By Rob Cocozza
Consistently performing teams are thinning out in direction proportion with this punter’s hair – only Derby and Watford still stand in the Championship, with Bournemouth not far off their level. That’s great for them as it’s quickly propelled them to the top of the table, being so early in the season. They’ll have to work harder to break teams down now though, especially at home. For all that, it’s surprising to see Watford so big to win at Middlesbrough. Both feature among our selections this weekend, in different ways:
Derby v Wigan
Wigan are definitely improving in terms of performance, though they still don’t score. They’ll look for chances on the break, and could get a few here. Derby rode their luck in winning at Blackpool and in their draw at home to Millwall before that. For all the home side’s quality, Wigan at $5 with looks a good bet at this point in time.
Middlesbrough v Watford
Player for player, Boro have one of the best half a dozen squads in the division, but they don’t often equal the sum of their parts on the pitch. Why Watford are as big as $4.06 with with is a mystery: so have them.
Leeds v Wolves
This is purely a value bet for the home side at $3.61 with
Reading v Blackpool
OK, we came unstuck in backing Blackpool at Huddersfield last time out as they shipped three in the first quarter of an hour. They fared much better than that in the rest of the game, and in the ones either side of it, and against good opponents. Reading aren’t exactly mustard at present, so the Seasiders should be much shorter than the $5.67 with
Swindon v Colchester
A good match up this. Swindon manager Mark Cooper was distraught at his team’s defending in losing late on at home to Rochdale on Tuesday, and rightly so. Both of those teams are excellent, and so are Colchester, who ought be something less than $4 for this, and not as high as $4.20 with
AFC Wimbledon v Tranmere
Tranmere have been goal-shy, but they usually run teams close and have decent enough players to compete with most in this division. They’ve also got Mickey Adams as their new manager, and I fancy them to score at least one against Wimbledon, who are alright but have a bit to prove. If Tranmere drift to $2.40 or bigger it’s time to get on, if not then leave them alone.
Plymouth v Cheltenham
OK, Carlisle didn’t do the honours for us at Plymouth last Saturday, but Cheltenham certainly could. Both sides are in reasonable form, and the away side have just pipped two other good sides. Back them to make it three from three at $3.12 with
Wycombe v Dagenham & Redbridge
It’s a fine line between being as brave as a lion and as silly as a rook. Either is better than being a sheep and backing the top of the league side here. The Daggers are an attacking force, even though they’re often a shade green defensively. With a bit of luck on their side they could nick this one, and for my money stand a better chance than $6.10 on offer with to do so.