Championship Predictions for Matchday 33 – Best Bets and Top Picks

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| February 14, 2020 9:32 am PDT

It’s beginning to look like West Brom is the only Championship side serious about promotion to the Premier League this season. The teams in the chasing pack have all dropped points in recent weeks, while the Baggies come into Matchday 33 on the back of three consecutive wins.

Still, with three points separating second-place Leeds and Bristol City in seventh, there is a whole host of clubs battling it out for a playoff spot.

Four of the top seven meet this weekend as West Brom hosts Nottingham Forest and Bristol City travels to Leeds. The outcome of these fixtures could have a huge impact on the race for promotion.

Let’s start by getting stuck into my English Championship matchday 33 predictions for each game this weekend before taking a look at the best bets for matchday 33.

West Brom to Beat Nottingham Forest

West Brom is now the runaway favorite to clinch promotion to the Premier League after opening up a six-point gap over second-place Leeds. The Baggies hit a rough patch of form last month, but three straight victories have quickly put them back on track. West Brom has only lost four of their 32 league games this term, while Leeds and Fulham have both lost eight. The Baggies’ resilience gives them the edge over their promotion rivals.

Nottingham Forest is lucky to still be in the playoff places given their inconsistent form of late. Forest has claimed victories over Brentford and Leeds recently, but defeats to Birmingham and Charlton have seen the team’s promotion credentials called into question. Manager Sabri Lamouchi underestimated relegation candidate Charlton last time out, and his decision to rest a number of key players backfired.

Forest has often lifted their game against the top teams in the division this season, but Lamouchi’s side will be down following their shock loss in midweek. West Brom has the opportunity to maintain their lead at the top, and I can see them claiming a fourth straight win on Saturday.

Leeds to Beat Bristol City

Just like last season, Leeds raced away at the top of the table this term. However, Marcelo Bielsa’s men have dropped off once again, and Leeds now has a number of teams looking to move above them. West Brom and Leeds had opened up an eleven-point gap over the rest of the league by mid-December, but now there are just three points separating second and seventh.

Bristol City just so happens to be occupying seventh place at the moment after edging Derby in their previous game. The Robins lost to Birmingham last weekend, so it was vital they returned to winning ways in midweek. Bristol City doesn’t have problems scoring, but their defense is definitely a weak point. No team in the top half of the table has conceded more goals than City this season.

Despite going through a tricky spell, Leeds should’ve beat Brentford last time out. Bielsa’s side was much improved against the Bees, so the players will be confident of exposing Bristol City’s leaky defense this weekend.

Birmingham and Brentford to Draw

A couple of months ago, Brentford would’ve been the clear favorite to win this matchup. Thomas Frank’s side has still been playing well, but Birmingham’s recent resurgence means a trip to St. Andrew’s will be far from straightforward for Brentford.

Birmingham was lingering above the relegation zone at the turn of the year, but a seven-game unbeaten run has propelled them up to fourteenth. Blues are now 13 points clear of the bottom three and ten shy of the top six. With victories over promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest and Bristol City in recent weeks, Birmingham has a genuine chance of making a late run into the playoff places at this rate.

Brentford possesses a deadly attack, and star man Ollie Watkins has 20 goals to his name this season. Fellow forwards Bryan Mbeumo and Said Benrahma have also chipped in with plenty of goals, so I don’t expect the Bees to lose on Saturday. However, I can see in-form Birmingham holding Brentford to a draw.

Fulham to Beat Barnsley

This matchup brings together two teams at opposite ends of the table. Fulham is battling for promotion and comes into this game level with second-place Leeds on 56 points. On the other hand, Barnsley is rock bottom of the Championship, having won just five of their 32 games this season.

Fulham is starting to look like a serious candidate for automatic promotion. Scott Parker’s side has suffered one defeat in their previous ten league games, and consistency is key at this stage in the campaign. Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is the division’s top scorer, while experienced players like Tom Cairney, Tim Ream, and Anthony Knockaert all boast vast experience at this level.

Barnsley looks set for an immediate return to League One after struggling to adapt to the demands of the Championship. One win in nine has left the Tykes nine points from safety, and Fulham is likely to inflict yet another defeat on the relegation struggler.

Preston to Beat Millwall

Preston endured a difficult festive period that saw them pick up two points from a possible 15 over Christmas and New Year. Alex Neil’s side dropped out of the playoff places following their dip in form, but a six-game unbeaten streak has put Preston back in the hunt for a top-six finish. No team has picked up more points across the last five games, making Preston the Championship’s in-form side.

By contrast, Millwall is moving in the opposite direction. The Lions have faced each of the league’s current top three in a matter of weeks, losing to Leeds and West Brom and drawing with Fulham. Less than one month ago, Millwall was looking like a dark horse in the race for a playoff place. But a couple of defeats in quick succession can send any team falling down the table in the Championship.

Preston is flying at the moment, while Millwall can’t seem to pick themselves up. A comfortable home win is on the cards when the Lions visit Deepdale this weekend.

More Championship Predictions

Here are my predictions for the rest of the Championship games on matchday 33.

Swansea to Beat Hull

Swansea’s squad is still littered with quality players following the club’s relegation from the Premier League two seasons ago, and the addition of on-loan Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster has also enhanced the team. Hull has lost four of their previous five games, so Swansea should come away from the KCOM Stadium with all three points.

Cardiff to Beat Wigan

Lowly Wigan is likely to struggle against in-form Cardiff. The Latics have picked up some promising results of late, but Cardiff comes into this game on a six-game unbeaten run. Wigan shouldn’t cause Cardiff any problems.

Derby to Beat Huddersfield

Derby has been on the up ever since Wayne Rooney joined the club in January. The England legend has revitalized the club, and Derby is finally starting to show everyone what they’re capable of. Meanwhile, Huddersfield is in danger of suffering back-to-back relegations if results don’t pick up.

Sheffield Wednesday and Reading to Draw

Neither side has won any of their previous five games, so I can see this being a dull affair. Sheffield Wednesday sits five points ahead of Reading in the standings, but there is very little to separate the two teams right now.

Blackburn to Beat Charlton

Charlton will be full of confidence after beating Nottingham Forest, and Lee Bowyer’s side can now start to think about moving clear of the relegation zone. However, Blackburn has their own business to take care of. Rovers can keep the pressure on the top six with a win this weekend.

Middlesbrough and Luton to Draw

Championship newcomer Luton has been stuck near the bottom of the table throughout the season, but two wins in their last four games have given the Hatters hope. Middlesbrough has only lost three of their 16 home games this term. But following a dismal run of results, a draw is probably the best that Jonathan Woodgate’s side can hope for.

Stoke to Beat QPR

Stoke and QPR have both been wildly unpredictable this term, and the two teams are yet to secure their place in the Championship for next season. Stoke has been playing a lot better in recent games, so I’m backing the Potters to snatch an important away victory over QPR.

Championship Best Bets for 2/15

You’ve had my prediction for each Championship game this weekend, so now it’s time to look at the best bets for matchday 33. It’s always worth looking at some different markets when betting on the Championship.

Derby vs. Huddersfield – Over 2.5 Goals

This matchup is likely to produce goals. Derby has scored eleven and conceded seven across their last four games, while Huddersfield has one of the worst defensive records in the division. The Rams are also extremely strong at home, losing just two of their 16 league games at Pride Park in 2019/20.

Preston vs. Millwall – Preston to Win

Preston has taken 33 points from a possible 48 at Deepdale this season, meaning Alex Niel’s side has the best home record in the Championship. Millwall’s wretched run looks set to continue with another defeat on Saturday.

Fulham vs. Barnsley – Fulham to Win

Nothing is certain in the Championship, but Fulham will surely beat Barnsley on Saturday. With Fulham joint-second and Barnsley bottom, this has to be the biggest mismatch in the second tier this weekend.

QPR vs. Stoke – Both Teams to Score

Mark Warburton’s side may be all the way down in seventeenth place, but just three teams have scored more goals than QPR in the division this season. However, only the bottom two teams have conceded more than QPR, so there is bound to be action at both ends of the pitch when Stoke visits Loftus Road.

Wrap-Up

The Championship is arguably one of the most competitive leagues in the world. The majority of current second-tier teams have spent time in the Premier League within the past decade, and that’s what makes the Championship so strong.

This season, historic clubs like Leeds and Nottingham Forest are desperately trying to return to the top flight, but smaller sides like Brentford are also in the mix. Matchday 33 is set to provide yet more twists and turns in a fascinating Championship campaign.

Keep up to date with all the latest soccer news and predictions in the blog. And be sure to place your bets with the best online soccer betting sites.

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