Tractor Boys to stall at Leeds

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: December 12 2012, 22:49 GMT

Our expert Craig Chisnall previews the weekend's action in the npower Championship and League One.

Neil Warnock's Leeds can get the better of Ipswich
Neil Warnock's Leeds can get the better of Ipswich

Crystal Palace haven't been at their fluent best in recent weeks but at 8/5 they look too good to ignore at struggling Birmingham.

Ian Holloway's side have won just one of their last four after a rampant five match winning run at the start of his reign.

In the first-half against Holloway's former club Blackpool they struggled for long periods before turning the match around after the break and were only denied the win by Nouha Dicko's last-gasp equaliser.

But with Glenn Murray, often overlooked this term with wingers Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha grabbing the headlines, already up to 18 goals for the season they possess a striker in the form of his career.

If they can keep it tight at the other end they should see off the Blues, who continue to struggle for goals.

Leeds' three-match winning run ground to a halt at Derby last weekend but I'd back them to end Ipswich's mini-revival at Elland Road.

Neil Warnock's side were left mesmerised by Rams wonder-kid Will Hughes at Pride Park while Town were coming good at 9/5 for us at home to Millwall.

That made it nine points from nine for Mick McCarthy's new club and they are no longer the soft touch they were towards the end of Paul Jewell's reign.

But in their last two home games the Whites have seen off high-fliers Crystal Palace and Leicester and at 23/20 with Coral I'd back them to make it three from three.

Staying in Yorkshire there's a huge clash at Oakwell at the other end of the table between two teams in dreadful form - Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday.

The Tykes have not won in 10 while Dave Jones' Owls have now lost seven on the spin so I can't see it being one for the purist in the televised game.

But Keith Hill's side will surely have taken confidence from being within 60 seconds of winning at Leicester last weekend and I like the look of their 7/5 price.

Apart from the 4-1 thumping by Watford they've been in every match and this derby could come at the right time for them to end their miserable run and put distance between themselves and the Owls in the drop zone.

In League One a Crewe and Leyton Orient home double looks too good to miss out on with them both odds against.

Alex celebrated boss Steve Davis' new deal in fine style last weekend with a brilliant 3-1 win at Preston.

Captain Luke Murphy got the ball rolling at Deepdale and his form is thought to be attracting serious interest from neighbours Stoke City.

His form has helped Crewe make a fine start since promotion despite the losses of Nick Powell and Ashley Westwood to Manchester United and Aston Villa. The 6/5 with Bet Victor to beat Bury is a great price but I'd still double it up with the 23/20 the same firm offer on in-form Orient to see off strugglers Scunthorpe.

The O's, fired by the goals of Kevin Lisbie in recent weeks, have won their last six in all competitions and are now on the cusp of the play-offs. With the Iron struggling one off the bottom get on Russell Slade's men as well.

My big outsider for the weekend is also in League One with the 23/10 Sky Bet offer on Coventry winning at Doncaster.

Yes Donny are in fine form but the Sky Blues are on the up, on the pitch anyway, with Mark Robins doing a great job since taking over from Andy Thorn.

Last weekend's 5-1 home win over Walsall was the second time they had racked up a handful in four matches with the 13 goals loan striker David McGoldrick has plundered firing them up to the heady heights of 15th.

I fancy them to upset Dean Saunders men and continue their fine form.

  • Preview posted at 2145 GMT on 12/12/2012.