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With winners last weekend and in midweek, Tom Carnduff is searching for more profit in the final Sky Bet EFL weekend before Christmas.


Recommended bets

2pts Marco Stiepermann to score anytime in Blackburn v Norwich at 9/1

2pts 50+ booking points in Wigan v Birmingham at 15/8

2pts James McClean to score anytime in Stoke v Millwall at 23/5

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



Blackburn v Norwich

Sky Bet Championship, Ewood Park, 1500 GMT

Marco Stiepermann celebrates after scoring against Bristol City
Marco Stiepermann celebrates after scoring against Bristol City

Norwich will be looking to return to the top of the table with a positive result over Blackburn, a position they would hold for at least 24 hours given Leeds' clash with Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Canaries are one of the division's most-entertaining sides and find themselves in a great position for promotion at this point in the season.

We've had success with tipping goalscorers in recent weeks and the 9/1 available on Marco Stiepermann represents terrific value.

The attacking midfielder has scored in consecutive games, meaning he's netted three times in his last five matches. In total, Stiepermann has four goals and six assists this season.

Norwich have only failed to score in two of their last 20 games, with five goals in their last three games. Away games have provided little issue either, with 12 goals in their last five Championship games on the road.

Combine that with the fact that Rovers have been conceding at home, five goals in their last three at Ewood Park, and the potential is there for Norwich to score on more than one occasion here.

Some firms are floating around the 10/3 mark on this selection, which shows how he is fancied to continue his goalscoring run. The 9/1 is well worth taking, although the value remains if the price does drop to around 5/1.

Best bet: Marco Stiepermann to score anytime at 9/1

Opta facts

  • Blackburn are winless in their last four league games against Norwich (D1 L3), conceding at least two goals on each occasion.
  • Norwich have won both of their last two league games away at Ewood Park (2-1 in February 2015 and 4-1 in August 2016) – they had only won one of 17 such trips beforehand (D4 L12).
  • Blackburn have won just one of their last six Championship fixtures (W1 D3 L2).
  • Norwich are unbeaten in their last nine away league games (W5 D4), they last went 10 in a row without defeat on the road in August 2015 (12 games).
  • Since losing his first league meeting with Norwich as a manager in November 2006 (1-0 with West Brom), Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray has gone five without defeat against the Canaries in the Championship (W3 D2).
  • Norwich striker Teemu Pukki has been directly involved in 16 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions this season (13 goals, 3 assists).

Wigan v Birmingham

Sky Bet Championship, DW Stadium, 1500 GMT

Ross Joyce issues a card to Shaun McWilliams
Ross Joyce issues a card to Shaun McWilliams

Wigan will be looking to continue their great form in front of their own supporters this season, despite defeat to Derby last time out at the DW Stadium.

Paul Cook's men welcome Birmingham this week who will hold play-off aspirations, although they do need to close a five-point gap between themselves and Middlesbrough in sixth.

The Latics are understandably 11/8 favourites in a game like this, although the value is in backing the cards with the disciplinary records of the teams involved.

Wigan's 47 yellows and three reds gives them the worst disciplinary record in the league, while Birmingham's 46 yellows and two reds puts them in fifth.

In a game like this we should expect to see a high card count, which is why I was surprised to see a price of 15/8 on offer for 50+ booking points.

Referee Ross Joyce has shown at least five cards on nine separate occasions this season, the majority of which coming in League One and League Two given how he only made the step up to the Championship last week.

The visitors will be fancied to pick up the majority of the bookings, but there is a case to be made for Wigan seeing at least 30 booking points.

Four of their last five home games have seen them hit this criteria, with the other game - a 2-1 loss to Leeds - fell one card short of the target.

The 11/4 on 30+ Wigan booking points is worth consideration, while 20+ booking points for each team is around the 2/1 mark.

Best bet: 50+ booking points at 15/8

Opta facts

  • Wigan have only lost one of their last eight league games against Birmingham (W4 D3), a 1-3 defeat in January 2015.
  • Birmingham’s last league win at the DW Stadium was back in December 2009 in what was a Premier League fixture, drawing two and losing two of the four such matches since.
  • There have been more penalties scored in games involving Wigan this season than any other Championship team (4 scored, 4 conceded).
  • Birmingham have found the back of the net in each of their last seven away league games – they last scored in eight consecutively in October 2015.
  • Wigan have lost their last two league games by a single goal to nil – they haven’t lost three in a row without scoring since December 2016.
  • Birmingham forwards Che Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz have both netted 10 league goals this season; the first campaign that the Blues have had two or more score 10+ in a season since 2011-12 (Marlon King, Chris Burke, Nikola Zigic).

Stoke v Millwall

Sky Bet Championship, Bet365 Stadium, 1500 GMT

James McClean in action for Stoke
James McClean in action for Stoke

It should be a fairly straightforward victory for Stoke in this one as they aim to continue their push up the table.

Millwall enjoyed an extraordinary run of results in the second-half of last season and narrowly missed out on a spot in the play-offs, although this campaign has seen them battling to avoid the drop.

They also possess the worst away record in the division as they are yet to pick up victory on the road. Eight of their 11 away games have ended in defeat.

Combine this with the fact that Stoke have won their last two home games and everything does point towards three points for the Potters.

The price that caught my eye is the huge 23/5 available on James McClean to find the net anytime in this one.

The wide midfielder only has one of his tally this season, but boasts four assists in his last three starts, two of which came in their draw with Aston Villa last time out.

McClean sits fourth for shots taken in this Stoke side, which looks impressive when you consider the fact that he has been starting on the bench in five of their games since the beginning of October.

His six assists this season do show that attacking intent and how he is getting himself in those positions to create goals. At a best price of 23/5, it's certainly worth backing him to grab his second of the campaign on Saturday.

Best bet: James McClean to score anytime at 23/5

Opta facts

  • This will be the first second-tier meeting between Stoke City and Millwall since the 2005-06 campaign, when the Potters did the double over the Lions (2-1 at home, 1-0 away).
  • Millwall have only won one of their last nine league visits to Stoke (D1 L7), a 1-0 victory in November 2002 thanks to a Steven Reid winner in a match which current boss Neil Harris featured for the Lions.
  • Stoke haven’t suffered defeat in league competition since October (0-1 v Birmingham), since then they’ve won three and drawn six.
  • Millwall are winless in seven games, losing four and drawing three. The Lions are conceding over two goals per game during this run (2.14).
  • Millwall last won an away Championship game back in April versus Bolton, losing nine and drawing four since then.
  • Stoke’s Joe Allen has scored in consecutive league appearances, he hasn’t found the net in three successive games since October 2016 in the Premier League.

Odds correct at 1200 GMT (20/12/18)

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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages1

Paper Talk: Rashford's big pay day

Marcus Rashford is set to see his wages double with a new Manchester United deal as Gonzalo Higuain jets in for Chelsea move.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

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.

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
3

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

Check out this weekend's Sporting Life Accumulator
4

Sporting Life Accumulator

Our Sporting Life Accumulator for Saturday's football involves four EFL teams, enhanced to 18/1 with Sky Bet.

Our best bets for Norwich v Birmingham5

Friday night shots at Carrow Road

With 6/1, 9/1 and 11/1 winners among others in 2019 already, Tom Carnduff picks out three best bets for Friday night's game.

Football Tips

Check out this weekend's Sporting Life Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

Our Sporting Life Accumulator for Saturday's football involves four EFL teams, enhanced to 18/1 with Sky Bet.

Our best bets for Norwich v Birmingham

Friday night shots at Carrow Road

With 6/1, 9/1 and 11/1 winners among others in 2019 already, Tom Carnduff picks out three best bets for Friday night's game.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

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.