Championship predictions: Burnley look good to beat Boro
The Championship got under way again last weekend and there are nine more English Second Division games this Saturday – here are our top picks from those encounters.
Burnley-Middlesbrough (Saturday, 3pm)
After Blackburn slipped last weekend, leaders Burnley are now eight points clear of third place and are in excellent form to earn an immediate return to the top flight.
Vincent Kompany’s men continued their championship campaign with an impressive 3-0 win at QPR and handed the west London side their heaviest defeat of the season.
That victory meant eight wins in ten league games for the Clarets, who impressed at home against the top teams and won all five Turf Moor meetings with teams from the top half of the table.
Middlesbrough have lost five of their six away games against teams in the top half of the league and of the four away wins Michael Carrick’s 12th-placed Boro have recorded, three have come against clubs in the bottom four.
Kompany will have been pleased to see his team in full swing as the domestic season resumed as the World Cup break had the potential to upset their impressive form before the break.
Burnley were frustrated by a string of ties in the early rounds of league games but it always seemed only a matter of time before it clicked as the Clarets dominated most of those stalemates.
A streak of eight wins and just one loss in their last 10 games shows the quality of this side and they seem a great bet when facing a Middlesbrough side whose own five-game unbeaten streak largely reflects a lack of quality owe is four of these opponents.
Back Burnley at 21/20 with LiveScore bet.
Coventry – Swansea (Saturday, 3pm)
Only three league sides have picked up more points in their last six games than Coventry and Sky Blues will be confident of building on that form against a Swansea side who have been unbeaten in their last six games.
The Swans are five places ahead of Coventry but are just two points better and Mark Robins’ men have two games in hand to overtake the South Wales side.
Coventry have had a terrible start to the 2021-22 season but seven wins in their last 10 games has seen the Sky Blues rise from the bottom to a relatively comfortable mid-table position.
Last weekend’s away defeat at Reading was a setback, but only a small one, as manager Robins was entitled to bemoan his side’s luck in Berkshire.
Coventry had more possession, more shots, more shots on target, a higher expected goal rating and hit the woodwork but failed to rub the green in a 1–0 loss.
So they can return to the form in which they won their last four games while visiting Swansea back Coventry at 7/5 with LiveScore Bet.
Preston vs QPR (Saturday, 3pm)
Preston began the season as one of the most conservative teams in the Championship, with five of their first six games ending 0–0 and their first 12 games scoring just eight goals overall.
However, things have changed dramatically since a change of formation and last weekend’s 4-1 win over Blackburn was a continuation of the form in which North End have scored an impressive 35 goals in their last 10 games.
The results have also improved. Ryan Lowe’s men have won five of their last seven games.
QPR are just three points behind Preston but the two teams are moving in opposite directions, with Rangers having just one point from their last six games and even losing at home to bottom-placed Huddersfield in that run.
Preston looks like a team has changed since Lowe swapped a defensive midfielder for an additional attacker.
And while the North End are more vulnerable defensively, they have the firepower to mask that weakness in most cases.
Three of their last four wins have come from games in which their opponents have scored, and five of their last six games have involved three or more goals.
QPR supporters have also seen a lot of goals lately, but most of them went into the wrong net.
Although the visitors could be lifted by a new man in the dugout in Neil Critchley it still looks smart to back Preston and over 2.5 goals at 3/1 with LiveScore Bet.