EFL expert, The Betting Desk, returns with his weekly betting previews and best bets in England’s Football League.
Cardiff vs Norwich
Norwich started the season well, but now find themselves as one of the most out of form teams in the Championship. After four games they had 10 points having scored 13 goals but since then they have collected a further seven points from the next 11 games scoring 11 but conceding 22 goals, an average of 2.44 per game.
19th on xPTS and 20th on xG ratio this is a struggling team. On the road it gets worst for the Canaries with 2.1 xGA, the worst in the division, no side has conceded more goals, shots, shots on target or shots in the box. On the road they have a record of W1-D2-L4 keeping just one clean sheet and conceding 2+ in five of their seven away days.
It appears that its when not if that manager David Wagner is let go. Norwich have pushed the arrival of Ben Knapper as Sporting Director to join this week and it seems very likely that his first major contribution to the club next week will be to find a new manager. Wagner looks to have lost the dressing room and the players are now waiting for a new manager and I cant see them being motivated to play for a manager who is all but out the door.
Cardiff have started the season well sitting 7th and just four points off Leeds in 3rd. At home they have collected 16 points from seven games winning five and scoring in every game this term at the Cardiff City Stadium. They have scored two or more past five of the visiting sides this season. Defensively they are strong at home with the 3rd best xGA with 0.66 and no side has conceded fewer shots on target and the 2nd best shot and shots in the box. They should be able to dominate the game.
Blackburn cut through Norwich easily last weekend and if it wasn’t for a very harsh sending off, Rovers would have scored more than three goals. Cardiff will have enough to score at least twice here and you can back that at 5/6 with Bet365.
- Cardiff to score 2 or more goals at 5/6 with Bet365
Derby vs Barnsley
The pressure is mounting on Derby manager Paul Warne with results and performances being seen by many at Pride Park as almost unacceptable. The Rams were one of the pre-season favourites for promotion back to the Championship, but the hosts sit outside the play offs and six points behind 2nd placed Oxford. Their 2-2 draw with Crewe in the FA Cup was another dent in Warnes ability to win over the fans and their home form this season has been average at best with W3-D2-L2. They have already lost five games this season.
Barnsley away form is strong with W5-D2-L0 keeping four clean sheets, conceding just three goals and scoring in every away game this term. They will make it tricky for the Rams have I believe they will get on the scoresheet on Saturday afternoon.
However, it’s a card play that I like here. Derby have collected 20 or more booking points in every home game this season with an average of 24.29. Their games have seen both sides collect 20+ each in six of the seven with every game seeing at least 30 booking points and six having at least 40.
Barnsley have picked up 20+ booking points in all seven away games and 30+ in five. Both sides collecting 20+ each in four and 40+ match booking points has landed in five. This should be an intense game given both sides are looking for promotion and the increasing pressure under Paul Warne. The referee here is John Busby who has averaged 57.50 match booking points from his 10 EFL games this season. He has dished out 10+ booking points to both sides in nine and at least 40+ match booking points in seven.
- I am going to back both sides 10+ booking points each, 40+ match booking points and Barnsley to score 1+ at 5/6 with Skybet buildabet.
Swindon vs Stockport
Two teams in very different form here. The visitors have won their last 10 league games beating some strong League Two teams within this run with a 5-0 win over Wrexham and 3-1 victory at Accrington. Over these 10 games they have kept five clean sheet and scored 2+ in nine. Their record reads W10-D0-L0 F25 A6, that’s nine points more than any other side over the same period. In contrast Swindon have collected just 11 points over their last 10 games with W3-D2-L5 F14 A16. Only six sides have collected fewer points.
Over the last eight games, there is no surprise that I have Stockport in the top three of most of the major metrics, including 1.76 xG and 0.88 xGA. Swindon have ranked as a mid-table side over their last eight games.
Swindon started the season well with no defeats in their opening nine games, but recently its been W1-D1-L5 conceding 2+ in four of these seven games alongside one of the most embarrassing FA exits in recent years as they lost 7-4 to National League outfit Aldershot, who were 7-0 up until very late in the game.
Stockport are full of confidence whereas Swindon are struggling for form and with home defeats against Aldershot followed by a 3-1 defeat by Colchester, the home fans cant be happy and things might get tough for the home players if Stockport settle early and win this game.
I am happy to take Stockport with a -0.25 Asian handicap. The odds have been chipped in since I posted this in my private telegram group earlier in the week but can still be backed at 3/4 with Unibet.
- Stockport -0.25AH at 3/4 with Unibet