Aston Villa Analysis and Opinion

There is not much time to breathe for players, managers, and supporters in the Championship as we enter another gruelling set of midweek matches.

From the Midlands to Yorkshire, the heat in the kitchen is turning up with a number of high-profile managers under immense pressure.

Steve Bruce and Gary Rowett are two of the biggest names feeling the heat whilst Darren Moore’s West Brom top the table with six wins from ten encounters.

Expect the unexpected when it comes to the second tier of English football which makes those bets even harder to predict.

Here are a few tips for the next round of matches:

Brentford v Birmingham City

Dean Smith is continuing to do a remarkable job at Brentford, with the London outfit unbeaten on home soil this season. They snatched a late draw against Reading at the weekend which kept them in the play-off places. On the other hand, Birmingham are the draw specialists in the division with Garry Monk’s side drawing seven out of ten games. The Bees are difficult to stop in front of their own crowd and it won’t be a surprise if they find the back of the net. But with only two clean sheets to their name, backing both teams to score won’t be a bad idea. You can get odds of 4/5 on that happening.

Aston Villa v Preston North End

One win in eight matches for Villa has seen the pressure increase on Bruce. A defeat against bottom-of-the-table Preston may well end Bruce’s reign as Villa boss. Alex Neil’s men have lost four matches on the bounce and they cannot stop conceding goals. They have shipped more goals than anyone else in the Championship – 21 from ten matches. It may well be five come the end of Tuesday night. You can get odds of 3/4 on Villa securing all three points.

Ipswich Town v Middlesbrough

Only Queens Park Rangers have scored less (seven) goals than Ipswich (eight) this season. The last thing the Tractor Boys need is the most robust defence in the division visiting Portman Road. Boro have drawn three of their last five encounters and a win against Ipswich could send them top. You can get odds of 19/20 on Tony Pulis’ side getting back to winning ways.

Sheffield Wednesday v West Bromwich Albion

From the Championship’s toughest defence to the Championship’s highest scorers. With an attacking line of Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriquez. It isn’t a surprise to see West Brom netting 25 goals from their ten matches. That early pace has seen them top the table ahead of second-placed Leeds United. For Sheffield Wednesday, it has been a bit of a mixed bag but they have only lost one of their previous five matches. You can get odds of 21/20 on WBA continuing their march.