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Free betting tips: Sky Bet Championship - Rotherham v Sheffield United

Our best bets for Rotherham v Sheffield United
Our best bets for Rotherham v Sheffield United

It's a South Yorkshire derby in Saturday's early kick-off as Rotherham welcome Sheffield United. Tom Carnduff is backing cards.


Recommended bets

1pt Oliver Norwood to be shown a card at 4/1

1pt Chris Basham to be shown a card at 3/1

1pt Jack O'Connell to be shown a card at 11/2

1pt Michael Smith to be shown a card at 11/2

1pt Joe Mattock to be shown a card at 3/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record



Rotherham v Sheffield United (New York Stadium, 1230 GMT, Sky Sports Main Event)

Two words that fill me with joy when I do the research for Sporting Life's betting previews, Peter Bankes.

A total of 69 yellows and two reds in just 15 games give him an average of 50 booking points this season. Cards provide the value in this South Yorkshire derby.

Like the Kaiser Chiefs said, there are good days and bad days, and we're hoping we catch Bankes on one of those days where he is strict.

Brentford's 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest had 12 yellows, Aston Villa's 3-3 draw with Preston saw six plus a red while his last game, Blackburn v QPR, brought a total of eight yellows between two sides who haven't seen many cards this season.

It's also his second trip to the New York Stadium in the league this season, with the last game here bring eight yellows and a red in the Millers' 1-0 win over Derby - remarkably, all were in the second-half.

His average is brought down by the fact he shows few cards in Carabao Cup games, but when it comes to the Sky Bet Championship, all but one game has seen at least three yellows dished out.

Rotherham sit in the top 10 in the division for cards shown at home, while United sit in the top 10 for cards away. Everything points towards a high card count to kick off Saturday's footballing action.

Peter Bankes has shown the cards in the Sky Bet Championship this season
Peter Bankes has shown the cards in the Sky Bet Championship this season

That means the value is there for specific players to be shown a card. Fifty-plus booking points is available at 2/1 with Sky Bet if you wanted something with that shorter price, or a selection to add to a RequestABet, but it's individuals for us.

We'll start off by assessing the home side and the first selection is Michael Smith, with Rotherham's big centre forward committing a total of 35 fouls this season which is significantly higher than any of his teammates.

It'll be quite an entertaining battle watching him come up against someone like Jack O'Connell, and one that could draw cards too. The 27-year-old already has three yellow cards on his tally, including two in his last two games.

Also in danger of picking up a booking is Joe Mattock, who also sits high up for fouls committed in this Rotherham side.

The left-back has played every minute of their games in the Championship this season, and four yellows means that he is one away from a suspension.

Mattock was also shown a yellow card in the last Rotherham game that Bankes officiated, so he is aware of his playing style and the fouls he can commit.

On the other side, I've already spoken about O'Connell's potential battle with Smith and that could mean that he is also shown a card in this one.

Chris Basham in action against QPR
Chris Basham in action against QPR

The defender has three on his tally already, and what is of interest is how they have all come in the 90th minute or later. With this one expected to be a close encounter, it could signal another late card.

That also provides the value in-play, with an 11/2 starting price suggesting that you may be able to get 14s or 16s in the final third of the game.

Oliver Norwood has been at the heart of a number of midfield battles and his 23 fouls is the joint-highest in the Blades squad, alongside David McGoldrick.

The Northern Ireland international makes up the midfield trio with Mark Duffy and John Fleck, with two cards on his tally. The value is also there in a Chris Basham card, with his attacking style seeing him be on the wrong and right side of fouls.

Basham is the prime example of the 'Wilder ball'. A centre-back given the freedom to drive forward and look for goals himself. Think of the GIF of Martin Freeman saying "I'm going on an adventure" from, what I think is, The Hobbit.

In terms of the game itself, United's three losses in their last five away may be costly when it comes to their final promotion chances. Rotherham are a side who clearly identify that they will rely on a strong home record to stay up this season, and I'd fancy them to pick up something here.

Score prediction: Rotherham 1-1 Sheffield United (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)

Best bets:

Rotherham celebrate after scoring against Stoke
Rotherham celebrate after scoring against Stoke

Opta facts

  • Rotherham have won just one of their previous 12 league games against Sheffield United (D4 L7), although that victory did come in the most recent home meeting (3-1 in September 2013).
  • Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last 11 league games against Rotherham in the second tier (W6 D5).
  • Rotherham haven’t lost any of their previous five games in the Championship (W1 D4); their longest unbeaten run in the second tier since April 2016 (a run of 11 games under Neil Warnock).
  • Sheffield United haven’t scored in either of their last two games in the Championship – not since September 2013 have they failed to score in three consecutive league games.
  • 71% of Rotherham’s goals in the Championship this term have been scored via set pieces (10 of 14); the most of any side.
  • Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp has scored with 37% of his shots in the Championship this season; the best conversion rate of any player in the competition (min. 10 shots).

Odds correct as of 1610 GMT on 22/11/18

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Most Read Football

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package
1

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

Paper Talk: Chil out?

Ben Chilwell could be set to follow Riyad Mahrez to Manchester according to reports in Friday's papers.

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Mo Salah and Anthony Martial in action during Liverpool v Manchester United at Anfield
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