Owls tipped to stop the rot

Six games played and six defeats, the pressure simply has to be mounting on Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws especially as a certain outspoken Portuguese manager in the top flight seems to have paid the price for one loss and a couple of draws. It follows then that a victory against a patchy Hull side at Hillsborough is essential if Laws is to retain the slender grip on his job.

Thursday, 20th September 2007, 3:11 pm
Updated Friday, 21st September 2007, 8:58 am

Despite their woeful start the Owls are rated as 7/5 favourites by William Hill to stop the rot and bag three points; with a seventh straight reverse quoted at 2/1 by Portlandbet. A draw meanwhile, which in the circumstances may not be considered enough, is 9/4 with Coral.co.uk.

Given their record of 14 goals conceded in six games it’s clear where the problems lie for Wednesday and this worrying statistic not only lends appeal to the 18/19 Betdaq post against a match tally of three or more goals, it also suggests that Laws’ men will have to be on form at the other end if they are to emerge triumphant. Subsequently, backing a 3-2 Owls success at 28/1 with Coral.co.uk may not be as over-ambitious as the price indicates, although Blue Square’s 9/1 for a 2-1 home win is the best bet in that particular market. With confidence in the Wednesday came low meanwhile, it would be no surprise to see them start slowly and even cautiously so a decent case can be made for a home win sealed despite a level first period (9/2, Extrabet).

Sheffield United rode their luck at Blackpool on Tuesday and they will have to improve on that performance if they are to glean anything from their trip to Crystal Palace. The Blades however, a tasty 13/8 with William Hill, will be heartened by the fact that the hosts haven’t won since the opening day and have suffered three 1-0 defeats in their last four.

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Sportingbet make Bryan Robson’s men an enticing 8/1 to also notch the game’s only goals against the Eagles and with only two first half goals to their name this term, United may be on level terms at the interval (11/10, VCBet) before going on to prevail from that position (5/1, Extrabet).

Barnsley have nothing to fear from a trip to St Mary’s where they face a Southampton outfit struggling for consistency. The Tykes, a 4/1 shot with Stan James, can certainly trouble the hosts enough to snatch a point on the South coast; a result Betdaq have at an oversized 13/5. Bet365’s 6/1 for the clash to finish one apiece is the best bet for braver punters in that one.

In League One, Doncaster (11/5, Coral.co.uk) eased the pressure on boss Sean O’Driscoll by fending off Crewe on Sunday but they may have to settle for a draw (9/4, VCBet) from their tricky trip to Southend but both Rotherham and Chesterfield look like home bankers at evens (William Hill) and 4/6 (Stan James) against Notts County and Barnet respectively.

n Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com