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Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action
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The Sky Bet EFL returns following the FA Cup weekend. Tom Carnduff has picked out three best bets to back.


Recommended bets

1pt Che Adams to score anytime in Birmingham v Middlesbrough at 5/2

1pt Onel Hernandez to score anytime in West Brom v Norwich at 15/4

2pts Scunthorpe to beat Walsall at 23/10

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


Birmingham v Middlesbrough

Sky Bet Championship, St. Andrews, 1500 GMT

Birmingham forward Che Adams
Birmingham forward Che Adams

Middlesbrough come into this one with issues in defence as Aden Flint, Daniel Ayala and Ryan Shotton could all be missing from Tony Pulis' starting line-up.

That will be a massive boost to Birmingham, who continue to defy the odds under their manager Garry Monk.

The Blues have a strong home record this season and have lost just one of their 13 league games in front of their own supporters.

They have little issue in finding the net here, and you'd back them to score at least one given that situation at the back for the visitors.

Che Adams is one player enjoying life at St. Andrews currently. The forward has 12 goals and four assists in 26 Championship games this season, including three in his last five.

Odds of 5/2 look generous on Adams adding to his tally in a game such as this. Middlesbrough, a side who pride themselves on defence, will be significantly weaker if all three fail to feature.

Adams has the ability to capitalise, in a game where Birmingham will fancy victory.

Best bet: Che Adams to score anytime at 5/2

Opta facts

  • Birmingham have lost each of their last three Championship matches against Middlesbrough, failing to score in each match.
  • Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last four Championship games at St. Andrew’s against Birmingham (W1 D3) since a 2-3 defeat in November 2012.
  • Birmingham have lost only one of their last 18 home Championship matches (W9 D8).
  • Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga has scored five goals in five Championship starts against Birmingham.
  • Birmingham striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has had a direct hand in 18 league goals this season (10 goals, 8 assists) – no Blues’ player has been directly involved in more within a single Championship season (inc. play-offs) since 2011/12 (Chris Burke (27) and Marlon King (24)).
  • Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has won each of his last three matches against Birmingham in all competitions.

West Brom v Norwich

Sky Bet Championship, The Hawthorns, 1500 GMT

Rico Henry and Onel Hernandez battle for the ball
Rico Henry and Onel Hernandez battle for the ball

The tie of the weekend comes at the Hawthorns as West Brom welcome title rivals Norwich.

Both sides hold aspirations of lifting the trophy in May and both are within touching distance of Leeds, who play Derby on Friday night.

This game does have the potential for goals. These two sides are in the top-three for goals scored this season, while their 34 goals conceded is the highest out of any of the other sides in the top-eight.

Norwich do have a strong defensive record on the road though. Only Middlesbrough have conceded less away from home in the league.

Something has to give here though. West Brom boast the highest goals scored at home, with their 32 considerably higher than the other top-six sides.

One player to keep an eye on in this game is Onel Hernandez. The winger has been in great form in recent weeks - scoring two and contributing a further three assists in his last five league games.

With Marco Stiepermann missing this game through injury, Hernandez will enjoy more minutes on the pitch and should have opportunities to find the net.

Given that recent form, the value is there in taking the 15/4 with Betway for a goal anytime in this contest.

The Baggies have only managed to keep two clean sheets in their league home games this season, those coming against teams struggling at the other end of the table.

It's difficult to keep out Norwich at the moment, which is why it's worth looking for goalscorers.

Best bet: Onel Hernandez to score anytime at 15/4

Opta facts

  • West Brom and Norwich City have not played out a draw in any competition since October 2004, with both sides winning eight of the last 16 meetings.
  • Norwich have won on both of their last two trips to West Brom without conceding a single goal, with each encounter coming in the top-flight back in December 2013 (2-0) and most recently in March 2016 (1-0).
  • West Brom are unbeaten in their last six Championship matches at home, though they have only emerged victorious in two of those games (D4).
  • Norwich City are unbeaten in their last 11 away league matches (W6 D5), only twice before in the club’s history have the Canaries registered a longer such run on the road – 12 in February 1986 and 12 in August 2015.
  • West Brom (22 games) are currently on their longest consecutive run of scoring at home in the league since November 1993, when the Baggies scored in 25 straight matches at the Hawthorns.
  • Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki has scored six Championship goals in the 80th minute or later this season, at least two more than any other player in the division.

Walsall v Scunthorpe

Sky Bet League One, Banks' Stadium, 1500 GMT

Kevin Van Veen during his previous stint at Scunthorpe
Kevin Van Veen during his previous stint at Scunthorpe

After months of poor performances and results, Scunthorpe look like a team on the up at the moment with Stuart McCall's side stringing together three consecutive wins.

The fact that their last two wins came against play-off hopefuls Peterborough and Coventry makes it look even more impressive, and they are well-equipped to grab another victory here.

They take on a Walsall side who are out of form at the moment. They are winless in their last six and have won just one of their last six games at home.

It's not only recent form that makes an away win look appealing value here. The Iron have added five new faces to their ranks, with McCall bringing in players who can do a job in this division.

Kevin Van Veen returns to the club from Northampton, while Adam Hammill makes the switch from St. Mirren. Harrison McGahey and Byron Webster also make the permanent switch.

There's also a reunion for McCall with Tony McMahon, who is on-loan from Oxford.

Every points towards a team who are making their way back up the table, with the right man at the helm bringing in his own signings.

At a price of 23/10, it is more than worth a small stake on a Scunthorpe win.

Best bet: Scunthorpe to beat Walsall at 23/10

Opta facts

  • Walsall haven’t scored more than one goal in any of their last 12 league clashes with Scunthorpe, scoring exactly once on nine occasions (three blanks).
  • Scunthorpe have only lost one of their last six league visits to Walsall (W3 D2), although this loss happened last season in League One, a 1-0 defeat.
  • Walsall have only won one of their last six home games in all competitions (D3 L2), beating Coventry 2-1 in December.
  • Scunthorpe's three-match league winning run is the longest ongoing streak in League One.
  • Scunthorpe manager Stuart McCall has yet to lose a League One match against Walsall, winning one and drawing two of three previous clashes when in charge of Bradford City.

Odds correct at 1600 GMT (11/01/19)

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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.

Marko Arnautovic has been linked with a move away from West Ham3

Arnautovic can go at right price

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini says he is willing to sell Marko Arnautovic to China in the January transfer window, but only if the price is right.

Our best bets for Norwich v Birmingham4

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.

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
5

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.

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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.

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.

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