Brighton have enjoyed a less than fruitful Christmas period with Oscar Garcia’ men recording just one win from four games in the last ten days; a 1-0 win away at beleaguered Blackpool – a side that look in complete and utter freefall.
The Seagulls rescued a point home to Bournemouth thanks to Wolves’ on-loan Stephan Ward, endearing himself to those at The Amex Stadium by popping up in the 89th minute to pile more woe on The Cherries and manager Eddie Howe.
Brighton can count themselves very unlucky however, despite going through a quiet patch in front of goals they mustered up 25 shots on Lee Camp’s goal, the keeper in inspired form on New Year’s Day – clearly avoiding the temptation of the sherry the night prior. Leo Ulloa looks to be creeping back to form and will no doubt be adding to his brace against Charlton on Boxing Day sooner rather than later.
The Seagulls host Reading on Saturday with the Royals on a torrid run of form; expected to be challenging for the Title at the start of the season; the 6/1 joint-favourites with Queen Park Rangers back in August. They snatched a late equaliser at home to Forest to end a run of three straight defeats and Oscar Garcia will be licking his lips; are Reading there for the taking?
Brighton are 23/20 favourites, Reading 11/4 and the draw 9/4 but it is hard to oppose Brighton given Reading’s abject performances over the Christmas period, especially with Leo Ulloa back.
Ulloa is the 17/4 favourite to open the scoring but take him to score anytime at 7/5, with 11/5 on offer with BetVictor for Ulloa to score in a Brighton victory – fill your boots.
It’s all change at the top of the table in the Championship with Leicester City the new favourites for the Title, Queens Park Rangers deposed from the top of the betting for the first time since August; The Foxes the new 6/4 favourites and Rangers 15/8. Derby County have now won eight of their last nine Championship games, a 1-1 draw away at Huddersfield being their only blip and they are now 9/2 from 80/1 prior to Steve McClaren’s appointment in September.
The Rams are now 11/8 from 20s for promotion, Brighton are now 7/1 to go up, however if they are to go up it looks likely to be via the play-off places; the Seagulls 3/1 to secure a top-six finish – level on points with Ipswich in sixth and only missing out on goal difference.
Championship Outright prices from BetVictor
Leicester City 6/4
Derby County 9/2
Notts Forest 20/1
Liverpool and Luis Suarez were enjoying a purple patch in December, Suarez netting ten times in four PL games as Liverpool dished out hidings to Norwich, West Ham, Spurs and Cardiff but failed in their ‘proper’ tests away to Manchester City and Chelsea, suffering 2-1 defeats at both the Etihad and Stamford Bridge. Manchester City remain in the driving seat for the Premier League Title – the even money favourites with BetVictor, Chelsea 7/2 after an impressive 3-0 defeat of Southampton on New Year’s Day, Arsenal 9/2, Liverpool 8/1, Manchester United 20/1 and 50/1 Bar those.
Suarez bounced back to net his 20th of the campaign in Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat of Hull and he is the 6/1 favourite in the betting to be the Premier League Player of the Month for January. The value could be with Manchester United’s in-form attack; the Red Devils winning six on the spin at the time of writing and Wayne Rooney the catalyst – he is 10/1 for the award, whilst strike partners Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck are both priced at 16/1.
For all the latest odds go to BetVictor