich last season, nine league starts and four goals – not great, but not bad. He is a player that is confidence-based, like most strikers, and with a run in the side he’ll deliver the goods.
Sheffield Wednesday Double Chance and Jordan Rhodes Anytime is a handy 7/5 (888) shot utilising the bet-builder on this occasion. Bristol City have shipped eleven goals in their last five games, so Rhodes should get his opportunities.
Sheff Wed v Bristol City – Sheff Wed Double Chance and Jordan Rhodes to score at anytime (7/5 888)