Side with Sheffield pair

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: February 9 2013, 15:05 GMT

Craig Chisnall brings you his best bets for this weekend's action in the npower Championship and League One.

Leroy Lita: Has added to Wednesday's firepower

High-flying Watford and Crystal Palace get the Championship action under way with a mouth-watering clash at Vicarage Road on Friday night and I'm investing in the Hornets once again.

Gianfranco Zola's men, who came up trumps as part of a treble with Leicester and Derby last week for us, are flying at the moment with star striker Matej Vydra having scouts flocking to Hertfordshire.

The Czech striker has been the star among the host of loanees they have borrowed from Udinese and Granada, the two other clubs also owned by Watford's new backers, the Pozzo family.

His goal in the win over Bolton last weekend made it 19 for the season and 11 in his last nine. On the back of that, the Hornets are up to fourth and in with a great shout of gaining automatic promotion.

The Eagles are clinging on to those hopes themselves but have been a shadow of the form they showed pre-Christmas in recent weeks.

A 2-1 home win over Charlton last weekend will have given them a lift but I believe Zola's men will just have too much and are great value with Sky Bet and Coral at 23/20.

Sean O'Driscoll will probably believe he still deserves to be in the opposition dugout at Ashton Gate this weekend when Nottingham Forest travel to Bristol City.

The former Bournemouth and Doncaster boss was surprisingly shown the Forest exit at Christmas just six months after taking over.

He wasn't out of work for long though with the Robins giving him the nod to guide them out of the trouble they were in under Derek McInnes.

O'Driscoll's arrival in Bristol has brought an upturn in form, with two wins in four - both at Ashton Gate, whereas Forest are already searching for their third boss of the season following Alex McLeish's rapid departure.

They won just one of his six games in charge and that makes the 2/1 about the home win attractive.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones was also a man under pressure not so long ago but the Owls have turned a corner in recent weeks.

They have taken 10 points from the last 12 available and are now looking up rather than over their shoulder.

The arrivals of Danny Pugh, Jeremy Helan and striker Leroy Lita have boosted their squad and they are now full of confidence.

Their 3-1 win over Brighton last weekend was one of their best performances of the season and they are now up to 18th in the table.

Derby aren't great travellers either so I'd get on Jones' men at 29/20 to continue their fine form.

Neighbours Sheffield United have been heading in the opposite direction in League One in recent weeks but I'd back them to get back on track at Shrewsbury.

The Blades have dropped to sixth and the pressure is piling up on boss Danny Wilson after last Friday's 2-1 home defeat to Coventry.

He's lost star striker Nick Blackman to Reading for £1million but has added quality in veteran midfielder Barry Robson and forward Jonathan Forte.

And playing away might well be a blessing in disguise with the expectant Bramall Lane crowd's disapproval growing by the week. At 6/4 I will be investing in the Blades.

Leyton Orient also have designs on the play-offs and with the way Russell Slade has recruited in recent weeks they could yet turn out to be a surprise package.

A lack of goals in the first half of the campaign had been their Achilles heel so Slade has added Charlie MacDonald from MK Dons and Millwall's Shaun Batt on loan to boost his striking options.

They made an immediate impact in the 1-0 win at Stevenage last weekend and despite the 1-0 home defeat to Southend in the southern area final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, I'm hapy with the 13/8 on offer on the O's.

My big price of the weekend comes at the Ricoh Arena as Yeovil head to fellow play-off chasers Coventry on the back of a great run.

Thanks to striker Paddy Madden's goals - he has seven in his last four games - the Glovers have won their last five matches to climb to seventh.

The Sky Blues have been going well themselves but have saved their best form for on the road. More than 31,000 watched them lose 3-0 at home to Crewe in the JPT northern area final and those scars might not have healed - get on Gary Johnson's side at 3/1.

  • Preview posted at 1535 GMT on 06/02/2013.