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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Birmingham primed for another positive display

Improving Cobblers can pile more misery on Rochdale

Che Adams scored Birmingham's winner against in-form Cardiff
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Sheffield Wednesday v Birmingham

Birmingham are playing their best football of the season and can stretch their unbeaten run to four games by taking at least a point against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

The battle for Sky Bet Championship survival is fascinating with just three points covering the bottom six teams.

But it may be too early to assume that the relegated sides will come from those clubs.

There are 51 points to play for and 16th-placed Wednesday need to be careful.

Their new manager Jos Luhukay has tightened things up, steering the Owls to a trio of 0-0 draws in his first three league games.

But Wednesday have tasted victory just once in their last 13 league outings and will have to be more expansive if they are to get the  victories to lift themselves away from danger.

The Owls are not used to being in a relegation scrap and may struggle to cope with battle-hardened Birmingham, who have been in the bottom five positions since August.

For much of the season the Blues have played with a lack of cohesion and confidence but that has started to change with ten points secured in the last five games.

They climbed out of the bottom three with a comprehensive 3-1 win at home to Sunderland on Tuesday and can finish off the week with another positive result.

Recommendation
Birmingham or draw double chance
3pts 7-10 bet365

Bet on this match at Soccerbase.com


Northampton v Rochdale

Second-bottom Rochdale haven't won a Sky Bet League One match since November and their desperate situation could be worsened by a loss to fifth-bottom Northampton at Sixfields.

The home side are barely favourites and the Cobblers look fantastic value to take the points and continue their climb away from danger.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's side have taken ten points from the last 12 available and the only dropped points came in a commendable 1-1 draw at highflying Blackburn last Saturday.

Goalscoring midfielder John-Joe O'Toole was on target against Rovers, notching for the fourth successive game, and is an obvious danger to Rochdale with his aerial power.

Dale must also keep an eye on Chris Long (five goals in his last nine appearances) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's latest signing Kevin van Veen, who was snapped up from Scunthorpe this week.

Northampton look a decent enough side to finish in mid-table but Rochdale are in trouble, 11 points adrift of safety and winless in seven league games.

They haven't won an away league match all season ans are unlikely to end that run against one of the division's form teams.

Recommendation
Northampton
3pts 17-10 general

Bet on this match at Soccerbase.com


Walsall v MK Dons

Fourth-bottom MK Dons have reacted to their precarious position in Sky Bet League One by making some exciting signings and their new-look team can register a victory over sixth-bottom Walsall at Banks's Stadium.

The Dons have probably underperformed this season but are doing their best to address the situation.

Dan Micciche has replaced Robbie Nielson as manager and four loan signings have arrived, Elliott Ward from Blackburn, Josh Tymon from Stoke, Iche Ugbo from Chelsea and James Tavernier from Middlesbrough.

Apart from vastly experienced centre-back Ward all of the new arrivals have played a higher level of football this season and they look ready to make an instant impact.

Walsall brought in three loanees on deadline day with Julien Ngoy, Krystian Bielik and Jack Fitzwater arriving from Stoke, Arsenal and West Brom.

Fitzwater is the only one of the trio to have started a senior match this season and his experience has come in League Two with strugglers Forest Green.

The quality of the MK Dons loanees looks better and that could make the difference in a contest between two struggling sides.

Recommendation
MK Dons draw no bet
2pts 11-10 Betfair, Hills, Paddy Power

Bet on this match at Soccerbase.com


Colchester v Newport

Newport's FA Cup run has had a negative impact on their Sky Bet League Two results and the Welsh side may not be fully focused when taking on playoff-chasing Colchester.

Either side of the 1-1 draw with Tottenham, Newport have drawn 1-1 at home to lowly Morecambe and lost 3-1 at Lincoln.

Their players may be looking ahead to next Wednesday's trip to Wembley and that has to be to the advantage of Colchester, who look a tasty bet.

Recommendation
Colchester
2pts 7-5 Betfair

Bet on this match at Soccerbase.com


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