Derby v Watford Tips: Cleverley the smart play for Friday night's Championship game
The international break is over and the Championship is serving up a tasty Friday night starter ahead of a delicious weekend of domestic football - so let’s hope we can start the weekend off in style with a winner!
Derby host Watford on Friday, with both sides having had strange starts to the season. The Rams played their first three games away from home, losing all three before Wayne Rooney scored a trademark free-kick at Carrow Road to help them to an impressive first win to the season. League favourites Watford have also had an ordinary start, picking up seven points from twelve. Both teams having scored a combined four goals in eight games, so we’re not rushing to back over 2.5 goals for this one.
Off the back of the international break, both teams have players returning from across the globe, such as Ismaila Sarr, Ken Sema, David Marshall, Jason Knight and Kamil Jozwiak. All of those will arrive back in England just a day before Friday’s fixture and could be a doubt for the starting line-ups. Tom Lawrence could make his first appearance of the season but most likely from the bench. Etienne Capoue could also feature for Watford after saying he wanted to leave earlier in the summer. Troy Deeney, Andre Gray and Will Hughes are lacking match fitness and there’s a slight possibility they could all be involved in a transfer on the domestic deadline day.
The bookies have given the home side a 29% chance of making it consecutive wins against Premier League relegated sides at odds of 5/2, with Watford the 6/5 favourites and the draw 11/5. The match can be viewed on Sky Sports and kicks-off at 19:45, so sack of Eastenders and enjoy the game with our tips below.
Tom Cleverley to have one or more shots on target - 13/8 Betfair
Joao Pedro to score and Graeme Shinnie to be carded - 9/1 Betfair
Wayne Rooney to have one or more shots on target, Ben Wilmot and Duane Holmes to be carded - 55/1 Paddy Power
The toughest part of doing this betting preview was trying to nail down who will start for favourites Watford but one player I’m certain will feature is the current captain Tom Cleverley. The all action midfielder has been given license to roam of late and after watching their last three games I’ve seen him pop up advanced positions.
When looking through the shots on target odds I was delighted to see he was 6/5 and even more delighted to get it boosted by Betfair to 13/8 for him to land one on target against Derby.
One of my favourite style of bets is a ‘to score and to be carded’ double and I've had some success with that structure. Most recently backing Romelu Lukaku to score and Declan Rice to be carded in England’s Nations League match with Belgium.
For this game I’m backing Brazilian wonder-kid Joao Pedro to find the net for the away side. Pedro has been given the number ten shirt and has started in all four of Watford’s games this season. Considering he’s a bigger price than Troy Deeney, Andre Gray and Glenn Murray, he seems the smart play here. He scored against Luton and with their potential talent of Ismaila Sarr, Etienne Capoue and Jeremy Ngakia providing opportunities, I think he’ll be best placed to bag against a Derby defence who have conceded eight goals in their last three home games.
For the second part of this double, I’m turning to Scot Graeme Shinnie. Shinnie has an impressive booking record having already been booked twice in his first three games this season and eight times throughout last season. The 29-year-old could be up against the lightening quick Ismaila Sarr, which could easily lead to a caution when trying to break up any counter attacks.
For my longshot I’ve got a three-pronged fancy which pays 55/1, including Derby’s captain and potential future manager Wayne Rooney. Wazza showed his class in their last game when he caressed a free-kick into the top corner with ease. He’s already had three shots on target in Derby’s four games this season and at 8/11, I’m happy to kickstart the longshot with this selection.
Over to the yellow cards and I’ll start with Derby’s American midfielder Duane Holmes to find his way in the refs note-pad. He was Derby’s second most booked player of the season last campaign and at 4/1 he’s the player I want to boost the odds in this one.
I’m finishing this treble with Watford’s Ben Wilmot to see yellow. The young centre-half has made his way into the team and has been deployed as the left-centre-back of a back three. He’s got himself in some sticky situations already this season, having already been booked twice. £5 on the 55/1 shot returns an appetising £280. You can find a full range of football tips on BettingOdds.com this weekend,
The Championship and Premier League are back this weekend with a lot of games on TV so make sure you only spend what you can afford and gamble responsibly while enjoying all the football.