Luke Steele was the Barnsley hero at Oakwell on Tuesday as his late penalty save ensured the Reds claimed a vital three points against Brighton; the win took Barnsley two points clear of the drop zone with a game in hand on most of the clubs around them.
The pitch may not have helped Brighton’s free flowing football but the Reds battled well to celebrate an excellent victory and a valuable three points. We are certainly in for a nailbiting finish to the campaign and with tough looking fixtures against
Watford, Leicester, Palace, Cardiff and Forest still to come it is going to be touch and go. Indeed, we at BetVictor, make the Reds Evens to drop into Division 1 and it would be no surprise if the final match at Yorkshire rivals and fellow strugglers Huddersfield finally decides their fate.
Promotion-chasing Watford are next up at Oakwell this Saturday and still harbour hopes of winning the title. Manager Gianfranco Zola and his Italian Job has overseen a big improvement at Vicarage Road with Czech striker Matej Vydra, arguably, one of the most feared strikers in the division. The Hornets are sure to be popular at 11/8 to return south with another three points with the hosts 21/10 and the draw 5/2.
Sheffield Wednesday also entertain a side going for title glory when current leaders and favourites for the Championship Cardiff visit Hillsborough. The Bluebirds have stuttered of late and needed an injury time goal on Tuesday to earn a point with Leicester.
The Foxes had previously lost 1-0 at home against the Owls which gave the Yorkshire side a little breathing space at the bottom. Connor Wickham’s first goal in Wednesday colours on loan from Sunderland was well appreciated and they have a four point advantage with a game in hand over the three clubs in the relegation zone.
The Owls have endured a very tough run of fixtures but have a softer looking run in which should ensure safety. They are out to 6/1 to slip through the trap door but it would be a shock if this resurgent Wednesday side went down. Cardiff are 11/8 favourites to win on Saturday with the Owls 85/40 and the stalemate 12/5. A draw would probably suit both clubs and that’s what I envisage.
Sheffield United were left frustrated by the weather when their midweek home fixture with Crewe was lost. The Blades were looking to bounce back from a disappointing stalemate with MK Dons in the previous game at Bramall Lane. They still held onto second after the midweek fixtures and travel south to Stevenage next, sure to be buoyed by another massive away support.
Boro lost 1-0 at home to Bournemouth on Tuesday and they are still not safe from relegation; United should land the odds of 10/11 with a home success 7/2 and a draw 13/5. The Blades are still favourites for the title at 15/8 with fellow South Yorkshire rivals and current leaders Doncaster 3/1.
Rovers were also thwarted by the elements when their fixture with Carlisle fell foul of the weather midweek; they had produced a superb display to win 2-1 at Bournemouth last Saturday and are handily placed to achieve automatic promotion.
Rovers host crisis Club Portsmouth at The Keepmoat next and will be the cornerstone of many bets this weekend; odds of 3/5 look generous given Pompey look sure to be playing in the bottom tier next season.