EFL Championship Betting Tips: Promotion hopefuls to kick on in bumper weekend

28 March 2024

A blockbuster weekend in the second tier kicks off on Friday with a full slate of fixtures as Leicester look to climb back towards the top of the table...

Bristol City vs Leicester

Friday 29th March
Kick Off: 12:30pm

Kicking off the Friday action are 14th-placed Bristol City and 2nd-place Leicester City. It almost seems incomprehensible that the Foxes aren’t heading into this crunch period top of the table after building a seemingly unassailable lead. A combination of bad form for Leicester and 12 wins from 13 for Leeds has seen the tides turn. However, Enzo Maresca’s side are only behind the Whites on goal difference, all while boasting a game in hand.

They travel to a Bristol City side who, as usual, have nothing to play for in the remaining weeks of the season. Since winning the League 1 title in 2015, The Robins have finished 18th, 17th, 11th, 8th, 12th, 19th, 17th and 14th. This season looks to be no different, with Liam Manning’s side currently 14th and petering towards yet another mid-table finish. 

Bristolians haven’t had much to cheer about this season, particularly in 2024. Five of their last six games have ended in defeat.  Games at Ashton Gate have flattered to deceive too, with 13/19 seeing under 2.5 goals – a league-high. Eight of their last nine home games in all competitions have witnessed less than three goals. In this period, there have been a mammoth seven games with one or fewer goals. 

With Leicester needing to stabilise a stuttering season, we could see a cagey performance from the Foxes in a tight and tedious game.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.99

Blackburn vs Ipswich

Friday 29th March
Kick Off: 5.30pm

After the 3pm kick-offs, we're treated to the second of three live Championship games on Friday. Relegation-threatened Blackburn host promotion hopefuls Ipswich at Ewood Park.

Blackburn may currently be 17th in the league, but they are only three points clear of safety. John Eustace’s side are in dire need of some wins, having failed to win any of their last eight league games. A 3-1 home victory over Stoke in February halted a run of eight without a win, meaning Blackburn have just one win in 17. 

The Rovers have become draw specialists, with six of their last seven games ending in stalemates. With all of the top four and Coventry still to play, Blackburn are glancing precariously over their shoulders. 

Ipswich have shocked the league by keeping pace with Leeds and Leicester all season, despite not having the luxury of parachute payments and being two leagues below the duo last campaign. Kieran Mckenna’s side have shown no signs of slowing down having won seven of their last eight games. The Tractor Boys have been relentless in attack, scoring at least two goals in all these wins, defeating Millwall 0-4 and Sheffield Wednesday 6-0. Against an out-of-sorts Blackburn, Ipswich will expect to win yet again on their charge towards the Premier League.

Prediction: Ipswich to Win @ 1.98

Watford vs Leeds

Friday 29th March
Kick Off: 8pm

We end an action-packed Friday with Leeds making the long journey south to face Watford. As we’ve come to expect with the hosts, it's been a dramatic season, with yet another head coach sacked. Tom Cleverley is now the interim manager and the 34-year-old led The Hornets to a gritty 1-0 victory over Birmingham in his first game. 

Watford have floated around mid-table all season, neither challenging for the play-offs nor drifting into any relegation danger. Their slow start to games has perhaps been their undoing, only leading at halftime on three occasions thus far – against strugglers Rotherham, QPR and Birmingham. 

Leeds on the other hand, have been relentless, winning 13 of their last 14 games, not losing a league game in 2024. Daniel Farke’s side possess arguably the finest attacking talent in the league, with Wilfried Gnonto, Crysencio Summerville, Joel Piroe, Daniel James and Georginio Rutter among their ranks. 

However, it has been their defence that has been the standout in recent months, with the Welsh centre-back partnership of Joe Rodon and Ethan Ampadu only conceding three goals in 2024. Leeds have been winning at half-time in 50% of their games thus far, with their dazzling attacking talents allowing them to start fast, and their rock-solid defence allowing them to see out games. Playing against a Watford side who are slow starters, I expect Leeds to take an early lead and have the quality to hold on for all three points. 

Prediction: Leeds Half Time/ Full Time @ 2.26

Recommended Bets

Back Under 2.5 goals (Bristol City vs Leicester) @ 1.99
Back Ipswich to Win (Blackburn vs Ipswich@ 1.98
Back Leeds Half Time/ Full Time (Watford vs Leeds) @ 2.26

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