Back Blues in derby; Barnsley value

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: March 31 2013, 15:49 BST

Craig Chisnall previews Easter Monday's action in the Championship and League One and feels he's found some decent value.

David Flitcroft's Barnsley are worth siding with
David Flitcroft's Barnsley are worth siding with

In the second flight, Birmingham look a solid bet in their derby against Wolves, while Barnsley are a big price to add to Leicester's woes.

And in League One, both Yeovil and Preston appeal at big prices on their travels. Here's his verdict in full:

Considering all their off-field uncertainty this term, it's a great credit to Lee Clark that Birmingham have got themselves comfortably clear of the drop zone.

And after walloping high-flying Crystal Palace 4-0 on Good Friday, I'm backing them to keep West Midlands rivals Wolves in trouble at the bottom.

Against a back-drop of ownership issues, Clark has managed to keep his focus on events on the pitch.

He's been unable to splash the cash afforded to previous managers and used the loan market and City's productive youth set-up to boost his squad.

With the likes of winger Nathan Redmond stealing the show against Palace, their third win on the bounce for the first time this season, they will be full of confidence heading into this game.

They are a best of 13/10 to make it four successive wins when Wolves arrive at St Andrew's and that's too big considering their recent upturn.

How Bristol City could do with a run like the one the Blues have put together in recent weeks.

The Robins remain rock-bottom thanks to their woeful away form but I believe they are worth investing in at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

They have won five of their last six at Ashton Gate since Sean O'Driscoll replaced Derek McInnes in the hot-seat but the 14 defeats on the road sees them cut adrift at the bottom.

Wednesday breathed new life into their own survival fight with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Barnsley but with City desperate for the points they look decent value at 8/5 to keep their season alive.

Barnsley are just a place better off than Bristol City but they will fancy their chances of putting another dent in faltering Leicester's play-off hopes.

The Tykes have won 10 games since David Flitcroft took the top job from close friend Keith Hill at the turn of the year and have accounted for high-flying Brighton and Watford in recent weeks at Oakwell.

And the Foxes don't head to South Yorkshire in great shape either. Friday's late defeat at home to Millwall was their sixth reverse in 10, a run during which they have won just once. To rub salt into the wounds inspirational captain Wes Morgan was sent off.

He will now miss this trip and at 12/5 the home side are worth a punt.

In League One, I like the look of Oldham to continue Lee Johnson's encouraging start to life in the dugout at home to relegation rivals Colchester.

After seeing off doomed Hartlepool 3-0 in his first game Latics followed that up with a great point at promotion-hunting Swindon on Saturday.

They remain in trouble in 21st but a win at Boundary Park would lift them above the U's on goal difference.

And with Jose Baxter, Lee Barnard, Matt Smith and Chris Iwelumo at Johnson's disposal in attack they should have the firepower to claim a crucial victory. They are 6/5 to do just that.

Elsewhere I like the look of two big prices to come good on the road, starting with Yeovil at Notts County.

The Glovers have slipped up in recent weeks and five games without a win has seen them slip out of the top six.

They remain in contention just a point behind Tranmere, who are also threatening to blow their play-off push, but they will need to get back on track and Meadow Lane could be the right place to do that.

The Magpies also have a less-than-impressive home record and the top six now looks beyond them, so if the division's leading scorer Paddy Madden can get back on the goal trail Town are worthy of consideration at 2/1.

Preston are the other attractive price at a juicy 2/1 with Boylesports to come out on top at Crewe.

Alex have little chance of making the play-offs or slipping into relegation zone and with their Johnstone's Paint Trophy final date with Southend to look forward to next Sunday they must have other things on their mind.

North End could still do with a win to secure their League One status and have been difficult to beat since Simon Grayson took the reins from Graham Westley in February.

With all of that to take into consideration I believe Preston will nick this in our favour.

  • Preview posted at 1255 BST on 31/03/2013.