Tommy Mc previews 4 matches in the Skybet Championship this weekend with Derby to beat Notts Forest at the City ground on Friday night, his first and best bet of the weekend.
Nottingham Forest v Derby
Derby made it four wins out of five on Tuesday night when they beat QPR 1-0 at the iPro Stadium. Andreas Weimann scored his second goal in four days in the 51st minute and it turned out to be enough to see the Rams through to the end against a lacklustre QPR side. Paul Clement's men are on fire as they have only lost once so far this season and that was on the 29th of August when Leeds beat them 2-1. This run they are on has taken them to within one point of leaders Hull and all going to plan they should be top before the other games kick off on Saturday. As I have said before Derby have possibly the best squad in the Championship and between the midfielders and strikers they have at least six different players who are capable of scoring at any time and this has to send a shiver up the spine of any defence who have to face them.
Nottingham Forest suffered their second 1-0 defeat in four days when Preston beat them at Deepdale on Tuesday night. Forest were behind to a second minute Eoin Doyle strike and although they had chances to equalise in the first half they ran out of ideas in the second as North End held strong to see out the game. Forest have not won now in their last eight games as they have lost five and drawn three and more worryingly for the Dougie Freedman is the fact that they have not kept a clean sheet in any of these games either. The pressure is mounting on the Forest boss as every game passes and this winless run continues and although he will say all the right things before this game I don't see how he could be confident of taking any points of this Derby side with the form they are in and I think both the players and the fans will be very nervous at the County Ground on Friday night when they take on their local rivals in this midlands derby.
I really fancy Derby to round off the perfect week with another win and I think they will be too strong for Forest especially with the fire power the Rams have which will definitely be too much for Forest's leaky defence and I wouldn't be surprised if they win by a couple of goals.
1.5 points win Derby to beat Nottingham Forest at 23/20 with Betfred and Bet365
Charlton v Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday were the latest team to fail to inflict Brighton's first defeat on them on Tuesday night when the game finished 0-0 at Hillsborough. By all accounts this game was very tight with chances at a premium as both of these sides cancelled each other out. This result has moved the Owls up to 8th and leaves them just one point off the play-off places. After a sluggish start to the season Carlos Carvalhal has really got his side motoring now as they are on an 11 game unbeaten run which included a 3-0 win over Arsenal in the Capitol One Cup and with games coming up against Huddersfield and Blackburn after this weekend it is only a matter of time before they move into the top six. They have also done well on the road in their last four away games with two draws against QPR and Bolton and two wins over Rotherham and Brentford.
Charlton's misery continued on Tuesday night when they suffered their 5th consecutive defeat when relegation rivals MK Dons beat them 1-0 at the Stadium MK. A 29th minute Dean Bowditch strike was enough to settle this game as the Addick's also failed to hit the net for the 5th game in a row. This was interim manager Karel Fraeye's second game in charge after the sacking of Guy Luzon last week however it was a case of different manager, same old story. Charlton are now in serious trouble as they are second bottom and four points from safety as their season just goes from bad to worse. This was their 9th defeat in 15 games and I don't think it matters who takes the job on a permanent basis as I don't think they have the players capable of turning their fortunes around especially at the back as they have a goal difference of -14 which is the worst in the league.
Sheffield Wednesday have to be very confident going into this game as Charlton don't look capable of scoring, never mind winning and I think it will be another long day for Athletic as the Owls should win this comfortably and keep their good run going.
1 point win Sheffield Wednesday to beat Charlton at 6/5 with William Hill
Fulham v Birmingham
Fulham were on the wrong end of a 3-1 score-line on Tuesday night when joint top Burnley beat them at Turf Moor. An Andre Gray brace had the Clarets 2-0 up at half-time and although Ross McCormack got one back in the 51st minute, Matt Taylor scored a minute into added time to end any hopes of a Fulham comeback. This was Fulham's first defeat in six games as they have been on a good run and had scored eight goals in their previous two games before this one against Bristol City and Reading. Kit Symon's men have been improving as the season has progressed and look capable of being in with a play-off chance this year especially if Ross Mc Cormack keeps up his goal scoring exploits has he has hit ten already in 15 games. Fulham have also been hard to beat at Craven Cottage with wins over QPR, Reading and Blackburn there and Wolves and high flying Brighton are the only two teams to win there in the Cottagers seven home games so far.
Birmingham have now gone three games without a win as they played out a 0-0 draw with Blackburn at St Andrews on Tuesday night. By all accounts this was a poor game as both teams operated with a loan striker leading to a very defensive game with very few chances. Birmingham's bright start to the season has got a bit dull in recent weeks as they have only taken one point from the last nine available to them and have also failed to hit the net in these three games as well. It looks like Gary Rowett's men could be going through a poor spell like most sides do in the Championship at some stage in the season because they are a decent enough side however I think it might take until after the international break before their fortunes turn around as I think with the form they are in it will be hard for them to take anything away from Craven Cottage on Saturday.
I think it could be more of the same from Birmingham on Saturday as they will be nervous going into this game and although it could be close I think Fulham will come out on top as they are playing the better football at the minute and are strong at home.
1 point win Fulham to beat Birmingham at 7/5 with William Hill
QPR v Preston
QPR lost 1-0 for the second time away from home in five days on Tuesday night when Derby beat them at the iPro Stadium. Andreas Weimann wrapped this game up in 51st minute as the Rs never looked like threatening to get an equaliser. This was the Rs third defeat in six games and it proved one too many for Chris Ramsey as he was relieved of his managerial duties on Wednesday. Neil Warnock who was back at the club in an advisory role will be in temporary charge for the time being and I would expect a reaction from the players at Loftus Road on Saturday. The last time he was in charge QPR won the Championship and played an attractive style of football, so I would expect a more organised approach this weekend and a more settled side under Warnock as Ramsey especially in recent weeks was changing the back four a lot and playing players out of position as the pressure was building on him. QPR also have a good squad capable of challenging for promotion and I think you will see an improvement over the coming weeks.
Preston made it five games unbeaten on Tuesday night when they beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Deepdale. Eoin Doyle who is on loan from Cardiff opened the scoring after just two minutes and this proved to be enough to secure the three points. Simon Grayson's men have been on the up in recent weeks and have kept five consecutive clean sheets as they have pulled themselves six points clear of the relegation places. However they have failed to score in three of these matches and that will be a concern as they will not be able to keep having clean sheets and if they are not banging them in regularly at the other end they will start losing matches again and get dragged back into a relegation scrap. I know they have been playing well and will be somewhat confident of taking something away from Loftus Road on Saturday however this could be the wrong time for them to play QPR as I think the players will be determined to put a performance on for the fans after the last two results and also a lot of them are now playing for the futures.
This could be a close game because of Preston's recent form however I think you will see a different QPR on Saturday under Warnock as he knows what it takes to win matches in this division and he has been there for a couple of weeks so he will have a fair idea who he wants to play, so I fancy the Rs to get back on track in this one.
1 point win QPR to beat Preston at 13/10 with Coral, William Hill and Bet365