Burnley to better Leeds, Seagulls to sink Forest in Championship tussles
Holly Thackeray | April 7, 2016
There’s plenty of plum Championship action to enjoy this week, with a couple of clashes that could have an impact on the title race as league leaders Burnley host Leeds United and third spot Brighton and Hove Albion travel to face Nottingham Forest.
Can the Clarets increase their grip on the summit on Saturday? Or will the Seagulls tip the balance in their Monday evening match-up? Read on to find our thoughts on these fixtures and the best bets from Coral…
Burnley v Leeds United
- Saturday, April 9th
- Kick-off: 12:30 BST
- Turf Moor, Burnley
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Clarets to stay at summit
Sean Dyche’s Burnley boys are still going strong as Championship table toppers, but could be caught should they stumble again this Saturday, as second spot Middlesbrough sit one point behind with a game in hand.
The Clarets are odds-on 8/15 favourites, then, to make it count by winning their Turf Moor tussle with West Yorkshire club Leeds United. Burnley have taken spoils from their last two on home soil against the Whites, so should feel confident of coming out tops in the Northwest again.
Though, an earlier away trip to Elland Road this season saw Dyche’s disciples held to a draw. So, as the Clarets have come a cropper recently, stuttering to a splitting of the spoils in their last three fixtures also, there are tasty odds of 3/1 for this match-up to end evenly again.
With Leeds mired in mid-table however, and without a win in their previous three, a victory from the visitors is an unlikely 11/2.
Burnley to bag against Leeds backline
In the past seven meetings between these two northern teams both clubs have found the target in five, so backing a Burnley win and both sides to score looks decent value at at 11/4.
Who is most likely to ripple the net for Leeds, then? The fallen giants are rather infamously missing suspended striker Souleymane Doukara but have much more up their sleeve.
Lethal Kiwi Chris Wood returned to scoring ways last time out, so is tempting at 14/5 to strike again anytime, as is Mirco Antenucci (14/5), after the Italian attacker found the net against this opposition back in August.
Antenucci is up for Championship Player of the Month for March, alongside opposite number at Burnley, Sam Vokes. The Wales international also notched in the reverse and hit home four times in his last five, so is a cracking punt to poach first at 7/2.
Meanwhile, Clarets clubmate Andre Gray is 3/1 to grab a goal last. Dyche also boasts plenty of set-piece threat in the form of defender Michael Keane, who is 5/1 to find the net anytime.
Nottingham Forest v Brighton and Hove Albion
- Monday, April 11th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
- The City Ground, Nottingham
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Tricky Trees in turbulent times
Nottingham Forest (12/5 outsiders to win) are clearly a team in transition and troubles off the pitch are the background for a slide down the table to 17th, just nine clear of the drop zone following a run of five games without a win.
Now Forest face a buoyed Brighton, who are eyeing a push for top spot and seeking to cement automatic promotion. Undefeated since February and, with just one loss in their last 14, the seaside outfit are strong at 6/5 to triumph.
The Seagulls soared to a 1-0 victory against Nottingham on their home patch back in August and are 23/10 chances for a repeat win to nil at The City Ground.
Hemed to go for goal away from home
Brighton are not known for bombastic scorelines, but have averaged two goals in their past three games, as they lie in wait for a slip-up above them.
Just two points from the top, the Seagulls should be out to swoop, so odds of 6/4 for the southerners to strike two or more again are rather generous.
The goals are fairly spread out between the Brighton boys, but exciting attacking midfielder Anthony Knockaert (3/1 anytime) is one to watch, as is hitman Tomer Hemed at 7/4.
While, for the hosts, Derby-born midfielder Ben Osborn was last to be on target and is 6/1 to strike again anytime, while dangerman Dexter Blackstock is 13/5 in the same market.
Coral’s top tip: Why not back Hemed at 7/4 to hit home anytime?