Football: Scrap to avoid drop hots up

SHEFFIELD Wednesday were denied a second victory of the Bank Holiday weekend as Bristol City grabbed a last-minute equaliser at Ashton Gate on Easter Monday and, as a result, the Owls are outside of the relegation zone on goal difference alone as the battle to avoid the drop intensifies.

Dave Jones’ men are now 7/2 via Ladbrokes to go down, however they have a fantastic opportunity to give their survival hopes a massive boost tomorrow as they play host to fellow strugglers Blackburn, who have an identical points tally. Stan James have installed the Owls as 5/4 favourites to clinch a vital maximum haul at Hillsborough, where troubled Rovers are BetVictor’s 5/2 outsiders and Skybet post 12/5 against it finishing all square.

In the circumstances, neutral punters will flock to the stalemate as well as BetVictor’s 13/2 for the vital contest to finish one-apiece and indeed, some factions of the Wednesday support will be wary enough to only back their team at 8/13 in Stan James’ draw-no-bet market.

Nevertheless, Blackburn have now gone nine Championship matches without a victory so Jones’ players will undoubtedly fancy their chances, especially after their six-pointer success against Barnsley and Coral rate the Owls at 9/1 to register another 2-1 victory. Alternatively, bet365 post odds of 11/4 against a Wednesday win by one.

The Reds kept their fate in their own hands on Monday as they saw off Leicester but David Flitcroft’s charges are odds-on at 5/6 via BetVictor to suffer a damaging reverse at promotion-chasing Crystal Palace. Stan James make Barnsley their 4/1 underdogs while bet365 price the Reds at 11/4 to snare a point.

In League One, Sheffield United continue to drop points at Bramall Lane but they’ve picked up an encouraging five victories in their last six away matches to stay in the automatic promotion hunt and they’re 17/10 (BetVictor) to continue their excellent sequence on the road as they visit Walsall.

The Saddlers however, harbour realistic play-off ambitions following a 12-match unbeaten run so they can ensure it’s a close affair. Stan James’ 8/1 for United to bag the only goal stands out.

Leaders Doncaster meanwhile, can retain top spot by seeing off Tranmere at the Keepmoat Stadium, an outcome bet365 quote at 10/11.

Finally in League Two, Skybet offer 5/4 about a Rotherham success as the Millers tackle Morecambe and Chesterfield are 15/8 (Paddy Power) to collect the full quota of points at Barnet.