Championship Tips: Three selections from the second tier
My first selection comes courtesy of the John Smith's Stadium where Huddersfield Town welcome Blackburn.
In terms of team news, the host supremo Carlos Corberan could move Sorba Thomas back out to the right wing back to accommodate Duane Holmes who is expected to return. Elsewhere, striker Danny Ward was absent when Huddersfield travelled to South Wales at the weekend and remains a doubt here.
As for the visitors central defender Darragh Lenihan was substituted at the weekend due to a groin issue, therefore, is a doubt for the trip to Yorkshire. This means that young defender Hayden Carter could get the nod in central defence. .
My next angle is a 4/1 player card bet via the Riverside where Middlesbrough face Sheffield United. Overseeing this fixture is James Linington and luckily for player card betting enthusiasts he is not shy when it comes to dishing out the bookings. So far this season he has brandished 27 yellows, an average of 4.5 per game. Over the course of his career he has overseen 223 second tier fixtures and averaged 3.5 cards per game. Whilst this does imply he has made a rash start to the campaign, with calls for Warnock’s head gathering momentum, I suspect the Riverside could be pretty hostile on Tuesday evening and with the cloak of darkness stoking the fire cards could fly.
With another favourable referee taking charge of Luton’s bout with Coventry, player cards could be a play once more and I think I have found a generously priced double.
The whistleblower is Steve Martin who has a cards per game average of 4.12 for the season, a respectable total at this level, and he is overseeing a fixture featuring the league's most fouled player.
Form certainly favours the visitors here as Rovers come into this fixture fresh off the back of a 5-1 spanking of Cardiff whilst Huddersfield have lost their last two. Price wise though, the Terriers may represent the value as at 9/5 the implied probability of a Blackburn win is 36%, yet Tony Mowbray’s side have only won 28% of their games when priced accordingly.
Personally though I would have Blackburn around the 6/4 mark- implied probability of 40%- based on what I have seen of both sides so far this campaign.
Terriers have been a bit of a tricky side to read this campaign, they followed a convincing victory over Reading with a loss to Stoke. Then they beat Blackpool 3-0 despite only generating an xG 0.49 superior to that of the Seasiders. Since that victory, they have lost to Forest- the worst side in the league- and Swansea. Their most recent defeat to the Swans at the weekend was particularly drab as they generated an xG of just 0.15 and did not have a shot on target.
Ollie Norwood is always a prime suspect to have his name taken when he plays football and Bet365’s price of 4/1 certainly appeals. The Northern Ireland international has a domestic card per 90 average of 0.21 meaning at a glance his price represents marginal value.
For the Blades though, Norwood has racked up 26 bookings in four seasons (a cards per90 average of 0.24) topping the Blades charts for ill-discipline over that period. It is worth noting that the last time he completed at this level he was carded 11 times with a cards per 90 averaged of 0.26.
In four of Boro’s last seven Championship games, at least one central midfielder has been booked and with the likes of Isiah Jones- their most fouled player drawing 2.4 per game- Martin Payero and Marcus Tavernier operating in attacking positions it is no wonder why.
Head band, low socks and a product of Villa’s academy. The parallels between Callum O’Hare and Jack Grealish don’t end there though as they have identical playing styles and a knack for drawing fouls.
O’Hare currently tops the Championships charts for fouls drawn with 31, he also topped the charts last season with 117. Therefore, Gabriel Osho- his presumed direct opponent- should be in for a long afternoon, especially considering Osho has picked up two cautions already this season.
So far in the Championship, O’Hare has been fouled 148 times meaning he has been kicked to the ground once every 30 minutes on average! And all that kicking has taken its toll. In nine appearances, O’Hare has already picked up three cards.
Osho is 11/2 and O’Hare is 6/1 with Bet365, I make these both valuable plays and will be taking them as singles- lineups permitting- but the 55/1 double is also just irresistible.
Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsible.
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