Forest fancied to beat Brum

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: February 1 2013, 7:35 GMT

Our expert Craig Chisnall picks out his best bets for the weekend's action in the Championship and League One.

Alex McLeish and Forest can get three points at Birmingham
Alex McLeish and Forest can get three points at Birmingham

Birmingham fans must be counting the minutes until the transfer window shuts so I'd get on Nottingham Forest to win at St Andrew's as soon as you can.

BetVictor currently offer Forest at 19/10 to make it a dream return for Alex McLeish and that price will only get skinnier with Blues fighting to keep hold of a string of players.

Key defender Curtis Davies and goalkeeper Jack Butland are the favourites to leave in the next 36 hours with the futures of Chris Burke - McLeish is keen to take him to the City Ground - Marlon King, Nathan Redmond and big-earner Nikola Zigic, all up in the air.

Lee Clark's men got a morale-boosting, last-gasp win at 10-man Burnley last weekend but they got a huge slice of luck following Dean Marney's red card with half-an-hour remaining for the home side.

Forest aren't exactly going well themselves with just one in the five games that McLeish has taken charge of but they have a squad packed full of quality and at almost 2/1 are too good to ignore. They will probably welcome playing away at the moment too with less pressure of an expectant crowd.

Leicester and Wolves get the action started for the weekend on Thursday night and I suggest including the Foxes in a home treble with Derby and Bolton.

Nigel Pearson's side have already won 10 times at the King Power Stadium and with Wolves woefully out of form they are unsurprisingly a short odds-on price.

Derby are also odds-on but with a good record at Pride Park they should have no problem in seeing off managerless Huddersfield, who have not won in 12 games.

Watford, despite their shock defeat at Bristol City that ruined their hopes of going second, provide the value in this trio. Gianfranco Zola's side are 21/20 and Bolton don't travel too well with only two wins away all season.

The big price that stands out is the 2/1offered by BetVictor and Paddy Power on Leeds to topple leaders Cardiff at Elland Road.

Neil Warnock's side aren't going as well as I thought they might but they've won their last six Championship matches at home and upset Tottenham in the FA Cup last weekend.

The Bluebirds haven't lost in six but they have come unstuck on their travels five times already and I fancy Leeds to get their play-off push back on track.

In League One I really like the 6/4 offered by BetVictor for Doncaster to continue their fine run with a win at Bury.

Donny have overcome the loss of boss Dean Saunders to Wolves brilliantly with coach Brian Flynn and central defender Rob Jones being handed the reins until the end of the season.

They have taken 16 points from the last 18 available and with the Shakers not winning since the middle of November and stuck in a rut the 6/4 is a price to invest in.

Bournemouth's form trumps Doncaster's and they are now in the mix for automatic promotion - virtually unthinkable when Eddie Howe returned to the club in October.

Howe has yet to taste defeat in the league in that period and are a juicy 12/5 to win at fellow high-fliers MK Dons.

Striker Brett Pitman bagged a hat-trick in the win over Crewe last weekend and they have goals all over the pitch with Lewis Grabban, Marc Pugh and Matt Tubbs on the bench to call upon. They will head to MK Dons full of confidence and this price surely has to be taken.

Another big price that catches the eye is the 27/10 on Hartlepool to grab only their second home win of the season against Notts County.

John Hughes' side breathed new life into their survival fight with a win at Portsmouth last time out and they have improved immeasurably in recent weeks.

County remain on the coat tails of the top six but haven't hit the heights of earlier in the season recently and this could be a big upset in our favour.

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