Most Read Football

Lucas Moura celebrates after scoring against Barcelona1

Tottenham through after Barca draw

Lucas Moura's dramatic late goal sent Tottenham through to the Champions League knockout stages by earning a 1-1 draw at Barcelona.

Mohamed Salah scores for Liverpool against Napoli2

Salah strikes as Liverpool progress

Liverpool have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League after beating Napoli 1-0 in their Group C match at Anfield.

The latest from the back pages3

Paper Talk: Blues in for right-back

Chelsea 'hold talks' with Serie A right-back, Man United have 'no intention' of selling Paul Pogba and more in Tuesday's Paper Talk.

Our best bets for the Champions League4

Wednesday's Champions League tips

The final matches of the 2018/19 Champions League group stages take place on Wednesday evening. George Pitts has four best bets.

Check out today's Paper Talk5

Paper Talk: Barca want £200m Kane

PSG to rival any Eden Hazard bid and Barcelona desperate to land £200m Harry Kane - plenty more too in today's bumper edition.

Free betting tips: Preview for the Sky Bet EFL fixtures on December 8

Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action
Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action

With winners last weekend and in the Premier League fixtures in midweek, Tom Carnduff picks out his best Sky Bet EFL bets.


Recommended bets

1pt James McClean to score anytime in Stoke v Ipswich at 4/1

1pt Erik Pieters to score anytime in Stoke v Ipswich at 18/1

2pts Middlesbrough to take 8+ corners at 5/2

2pts Cristian Montano to score anytime in Morecambe v Port Vale at 8/1

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



Leeds v QPR

Sky Bet Championship, Elland Road, 1500 GMT

Pablo Hernandez scores for Leeds away at Sheffield United
Pablo Hernandez scores for Leeds away at Sheffield United

Leeds' injury list continues to grow, but they still find themselves as favourites at home to QPR.

Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas are the latest set for spells on the sidelines, making it 14 players injured at some point this season.

It makes their current position look even better than it does now. They've had to rely upon players with no senior experience already, but they continue to pick up maximum points.

Youngster Aapo Halme stepped in for the injured Cooper during their win over Sheffield United last time out, and the Finnish defender looked liked a seasoned player at this level.

The referee for this one provides the best value, with our friend Peter Bankes appointed as the man in the middle.

We have already discussed in the past how Bankes is by far the strictest referee in this division, and you would expect cards to be shown in West Yorkshire.

There's been a total of 12 yellows in the two Leeds games he has overseen so far, with eight yellow cards in QPR's away defeat to Blackburn last month.

The Hoops' otherwise good disciplinary record has taken a bit of a hit since that game with a total of ten yellows shown to them in the four games since their trip to Ewood Park.

The game at Blackburn also saw them pick up four yellows, and I'd back them to pick up a similar amount away at a Leeds side who should enjoy the majority of possession.

Best bet: 30+ QPR booking points at 13/8

Opta facts

  • Leeds are looking to win three consecutive league matches against QPR for the first time in their entire history.
  • QPR have won just one of their last eight league visits to Elland Road against Leeds (D3 L4), a 1-0 win in August 2013.
  • Leeds striker Kemar Roofe scored four goals against QPR in the Championship last season (a hat-trick at Loftus Road, one at Elland Road).
  • QPR boss Steve McClaren’s six league visits to Elland Road against Leeds have seen him face six different managers (O’Leary, Venables, Gray, McDermott, Redfearn and Monk); his record is won two, drawn one and lost three.
  • Leeds United have faced fewer shots on target than any other Championship team this season (63), with only Middlesbrough (13) conceding fewer goals than the Whites (17).
  • Since recording three consecutive clean sheets in October, QPR have conceded in each of their last five league games, shipping two or more goals in each of the last four.

Middlesbrough v Blackburn

Sky Bet Championship, Riverside Stadium, 1500 GMT

Middlesbrough players celebrate Britt Assombalonga's goal in the Sky Bet Championship
Middlesbrough players celebrate Britt Assombalonga's goal in the Sky Bet Championship

Middlesbrough come into this one on the back of a disappointing defeat to Aston Villa, with Tony Pulis' side convincingly beaten 3-0 in front of their own supporters.

They will be looking to bounce back as they host Blackburn, who have been a bit hit-and-miss so far although they do sit in tenth.

Their record on the road has been fairly average with 12 points picked up from a possible 30, giving them the 13th-best record.

Apart from last week, Middlesbrough are typically a high corner side and I'd back them to see plenty of set-piece opportunities in a game like this.

Games at the Riverside against Derby, Rotherham, Nottingham Forest, Swansea, Bolton and West Brom all saw the hosts take eight or more corners and that's a strong line of attack for Boro.

At a best-price of 5/2, the value is there on backing Middlesbrough to have over 7.5 corners.

In the goalscorer market, a 9/1 is floating about for Aden Flint to score anytime which does look overpriced given his goalscoring credentials.

Daniel Ayala is also at 13/2, while Danny Batth, who has come into the first team picture in recent weeks, can be backed at a general price of 10/1, but a set piece bet is preferred here.

Best bet: Middlesbrough to take 8+ corners at 5/2

Opta facts

  • Middlesbrough have won two of their last 17 matches against Blackburn in all competitions (D7 L8); both matches came in the 2012-13 season, when they were managed by current Rovers boss Tony Mowbray.
  • Blackburn are winless in five league visits to the Riverside Stadium against Middlesbrough (D4 L1) since a 2-1 win on the opening day of the 2007-08 Premier League season.
  • In all competitions during his managerial career, Tony Pulis has never lost at home against Blackburn Rovers (P6 W4 D2 L0).
  • Since the start of last season, Bradley Dack has had a hand in more league goals than any other Blackburn player (27 goals, 11 assists).
  • Middlesbrough conceded as many goals versus Aston Villa (3) as they did in their previous 10 home league games combined.
  • All 22 of Middlesbrough’s league goals this season have come inside the box – the only 100% such record in the Championship.

Stoke v Ipswich

Sky Bet Championship, Bet365 Stadium, 1500 GMT

Erik Pieters drives forward for Stoke against Bristol City
Erik Pieters drives forward for Stoke against Bristol City

Last week I previewed Stoke with the tip of Erik Pieters to score anytime, and given his efforts in that 2-2 draw with Reading, I am willing to put my faith in him once again at very attractive odds.

The discussion point was around the attacking threat that Pieters has provided down the left-hand side, scoring in away games against Preston and West Brom.

He also managed a shot on goal in each of his last three games prior to the trip to Madejski Stadium, and in that draw he saw another shot on target.

Despite the fact that he has upped the attacking side of his game in recent weeks, a price of 18/1 is still on offer for Pieters to net his third of the season.

In a game against a struggling Ipswich side, Stoke should be on the front foot and that will prevent plenty of attacking opportunities.

At this point it is worth pointing out that Pieters did go off injured last weekend, although there's little update at this point regarding whether or not he will be fit here.

If not, Thomas Edwards should start in his place and that will mean a void bet and stake returned, it's unlikely that he'd come off the bench for shorter minutes if he is carrying an injury.

For a shorter-priced selection, I like the look of James McClean to strike anytime. He may only have two goals to his tally this season, but the two assists in his last three games shows how he is amongst the action.

McClean also sits third for shots taken in this Stoke side, and given that statistic, a goal does feel a tad overdue.

At a best price of 4/1, the value is there on backing him to score again on Saturday.

Best bet: Erik Pieters to score anytime at 18/1

Best bet: James McClean to score anytime at 4/1

Opta facts

  • This is the first league meeting between Stoke and Ipswich since February 2008 – the Potters won 1-0.
  • Ipswich are winless in their last seven away league visits to Stoke (D3 L4) since a 1-0 win in March 1997.
  • Stoke City are unbeaten in their last seven league games, although only two of those have been victories for the Potters.
  • Ipswich manager Paul Lambert has won three of his five away matches against Stoke in all competitions (L2) – as Potters manager last season, he managed just one home win in eight attempts (D3 L4).
  • Ipswich have lost at least 11 of their first 20 league games of a second tier season for only the third time in their history (also 2011-12 and 1954-55).
  • No Stoke player has been directly involved in more league goals this season than Joe Allen (7 - 3 goals, 4 assists – also Benik Afobe).

Morecambe v Port Vale

Sky Bet League Two, Globe Arena, 1500 GMT

Port Vale manager Neil Aspin
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin

A meeting of two sides sitting in the lower end of the League Two table as Port Vale travel to take on Morecambe.

Vale have been in pretty decent form away from home and represent good value to wrap up victory again here.

Neil Aspin's men have won three of their last five on the road, whereas Morecambe have just one home win in their last eight in all competitions to show for their efforts.

My eye was caught by another goalscorer price here and that comes for Port Vale's Cristian Montano. The winger has been in and out of the squad this season but has enjoyed a terrific past 14 days.

Montano scored twice in their 3-0 win at Yeovil, following that up with another brace and an assist in the 4-0 Checkatrade Trophy victory over local rivals Stoke.

He's a player that is hitting form as he looks to cement a starting spot in the side, and given his recent displays, the 8/1 available on a goal here looks fantastic value.

Even if that 8/1 goes, I'd be willing to back him around the 5s mark, in a game that Port Vale can wrap up another three points.

Best bet: Cristian Montano to score anytime at 8/1

Opta facts

  • Having lost none of their first four home meetings with Port Vale in the Football League (W2 D2), Morecambe have since lost both of their last two, conceding three goals both times.
  • Port Vale have lost just one of their last five games against Morecambe in League Two (W2 D2), although they have failed to score in three of those five matches.
  • Morecambe have failed to score in nine home league games during 2018 – no side has failed to score in more in League Two during this period (Yeovil and Cheltenham also 9 each).
  • Port Vale have kept three clean sheets in their last four away league games (W2 D1 L1), although they have also failed to score in two of those matches.
  • Only Macclesfield (11) have conceded more goals from set piece situations than Port Vale in League Two this season (10 – Newport and Notts County also 10 each).

Odds correct at 1255 GMT (06/12/18)

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Lucas Moura celebrates after scoring against Barcelona1

Tottenham through after Barca draw

Lucas Moura's dramatic late goal sent Tottenham through to the Champions League knockout stages by earning a 1-1 draw at Barcelona.

Mohamed Salah scores for Liverpool against Napoli2

Salah strikes as Liverpool progress

Liverpool have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League after beating Napoli 1-0 in their Group C match at Anfield.

The latest from the back pages3

Paper Talk: Blues in for right-back

Chelsea 'hold talks' with Serie A right-back, Man United have 'no intention' of selling Paul Pogba and more in Tuesday's Paper Talk.

Our best bets for the Champions League4

Wednesday's Champions League tips

The final matches of the 2018/19 Champions League group stages take place on Wednesday evening. George Pitts has four best bets.

Check out today's Paper Talk5

Paper Talk: Barca want £200m Kane

PSG to rival any Eden Hazard bid and Barcelona desperate to land £200m Harry Kane - plenty more too in today's bumper edition.

Football Tips

Our best bets for the Champions League

Wednesday's Champions League tips

The final matches of the 2018/19 Champions League group stages take place on Wednesday evening. George Pitts has four best bets.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Sizing Tennessee on his way to Ladbrokes Trophy glory

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in December 2018.