Paul Higham has three best bets from Easter Monday's Sky Bet EFL action with plenty of promotion and relegation issues at stake.
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We’re back for more EFL action on East Monday and it’s when promotion and relegation battles can be won and lost, so there’s plenty to look out for.
Hull v Sheffield United
One of the games of the day as the Blades look to cement that second automatic promotion spot but with only goal difference separating them from Leeds they’ll need to win in one from one of the hardest away days they could’ve asked for.
Hull haven’t lost at home since November, winning ten of their last 12, and they’ve scored at least twice in all but one of those games.
Chris Wilder’s side have three 1-0 wins in their last five away games, but keeping the Tigers off the scoresheet looks like an almost impossible task, they may well have to win this one by scoring at least couple to keep their Premier League dreams alive.
Hull could mathematically still make the play-offs, but realistically the seven-point gap is too much to bridge and back-to-back away defeats have effectively ended their play-off chances – how they react to that will determine the outcome here.
With these types of games down the stretch, whoever needs it most will likely run out winners, and the Blades at 11/10 would be the idea on the outright bet, but Hull are full of goals and Jarrod Bowen has now gone five games without scoring – that’s already too many for a player of his ability so we’re backing him to get back on the scoresheet.
Best Bet: Jarrod Bowen to score anytime at 9/5
Reading v West Brom
The Baggies can seal a play-off spot with a win at Reading but they’re hardly in away form that’d make you optimistic of that happening as they’ve won just one in four on the road at the Royals have become tough to beat on their own patch.
The hosts have lost just once in eight home games and there have been goals at both ends with both teams scoring in Reading last four home league wins.
That’ll give West Brom all the encouragement they need to arrest their alarming travel sickness, as they’ve still been the fourth-best team away from home in the Championship over the season, so they’re still good enough to go to Reading and bag the three points.
With a play-off place all-but secured, West Brom will already be thinking of clinching fourth and a home second leg in the semis – which often proves crucial, so they’ll want to finish the season strong.
Goals could be on the menu here given Reading’s recent form and we’ve got two red-hot goalscorers here who could do the business for us if they both score on the day, with West Brom’s Dwight Gayle banging in six goals in his last three games.
Yakou Meite has four in three himself, with the Ivory Coast man also responsible for scoring four of Reading’s last five home goals.
Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City
Bristol City are ‘on the bubble’ of the play-offs after a draw and defeat saw their progress stutter somewhat, and they’re now a point behind sixth-placed Boro, albeit with a game in hand, and with Derby just behind them there’s no real room for manoeuvre from here on in.
Wednesday had threatened a play-off push themselves until recently, and they’ve looked a team more concerned about their summer holidays than anything else in the few games before earning an excellent 2-2 draw at Norwich.
The Owls, then, are dangerous with nothing really to play for, but it’s whether they can remain disciplined enough to contain a City side that have been decent enough on their travels and had big wins at Sheffield United and Middlesbrough a few weeks ago.
There’s been 13 goals in the last three Championship games at Hillsborough, while both teams have scored in five of last eight meetings between these two, which bodes well for the selection.
The Owls have enough quality around to get a goal, but Bristol City are a desperate team, but also a talented team with a decent away record for an away win with both teams finding the back of the net is our bet for this one.