I may have tempted fate last week when I said that it was all rosy in the gardens of Sheffield as only one of the city sides managed to take all three points on Saturday.
In fairness to Gary Megson and his Wednesday team, they were playing top of the league, Charlton, and gave them a run for their money in an exciting encounter.
The loss at Hillsborough was Wednesday’s first defeat at home this season. Johnnie Jackson scored the game’s only goal when he curled a free kick from 20 yards into the top corner, a goal worthy to win any game.
This was arguably the Owls’ biggest game of the season and boss Gary Megson was not best pleased with the result, which sent his men down to fourth in the table, eight points off Charlton at the league’s summit.
But Wednesday do have a match in hand on third and fourth sides Sheffield United and Huddersfield.
It was a much brighter weekend for Wednesday’s big rivals. United eased to a comfortable 3-0 win away to Bury and strengthened their grip on the second automatic promotion place. Goals in the second half from Cresswell, Evans (who else!) and Williamson leapt United up to second in the league, four points off the top.
However, it is now the turn of United to face one of their biggest (bar the derby) and most difficult games of the season when they travel down south to London to meet Charlton.
Unsurprisingly, both teams will be fancying themselves for the win but The Valley has always been a tricky place to go,even for Premiership sides when Athletic were enjoying their spell in the top flight all those years ago.
After seeing them beat United’s neighbours away, I am struggling to see a win for the Blades.
I’m offering Charlton at a little better than evens (11/10), which is a surprise in itself. Against any other team at home Chris Powell’s men would be odds-on.
United are 23/10 but if you are THAT confident of a Blades win then I’d stick a few quid on 1-0 (9/1) or 2-1 (10/1).
Wednesday will be looking to get back on form with a win against Hartlepool. Their opponents are hovering around mid-table, not looking in danger of moving far either way this season, which is why I have the Owls as such big favourites.
They are 8/15 for the win, with a big 5/1 if you think that Wednesday will continue to falter and fancy United for the win.
There are two huge Premiership games on Sunday. First, league leaders, Manchester City host third placed Spurs, in what is set to be a really intriguing match. I have made Mancini’s men 5/6 with Tottenham at 16/5, which may well be worth a punt!
Manchester United travel to London to face old rivals Arsenal. Even with home advantage, I don’t see much in this one based on recent form. I have Arsenal at 7/4 and the reigning champions as very slight favourites at 6/4.
All these odds and many more are available at my new website, www.betvictor.com