Away wins for Brentford and Hull: Midweek Championship best bets
After landing a fourfold in their last EFL Championship best bets article, Infogol’s Analyst returns to give their verdict on the midweek action, using expected goals (XG) to produce the best tips.
Both teams to hit the net at Ashton Gate
Bristol City vs Birmingham
Bristol City’s play-off hopes appear to have disappeared, with a run of just three wins in 17 league games now leaving them four points off the top six. They were well beaten by play-off rivals Millwall at the weekend, a game in which they created very few chances (xG: MIL 1.7 – 0.4 BRC).
They have shown so far this season that they have the attacking capability to cause any team problems, averaging 1.3 xG per game. They have been struggling defensively in the back end of the season though, conceding 10.3 xG in their last six games. Conceding nearly a fifth of their total xGA in six matches shows something is not right.
Birmingham have really picked up under Garry Monk, and three wins and a draw from their last four matches has been enough to move them three points clear of the drop-zone. They were held by Burton in their latest game, though were very unfortunate not to get all three points in what was their best attacking display of the season (xG: BIR 4.0 – 0.4 BUR).
Though the Blues have been defensively solid of late, conceding just 1.5 xG in four games, the fact that both sides will be going for the win suggests that this is set to be an entertaining game. For that reason, both teams to score looks a good bet at 9/10.
Tigers to roar to victory
Burton vs Hull
Burton blew a 1-0 lead for the second successive game at the weekend, and draws aren’t going to be enough for Nigel Clough’s side to get to safety. Seven points from safety, winless in eight and rooted to the bottom of the table, this game really is last chance saloon for the Brewers.
Though two 1-1 draws against Middlesbrough and Birmingham may appear good results, their performances in both games haven’t warranted anything. They continue to concede a host of chances in matches, and their defensive display against Birmingham was their worst this season (xG: BIR 4.0 – 0.4 BUR).
Hull are pointed in the opposite direction. Though it may have appeared as though they were struggling for most of the season, the Tigers’ process has always been that of a mid-table Championship side.
Nigel Adkins’ side have won three of their last six to put daylight between themselves and the relegation places, with their latest victory an emphatic 4-0 success over QPR. This Hull team have been averaging 1.7 xG per game over the last six matches, and look a good bet at 11/10 to pile more misery on Burton.
Infogol's Championship xG table
Bees to keep play-off hopes alive
Nottingham Forest vs Brentford
Nottingham Forest are set for a mid-table finsh, and are one of few teams with nothing to play for coming to the end of the season. They are winless in five matches, losing their last two, and haven’t scored in that time, so have plenty to work on.
Their 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough last time out was an unfortunate one though, as based on chances created they didn’t deserve to lose (xG: MID 0.7 – 0.7 FOR). Aitor Karanka’s side have struggled all season long to generate chances, averaging just 1.1 xG per game, so offer little threat.
Brentford made it back-to-back wins to reinvigorate their play-off push. Two 1-0 victories over Bristol City and Ipswich were well deserved and were similar performances to those that they have shown all season long, only in these last two games they have got the result to show for their performances.
They have been the fifth best team in the league this season according to Infogol’s expected table, and have one of the best attacking outputs in the league (65.4 xG). At 29/20, Brentford look a good bet to get another win here.
Both to score at Stadium of Light
Sunderland vs Norwich
Things are looking bleak for Sunderland. After a draw against Leeds last time out, they are now seven points from safety with just five games remaining. They were unfortunate not to get all three points against Leeds, as they generated the better of the chances (xG: LEE 1.3 – 2.0 SUN).
Chris Coleman’s side have been better than their league position suggests, and have been unlucky not to have picked up more points based on performances. The Black Cats do create a lot of good chances in matches, but continue to be vulnerable in defence.
Norwich beat Aston Villa at the weekend to register only their second win in 11 matches. It was a deserved win against one of the league’s best teams, as they created plenty of good opportunities (xG: NOR 2.0 – 0.6 AST).
They look set for a mid-table finish, which is about where they are expected to be based on performances this season. An entertaining game is expected at the Stadium of Light, with both sides getting on the scoresheet.
Bristol City vs Birmingham – Back Both teams to score @ 9/10
Burton vs Hull – Back Hull to win @ 11/10
Nottingham Forest vs Brentford – Back Brentford to win @ 29/20
Sunderland vs Norwich – Back Both teams to score @ 10/11