Sheffield United are now five points adrift of safety after throwing away an early two-goal lead to lose at Scunthorpe in midweek, a result that leaves Micky Adams still waiting for his first win as Blades boss after a dozen matches. You have to think then that the visit of Derby to Bramall Lane is a must-win games for United if they are to stand any chance of avoiding joining neighbours Sheffield Wednesday in League One.
Mercifully for Adams’ ailing troops, the Rams are on a dreadful run of their own having won just once in 14 league games and Sheffield United, who have been edging closer to landing a maximum haul, can finally do so in this one, although the Blades wouldn’t be worth backing were they not as high as 6/4 with William Hill.
Staying in South Yorkshire, injury-hit and out-of-form Doncaster defied expectations to nick a point at high-flying Norwich, a result that will significantly boost confidence at the Keepmoat Stadium and back on home soil Rovers are a touch high at 7/4 with Boylesports to see off Watford.
The Hornets were turned over 3-1 at home to Bristol City on Tuesday and they’re now winless in eight in all competitions. They’re ideal opponents then for Sean O’Driscoll’s men, looking to get back to winning ways, although the cautious, wary of Doncaster’s recent results may want to tread carefully with 5/6 marked against the hosts ‘Draw No Bet’.
In the big televised game, Swansea’s strength at home means they should be favoured at evens with Paddy Power but Leeds are unbeaten in eight and somewhat unpredictable so it could be one to steer clear of in terms of having a flutter. Similarly QPR have racked up plenty of draws lately and are a risky proposition at 7/4 (Skybet) as they travel to face a Middlesbrough side boosted by last week’s victory at Millwall.
Instead, we’ll head back to South Yorkshire and Oakwell, where Barnsley host Norwich. The Canaries failed to see off Doncaster last time out while the Tykes are strong on their own patch, so a home win could understandably lure some at 2/1 () but Paul Lambert’s men have a habit of digging out results so the shrewder move would be to go for bet365’s 4/5 marked against both teams getting on the scoresheet.
Norwich have managed just one clean sheet in ten and Barnsley a couple in 14 so neither are water tight at the back and the price is big enough to appeal.