Live on Skysports 1: Sat 17.20: It’s a crucial weekend for Sheffield United and they are 6/4 () to beat Middlesbrough.
It’s now effectively win or bust for Sheffield United at the foot of the Championship, following their 3-0 defeat at QPR on Monday. The Blades are seven points adrift of safety with seven to play and realistically, they need to beat Middlesbrough to stand any chance of avoiding the drop.
Micky Adams’ side have won their last couple at Bramall Lane, against play-off chasing Nottingham Forest and Leeds, which bodes well while the hosts’ chances are also improved by the fact that Boro have one of the division’s worst away records, having lost eleven of their 18 matches on the road.
Sheffield United showed plenty of spirit and created several decent chances at Loftus Road, which will offer them some encouragement and with Adams urging his players to be positive, they can take the game to the visitors and collect a vital three points, a result offer at 6/4. For the unconvinced, the pair are soft enough at the back at times to suggest that both will find the net (19/20, William Hill).
Also desperate for a home win, albeit for a different reason, are Millwall, who are looking to infiltrate the play-off places. This weekend they entertain Leeds and at 11/8 with Boylesports, the Lions look a decent shout to get one over on the Whites at the New Den.
Admittedly, Simon Grayson’s charges have racked up a solid-looking seven wins on the road but the highest-placed teams they have beaten are Burnley (9th) and Watford (10th) and their form on their travels, since seeing off the Clarets in December hasn’t been anything to write home about.
Kenny Jackett’s side meanwhile, have one of the Championship’s best home records and have bounced back after a poor run to win three of their last four, beating QPR, Burnley and Hull ‘to nil’ and sandwiching a draw with Cardiff in between. That’s decent form in anyone’s book and with the Lions having beaten Leeds in the pair’s last three meetings in the capital, we’re tentatively siding with the hosts.
Finally, in the big televised clash, Swansea and Norwich lock horns at the Liberty Stadium and it’s hard to pick a winner. The Welsh side have been poor on the road of late but have remained relatively consistent on their own patch while the Canaries are in decent shape having gone nine matches unbeaten. We’d rather not call it and instead we’ll concentrate on goals and specifically Sportingbet’s 23/20 for the match to produce more than 2.5.
Swansea have an incredible defensive record on their own patch but they come up against a Norwich attack full of goals and as Brendan Rodgers men haven’t quite looked as convincing at the back lately, the Canaries can capitalise. At the same time, the hosts have struck ten times in their last four on home soil and can find the net at least once themselves.