Paul Higham previews Tuesday's action in the Sky Bet EFL with his best bets, with Birmingham fancied to win on the road.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Barnsley v Birmingham
Time is running out for the Tykes, who are eight points from safety with 15 games left to play and, although a point against Sheffield Wednesday at least stopped the rot, it’s simply not enough to be grinding out draws at this stage.
Blues arrive on an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions and are coming off an outstanding couple of results with a superb away win at Bristol City and home success against Nottingham Forest sandwiching an FA Cup win against Coventry.
In short, Pep Clotet’s men are flying and have hit a real scoring purple patch with 15 goals in their last seven games – they’ve only scored 40 in the league all season! Barnsley, by contrast, have failed to get a home clean sheet since August.
With the hosts also struggling to find the net themselves and having gone behind in six of their last eight league games, the numbers add up to an away win and there's a nice price on offer to boot.
Best bet: Birmingham to beat Barnsley at 9/5
Brentford v Leeds
It’s all going wrong for Leeds as they suffer a serious case of déjà vu having allowed a healthy advantage in automatic promotion to be eroded away – with the opposition here being a superb reference for that as the Bees are now just two points behind Marcelo Bielsa’s men having trailed by as many as 16 in December.
A 3-3 draw with Cardiff in December was the start of an atrocious ten-game run for Leeds that has seen them win just twice and lose four of their last five without scoring a goal. Winning tight, tense games is an issue - Leeds’ two wins in their barren spell have been 3-2 and 5-4 goalfests and it does seem that when the pressure is on in big games they struggle.
A visit to west London is hardly one the Whites will relish either, as they’ve lost four of the last five and scored just twice during those games. A crumb of comfort could be that if Leeds do manage to score first then they should win as they’ve won every Championship away game when they’ve opened the scoring.
The difference in the respective form and confidence of the two sides could hardly be wider, but it should be another tense and tight affair and it remains to be seen how Brentford handle being well fancied to take a big scalp like this. It's a tough one to call, but the hosts are worth backing to edge it.
Best bet: Brentford to beat Leeds at 11/8
Peterborough v Southend
When the games come thick and fast in the Sky Bet EFL like this then it pays to stick with the hot hand, and there are few hotter than the Posh at the moment as they’ve been winning games and scoring goals for fun.
Five straight wins, 16 goals scored and just two conceded illustrates how Darren Ferguson is getting a real tune out of his side and now second-bottom Southend are the next side on the chopping block.
The Shrimpers have bagged two of their three wins this season in the last five games but this is a totally different prospect and comes just a few days after a long trip and tough loss at Blackpool, while it’s a second home game in a row for Peterborough.
Ivan Toney should again enjoy himself and bag a goal or two and Peterborough should have no problems winning this at a canter.
Best bet: Peterborough to win to nil at 13/10
Odds correct as of 6.25pm on 10/02/20
Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet@SportingLifeFC
Related football links
- Back the Blades for Europe
- Premier League talking points
- Laura Woods column: Here's to you, Allan
- Alex Keble: How to fix Man City
- Pundit Panel: The VAR verdict
- Henderson favourite for PFA award
- Summer transfers set to happen
- Latest Paper Talk
- Our latest football tips
- Bruno Fernandes: What United will gain
- Super 6: Enter NOW!
- Fantasy Football: Pick your team now!
- Football results
- Latest football odds
We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.Sky Bet's responsible gambling tools are detailed here and if you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit begambleaware.org.