Favourites for promotion have made a slow start to life in the Championship and host Wigan Athletic on Wednesday night
There is no doubt about it, competition is tough in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football’s domestic pyramid. It can take teams time to adapt and no one has found that more true that Stoke City who, having been relegated from the Premier League this past May, are yet to pick up their first win in three attempts.
First things first
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Stoke City have struggled over the first few weeks of the season, but will be looking to kick their promotion challenge into life this coming Wednesday night (22 August) when they welcome Wigan Athletic to town. Stoke’s biggest problems have been in the defensive third where they have considered on average two goals per game so far.
Wigan, meanwhile have just come up from the third tier – League One – and have made a brighter start than Stoke to life in the Championship. They have collected four points so far, including a thrilling opening day 3-2 win against Sheffield Wednesday.
It is close to a decade since Stoke beat Wigan, however. The last time came all the way back in 2009, and in the eight games since then have collected just six draws and two defeats.
Nevertheless, it is Stoke who come into this game as the favourites to collect their first three points of the new season. You can more than double your money by backing the home side at a price of 2.15, according to Oddsshark.
If you fancy Wigan to collect the points on the road, however, you could almost quadruple your investment – the Latics are at 3.75 to record an away win. Over 2.5 goals in this game comes in at 1.85, while a 2-1 win for Stoke is priced at 9.00, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$45 pay out.
Norwich also looking for first league win of new season
Norwich City have also made a disappointing start to the new season and will be looking for their first win of the campaign when Preston North End visit Carrow Road. The visitors will come into this game full of confidence however – they comfortably beat Morecambe 3-1 in the first round of the English League Cup before holding Stoke City to an entertaining 2-2 draw.
But in spite of a poor start to the season Norwich remain the slight favourites for this clash. You can more than double your money by backing the Canaries to pick up their first win of the season at a price of 2.40.
The price for the visitors to win a second league game of the season is not that much higher, at 3.20. You could also double your money by backing over 2.5 goals in the game at 2.00, while a 2-1 away win for Preston is priced at 11.00, offering more than a ten-fold return on any investment.
Millwall look to carry on unbeaten streak
London outfit Millwall will put their unbeaten record on the line when they travel to Hillsborough to take on Sheffield Wednesday. The Yorkshire club have made a dreadful start to the new season and have just one point in the bag from their opening three games.
Millwall already have five points on the board and last time out recorded a 2-1 win over Frank Lampard’s Derby County side. Their only away game so far ended in a goalless draw at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers.
And Millwall may not have managed a win at Hillsborough since 2005, but they are the favourites to do so this time. Again, you can more than double your money by backing Millwall to pick up a first away win of the season at a price of 2.50.
Meanwhile, you could more than triple your investment by backing Wednesday to finally get their season up and running with a win at 3.10. A draw is at 3.30, while a goalless draw – as Millwall managed last time on the road – is priced competitively at 8.50.
Championship round 4 fixtures:
(2.62) Aston Villa x Brentford (2.80); draw (3.50)
(1.72) Blackburn Rovers x Reading (5.50); draw (3.75)
(2.40) Norwich x Preston North End (3.20); draw (3.40)
(3.10) Sheffield Wednesday x Millwall (2.50); draw (3.30)
(3.00) Bolton Wanderers x Birmingham City (2.70); draw (3.10)
(2.15) Stoke City x Wigan Athletic (3.75); draw (3.40)