Something for the weekend

  • By: Matt Briggs
  • Last Updated: April 5 2014, 18:10 BST

Matt Briggs picks out the early value on this weekend's coupon with Barnsley set to boost their survival hopes.

Danny Wilson's Barnsley can gain another vital three points
Danny Wilson's Barnsley can gain another vital three points

Barnsley v Brighton

You know April is just around the corner when Barnsley start winning.

The 'Great Escape' specialists are at it again after challking up back-to-back Championship away wins at Reading and Yeovil and they look a really good proposition at 13/5 to make it three wins on the spin at home to out-of-form Brighton.

The Tykes seem to find their goalscoring boots for the run-in and manage to steer themselves away from trouble every year and this season is no exception. Even the staunchest Tykes fans would have admitted things looked grim this time last week, but two quick victories and seven goals have breathed new life into Danny Wilson's men. They have a real chance of avoiding the drop and will be relishing a home date with Brighton, who have to face Blackburn away in midweek.

Barnsley's home record is not pretty reading with only five wins from 19 games, but it's all about timing for Barnsley. When the heat is on, the men from Oakwell find their form, regardless of who seems to be in charge. They are a team who are generally worth swerving when they are the favorites, but with Brighton in the hunt for the play-offs the bookies have the visitors as 13/10 shots.

That looks really short when you consider, ahead of their long midweek trip to Lancashire, they had lost their last three games without scoring. They missed a penalty at home against Middlesbrough, but boss Oscar Garcia was critical of the number of defensive mistakes his men are committing and added to that they have fired three blanks.

It all looks a bit ominous for the Seagulls at the moment, who look to be in a six-way battle for the final two play-off spots and Barnsley's determination might prove too much.

Norwich v West Brom

Norwich were second best at Swansea last week, but at home they are a force to be reckoned with and they are well worth backing now at 7/5 to beat fellow strugglers West Brom.

The Canaries were given a 3-0 thumping by the Swans but don't let that put you off backing Chris Hughton's men at Carrow Road, which has been somewhat of a fortress under his tenure.

Norwich have lost just four times at home this term with two of those against Chelsea and Man Utd and their recent home form has been rock solid. Wins over Sunderland, Tottenham and Hull have given the Canaries a good chance of avoiding the drop and they will face an Albion side, whose 3-3 draw with Cardiff last week will have felt like a defeat.

Cardiff (DNB) were one of last week's selections and we just got our money back with the Bluebirds equalising with the last kick of the game, but those two sides look in big relegation trouble. West Brom boss Pepe Mel is struggling to find his feet at the Hawthorns and the Baggies have lost seven of their 15 away games and won just two. They did win away at Swansea earlier in the month, but that looks like being a one off, with defeats away at Villa and Crystal Palace preceding that win and a defeat away at Hull more recently.

Norwich look primed to bounce back on home soil and give their survival hopes another shot in the arm, but the 7/5 won't last long so make sure you get on early.

Bournemouth v QPR

Bournemouth's (8/5) win at Birmingham had the column in the black last weekend and there's no reason to abandon the in-form Cherries just yet. Eddie Howe's men have won three on the spin and they've fired four goals in their last two fixtures and they look good value at 19/10 to sink ailing QPR.

Howe's men have got a chance of the play-offs, while QPR's poor form has seen them slip nine points off the promotion pace and they look destined for a ticket in the end-of-season lottery.

Harry Redknapp's side look to have run out of steam and their results have been up and down and with seven away defeats on their record the hosts look worth backing at almost 2/1.

Just how much desire QPR will have to win on the south coast is questionnable with the top two almost out of reach and the play-offs a near certainty. The Cherries on the other hand will be buoyant and the scalp of QPR and their former boss Redknapp might just be the incentive they need to help their play-off push.

  • Posted at 1635 BST on 31/03/2014.