Blackpool v Blackburn
Blackpool meet Blackburn in a Lancashire derby, and the pressure on the new managers in either dugout could not be more different.
Tangerines boss Michael Appleton is slowly returning confidence to the coastal club after replacing fans' favourite Ian Holloway. His record of one victory and five draws since taking over means he is yet to taste defeat as Blackpool manager, but he will want his team to start turning those one pointers into three. His new side have averaged two goals a game since his appointment, and a 4-1 thrashing away to Peterborough and a late equaliser against second place Crystal Palace will leave them in buoyant mood ahead of the Blackburn clash.
On the other hand, the mood surrounding Rovers is downbeat after Henning Berg's team were booed off at Ewood Park after losing 4-1 to leaders Cardiff. That brought the Norwegian's record at Blackburn to one victory, three draws and four defeats with an abysmal win percentage of 12.5%. Appleton's outfit might be only slightly higher, but Berg's side have been shipping goals and not scoring many themselves. Nine conceded and three scored in their last four is not good enough for the former Premier League regulars.
Given Blackpool's tendency to draw, a stalemate almost can't be ruled out, but with Blackburn in such disarray backing the home side in the Draw No Bet market looks sensible at 1.51/2.
Cardiff v Peterborough
Top-of-the-table Cardiff host rock-bottom Peterborough in a game that should be an absolute home banker.
The Bluebirds boast the best home record in Europe after beating Sheffield Wednesday at the Cardiff City Stadium at the beginning of December - their 10th successive victory on their own patch in the league this season. Twenty-one goals scored and five conceded in the Welsh capital proves just how tough Malky Mackay's team are to face on home soil. A thumping 4-1 win at Blackburn last time out makes it five wins from their last six (home and away), and the return of Craig Bellamy will only help to strengthen the club's push for automatic promotion.
Peterborough are a team in free-fall, five points from safety in the Championship and without a win in eight games. Posh's four victories this campaign are dwarfed by 16 defeats, and Darren Ferguson faces a treacherous task just keeping the club in the division. A trip to leaders Cardiff is exactly what the Scot wouldn't have wanted after two disappointing home losses, and it could be an embarrassing result for Sir Alex Ferguson's son. Striker Dwight Gayle has three goals in two games and if the visitors are to put up any resistance here then he will be relied upon the find the net.
This one looks like a complete mismatch, and with Cardiff so solid in defence at home combined with their will to grind out victories, a Win To Nil gives greater odds for the hosts at a tempting 2.35/4.
Burnley v Watford
Away day specialists Watford travel to inconsistent Burnley, with Gianfranco Zola's side hoping to consolidate their position in the play-off places.
The Hornets were undone last time out by fourth place Hull as they lost 2-1 at Vicarage Road, but with the joint-third best away record in the Championship, Watford may be more confident on the road. Zola's team have completed impressive victories at Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday recently - winning 6-1 and 4-1 respectively - and will fancy their chances from a trip to Turf Moor. The Hull defeat was their first in eight games, but with an average of 2.63 goals scored during that spell, it's fair to say their attack is in fine fettle.
Burnley are struggling to put any sort of consistency together this season, with back-to-back victories recorded just twice so far. Sean Dyche's side are on another low run at the moment having failed to win in three outings, scoring just twice. The Clarets are better on their own patch than away, but have taken just a point from a possible six in their last two outings on home soil. Coveted striker Charlie Austin has been caught in the top goalscorers chart and now shares the lead with Palace's Glenn Murray on 18 strikes, but has scored just once in six games.
A close game is in store and backing both teams to score should pay dividends at 1.538/15.
Back Blackpool @ 2.0521/20
Back Blackpool in the Draw No Bet market @ 1.501/2
Back Cardiff @ 1.331/3
Back Cardiff to Win To Nil @ 2.305/4
Back Watford @ 2.915/8
Back Both Teams To Score in Burnley v Watford @ 1.538/15
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