Watford v Crystal Palace
Live on Sky Sports 1
Friday night's live Championship game is a potentially crucial promotion meeting between Watford and Crystal Palace.
Gianfranco Zola's Hornets have been mightily impressive this season, and now sit in fourth spot just one place and one point above Ian Holloway's Eagles. Watford have won four of their last five, and will be confident of adding to that run against their play-off rivals. Forwards Matej Vydra (19 league goals) and Troy Deeney (12 league goals) are firing the Hertfordshire club's Premier League push, and they have begun to arrest their somewhat inconsistent home form too with back-to-back victories at Vicarage Road.
On the other hand, Crystal Palace have lost their early season momentum -previously unbeaten in 14 league games from September through November - the Eagles picking up just two wins from their last 12 games in all competitions. Palace's last away victory was nearly three months ago against bottom club Peterborough, and they lost To Watford at Selhurst Park earlier in the season when Vydra struck a 90th minute winner. Starlet Wilfried Zaha remains at the South London club despite an impending summer move to Manchester United, and striker Glenn Murray is the division's outright top scorer with 24 goals, but Holloway is struggling to sustain his side's promotion fizz.
Odds of 2.1011/10 for a Watford win are worth taking, but given this may be a tight clash perhaps punters would feel safer siding with the Hornets in the Draw No Bet market at 1.538/15.
Peterborough v Leicester
Bottom-club Peterborough United host second place Leicester City, as the Foxes look to keep their stunning win streak going.
Leicester have won their last five successive Championship matches, and manager Nigel Pearson will be fully expecting his side to extend that to six when they travel to London Road. Earlier in the season the Midlands club won five games in a row only to draw their next outing at Birmingham, and Foxes fans will hope their team can avoid a similar trap on the short trip to Peterborough. Recent away victories at Bristol City and Burnley suggest they can, with midfielder Anthony Knockaert and striker Dave Nugent recently getting in on the goalscoring act alongside in-form finisher Chris Wood.
Peterborough supporters will be considering their side's three game win streak over Christmas as a distant memory. That hot run of form - which included leaders Cardiff's only league home defeat of the season - has been followed by just one victory in their last five outings. Back-to-back draws at home to Hull and Burnley have proved the Posh are fighting to avoid the drop, but it may be a step too far to expect them to gain anything from the visit of rampant Leicester. The continued presence of talented midfielder George Boyd in the side can only help their cause though, after his late transfer window move to Nottingham Forest bizarrely fell through due to concerns over his eyesight.
Posh have scored in 10 of their last 11 matches - and Leicester have found the net in their last seven - so backing Both Teams To Score looks a useful bet at 1.574/7.
Sheffield Wednesday v Derby
Sheffield Wednesday will be hoping to keep their positive survival form up when they entertain Derby at Hillsborough.
Wednesday have given their beleaguered supporters something to cheer about in the last few weeks after enduring a difficult season, by winning six of their last nine Championship games. That came after a barren run of seven straight league defeats, and has lifted the Steel City club out of the relegation zone to four points away from the drop. The January signing of Swansea striker Leroy Lita on-loan has paid off instantly for Dave Jones' side, with the 28-year-old scoring in both games he has played for the club so far.
Derby are going well in the league too, sitting in ninth spot, but Nigel Clough's young charges tend to perform better at Pride Park than they do on the road. Eight home wins starkly contrast with their eight away defeats, and the Rams have not secured victory on their last three away days. Derby's most recent 3-0 win over Huddersfield came off the back of three games without triumph, and a resurgent Wednesday side will offer more resistance than the struggling Terriers.
This fixture ended 2-2 earlier in the campaign, and with both club's last two outings producing Over 2.5 goals, that bet looks tasty here with odds of 1.9520/21 available.
Back Watford at 2.111/10
Back Watford in the Draw No Bet market at 1.538/15
Back Leicester at 1.664/6
Back Both Teams To Score in Peterborough v Leicester at 1.574/7
Back Sheffield Wednesday at 2.255/4
Back Over 2.5 Goals in Sheffield Wednesday v Derby at 1.9520/21
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