Saturday Championship Tips: Goal scorers lining up at Villa Park
It's the West Midlands derby on Saturday and James Buttler has his eye on goals and scorers at Villa Park...
"West Brom set up with pace to burn they are always likely to captitalise on Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez up front. So far this season the Baggies' strike pair have grabbed 16 goals apiece.
For Villa, Tammy Abraham has been in prolific form, with 20 goals this term."
Gayle, Rodriguez or Abraham - take your pick
Aston Villa [2.58] v West Brom[2.8]; The Draw [3.65]
West Brom's away form has been stronger than their performances at The Hawthornes of late. They've taken six wins in the last seven away trips and on Saturday they don't have to travel very far. The only blip on that near perfect away record since 23 November was a 2-1 defeat in Blackburn.
These two sides have not met at Villa Park since September 2015 when West Brom came away with a 1-0 win. That was there first win on enemy territory for five matches with Villa winning three, with the other two drawn, in between. That apart, the Villa-based tussles have tended to yield a few goals, over 1.5 landing in seven of the last eight, and over 2.5 in five.
If you are looking for a scorer there are three very likely contenders. The way West Brom set up with pace to burn they are always likely to captitalise on Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez up front. So far this season the Baggies' strike pair have grabbed 16 goals apiece.
For Villa, Tammy Abraham has been in prolific form, with 20 goals this term. His powers do not seem to be waning either with four league goals in the last four matches.
Villa boss Dean Smith needs Abraham & Co to raise their game from now until the end of the season. Defeat in this one and the current seven-point gap to Derby in the final play-off spot will widen.
Darren Moore too needs to issue a similar rallying cry, but for rather more positive reasons. West Brom sit in 4th spot and will not want to lose pace with Leeds, seven points above them, and Norwich and Sheffield United in second and third.
There are merits in backing either of these two sides, but the way in here is to trust Villa Park to produce goals. Over 2.5 match goals on its own is 8/13, but I want more than that. Over 2.5 and both Tammy Abraham and Dwight Gayle to score is 6.31. Let's have a piece of that!
Canaries ready to prove a point in Bolton
Bolton [5.9] v Norwich [1.73]; The Draw [3.9]
Two sides meet at the Macron Stadium with very different views on the world. Norwich would rarely have felt better with the world than after beating Leeds at Elland Road to take top spot. Then, putting three goals past local rivals Ipswich to consolidate their lead broadened the smile on boss Daniel Farke's face. But then a 3-1 away defeat to Preston on Wednesday evening brought their first defeat in six games.
Where better way to bounce back from disappointment than a trip to Bolton. The Trotters may have won in Birmingham on Tuesday night, but prior to that they had taken only one point on the previous six games. The team that finishes a place above Ipswich likely goes down too and Bolton currently occupy 23rd spot.
Farke will be looking for a reaction from his side and Bolton could pay the price for Preston's mid-week impudence. Goals could come late too. Norwich have scored a 90th minute goal in three of their last four league matches against Bolton.
Finland international, Teemu Pukki, has scored 21 Championship goals this season and this match is tailor-made for him to go to 22 and beyond. Let's play Norwich to win and over 2.5 goals at 2.53.
Blades too Sharp for Reading
Sheffield Utd [1.47] v Reading [7.6]; The Draw [4.5]
I'm going to throw three stats at you and then shut up so you can get your bets on.
Sheffield United have won seven of their last eight league matches with Reading, with the other drawn.
Blades striker Billy Sharp has been involved in six goals in his last six league starts against Reading (4 goals, 2 assists).
Reading have won just two of their last 32 away matches in all competitions (D13 L17).
Do I need to say more? You're not daft. If you are the bet is in the Recommended Bets box below.
*You can follow James on Twitter - @football_badger
James Buttler on 2018/19 Championship
Staked: 140 pts
Returned: 181.70 pts
P/L: +41.70 pts
*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet
Back over 2.5 goals in Villa v WBA and both Tammy Abraham and Dwight Gayle to score is [6.31] (best bet)
Back Norwich to win and over 2.5 goals at [2.53]
Back Sheffield Utd to win and Billy Sharp to score at [2.45]