Rowett's men to pick up another point
Birmingham 2.982/1 v Millwall 2.6613/8; The Draw 3.185/40
Millwall made it four games unbeaten on Wednesday evening as they picked up a useful point at home to Reading. The Lions are incredibly tough to beat, however, they often struggle to get over the line. Gary Rowett's men have clocked up six draws so far this season, with four of their last six ending all-square. Only Middlesbrough and this weekend's opponents Birmingham have accumulated as many stalemates as the Bermondsey outfit, and some fans have become understandably frustrated at their side's inability to finish their opponents off.
Wednesday's point lifted the Lions to tenth in the table, and having collected eight points from a possible 12 on the road, they will be relatively feeling confident ahead of Saturday's trip to St.Andrews. Although Troy Parrott's return to fitness is a significant boost, the club's over-reliance on playmaker Jed Wallace remains a concern. The former Wolves man has scored five times this season, and he netted a magnificent free-kick to open the scoring in midweek. No other Millwall player has more than a solitary strike to their name in the Championship this year, and fans will be hoping that the returning Spurs loanee can provide them with a much-needed spark in the final third.
Defensively, Rowett's men have been superb, and arrive here off the back of three consecutive away clean sheets. They managed to hold high-flying Norwich to a goalless draw at the beginning of November, despite the Canaries firing in 27 shots. The Lions failed to muster a single effort on goal at Carrow Road, yet still managed to leave East Anglia with a point thanks to a Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper masterclass.
Millwall have a brilliant record at this stadium and have kept clean sheets in each of their last three visits. However, they had to settle for a point when the two sides last met at the end of February.
Aitor Karanka's Birmimngham have a six point cushion over the bottom three, however, the Blues have been largely uninspiring so far this season. The Blues are the fifth lowest scorers in the division, and have only twice notched more than a single goal in a game. Despite beating Brentford on the opening day of the campaign, they've collected just seven points on their own patch, and their xG numbers are extremely concerning.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was the hero on Tuesday night as the Blues collected a point at Kenilworth Road. Karanka's men were outshot by the Hatters, and although Lukas Jutkiewicz fired in his 100th league goal, there weren't too many positives to take from the game. The 31-year old is the club's joint-top scorer this season having plundered two goals, and similar to this weekend's opponents, a chronic lack of firepower appears to be holding them back.
There are just four points separating these two sides, however, there is likely to be very little between them on Saturday afternoon. Both sides are struggling to collect maximum points at the moment, and although Millwall are much better away from the Den, backing the draw at 3.185/40 on the Exchange appears to be the best option here.
Luton to leave South Wales with at least a point
Cardiff 1.758/11 v Luton 54/1; The Draw 3.65
Although expectations were relatively high going into the 2020-21 campaign, it's been a fairly underwhelming start to the season for Neil Harris' Cardiff City. The Bluebirds come into this game having lost three of their last five Championship matches with Wednesday's 1-0 reverse against Coventry City the latest in a long line of disappointing performances. They've won just three of their opening 13 games, and many fans are understandably calling for the former Millwall boss to be relieved of his duties. With just one win in their last eight, confidence in the camp appears to be at an all-time low, and Harris doesn't have long to galvanise his side ahead of yet another tricky tie.
Cardiff have produced decent xG numbers in South Wales, however, the results haven't matched the data. Kieffer Moore and Joe Ralls were the standout performers on Wednesday night, however, they will need to improve their productivity in the final third if they have any hopes of recreating last season's heroics. Supporters have complained about the quality of football served up under Harris, and despite the arrival of playmaker Harry Wilson, the Bluebirds still prefer to take the direct approach.
Midtable Luton continue to pick up points at a decent rate, and they outshot Birmingham 16-11 on Tuesday night. They have lost just one of their last seven Championship matches, and have won two of their last three away trips. Nathan Jones is enjoying a successful second spell at the club, and the Welshman will be hoping that his side can continue their fine form on the road this weekend. Across his two stints in Bedfordshire, Jones has overseen 35 wins in 79 away contests, and his side are always suitably competitive on their travels. Since replacing his namesake Graeme, the former midfielder has picked up six wins and two draws from his first 10 away matches, with the Hatters also managing to keep six clean sheets in the process.
James Collins' return should give the visitors an extra edge in the final third, whilst the form of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has been a real positive in recent weeks. Despite looking shaky throughout the majority of the 2019-20 campaign, Matty Pearson and Sonny Bradley have become far more efficient at the back in recent months and only three sides have notched 2+ goals against the Hatters so far.
Luton have collected 10 points from a possible 12 so far this season when travelling to sides below them in the table and they look far too big at 54/1 on the Exchange. However, backing Luton Draw No Bet at 13/5 on the Sportsbook looks a much safer option here and could be far too big to ignore.
Low-scoring 90 minutes expected at Pride Park
Derby 1.865/6 v Wycombe 4.77/2; The Draw 3.65
Wycombe lost their opening seven games of the campaign, however, Gareth Ainsworth's side have since turned a corner, and they've lost just one of their last six Championship matches. The Chairboys are built on extremely solid foundations, and having kept three clean sheets in their last five matches, they have become incredibly tough to penetrate. Ainsworth sets his side out with a strict game-plan, and although they have an incredibly small squad, his players are all willing to roll up their sleeves up and dig in. Seven days ago, they kept a clean sheet against last season's beaten play-off finalists Brentford, and restricted the high-flying Bees to just four shots on target.
Their midweek goalless draw with Huddersfield was yet another step in the right direction, and there is no shortage of belief around Adams Park. They aren't quite as solid on their travels, however, they did leave St.Andrews with all three points and will be feeling confident ahead of their clash with out-of-form Derby County.
Although the visitors are rarely breached, they do lack firepower, and with just six goals so far this season, they need to start finding the back of the net on a more regular basis.
Derby continued their poor run of form with a 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Wednesday evening. The Rams are the lowest scorers in the division and have notched just five times so far this season. They haven't found the back of the net since October 31st, and although they did play with a little more intent and purprose against Bristol City last weekend, they still came away with yet another blank. Having failed to register in seven of their last 11 outings, the East Midlanders could struggle to break down a stubborn Wycombe defence on Saturday.
At the other end of the field, they've been reasonably solid and with the exception of their midweek loss at the Riverside Stadium, they've generally been able to restrict the opposition. Only Barnsley and Middlesbrough have breached them on more than one occasion since the end of September, and another goalless draw is an entirely realistic outcome on Saturday afternoon.
Under 2.5 Goals can be backed at 20/23 on the Sportsbook and having landed in 9 of Derby's 13 matches this season, it appears to be a decent value option.
You can follow Jack Critchley on Twitter @jcritch7