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Swansea vs Middlesbrough, Barnsley vs Plymouth & QPR vs Watford

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EFL expert, The Betting Desk, returns with his weekly betting previews and best bets in England’s Football League.

Swansea vs Middlesbrough

Another excellent win for Boro and Michael Carrick last weekend as they won 5-0 at home to Reading. This week they travel to another team who are bang out of form in Swansea, Under Carrick Boro now have a record of W14-D1-L4. Defeats have come to local rivals Sunderland, runway leaders Burnley, Preston in his 1st game in charge and inconsistent WBA.

Boro have registered 42 goals over the 19 games whilst they have scored two or more in 13. The top of the Championship is still very tight with just six points between 3rd placed Boro and 7th placed Millwall and Watford who are down in 11th are just eight points behind Carrick’s team.

Swansea continue to struggle for form and were beaten again last week as its now just three wins from their last 19 games. However, as you look at the results in more detail you can see a pattern. They beat Blackpool 2-1, but the Tangerines were reduced to 10 men with the scores level after 57 mins, they then beat Sunderland, but again Sunderland were reduced to 10 men after 18 mins with the scores level at 0-0 and they also beat local rivals Cardiff 2-0, but City were reduced to 10 men after 7 mins with the scores level. The only game they have won over this period where they haven’t had a man advantage was an impressive home victory over Watford.

It’s now just one win in their last eight games with only QPR collecting fewer points over this period than the Swans. Their record against the top six sides this season has been W0-D0-L10 conceding 20, scoring only two.

I am surprised by the odds, and we can back Boro with a -0.25AH at 10/11 with Bet365.

Barnsley vs Plymouth

A huge game at Oakwell at 2nd and 4th meet. I think any kind of positive result for Plymouth here probably sees them promoted given their run in, but if Barnsley really want to cling onto automatic promotion, then they must win this. A victory for the hosts would put them eight points behind Argyle with two games in hand.

Barnsley are in excellent form with 42 points won from their last 18 games with a record of W13-D3-L2 and at home its eight wins from their last nine games. The hosts have scored in 12 of 16 home games and in two or more goals in eight of their last 9 home fixtures.

Plymouth have only won six away games all season with a record of W6-D7-L4 conceding 1.47 goals per away fixture. Yet, they have scored in 14 of 17 away games with Sheff Wednesday, Bolton and Cambridge the sides to stop them scoring. With the hosts only keeping three clean sheets in their last nine home fixtures and only six in their last 20 league one games, both sides getting onto the scoresheet looks likely.

Only Ipswich have scored more away games than Plymouth, but I have Argyle with the 23rd best xGA on the road alongside them being 20th for shots on target conceded and 23rd for shots in the box conceded.

To back both teams to score is too low so I have added both sides to have at least 2 corners each. Barnsley have seen both sides to collect at least 2 corners each in 15 of their 16 home matches whilst Plymouth have seen this land in 16 of 17 away matches.

Both teams to score and both sides over 1 corner each at 5/6 with Bet365

QPR vs Watford

In all competitions, Rangers have a record of W1-D6-L13 from their last 20 games and in the Championship its one win from 19 games. Over this 19-game period they have scored just 11 goals whilst conceding 35, which is 1.84 per game.

Back in October, Rangers were 4th and just four points off the top of the table. However, there was already uncertainty over the then manager Michael Beale and that resulted in a run of poor results by the team. By the time he finally left in early December, the team had lost three of their last four games. When Neil Critchley was finally appointed, QPR had just collected just one point from their previous five games.

Things did start well with a win over Preston in mid-December, but it didn’t get any better for Critchley who was sacked in February after 12 games in charge and to date that is their only victory since October. Gareth Ainsworth is now in charge and so far, its two defeats from two games conceding six goals.

Over 19 games no side in the Championship has collected fewer points, scored fewer goals, or conceded more goals.

Watford are 11th and just four points off the play-off places so will see this as a must win game to close the gap. With WBA and Millwall being inconsistent there is reason for Watford fans to believe they can end the season the play-offs. However, to gate crash the top six then then Hornets do need to more consistent themselves. Their last 10 games have returned 14 points with W3-D5-L2 with defeats coming against in form Middlesbrough and 2nd placed Sheffield United.

I don’t think Watford lose this match given the poor scoring rate of Rangers. Watford should find a way to score given their xG over the last four games has been 1.24 with Rangers boosting a massive 1.84 xGA over the same small period.

We can just about back Watford on draw no bet at 8/11 with Unibet and William Hill. This means that should the game end up as a draw we get our stake back in full. The only way we lose is if QPR win the game.

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