Owls of New Year delight
Sheffield Wednesday have turned a corner in recent weeks and I'd back them to continue that when they welcome in 2013 at home to Burnley.
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Saturday's 0-0 draw at Huddersfield ended their three-game winning run but it was their fourth game on the trot without conceding a goal.
That run couldn't have come at a better time after seven defeats on the spin cranked up the pressure on boss Dave Jones and sent them plummeting into the drop zone.
- 2pts Sheffield Wednesday to beat Burnley at 6/4 (Boylesports) - Owls are flying and Burnley have injury problems.
- 2pts Ipswich to beat Brighton at 13/8 (General) - Beat Wolves last time and can take care of Brighton too.
- 2pts Cardiff to beat Birmingham at 5/4 (Coral) - Blues have problems up-front and Cardiff can take advantage.
- 2pt treble Coventry, Crawley and Swindon at 3.44/1 (BetVictor) - these three all look home bankers.
- 2pts Bournemouth to beat Brentford at 11/5 (Boylesports) - Cherries fancied to edge the game of the day.
But they are now fourth from bottom and starting to look up again with Jones even admitting he was upset at not winning at the John Smith's Stadium.
The Clarets on the other hand are a model of inconsistency - following up their 2-0 Boxing Day win over Derby with a 1-0 defeat to Leicester on Saturday.
With star striker Charlie Austin - sure to be a target for several clubs once the transfer window opens - also struggling to be fit with a hamstring problem for the trip to South Yorkshire the Owls will really fancy their chances.
They are 6/4 with Boylesports and that's a price I will be taking advantage of.
A team in even better form than Wednesday are Ipswich and they look a very attractive 13/8 in several places to see off Brighton at Portman Road.
Town are a different team since Mick McCarthy took the reins from Paul Jewell and they have now won five of their last seven matches to climb to the heady heights of 19th.
None will have been sweeter for McCarthy than that at former club Wolves on Saturday and that made it a bumper Christmas for the Tractor Boys following their win at Charlton on Boxing Day.
They are no longer the soft touch at the back that they were under Jewell and in loanee DJ Campbell they have a striker in great form. His goal in the win at Molineux was his ninth since he joined in October.
Ipswich have only won three times at home this term but are too good to ignore at 13/8 given their recent form.
Cardiff have hit top form in recent weeks and they should see off Birmingham this time around at St Andrew's.
The Bluebirds head into 2013 with a five-point cushion at the top after winning their last three on the spin - all against teams challenging them in Leicester, Crystal Palace and Millwall.
And with Malky Mackay having an embarrassment of riches in attack Blues boss Lee Clark will surely be looking on enviously as he has chronic problems in attack.
Nikola Zigic's sending off at Bolton on Saturday will rule him out of this clash and with fellow strikers Peter Lovenkrands and Marlon King injured, youngster Jake Jervis is set to lead the line. All that makes the 5/4 with Coral on the away win a price to be snapped up.
In League One I'm backing Coventry, Crawley and Swindon to come up trumps with a timely home treble.
The Sky Blues are absolutely flying at the moment and are now in touch with the play-offs after six wins in eight, which include impressive wins at Stevenage and MK Dons, and they are firm favourites to beat Shrewsbury at the Ricoh Arena.
Crawley's play-off charge has faltered of late on the back of an inconsistent run but they should get back on track with woefully out of form Colchester arriving in Sussex.
Swindon are also odds-on to inflict more misery on Portsmouth, as Yeovil did on Saturday for us at a big price, and the treble is well worth considering.
Finally, Bournemouth have come up trumps for me this season on more than one occasion at a big price and I'm putting more faith in them in the game of the day in the third tier at Brentford.
Both clubs are in fine form - the Bees unbeaten in 11 - but the Cherries unbeaten run tops that.
They haven't been beaten in 15 games since Eddie Howe returned to the club in October and I'm backing them to take that form to Griffin Park.
They are more than 2/1 in several places with Boylesports offering them at 11/5.