The football league is well and truly underway again, and a packed midweek card means that there is plenty of betting value to be had. Here are the pick of Wednesday night’s betting tips:
Celtic vs Hapoel Beer Sheva – Celtic to Win (4/6)
Israeli outfit Hapoel Beer Sheva have done extraordinarily well to reach this stage of the Champions League qualifying campaign, and in seeing off Greek champions Olympiakos last time out they will have done their confidence no harm at all.
That two-leg win was built on a 0-0 draw in the Greek outfit’s backyard, but unfortunately they are unlikely to find Celtic in such forgiving mood in front of their own fans. Forget the Bhoys’ 0-1 embarrassment at the hands of Lincoln Red Imps, they have come back strongly since then, defeating the same opponents 3-0 at Hampden Park and taking out the decent Astana 2-1 on home soil. A comprehensive 5-0 victory over Motherwell at home confirms just how strong they are on their own patch.
The Israelis have conceded in each of their last three games – including a 0-1 loss to Ashdod, whoever they may be – and with the likes of Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele in scintillating form it is hard to see past Celtic for this match.
Barnsley vs QPR – Under 2.5 Goals (4/5)
Both of these sides will be pretty happy with their start to life in 2016/17 – QPR ecstatically so, and they should serve up an interesting encounter on Wednesday night.
The Tykes recovered admirably from their 2-4 thrashing at the hands of Ipswich on the opening day to deliver a fine 2-0 win over Derby County on Saturday, and it speaks volumes that while the Rams enjoyed 61% of possession they could only muster four shots on target. Barnsley’s defensive work on the training ground has paid dividends.
If entertainment is your thing then QPR are more at the beige end of the scale at the moment: they and Cardiff mustered up just three shots at goal between them on Saturday. But it is testament to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s managerial nous that they were able to come away with a 0-2 victory, and what a fine job he is doing with the Hoops.
Just don’t expect this to be a goal fest….
Cardiff City vs Blackburn Rovers – Cardiff to Win (Evens)
We were amazed to see such a generous price for a Cardiff side who were outstanding at Ninian Park in 2015/16, and who were unlucky to go down 0-2 to QPR on Saturday. They conceded both goals from set pieces – the Hoops’ only two shots on target – and while they couldn’t muster up much in the final third themselves they will surely find the porous defence of Blackburn far more agreeable.
What a fall from grace it has been for Blackburn Rovers in the past decade or more, and they really do look a sorry outfit at the moment. They have conceded seven goals in their opening two matches under hapless manager Owen Coyle, and according to Wigan boss Gary Caldwell his side could have been more than 2-0 up at half time against Rovers in their 3-0 victory at the weekend.
The chimes of doom are ringing out for Blackburn at the moment, and Cardiff away in midweek is not the kind of trip you need when looking to stage a recovery.
Fleetwood Town vs Oxford United – Fleetwood Draw No Bet (5/6)
Fleetwood will have been delighted with their start to the campaign having taken points from a buzzing Northampton Town and the much-fancied Scunthorpe United, and on home soil against a deflated Oxford they will fancy their chances of bagging their first victory of the campaign.
Many wondered how the O’s would fair after the sale of their talisman Kemar Roofe, and after a decent point on the opening day the loss to Bristol Rovers on Sunday will have hurt, particularly as Sam Long was sent off and will thus be suspended for this match. It’s too early to say that Oxford’s promotion bubble has burst but Fleetwood will clearly fancy the job on Wednesday evening.