English Championship Trading Focus
As usual at the start of a season we will keep things low key until we have watched a couple of games to get a feel how sides may go this year.
Friday 2nd August
Luton v Middlesboro
These two have not met for 24 years so any past head to head is irrelevant. Luton were superb last season and some good judges see them going well at this higher level, so it would be no surprise if they started with three points here, especially as they were unbeaten at home. This will be a decent test to see where they are at as Middlesboro look to have a decent squad at this level, but Luton may be worth chancing at 2.80 with a view to trading out if they lead.
Saturday 3rd August
Brentford v Birmingham
Both games last season ended level and the recent head to head at Griffin Park have ended 1-1, 5-0, 1-2 and 0-2, so not a lot to be learnt form that. Brentford have impressed in pre-season. It will be interesting to see how Birmingham go with new coach Josep Clotet Ruiz, it has to be a watching brief with a few new faces possibly taking time to settle in. This is not a game to get heavily involved in, Brentford will probably win but 1.75 is not tempting enough.
Nottingham Forest v West Brom
Another match up where both games last season ended level and they are the only recent meetings. Forest should fancy their chances here, West Brom are a little in transition and may struggle for goals. I can see this game finishing as a draw and a little correct score trading around 1-1 and 2-2 might pay dividends.
Stoke v QPR
Stoke have to be challenging for promotion this season as they have spent a few quid over the last couple of years and the owners want to be back in the big time. That is no recipe for success in this league where hard graft is more likely to return results. This is another opening fixture, where the two teams drew both games last season and this is again likely to be tight. I think it will be closer than the odds suggest and a small interest on QPR at 5.00 with a view to trading out if they lead, might be the best option here.
Swansea v Hull
Nine goals in the two fixtures last season with the sides playing a 2-2 draw here and Hull winning 3-2 at home. Do we go for goals or do we stay cautious as it is the first game? The key here could be the defensive frailties in both squads so the 1.91 about Over 2.5 goals looks a fair option.
Millwall v Preston
Preston won both games last season and there were plenty of goals, nine in total. Millwall have failed to win in the four meetings of these two in recent seasons, but with it being the first game of a new season it may be better to look at a different option. I think we might get goals but a reasonable option here is both teams score available at 1.91.
Sunday 4th August
Bristol City v Leeds
Leeds have won four of the last five meetings and also got off to a flying start last season so expect them to be well drilled by Bielsa. Leeds at 2.40 might look a really decent bet in a few weeks-time, but at present it looks a little skinny and I would rather chance a smaller stake on Leeds -1 on the handicap at around 5.00 in the hope that if Leeds are the team to beat this season, they can start as they did at Derby last year by winning comfortably.
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