Redknapp to boost Rams for Forest fray, Tigers can pounce on Boro uncertainty
Holly Thackeray | March 17, 2016
There are a collection of cracking Championship rumbles this weekend, as managerial intrigue overshadows the A52 East Midlands derby between bitter rivals Derby County and Nottingham Forest, while Hull City seek to take advantage of disharmony at promotion foes Middlesbrough.
Read on for Coral’s best bets and previews of these high-stakes second-tier tussles…
Middlesbrough v Hull City
- Friday, March 18th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Tigers to exploit Boro bother
So, it seems Boro boss Aitor Karanka is staying put after a spot of dugout disgruntlement last week, but his Teesside team could encounter trouble from the travelling Tigers, with Steve Bruce’s side 21/10 for a road win.
Hull sit just one point behind Middlesbrough in the play-off places and, despite stumbling recently, will feel confident of securing their first victory in three as all seems to be unwell in the hosts’ camp.
Even a draw at at 2/1 would put sufficient pressure on the home team, with Boro beaten to nil in back-to-back games.
Hull have at least been hitting the target, so are best-priced at 17/5 for a win to nil, after defeating their Riverside rivals and also keeping a clean sheet in all of their last three frays.
Hull hopes away from home
Speaking of his team’s troubles at the KC Stadium, where they are without a win in four, Bruce said: “Maybe playing away from home on Friday will do the trick for us.
“A win would be a great tonic for both clubs because we’re both not having the best of times. Whoever wins will get a lift but with nine games to play it would still be too early.
“The Championship is so unpredictable that you can’t call it.”
Midfielder Sam Clucas has been on target for the Tigers recently and also struck in the reverse, while forwards Chuba Akpom and Abel Hernandez will be keen to get back among the scoring.
As for Boro, Gaston Ramirez is their most recent scorer, while usually potent Jordan Rhodes is chasing only his second strike for the club following his January switch.
Derby County v Nottingham Forest
- Saturday, March 19th
- Kick-off: 12:30 GMT
- Pride Park, Derby
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Redknapp to help inspire Rams
This magnificent Midlands derby has been somewhat overshadowed by recent news that former QPR and Tottenham coach Harry Redknapp has joined Derby to support interim gaffer Darren Wassall as a football advisor.
Redknapp said: “I am delighted to be able to help out and am looking forward to working with Darren and his team.”
The Rams are seven points off automatic promotion but are odds-on 4/6 favourites to be buoyed by beating Forest in this local liaison.
Though, the Tricky Trees have had a new addition of their own, after replacing Dougie Freedman, following five losses from six, with former Derby defender Paul Williams.
The caretaker coach guided Forest to a crucial point against Hull last time to halt the slide and is 13/5 to follow that up with another feisty draw here.
County counting on Ince and Martin
Having not lost any of their previous three duels with Derby, Forest are 9/2 to complete their league double over County with away victory at Pride Park, but face firepower problems.
By comparison, the Rams returned to high scoring form last time out after sinking three past Rotherham. Notably, exciting wideman Tom Ince and leading man Chris Martin found the net and are fantastic value at 5/1 and 3/1 to fire in first and last respectively.
Forest, meanwhile, have been far from potent and will be looking to the likes of Federico Macheda and Dexter Blackstock (both 11/4 to score anytime) to bag.