Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough was frustrated after losing at Meadow Lane last weekend having taken the lead inside two minutes.
The Blades have signed Billy Paynter on loan from Doncaster Rovers and he looked a threat coming off the bench against Notts and will be angling for a start against Bradford on Saturday. BetVictor make The Blades 9/10 favourites, the Bantams 16/5 and the draw 5/2 and Paynter is 11/2 to open the scoring and 6/5 to score anytime on his likely home debut.
Sheffield Wednesday progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup after beating Macclesfield 4-1 midweek and they are 200/1 to lift the Trophy; next up Rochdale at Spotland on Saturday week.
The Owls make the short journey to Turf Moor this weekend and are now 6/1 to finish the campaign in the top half of the division and 12/1 to be the top Yorkshire Club; after last weekend’s thrashing of Leeds it’s hard to imagine that the Whites are still 11/20 favourites at BetVictor for this market with Huddersfield 6/4. The Clarets are second in the table, unbeaten at Turf Moor and two months ago would have been a very short price to take the points but they are just a shade of odds on at 9/10 with the Owls 18/5 and the draw at 13/5; Clarets danger-man Danny Ings is 10/3 to grab the opener but I think the Owls can take a point although the safe option might be Both Teams To Score at 37/40.
Barnsley’s game with Charlton was abandoned on ‘safety’ grounds, which translates to a waterlogged pitch but it was a frustrating weekend for The Reds who also now face the prospect of a barren Saturday next weekend with the Wigan fixture scheduled for the 25th likely to be off.
With that in mind the game against Blackpool at Oakwell is even more significant with the Seasiders in freefall with four straight defeats and without a win since November; there will be few better opportunities for the Tykes to end his sides’ run of seven without a win. Barnsley have loan signings Brek Shea and Ryan McLaughlin available and Barnsley will be looking to score two or more goals for the first time in any competition since the 3-2 defeat of Boro back in mid-October. Barnsley are 13/8 favourites, Blackpool 9/5 and the draw 11/5; a 1-0 win for the hosts is 15/2 with the ‘win and both teams to score’ option perhaps more appealing at 19/4.
Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov was disappointed with his sides’ performance at Blackburn, lameting their ability to turn decent performances into points. Rovers are 11/4 to finish bottom of the table and 8/13 to face the drop.
But with players gradually returning from injury (Paul Keegan and Jamie McCombe back next week) Rovers should have enough talent in the ranks to stay up and are 19/5 to beat Wigan on Saturday with the Latics 3/4 and the draw 27/10.
Rovers haven’t won since a shock 2-1 defeat of Queens Park Rangers back in November and are without a win in their last nine, drawing a blank in front of goal in five of those games. It’s time for Chris Brown and Theo Robinson to step up and here’s hoping they can deliver at The Keepmoat on Saturday, both 19/2 to open the scoring and 5/2 to score anytime.
League One outfit Rotherham United have emerged as favourites to sign Inverness Caley Thistle’s Billy McKay, the Scots’ Premiership top scorer is 8/1 to move within the January transfer. The Millers’ are hardly short of goals however, beating Crewe 4-2 at the weekend and have added strikers Tom Hitchcock (on loan from QPR) and Wes Thomas (until the end of the season from Bournemouth) to strengthen their promotion push. The Millers are 6/1 to be playing Championship football next season with BetVictor.
Steve Evans’ men travel to Shrewsbury on Saturday knowing a win would further enhance their play-off credentials; Rotherham 21/20 favourites, the Shrews 27/10 and the draw 12/5. BetVictor’s win Round of the FA Cup Round of the FA Cup after disposing of Conference side and both teams to score looks the value here with Rotherham 16/5 to win despite conceding, the Millers also 9/2 to win both halves.
Chesterfield put four past Bury last weekend and look to have benefited from their own mini-break.
The Spireites remain third in the table but with a game in hand on both Scunthorpe and Burton and are 9/4 for the Title and 2/5 to be promoted at BetVictor.
Paul Cook’s men have two huge games within the space of four days starting with a trip to Southend on Saturday before they host Rochdale at The Proact on Tuesday. Chesterfield go to Roots Hall as 7/5 favourites with the Shrimpers 7/4 and the draw 23/10.