QPR are 6/5 () to beat Swansea on Boxing Day but perhaps look to Preston who are a great price to beat Scunthorpe.
The big Boxing Day game in the Championship is undoubtedly at Loftus Road, where leaders QPR entertain fourth-placed Swansea. Rangers it is that command favouritism at 6/5 with but the value marginally lies with Betfred’s draw quote of 12/5 given that both sides are in the midst of significant wobbles at present, although the pair’s faltering form makes this match a tough one to call from a betting perspective and it’s hard to recommend anything with confidence.
Instead we’ll turn out attention to the foot of the table where Preston, at 21/10 with Paddy Power, can climb off the bottom by beating the side directly above them, Scunthorpe at Glanford Park.
Darren Ferguson’s men have steadied the ship of late, drawing with Millwall, almost sneaking a win at Cardiff before beating Ipswich at Deepdale and they were frustrated to find their momentum halted by the weather-enforced cancellation of their game at Watford.
Nevertheless, they can pick up where they left off here against a beleaguered Iron side coming into the clash on the back of five straight defeats and with a remarkable seven losses to their name in ten home matches. Meanwhile, the hosts’ injury problems at the back – they’re without David Mirfin, Michael Raynes and Niall Canavan – strengthen the case for an away win.
Goals could be at a premium at the Riverside where Middlesbrough entertain Nottingham Forest. The hosts are hardly prolific and have struggled to decide on an effective strike partnership while Billy Davies’ side are always well organised and look to keep things tight on the road. Add to this the fact that there was just one goal in the reverse fixture at the City Ground and a tally of fewer than 2.5 looks a banker at 8/11 with Betdaq. The bold could take it further by backing a 0-0 draw at 9/1 (bet365) or more enticingly, tackling Coral’s 2/1 for it to produce less than two goals.
Ipswich stopped the rot last weekend, showing plenty of fighting spirit to hammer Leicester 3-0 in atrocious conditions at Portman Road and at 7/5 with William Hill they’re a decent bet to garner another three points from their home game against Watford. Admittedly the Hornets beat leaders QPR in their last away game but that could have more to do with Rangers’ dip in form and indeed prior to that match Malky Mackay’s side lost four out of five on the road.
Finally, 7/4 for Barnsley to beat Burnley at Oakwell looks huge. The Tykes have a respectable 6-3-2 record on their own patch, where they have beaten the likes of Leeds, Forest and Portsmouth and they will fear nothing from an inconsistent Clarets outfit, yet to register an away win.
Preston to beat Scunthorpe – 21/10 (Paddy Power)
Barnsley to beat Burnley – 7/4 ()
Ipswich to beat Watford – 7/5 (William Hill)
Under 1.5 goals in Middlesbrough v Forest – 2/1 (Coral)