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Championship Accumulator: Play-off chasers to shake up top-six mix

| 19.04.2013

Even at this late stage of the season, much is still to be decided in the Championship, with promotion and relegation implications very significant in the next round of fixtures.

And we believe it can pay to side with promotion-chasing outfits, choosing four top-six contenders to bring up an accumulator that would return at more than 17/2.

Our first selection is eighth-place Nottingham Forest, who we take to dispel a recent wobble with victory over a Barnsley side winless in four.

Forest are unbeaten at home since Billy Davies’ February return to the club, and look good value at 8/11 opposing a team they thrashed 4-1 earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, the travelling Tykes have failed to win any of their last six away games in all competitions, whilst they haven’t triumphed at the City Ground in seven years.

Next, we take 5/6 Brighton to cement their fourth-place league standing by prevailing in a battle of two in-form outfits, as Blackpool travel to the Amex Stadium.

Gus Poyet’s men are unbeaten in their past six matches, whilst the Tangerines haven’t lost any of their last five, but it should be noted that the visitors have scored only four times during this period.

That appears problematic against a Seagulls side with the division’s joint best defence, and one which is yet to suffer a home league defeat in 2013.

Then, we believe Watford can keep their now-faint automatic promotion ambitions alive by overcoming relegation-threatened Blackburn at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets are 3/4 chances, and enter this match in worse form than their opponents, having failed to have won any of their last three, whilst Rovers have triumphed in each of their past two games.

Gianfranco Zola’s men remain far and away the Championship’s top scorers though, a statistic that bodes well against the division’s joint third worst travellers, and a team that has collected only two points on the road this year.

And finally, we choose seventh-place Bolton to edge yet closer to a top-six berth by overcoming Middlesbrough at 8/11 at the Reebok Stadium.

‘Boro have won only one of their past eight matches, losing six of those outings, and scoring only four times in the process.

By contrast, the Trotters have emerged triumphant from five games in the same period, and victored in eight of their past 11 in the league, which has contributed to them possessing the second best home record in England’s second tier.

The fact that Bolton have won three of the past four encounters between the pair is another reason to invest confidence in Dougie Freedman’s charges here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



John Klee