Virtually all issues are decided now in the Championship so the vast majority of matches across the season’s final weekend are dead rubbers. Only the matches at Crystal Palace and QPR have any significance attached as visiting pair Nottingham Forest and Leeds look to clinch the last play-off place.
With a three-point advantage and a superior goal difference, Forest have to be considered overwhelming favourites to hang on to sixth spot and anything other than a defeat at Selhurst Park means they will do just that regardless of the result at Loftus Road.
Palace confirmed their survival last weekend with a draw at Hull and able to relax, the Eagles can play with freedom on their own patch, where they have been strong in recent months. Nevertheless, Billy Davies’ side are even money favourites to collect three points in south London but just keen to get over the line they can’t be relied upon at that price to come out on top against their buoyant hosts, a 2/1 shot in Paddy Power’s ‘Draw No Bet’ market.
Forest’s result however, shouldn’t matter, because QPR at 5/4 (William Hill) can send Leeds home empty-handed. Rangers secured the title last week with an impressive 2-0 triumph at Watford but with the possibility of a points deduction hanging over them pending a hearing, the result of which was unknown at the time of writing, Neil Warnock’s men have been training hard in case they have to contest the play-offs.
They are likely to be firing on all cylinders then in this one and as the Whites have lost five out of six on the road, it’s hard to overlook Rangers, who have lost just once at home this term.
Most of the division’s matches are tough-to-call given that nothing is at stake but that could make for some open contests featuring plenty of goals and a potentially high-scoring affair takes place at the Walkers Stadium, where Leicester entertain Ipswich.
The Foxes last seven matches have generated 29 goals, an average of over four and given that they are the Championship’s third highest home scorers, it’s easy to see them breaching the Tractor Boys rearguard more than once.
The visitors meanwhile, have been conceding plenty of goals of late but also scoring with enough regularity to suggest they will be an attacking force, so it’s worth risking a few quid on the two sides to produce over 3.5 goals between them (9/4, bet365), a bet that would have paid in five of Leicester’s last seven.