The Premier League title race may be getting a little boring, but the Championship continues to provide twists and turns every single weekend. The excitement has often resulted in goals, and we’re hopeful that a similar story will develop on Saturday with our BTTS treble.
We’re backing six teams from the second tier to find the net. As long as they do, we’ll have a weekend winner regardless of who wins and loses. Given the entertainment that this league always serves up, it has gotta be worth a punt.
Bristol City v Nottingham Forest
Goals at both ends of the pitch have been a common feature for Nottingham Forest over the past couple of years and a return of 31 scored and 35 conceded after 21 matches this term shows why so many punters tend to back them on the BTTS coupon. In truth, goals look even more likely as they head to Ashton Gate.
The visitors have scored 14 but shipped 22 in just 10 away games this season, so Mark Warburton will need Daryl Murphy and Barry McKay to be on top form if they’re going to get anything here. There’s every chance that they will find a way through the Robins’ defence, who have shipped 10 in 10 at home, even if they fail in their bid for points.
Lee Johnson’s promotion-chasers boast 15 home goals while Bobby Reid has double figures for himself overall. City have won each of their last three games too, although they have conceded in each of them. It’s four BTTS winners on the spin overall for the hosts, and back-to-back ones for the visitors.
Last season’s meeting ended in a 2-1 home win. A similar outcome could be on the cards here.
Brentford v Barnsley
After four BTTS winners on the bounce, it’s fair to say that Brentford are providing bags of entertainment for the neutral right now. We fully expect that to continue as they welcome the Tykes to Griffin Park.
The Bees have scored 18 in 10 home games, and should be supremely confident against a team that’s lost five on the spin. If Dean Smith’s men can create the chances for Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay, home goals should be in the offing.
Despite their poor form, though, Barnsley have shown that they know how to score. A return of 13 in 10 away matches is pleasing, not least because Brentford have leaked 14 at Griffin Park while they also enter the clash having failed to keep a clean sheet in six. Paul Heckingbottom’s men can at least look to get on the scoresheet.
Whether it’ll be enough to end the winless streak is another question. As long as Brentford score too, though, we’re not even slightly fussed about the answer.
Sunderland v Fulham
Struggling Sunderland have enjoyed a slight upturn in fortunes under new boss Chris Coleman, and the Welshman would love to get three points against his former club on Saturday. Having said that, the Black Cats certainly won’t have easy against the Cottagers.
Despite sitting 23rd, Sunderland do boast one of the division’s leading scorers in the form of Lewis Grabban while the team has notched 11 goals at the Stadium of Light. Given the fact that Fulham have shipped 16 on their travels, a home goal looks likely.
The Black Cats are still without a home win, though, which is largely down to defensive shortcomings that have seen them concede 19 times. This should give the visitors every chance of increasing their tally of 16 away goals, even if their firepower isn’t quite what it was in previous years.
This is a big game in both team’s respective campaigns. Let’s hope it lives up to our expectation of goals.