EFL Championship

Blackburn v Sheffield Wednesday: Oppose goals in basement battle

John Eustace - Blackburn
A draw could be enough to secure Blackburn's Championship survival

Championship basement battlers Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday face-off in a six-pointer showdown from Ewood Park on Sunday. Betfair writer Mark O'Haire is backing a low-scoring affair...


Blackburn v Sheffield Wednesday
Sunday April 21, 12:30
Live on Sky Sports

Relegation-threatened Blackburn 1.865/6 pocketed a shock victory at high-flying Leeds last weekend to give their survival prospects an enormous boost at Elland Road. Sammie Szmodics' late goal - his 30th of a remarkable season for the Republic of Ireland international - did the damage to move Rovers five points clear of the bottom-three.

Blackburn were looking to make amends, having been thrashed 5-0 at Bristol City in their previous outing. The strugglers defended well and largely remained rock-solid despite losing the shot count 19-3, whilst also looking dangerous in transitions and pouncing on the counter when opportunities arose, to the delight of head coach John Eustace.

Eustace said, "Without the ball we had a gameplan. We knew they'd take more risks as the game went on and it was a fantastic bit of play to score the goal. We've a quality team and it's very evident we're difficult to play against. It's important now we keep working hard, sticking together as we've three massive games coming up and know we still need points."

# TEAM P W D L GF GA PTS xGF xGA xGD EXP FCST
1 Leicester 46 31 4 11 89 41 97 0 0 0
2 Ipswich 46 28 12 6 92 57 96 0 0 0
3 Leeds 46 27 9 10 81 43 90 0 0 0
4 Southampton 46 26 9 11 87 63 87 0 0 0
5 West Bromwich 46 21 12 13 70 47 75 0 0 0
6 Norwich 46 21 10 15 79 64 73 0 0 0
7 Hull 46 19 13 14 68 60 70 0 0 0
8 Middlesbrough 46 20 9 17 71 62 69 0 0 0
9 Coventry 46 17 13 16 70 59 64 0 0 0
10 Preston 46 18 9 19 56 67 63 0 0 0
11 Bristol City 46 17 11 18 53 51 62 0 0 0
12 Cardiff 46 19 5 22 53 70 62 0 0 0
13 Millwall 46 16 11 19 45 55 59 0 0 0
14 Swansea 46 15 12 19 59 65 57 0 0 0
15 Watford 46 13 17 16 61 61 56 0 0 0
16 Sunderland 46 16 8 22 52 54 56 0 0 0
17 Stoke 46 15 11 20 49 60 56 0 0 0
18 QPR 46 15 11 20 47 58 56 0 0 0
19 Blackburn 46 14 11 21 60 74 53 0 0 0
20 Sheff Wed 46 15 8 23 44 68 53 0 0 0
21 Plymouth 46 13 12 21 59 70 51 0 0 0
22 Birmingham 46 13 11 22 50 65 50 0 0 0
23 Huddersfield 46 9 18 19 48 77 45 0 0 0
24 Rotherham 46 5 12 29 37 89 27 0 0 0
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Sheffield Wednesday 3.39/4 missed the chance to move out of the Championship's relegation zone as they failed to hold onto an advantage against fellow basement battlers Stoke at Hillsborough last weekend. The Owls deservedly led through Liam Palmer's second-half strike but their lead lasted less than 10 minutes as the Potters scraped a point.

Wednesday chief Danny Rohl felt his side deserved more, saying: "We feel it, I think everyone does, we missed so many things, we were the better team and dominated this game. We got the lead, which was well deserved, they had just two shots on our goal and then they scored, it's hard to take. But we still believe, and we'll be ready to go again."

Oppose goals in basement battle

Considering the magnitude of the match, as well as the recent fortitude on show from each side, it's difficult to envisage Sunday's showdown escalating into a high-scoring shootout. I'm therefore surprised to see Under 2.5 Goals available to support at 17/20 and happy to back a tight encounter with both teams desperate to pick up vital survival points.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 17/20

Bet heew

Since John Eustace was appointed as Blackburn boss, Rovers have seen nine of their 13 Championship contests feature Under 2.5 Goals with at least one team failing to score on seven occasions. At Ewood Park, all five fixtures have produced fewer than three strikes, with a total of just seven goals across that same five-game sample.

Sheffield Wednesday have also been involved in a glut of low-scoring affairs going back to the beginning of February. Only three of the last 13 Owls' matches have seen our proposed play bust with Wednesday as 11 of their most recent 15 also delivering in the BTTS No market. Meanwhile, five of the visitors' previous six away days paid-out for Unders backers.


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