Make Bourne a Royal wager

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: April 8 2014, 19:46 BST

Bournemouth are mounting a late bid for the play-offs and Craig Chisnall expects them to get the better of Reading on Tuesday.

Bournemouth are fancied to maintain their good run of form
Bournemouth are fancied to maintain their good run of form

Few would have predicted a play-off place for Championship new-boys Bournemouth at the start of the season - but after their fine recent run they now have every chance of gate-crashing the top six.

Eddie Howe's side, promoted as League One runners-up, have motored into top six contention ever since they hammered Doncaster 5-0 on March 1.

That win moved them to 16th that day but Saturday's 2-1 win over QPR took them tenth and just five points behind sixth-placed Reading - they have now chalked up seven wins in the last nine.

The Royals are their next opponents and what a chance that will be for the Cherries to make further in roads to that gap.

Howe has worked wonders since returning to Dean Court last season - taking them from League One relegation candidates to Premier League hopefuls in the space of 18 months.

They will always give teams a chance with the way they play, they've conceded 56 goals to scoring one fewer, but with Yann Kermogant and Lewis Grabban up front and the flair of Matt Ritchie in midfield they have a real threat at the other end.

Nigel Adkins' side do travel well having won ten times away from home but with Bournemouth on a charge I'm going with them to nick this one.

Next up for QPR is a trip to Blackburn and given Harry Redknapp's men have now lost eight games on their travels Rovers look a great price at 6/4 across the board.

For a squad of their size and quality it's a mystery how the R's have struggled away from home and those defeats have meant their automatic promotion challenge has dropped alarmingly in recent months.

In their 20 away games they've scored just 19 times and if they don't improve that record, and soon, they are going to struggle in the play-offs as well.

Rovers don't concede many either at Ewood Park, just 18 in 20 matches, and gave their faint play-off hopes a massive boost at the weekend with an impressive 2-0 home win over Ipswich.

Gary Bowyer has done an wonderful rebuilding job after the chaos of last term that saw Steve Kean, Henning Berg and Michael Appleton all sacked.

They are unbeaten in six, four of them draws, and another win in this clash will give the Rovers faithful renewed hope of extending their season.

In League One I like the look of Rotherham to continue their stunning run in the south Yorkshire derby with Sheffield United.

The Millers have been inspired of late - perfectly summed up by Saturday's 4-3 win at Gillingham.

Steve Evans' side trailed twice in that clash and were 3-2 down with four minutes remaining only for QPR loanee and substitute Tom Hitchcock to score twice in completing a remarkable hat-trick as they moved up to third.

That win made it 16 games unbeaten and secured them a play-off place but they will still have designs on a place in the top two with Brentford six points in front with six to play.

Their away form has been key to their charge and 13 victories on their travels is the best record in the Football League.

Rotherham have now not lost away from home since October and could be playing the Blades at the perfect time as they have an FA Cup semi-final date with Hull on Sunday.

Get on the Millers to crank up the pressure on the top two with a win at Bramall Lane.


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