Birmingham City will hope the familiar surroundings of St Andrew’s will help them return to winning ways when they face local rivals Coventry City in the Championship on Friday evening.
Coventry are again tenants at Birmingham’s ground this season, but the Blues will be classed as the ‘away’ team for Friday’s battle. With no fans, however, both sides will surely feel at home.
Neither went into the international break in good form, with Coventry losing four of their last five, and Birmingham losing back-to-back matches.
Coventry are just above the relegation zone ahead of kick-off but a win this week would move them to within two points of their rivals.
Karanka’s side, meanwhile, could go as high as 11th with three points, but the form of both means picking a winner is tough.
Instead, a glance at the goals market is tempting and both teams to score is
Coventry’s last five games have featured 19 goals in total, while both teams to score would have landed in all four of Birmingham’s previous Championship games.
Reading Ready to Lay Down Title Challenge
Reading have been the surprise package this season, picking up two points on average from their first 11 matches.
They are one point clear at the top of the table, with Watford and Norwich breathing down their necks.
Saturday’s opponents Bournemouth are also in touching distance in fourth, and a win for the Cherries could put them top of the pile, if other results go their way.
The table is a bit misleading as the Royals have lost three in a row to allow others to close the gap.
Bournemouth have not lost at home this season, and they are worth backing at
53/20 to win and both teams to score.
Robins Hoping To Pounce on Troubled Derby
Bristol City are well-placed in the play-offs spots thanks to their recent form.
Two wins in a row against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City have helped them recover from a poor end to October, and they host Derby at Ashton Gate this weekend.
The Rams sacked Phillip Cocu during the international break, and they have yet to name his successor, with Wayne Rooney overseeing things at the minute.
Derby are bottom of the table, but a win could see them come out of the bottom three unless Coventry win on Friday.
Derby have failed to score in their previous two games and Bristol City to win to nil is
Expect a Tense Affair at Carrow Road
Two promotion-hunting teams meet at Carrow Road this week as Norwich City welcome Middlesbrough to Norfolk.
Both teams are in great form, with neither losing any of their last five in the second tier.
That could mean Saturday’s battle is tense and low-scoring, with under 2.5 goals landing in every one of Middlesbrough’s last five matches.
The same bet would have paid off in three of Norwich’s last five, and it would be wise to follow the trend, with under 2.5 goals
10/17 for Saturday’s encounter.
*All odds correct at time of writing