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Norwich to return to winning ways? Get our Championship betting tips

Ben Darvill 14 Feb 2019

Can Norwich come away from a trip to Bolton with all three points, will Preston continue their impressive run, and will Reading put a dent in Sheffield United's promotion bid? Read on for our 3 best bets for the games in the Championship this weekend. 

Bolton vs Norwich (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Bolton may have won their last match, an away trip to take on Birmingham City, but this does not hide the fact that their season is threatening to end as a huge failure. Callum Connolly was the hero against Birmingham as his 71st minute strike earned the struggling away side all three points but, as has so often been the case this season, this win is surely just momentary respite from more despair. Their win at the weekend was their first since December 26th, with the side winning just two of their last 22 games, a record that stinks of a side in real relegation trouble. Norwich on the other hand may have lost their last game in a 3-1 defeat to Preston but, prior to this, they had not lost in six, while only two defeats have blighted their record in their last 20 games as they have clawed their way up to second in the league. They may not sit at the summit of the table yet, but with all of the other top sides in the league floundering of late, top spot is surely there to be taken. 

Just three home wins all season is a pathetic tally and, worryingly for Bolton is the fact that two of their home wins came before October last year, with victories incredibly tough to come by. Norwich by contrast have only lost one of their last 14 away game, with their two defeats away from home this season an incredibly impressive tally. The return of this fixture saw Norwich run out 3-2 winners in a very exciting match, but we do not think that there will be a repeat of such a close fixture this time, with Norwich looking very strong of late, and Bolton seemingly already with one foot in League One. 

Preston vs Nottingham Forest (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Preston have come out of absolutely nowhere in recent weeks to relieve their relegation worries and put themselves in line for an unlikely playoff spot should they continue to climb the table, with their credentials were further underlined as they hammered Norwich 3-1 in their last outing. The scoreline could and probably should have been 3-0 to the home side, but they conceded in the 93rd minute to take some of the shine of their win. Despite this, the victory was their 11th of the season and means they are just eight points short of Middlesbrough in sixth and the final playoff spot. Nottingham Forest on the other hand dropped more points in their last match as they drew 2-2 with West Brom. Admittedly, there is no shame in drawing with a free-scoring Baggies side that currently sit in fourth, but Forest know that they have to stop dropping points if they are to have a chance of clinching an elusive payoff berth. 

While Preston have only won 11 times this year, they have been good at home, winning six times, drawing seven and losing just three matches. Nottingham Forest on the other hand may have won 11 games too, but they have only picked up three wins on the road as they have found away games tough places to pick up three points. Form wise, Preston may have been good at home of late, remaining unbeaten in their last four games in front of their own fans, however, they have only won once, while Nottingham Forest have drawn a massive nine matches on the road. Preston would be our pick to win the match, but with 16 draws between the two sides in their respective home and away games, we think this one will end in a stalemate. 

Sheffield United vs Reading (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Sheffield United are continuing their challenge for automatic promotion as they attempt to keep pace with Leeds and Norwich at the top of the table. Their last game ended in a very impressive 1-0 win over Middlesbrough as they made it four Championship games without a loss. 17 wins from 32 is a fairly impressive total, but they still find themselves three points short of Leeds at the top. Clearly, United have to start winning their games more often, and playing against a side in Reading’s position should result in a win. Reading may have won their last game, a hard-fought 2-1 win over Blackburn, but this has not been able to help the side get out of their relegation-mire, with the club still languishing in the lower-echelons of the Championship. Just six wins this season have come along with 11 draws and 15 losses, with the side really struggling this season. 29 points means they are only a point above Rotherham in 22nd and the final relegation spot, and they simply have to start winning their games, or they will be playing League One football next year. 

10 wins at home have come alongside three draws and three defeats, with United on a five game winning run at home, which shows their power in front of their own fans. Reading on the other hand have just six wins all season, with only one of these coming on the road as their form has been woeful. Eight draws and seven defeats show their results have been terrible on the road and, while they are unbeaten in their last four, they have only won once, and we think that promotion chasing Sheffield United will have too much for their opponents. Impressively, United have not conceded a goal in their last five home games, while Reading have only netted once in their last two away matches. With this in mind, we are backing a home win to nil, with Sheffield United further strengthening their promotion hopes. 

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Norwich to return to winning ways? Get our Championship betting tips

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