ONLY one place to start and that’s with the televised derby clash between Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday at Oakwell on Saturday tea-time.
Both clubs are in the bottom three in the Championship and, with home advantage, it is the Reds who are favoured in the betting at 6/4 with the Owls 19/10 and the draw 5/2.
Barnsley are 4/7 to be relegated from the division despite a terrific point at promotion-chasing Leicester City last weekend although Keith Hill and the Red Army must have felt like it was two points dropped given they were pegged abck in the last minute.
Wednesday led twice at Hillsborough against Bristol City who hit back to take all three points and the Owls are now evens for the drop.
The betting would suggest three of Peterborough (1/5), Barnsley, Wednesday and Bristol City will be playing in League One next term. However, one team always slides and I think Huddersfield (16/1) could be the side who drop like a stone. Despite Barnsley have only scored eight goals at Oakwell in ten games, I expect there to be goals and both sides finding the back of the net is priced at 8/13. A 2-2 draw is at 14/1.
Managerial speculation continues around the Wednesday job with Owen Coyle now the 3/1 favourite at BetVictor to be the next manager of the Owls, irrespective of the timescale, with Paul Ince out to 4s and 12/1 Bar.
A thoroughly professional display by Sheffield United at Brunton Park has taken the Blades to within a point of leaders Tranmere Rovers who are the visitors to Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Rovers have won only one of their last five and manager Ronnie Moore will have been bitterly disappointed to drop two vital points late on at home to Portsmouth.
The Blades remain unbeaten at home but have drawn as many games as they’ve won at the Lane but I think they can put one over the former Millers’ legend. Danny Wilson’s side are a shade of odds on at 20/21 with Rovers 16/5 and the draw at 5/2.
The Blades are 5/2 favourites for the Division One title with MK Dons 7/2 and Tranmere 12/1 despite topping the table. Doncaster Rovers currently lie second on goal difference and Dean Saunders would probably like the Bramall Lane clash to end in a draw so that Rovers would go top if they beat Coventry at the Keepmoat.
However, that’s no easy task as the Sky Blues are a different animal under new boss Mark Robins and it promises to be a cracker.
Rovers are 7/5 for all three points with Coventry 11/5 and the draw 23/10, odds which factor in the recent resurgence at Coventry who have lost just one of their last ten in all competitions. David McGoldrick, on loan from Forest, is the division’s leading scorer with 13 goals and is 5/1 to grab the opener on Saturday the same price as Chris Brown.
Rotherham’s good recent run was halted by Gillingham and they travel to AFC Wimbledon at 23/20 to return to winning ways with the Dons 13/5 and the draw at 5/2. Rotherham are 8/1 for the title behind 11/10 favourites Gillingham and 10/11 to be promoted. The Millers will be desperate to get one of the automatic places and three points against Wimbledon looks essential.
Chesterfield made it four straight league wins with a cracking win at Vale Park and are now only 4/1 with BetVictor to go up. They entertain Burton and are even money for a fifth win.