Coventry City and Birmingham City Face Tight Night at Shared Stadium


Wayne Rooney is a player-coach at Derby County.

Former England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be among the four-man team of coaches leading Derby County at Bristol City after the sacking of manager Phillip Cocu. Photo from @dcfcofficial (Twitter).

  • One fixture at 2:45 pm ET on Friday followed by 11 more games on Saturday
  • Rooney in charge for Derby at Bristol City while Brentford seek goals at Wycombe
  • See all odds and best bets for England EFL Championship Matchday 12

England’s second-tier EFL Championship resumes after the international break with Reading on top with 22 points ahead of Watford and Norwich City who have 21 points.

The EFL agreed this week that teams can use five substitutes to help cope with the hectic fixture schedule caused by the coronavirus.

EFL Championship Matchday 12 Odds

Matchup Home Draw Away
Coventry City vs Birmingham City +180 +210 +160
Bournemouth vs Reading -137 +275 +360
Barnsley vs Nottingham Forest +163 +220 +170
Bristol City vs Derby County +125 +220 +220
Luton Town vs Blackburn Rovers +225 +230 +120
Middlesbrough vs Norwich City +180 +220 +155
Millwall vs Cardiff City +150 +210 +190
Preston North End vs Sheffield Wednesday +125 +215 +225
QPR vs Watford +220 +220 +125
Stoke City vs Huddersfield Town +102 +220 +290
Swansea City vs Rotherham United -143 +265 +410
Wycombe Wanderers vs Brentford +230 +230 +120

Odds taken on November 18

Pick 1: Coventry City vs Birmingham City

Coventry City host Birmingham City on Friday in a derby of the English Midlands which could not be more closely fought because the teams share the same stadium.

These sides have each lost their last two games. With it in essence, being a home fixture for both of them at Birmingham’s St. Andrews ground, a draw looks likely at 2:45 pm EST.

 

At DraftKings, the draw is priced at an attractive +210 with Birmingham favorites for a win at +160 and Coventry at +180.

Both sides are struggling in the bottom half of the table. Birmingham are in 17th place with 13 points while Coventry are 21st with only eight points.

Newly-promoted Coventry’s record at St. Andrews this season stands at two wins, one draw and two defeats.

It’s best to look at both outfits’ home form here with Birmingham having won twice, drawn once and lost three times on their own patch.

Newly-promoted Coventry’s record at St. Andrews this season stands at two wins, one draw and two defeats.

Birmingham’s form has slumped recently with a surprise 2-1 defeat at struggling Wycombe Wanderers followed by a 3-1 loss away against high-flying Bournemouth in their most recent game before the international break.

Coventry were beaten 3-2 at Watford before the international shutdown following a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

That followed a surprise 3-2 home win against leaders Reading on October 30 although this was their first success since the opening day of the campaign.

The teams met twice earlier in the FA Cup Fifth Round last February with a 0-0 draw followed by a win on penalties for Birmingham in the replay after it ended 2-2 after extra time.

Pick: Draw (+210)

Pick 2: Bristol City vs Derby County

Bottom club Derby County have sacked Dutch boss Phillip Cocu with a four-man team of coaches including England superstar Wayne Rooney in charge for the visit to Bristol City at 10:00 am EST on Saturday.

With only one win in 11 games so far and only six points on the board, the form books would suggest a home victory for fifth-placed Bristol City here – especially as they have won their last two games.

But it is worth taking a chance on a complete change of mood and approach under the new Derby set-up.

So the DraftKings’ price of +220 for a Derby win is worth an adventurous look.

The draw is the same price so there are two attractive options here, with Bristol City favored at +125.

A 1-0 defeat at home by Queens Park Rangers followed by a 2-0 set-back at home against Barnsley cost Phillip Cocu his job.

Significantly, City’s home form has been only average with two wins, one draw and one defeat.

After a run of three defeats and two draws in the busy late October period, they have recovered to win their last two games – succeeding 2-1 at Huddersfield Town and then 1-0 at Cardiff City.

But they may be hampered by the fact they were forced to close their training ground this week after several positive COVID-19 tests, thus impeding preparations for Saturday’s game.

Derby’s only win was a 1-0 success at Norwich City on October 3.

After a subsequent run of two defeats and then three straight draws, they were beaten in their most recent two fixtures.

A 1-0 defeat at home by Queens Park Rangers followed by a 2-0 setback at home against Barnsley cost Cocu his job.

There was a 3-2 home win for City when these teams last met in February.

Pick Derby County – Win (+220) 

2021 English Premier League Odds Tracker

Pick 3: Wycombe Wanderers vs Brentford

Wycombe Wanderers have the second-worst defensive record in the division after conceding 19 goals. Brentford have the Championship’s leading scorer in Ivan Toney, who has hit the net 10 times.

It makes DraftKings’ offer of +138 for Brentford to win by two or more goals at 10:00 am EST on Saturday a good-looking prospect (Asian Handicap -1.25 +138).

 

Last season’s playoff runners-up Brentford are in 11th place after four wins, four draws and three defeats.

Two of those wins have come away from home although since the 3-0 victory at Luton Town they have drawn their two most recent games – 1-1 at home against Swansea and then 0-0 at home against Middlesbrough.

Newly promoted Wycombe lost their opening six games. Then came an upturn with a 1-1 draw against Watford, a 1-0 home success against Sheffield Wednesday, and a 2-1 win at Birmingham.

However, they lost 2-0 last time out at Nottingham Forest and are in 22nd place.

They have lost three home games while winning once and drawing once.

Brentford won on penalties after a 1-1 draw when the teams last met in the EFL Cup in September.

Pick: Brentford – Asian Handicap -1.25 (+138)

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John Dillon

Soccer Sports Writer

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