Championship Tips: Three bets for Tuesday's action in the second tier
I have three selections for this round of midweek fixtures in the Championship and after a flurry of goals at the weekend I have found a few a couple of generously priced players in the goalscorer market.
My NAP comes courtesy of Sheffield United’s game against Preston on Tuesday night.
After a torrid first month back in the second tier, Sheffield United - one of the favourites for promotion at the beginning of the season - announced their return by putting six past Peterborough on Saturday at Bramall Lane.
Their supremo Slaviša Jokanović handed out full debuts to new loan signing Morgan Gibbs-White and Iliman Ndiaye and the pair shone, directly contributing to five goals between them.
After a rough start to the campaign- losing their opening three fixtures- results for the Lilywhites have improved as Frankie McAvoy’s men have taken seven points from their last three league games. However, after a stalemate vs Bristol City in their most recent fixture I fear momentum will be with the hosts and at 9/2 a price for a certain Frenchman to bag anytime looks irresistible.
There were also a couple of chunky looking goalscorer prices that caught my eye that come via the Hawthorns where West Brom welcome relegation favourites Derby County.
After a valiant start to the campaign which saw the Rams muster eight points from their opening five games, signs that the wheels were beginning to fall off became apparent in their 2-0 defeat at St. Andrew's last Friday evening.
Despite having 67% of possession, they only had two shots from inside the box and generated an xG of 0.35, which is their lowest total so far this season. The hosts have stuttered over the past three games in comparison to the start they made to the season as they have followed their 6-0 spanking at the hands of Arsenal in the League Cup with a narrow victory over new boys Peterborough and then a 1-1 draw vs Millwall.
However, I trust that Valérien Ismaël will get them back on track here and I fear that they could make a real example out of Derby. So 10/3 and 22/1 for one of the Baggies frontmen certainly appeals.
Sheffield Utd v Preston
Sheffield United’s chairman dubbed the contract extension of Iliman Ndiaye their best bit of business over the summer. Staff at Shirecliffe have said his natural ability eclipses that of academy graduate David Brooks even going as far to say he could rival the likes of Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire for potential.
Rumour has it that Ndiaye had been held back from the first team as he would not commit his future to the Blades so the club did not want to put him in the shop window and let him be poached by a big club.
Having seen his debut at Bramall Lane on Saturday, there is no doubt that this is all true.
The young Frenchman featured behind Billy Sharp in an exciting attacking trio alongside Morgan Gibbs-White and Ben Osborn and bagged himself a brace and an assist before being forced off with cramp with 20 minutes to go, however, I expect he will be okay to feature on Tuesday night.
It was clear from the off that Ndiaye’s flair and mercurial ability would help unclog SUFC’s otherwise stogie attacking play that was a feature in their games in the opening month.
When asked why he had signed a new contract in S2, Ndiaye said that Jokanovic’s appointment was pivotal. “The football we play, the style he wants, really suits me and ever since he’s been here he’s had belief in him.”
9/2 is just too tasty of a price to turn down and I would not want to put anyone of another brace at 40/1…
West Brom v Derby
Ismael clearly favours physicality throughout his lineup which is perhaps why we have seen Matt Philips feature heavily for the Baggies recently, starting the last three games and completing the last two.
Despite playing in attack for the majority of his career, Phillips has never been a prolific goalscorer, however, given the ravenous nature of this side it would be pretty alarming if it’s ST was not getting plenty of chances.
At 10/3 with Betfair and Paddy Power, Matt Phillips' price stands out for a few reasons. First of all, the same bet is a measly 8/5 with Bet365 and such a gulf in price across bookmarkers can only be a good thing. It is also worth noting that he is a lot shorter than WBA’s other attackers with the likes of Callum Robinson, Jordan Hugill and Karlan Grant all around 7/4.
West Brom v Derby
Given the size of his price to score anytime, the faith the manager has shown in him and the quality of the opposition, I think at 22/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power a Matt Phillips brace is worth a nibble, especially when you consider the same bet is only 9/1 with bet365.
Phillips has scored once this campaign, generating an xG of 1.32 from seven shots in 369 minutes of domestic action. I would like to caveat this and what I said previously with the fact that he has only averaged 0.19 goals per 90 in his 447 game long career, however, all things considered I think this is worth a punt.
Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.
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