Sunday sees the final gameweek in the English Championship. All 24 teams are in action, with Brighton and Newcastle in a straight fight for the title with both having secured promotion to the Premier League. As always, I’m in the hunt for value in Championship tips and as such my attention has been turned to the bottom end, where Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest and my team Birmingham City are all in danger of relegation to League One.
Championship Tips: Bristol City v Birmingham City
Birmingham City took a huge step towards survival last weekend with a much-needed win against Huddersfield Town at St Andrew’s. Despite Lukas Jutkiewicz missing an early penalty and Che Adams (wrongly) getting sent off, the Blues won 2-0 against a Huddersfield side who had rested ten players ahead of their participation in the playoffs.
Bristol City secured their own survival with a huge win over league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion, ensuring that they would definitely be playing Championship football next season and denying the Seagulls the title to boot.
The motivation in this game is all going to be about Birmingham City securing what they need to stay up. It’s all in Blues’ hands; a win and they stay up regardless of results elsewhere while a draw or defeat won’t matter should Blackburn or Forest fail to win. This might be my pride talking, but I think with Gianfranco Zola gone Blues have found their winning touch again and they’re my Championship tips to win at 2.68.
Championship Tips: Nottingham Forest v Ipswich Town
Forest’s defeat last weekend means they are only out of the bottom three on goal difference. They face an Ipswich side safely anchored in lower mid-table in what looks to be Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy’s final game in charge of the tractor boys.
The Tricky Trees are a mess on and off the pitch. The club has been going through a protracted sale for most of the season and the installation of Mark Warburton as manager has not given the immediate dividends that maybe the club expected.
Again, this game is a question in motivation. Forest don’t have the luxury of it being in their own hands; they could win and still go down if Blackburn win by two more goals than they do – thus they have to go for it. Ipswich have won once in six away and have absolutely nothing to play for and so my Championship tips for this game are Forest to win at 1.57.
Championship Tips: Brentford v Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn are in the worst position of the three teams. They lie in the bottom three despite winning against an Aston Villa side last weekend that seemed almost determined to lose. Rovers know that even a win might not be enough if Birmingham City and Forest also win – yet a defeat might not send them down should Forest get battered by Ipswich.
Their opponents Brentford have nothing to play for but have won their last four at home, including heavy wins over QPR (3-1) and Derby County (4-0). Contrast that with Blackburn who have won one in six away (against fellow strugglers Forest) and who have drawn fully half of their last 12 games.
I think Brentford will have too much for Blackburn and will send them down – they’re my Championship tips to win at 2.43.
Championship Tips and ProTipster
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