BLADES & OWLS: Sheffield United fancied to win big race

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Sheffield United and Wednesday are matching each other blow-for-blow in the battle for automatic promotion but with a two-point advantage at present, the Blades are considered more likely to go up, Ladbrokes making them 4/11 and Coral quoting the Owls at 8/11.

Danny Wilson’s troops are fancied to edge nearer to the Championship tomorrow as they host Leyton Orient, Stan James pricing them at 2/5 to get the better of the struggling Os, Boylesports’ 17/2 outsiders.

The pair drew 1-1 at Brisbane Road in the reverse fixture and bet365 cater for sceptics by quoting another stalemate at 4/1 but the visitors have lost four-in-a-row and it’s hard to see them gleaning anything from their trip to Bramall Lane, where BetVictor make United 14/5 to shade it by a one-goal margin.

Given their side’s recent form however, Blades supporters can be forgiven for anticipating a more comfortable triumph and for them, Skybet price Wilson’s men at 10/11 to overhaul the goal start given to Leyton Orient in the handicaps.

William Hill rate Sheffield United at 6/1 to notch twice without reply and it’s a tempting even money courtesy of Paddy Power for the Blades to dominate by holding a lead at the end of each half.

On paper, Sheffield Wednesday face a slightly tougher assignment as they head to Colchester and as the hosts have drawn ten of their 21 home fixtures, Skybet’s 5/2 for the spoils to be shared could prove popular amongst neutrals.

Nevertheless, the Us have nothing to play for, a nine-match winless streak having put-paid to their play-off hopes and as a consequence, Dave Jones’ charges are Blue Square’s even money favourites.

In what could be tight affair given Colchester’s tendency to share the spoils on their own patch, Boylesports mark 3/1 against Wednesday to come out on top by one while Blue Square price the Owls at 8/1 to nick it 2-1 and Paddy Power make them 4/1 to prevail after a level first period.

In the Championship, Barnsley are bet365’s 3/1 underdogs as they look to follow up the creditable point at Blackpool with a home win over Cardiff. Stan James offer 5/2 for the Tykes to collect a point and it’s also 5/2 with BetVictor, for Doncaster to draw with Portsmouth at the Keepmoat Stadium, where Rovers are 13/8 (Boylesports) to clinch a maximum haul.

Relegation from League One is all but confirmed for Chesterfield, who are 16/5 via Stan James to win at Hartlepool and in League Two, William Hill rate Rotherham at 18/5 as they make the trip to promotion-chasing Shrewsbury.

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