The second round of the EFL Championship – the second tier of England’s footballing pyramid – continues this coming Saturday (11 August) with favourites for the title Stoke City looking to get their first points on the board of the new campaign. Gary Rowett’s men came undone 3-1 at Elland Road against Leeds United this past Sunday afternoon, and three points in front of their own fans this weekend has now become a must.
First things first
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Where should I be investing my money?
Stoke city are set to host Brentford this Saturday, who thrashed newly promoted Rotherham 5-1 in their opening match. Brentford are a club expected to battle for the play-off places this term, and you can back them at just 2.50 to finish in the top six come the end of the season in May, according to Oddsshark.
But it is Stoke who come into this game as the favourites to win and get their season up and running. You can more than double your money by backing the home side to take all three points at a price of 2.15, with Brentford at the higher 3.25 to pick up a victory on the road – a 2-1 win for Stoke is priced at 9.00, offering close to a ten-fold return on any investment. You can also back over 2.5 goals in this one at just 1.75, with under 2.5 goals in the match coming in at 2.05.
But the pick of the weekend action in the Championship could well come from Villa Park, as promotion favourites Aston Villa play their first home game of the new season against newly promoted Wigan Athletic. Both sides made winning starts to the season and scored three goals in the process, and this could be an open, entertaining contest.
Wigan edged out Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in a five goal thriller, while Villa came from a goal down to beat Hull City 3-1 this past Monday night. Despite a turbulent summer behind the scenes at Villa, coach Steve Bruce has managed to steady the ship on the pitch.
And it is Villa who come into this game as the clear favourites to pick up a second league win in a row. Bruce’s side are at just 1.90 to collect the victory in front of their own fans, while you could potentially more than quadruple your money by backing Wigan at 4.20 – a draw is priced in the middle at 3.40.
A comfortable, 2-0 win for the home side is priced at 8.50, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$42.50 pay out. Against Hull, Villa were a goal down inside the first 10 minutes, but you can back them to be ahead inside that time frame at a price of 9.00.
And the late kick off in the Championship this Saturday comes from Pride Park, as Derby County host Leeds United. Both of these sides will hope to be pushing for promotion to the Premier League and both got off to winning starts last time out.
Derby are priced at just 5.00 to earn promotion back to the Premier League, while Yorkshire club Leeds United are at the shorter price of 3.75. Despite coming so early in the season, both teams have the opportunity to lay down a marker of intent against a potential promotion rival.
Derby needed a last minute goal to edge past Reading 2-1 in their first league game of the campaign, while Leeds swept Stoke City aside in impressive fashion, notching up a 3-1 win in the process. This could be a closely fought contest, but it home side Derby who come into it as the slight favourites to take all three points.
You can back Derby to win their second league match in succession at a price of 1.95. Visitors Leeds are at almost double that price at 3.80, with a stalemate only slightly lower at 3.40.
A 2-1 win for Derby, as they managed in their first game, is priced competitively at 8.50. You can also back over 2.5 goals in the match at 2.05 – allowing you to potentially double your money – and both teams to score is only slightly lower at 1.90.
EFL Championship round 2 fixtures:
Saturday, 11 August
(1.90) Aston Villa x Wigan Athletic (4.20); draw (3.40)
(2.40) Norwich City x West Bromwich Albion (2.90); draw (3.30)
(1.66) Nottingham Forest x Reading (5.50); draw (3.50)
(2.37) Rotherham x Ipswich Town (3.00); draw (3.20)
(2.25) Sheffield Wednesday x Hull City (3.25); draw (3.20)
(2.15) Stoke City x Brentford (3.25); draw (3.40)
(1.95) Derby County x Leeds United (3.80); draw (3.40)