In-form Hull too big to ignore

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: December 23 2012, 12:35 GMT

There's no team in the Championship in better form than Hull at the moment and I'm backing them to make it a Boxing Day to remember against Leicester and former boss Nigel Pearson.

Steve Bruce has Hull in fine form

The Tigers have flown into the automatic promotion race on the back of a four-match winning run, the last of which was Friday's impressive 2-1 success at Derby.

Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield and Watford have also been seen off in that time and the game against the Foxes can't come soon enough for Steve Bruce's men.

With captain Robert Koren proving pivotal in the Tigers upturn, he's scored three in four, they've found an answer to their lack of goals earlier in the season.

This fixture also has the extra edge of Pearson returning to East Yorkshire after he walked out to return to the King Power Stadium last November.

And it's not come at a good time for the Foxes supremo with his side's challenge faltering on the back of defeats to Millwall and Cardiff. Another could beckon at the KC Stadium if Hull hit the heights of recent weeks - at 17/10 with BetVictor they are too long to ignore.

This time of year also serves up some strange results but I've got some confidence in Bolton, Watford and Middlesbrough bringing up a treble.

The Trotters will be in desperate need of a win after a calamitous 5-4 defeat at Peterborough on Saturday and I fancy them to see off Sheffield Wednesday at the Reebok.

They are just odds-on to do that but with in-form Watford, who have lost one in 10, and fellow high-fliers Middlesbrough odds-against to see off Bristol City and Blackburn respectively, that would net a healthy return.

In League One, Preston are my banker bet to see off Bury at Deepdale in a fixture that will have plenty of spice after last week's stormy Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash at Gigg Lane.

North End boss Graham Westley refused to shake counterpart Kevin Blackwell's hand at the final whistle and branded the Shakers a disgrace in the aftermath of Bury's equaliser. North End had thrown the ball out for treatment to an injured player but the ball hadn't been returned and it led to an equaliser for Joe Skarz.

Westley will certainly have his players fired up for this one and with Bury not having won in six I'd pile into the 9/10 on offer with BetVictor.

Elsewhere, Coventry came good for me at Doncaster 10 days ago at a big price and I'm keeping faith with City again at Stevenage.

Mark Robins is doing a wonderful job at the Ricoh Arena and it's on the road they've really impressed. Their last four away games have yielded 12 points with 13 goals scored in the process. Boylesports offer them at 2/1 to make it five from five and it's a price I will be taking.

There's another big price standing out in League Two as Southend head to Dagenham on the back of a brilliant nine-match unbeaten run that has rocketed them up to fourth.

The Shrimpers were feeling the effects of last season's play-off defeat to Crewe earlier in the campaign but have been flying recently.

The goals of former Dagger Gavin Tomlin and Watford loanee Britt Assombalonga have been key to the fine form and at 7/4 (Boylesports) they are well worth investing in.

Finally for Boxing Day I believe there's a home treble to invest in with Bradford, Cheltenham and Rotherham all strong on their own patches.

The Bantams are 7/10 to beat struggling Accrington but with Cheltenham evens to see off Wycombe and Rotherham available at 6/5 to go level on points with Port Vale with an eighth home win of the season, it's worth a shot.

  • Preview posted at 1225 GMT on 23/12/2012.