The Championship’s top three sides all face away trips on Saturday as league action gets back underway following the international break and I’m tipping Wolverhampton Wanderers to win at Huddersfield Town, Leicester City to win their local skirmish with Birmingham City and Cardiff City to see off Nottingham Forest.
Any club with realistic aims of promotion this season must be picking up regular wins away from home and with just three points separating these three sides, they’ll all be desperate to keep the pressure on one another with a priceless victory on the road.
New customers using the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin to back them in a treble stand to win £323.47 should the trio emerge victorious, although punters not fancying such a high-risk strategy should definitely consider backing them all individually…and here’s why.
Wolves to beat Huddersfield @ 31/20
|Real Sociedad||1-1||Real Madrid||£150.00||(13/2)|
|Real Sociedad||1-2||Real Madrid||£180.00||(8/1)|
|Real Sociedad||2-2||Real Madrid||£210.00||(19/2)|
|Real Sociedad win||£51.00||(31/20)|
|Real Madrid win||£49.00||(29/20)|
Five wins from their last six league games, including a 1-0 victory away at Blackburn in their last outing, has seen Stale Solbakken’s Wolves side rise to third in the table, three points behind league leaders Cardiff after ten games.
What could have been a risky appointment by the Wolves board given Solbakken’s lack of managerial experience in England looks to be paying dividends as the club aims to bounce straight back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
A big factor in their increasingly impressive start to the campaign – which had begun slowly with four points from their first four games – has been their solid defence. Wolves have conceded just nine goals this term, while keeping four clean sheets in their last six matches.
Couple this solidity with the fact that the Old Gold have scored in all but one of their fixtures and Solbakken appears to have a good blend of defence and attack in his squad, and one that looks good enough to stake a claim for a play-off place, at least, come next May.
Huddersfield head into the game on the back of a 1-0 win away at struggling Birmingham, but have lost their last two games at the John Smith’s Stadium against Watford and Leicester conceding five goals in process.
Leicester to beat Birmingham @ 23/20
After a slow start to the season that saw Leicester lose two of their opening three league matches – and suffer an embarrassing 4-2 defeat at home to Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup – the Foxes have been on fire in recent weeks.
Defeat to Wolves last month has sparked a five-game winning streak for Nigel Pearson’s men, who currently occupy the second automatic promotion spot as they bid to return to the top flight following relegation to the Championship in 2004.
The Foxes certainly know where the goal is, having scored in all but one of their ten league games so far and bagged at least two goals in each of their last five outings, with Dave Nugent and Jamie Vardy sparking up what could prove a prolific partnership.
Birmingham come into the game on the back of successive defeats, the last a 1-0 loss at home to newly-promoted Huddersfield, to make it three losses in four for new Blues boss Lee Clark.
A recent 5-0 defeat at home to Barnsley gave the impression that this could be a difficult season for Birmingham, who sit just one place above the bottom three with 11 points collected from a possible 30, despite securing a fourth-placed finish last year.
While both these sides managed to win their home matches against each other last season, on current form, Leicester should have too much quality for Blues at St Andrews this time round.
Cardiff to beat Nottingham Forest @ 39/20
Having tried and failed to win promotion through the play-offs for three years running, league leaders Cardiff will be desperate to ensure they finish in the top two this season to prevent the agony of another near miss.
The Bluebirds head into this game on the back of three successive victories and six wins from their last seven matches, with only Crystal Palace sitting above them in the form table ahead of their visit to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest.
Only Burnley have scored more than Cardiff’s 19 goals, with midfielder Peter Whittingham displaying his class once again with six goals, while veteran striker Heidar Helguson grabbed a brace in a 2-1 win at Ipswich before the international break.
Malky Mackay will be hoping more of the same from his side after they did the double over Forest last season, securing a 1-0 success at the Cardiff City Stadium before winning at the City Ground with a repeat scoreline on New Year’s Eve.
Sean O’Driscoll’s men find themselves in mid-table having won just one of their previous six games, that coming last time out as they saw off bottom club Peterborough 1-0 away from home.
That Andy Reid winner at London Road is Forest’s only goal in three matches and the in-form Bluebirds should have enough quality to get the job done by the Trent.