Saturday Championship Tips: Wilder's Watford tenure to get off to a winning start

New Watford boss Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder has been handed a fairly winnable opening match as Watford boss...

There are some vitally important matches at both ends of the Championship table and Jack Critchley has picked out a bet from each of the 3pm fixtures...

  • Injury-hit QPR's rotten form to continue

  • Millers to leave St. Andrews with at least a point

  • Efficient Baggies to pick yet another home victory


  • Wilder to reignite Watford's top six ambitions

    QPR 3.211/5 v Watford 2.526/4; The Draw 3.3512/5

    Although the performances have been slightly better under Gareth Ainsworth, QPR's form has shown very few signs of improving. Across their last 19 matches, the West London side have amassed just nine points and have conceded 35 goals.

    Injuries have hindered their progress in recent weeks with Tyler Roberts being the latest name to be added to their extensive list of absentees. Ainsworth was left with very few options on the bench against Rotherham last weekend, however, Lyndon Dykes' imminent return does give him another option going forward.

    Watford replaced Slaven Bilic with Chris Wilder this weekend following a fairly underwhelming run of results. The Hornets haven't completely dropped out of the play-off picture, yet they now find themselves four points adrift of sixth place.

    Although things turned sour at Middlesbrough, Wilder is an experienced and successful coach at this level and he should be able to improve their fortunes. Nevertheless, they have lost just one of their last six matches and the former Sheffield United boss won't have to make too many tweaks in order to get them back on track.

    This may be the ideal fixture for the visitors and they should be able to capitalise on QPR's poor form.

    Back Watford to beat QPR @

    2.52

    Preston and Cardiff to share the spoils

    Preston 2.588/5 v Cardiff 3.211/5; The Draw 3.39/4

    Preston fans have not had an awful lot to celebrate so far this season and although there is very little danger of slipping into a relegation scrap, PNE supporters have been starved of goals at Deepdale. The Lilywhites are unbeaten in five matches, although they've failed to find the net in three of their last four fixtures.

    Sabri Lamouchi's arrival has breathed some life into Cardiff's survival hopes with the Frenchman guiding the Bluebirds to three victories in their last four outings. The Welsh outfit have managed to keep clean sheets in each of those successes.

    PNE have a terrible recent record against these opponents and having played out nine goalless draws already this season, it wouldn't be a surprise to see this fixture follow a similar pattern.

    Back Draw in Preston vs Cardiff @

    3.3

    Battling Millers to secure a point on the road

    Birmingham 2.0621/20 v Rotherham 4.1; The Draw 3.55/2

    Birmingham probably have enough points on the board to avoid relegation this season, yet the Blues have dropped perilously close to the bottom three. They picked up a point against Wigan last weekend, however, they've now failed to win any of their last five.

    John Eustace's side have also lost five of their last six home fixtures and with injuries seriously hindering their creativity in the final third, they have struggled to carve out chances at St. Andrews.

    Rotherham have dragged themselves clear of immediate danger and have an eight point cushion over the bottom three. The Millers are unbeaten in three and although they don't often win on the road, they have managed to avoid defeat in three of their last four away from the New York Stadium.

    Back Rotherham or Draw Double Chance

    8/11

    Sky Blues to continue superb home record

    Coventry 2.0421/20 v Hull 4.216/5; The Draw 3.412/5

    Coventry are just three points shy of the top six with Mark Robins having done a magnificent job so far this season. The Sky Blues have suffered their fair share of injuries this campaign, however, the continued presence of Viktor Gyokeres and Gus Hamer has given them some much-needed consistency.

    The hosts have won four of their last five and have been victorious in three of their last four home matches. Only four teams have left this ground with maximum points with fellow play-off chasers Millwall, Sunderland and Luton having failed to get the better of the resilient hosts.

    Despite being outplayed by West Brom, Hull picked up a much-needed victory last weekend at the MKM. Away from home, the Tigers have lost three of their last four matches and have scored just a single goal during that period. This could be a tough afternoon on the road.

    Back Coventry to beat Hull @

    2.04

    Goal-shy Terriers to struggle at the Hawthorns

    West Brom 1.444/9 v Huddersfield 9.08/1; The Draw 4.94/1

    Carlos Corberan will face his former employers on Saturday afternoon and the West Brom head coach will be determined to pick up all three points at the Hawthorns. WBA were victorious in midweek, although the 1-0 scoreline completely flattered their hapless opponents.

    WBA have won eight of their last nine here and have kept clean sheets in each of those victories. Daryl Dike has found form and he's found the net three times in his last two appearances at this venue.

    Huddersfield's issues in the final third continued in midweek as they failed to find a way past an injury-hit Bristol City outfit. They've failed to score in five of their last six and are likely to fire another blank this weekend.

    Back West Brom to Win to Nil @

    11/10

    Entertaining 90 minutes in South Wales

    Swansea 3.412/5 v Middlesbrough 2.226/5; The Draw 3.711/4

    It's been a torrid few weeks for Swansea with Russell Martin's side having collected just a solitary point from a possible 12. The Swans still look reasonably threatening going forward, yet they've struggled at the back. They are still yet to keep a clean sheet in 2023 and have allowed their opponents to easily get into shooting positions.

    Games at this venue have been fairly entertaining this season with the home fans having witnessed 16 goals across their last four home matches.

    Middlesbrough were ruthless against Reading last weekend and Michael Carrick was delighted with his side's response to an underwhelming performance at the Hawthorns. Boro have found the net 17 times across their last five outings and should easily carve apart their hosts.

    Back Over 2.5 Goals @

    1.95

    Lions to edge out depleted Royals

    Reading 3.814/5 v Millwall 2.186/5; The Draw 3.55/2

    Reading's superb home form has kept them comfortably clear of any relegation trouble this season, however, the Royals were suffered a rare midweek defeat at the Madjeski on Tuesday night. Paul Ince's side have now failed to score in four of their last six and Yakou Meite's latest injury is a significant blow.

    Millwall haven't been at their best recently, yet they've had a full week to prepare for this clash. Gary Rowett's side were fantastic against Norwich, yet they left with nothing to show for their efforts. They should be able to bounce back against their injury-hit hosts.

    Back Millwall or Draw Double Chance and Under 2.5 Goals @

    10/11

    Another blank for Maloney's Latics

    Burnley 1.384/11 v Wigan 10.519/2; The Draw 5.14/1

    Last weekend, Burnley failed to find the net for the first time since August. Despite this rare blip, the Clarets are still likely to wrap up the title this season and should be able to bounce back on Saturday afternoon.

    Vincent Kompany's side have kept back-to-back clean sheets and they should be able to extend that sequence against low-scoring Wigan. Burnley's defence has been breached on just 28 occasions so far this season and possess the joint-best home defence alongside Blackburn and Middlesbrough.

    Wigan were battered by West Brom in midweek and their tough run of games continues with a trip to the leaders. Shaun Maloney's initial impact has started to wane with his side winless in five. The Latics have netted just four times in their last eight appearances and could struggle to find a way through.

    Back Burnley to Win to Nil @

    1.91

    Tactical battle at Bramall Lane

    Sheffield United 2.0421/20 v Luton 4.1; The Draw 3.45

    Sheffield United were victorious in midweek and maintained their seven point gap over Middlesbrough. Paul Heckingbottom's side have kept clean sheets in three of their last four home matches and are always tough to breach in South Yorkshire. Middlesbrough are the only side to have left this ground with maximum points since the beginning of November and they will fancy their chances of extending that superb sequence.

    Luton are incredibly tough to beat and Rob Edward's side look likely to make the top six this season. They've lost just one of their last nine outings and have conceded just five times during that run.

    The visitors have suffered just a single defeat when visiting top eight sides and could leave Bramall Lane with a hard-earned point. There is unlikely to be much between these.

    Back Under 2.5 Goals @

    1.76

Jack's 2022-23 Profit/Loss:

Staked: 307.00

Returned: 320.56

P/L: +13.56

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