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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Home Wins are where the Heart is

Last week saw one of the most exciting & goal filled weekends in the Premier League in recent memory & goes to show just what an unpredictable & watchable league it is - looking at the games last week we fancied some tight low scoring affairs! The contenders in each division now seem to be becoming clearer whilst other teams that started slowly are now hitting their stride meaning that punters are able to make more informed decisions but bookmakers are also creating tighter markets - we're still finding the best value bets & our picks for this week are below.

(Last year's Championship Player of the Year - QPR's Adel Taarabt)

On Sunday Queens Park Rangers host midlands club Aston Villa. Neil Warnock's late activity in the transfer window has started to pay dividends, the Shepherd's Bush based side have picked up four points in their last two games against Newcastle and more recently Wolves. In reality it should have been a full six. Villa started thier campaign brightly however their only win in the last five was against lowly League 2 side Hereford in the the Carling Cup, a competiton they are no longer in following their midweek exit at the hands of Owen Coyle's Bolton. QPR's early exit from the Carling Cup means they've had a full week's rest ahead of this clash. We think that QPR will be too strong for Villa and are available at 11/8 to pick up the 3 points. Adel Taarabt scored 19 league goals in QPR's promotion season and we think he could open the scoring against the Villans, he's available at 17/2 with Victor Chandler.

After their impressive win on Monday night against Coventry, Ipswich travel to the North East to take on Middlesbrough who are sitting pretty in 2nd place, having started the season unbeaten in their first 7 games. Although Boro have that unbeaten run they've only managed the one win at home, against relegated Birmingham City drawing with Portsmouth & Coventry. The home stats aren't too worrying as Boro are now starting to look a much solider proposition than in the past couple of seasons where it was impossible to predict how they'd perform week to week. Ipswich have not looked like they've had a coherent gameplan for most of this season & the 3-0 win on Monday was kicked off with an own goal & that somewhat left Coventry rocking, it will be a different story if they can follow up with another good display far away from home. Middlesbrough have an in form striker in Marvin Emnes who has scored in 5 of the 7 league games & he looks a high quality for the Championship, he can be backed at 9/2 to be first goalscorer & we fancy that he can score first & start Boro on their way to victory at a very fair price of 8/11.

In League One, Preston North End host Tranmere at Deepdale. The Lilywhites are unbeaten in their last six league games, winning five of them. They impressively won away at playoff contenders Brentford 3-1 last weekend, with Neil Mellor scoring a brace, increasing his tally to five this campaign. Wednesday night's loss to Southampton in the League Cup was no disgrace especially as Phil Brown saw fit to rest some players including Neil Mellor starting on the bench - Brown is clearly focused on getting them staright back into the Championship. Visitors Tranmere are sat in mid table currently and have won one of their last four games, 2-0 against strugglers Wycombe. As well as mixed form they also not plentiful when it comes to scoring goals, shown by them only hitting the net ten times in their nine league matches. Therefore we fully expect Preston, led by the in-form Neil Mellor, to outscore Tranmere and continue their unbeaten streak at the best price of 4/5.

Preston North End to beat Tranmere at 4/5 (Coral)
QPR to beat Aston Villa at 11/8 (various)
Middlesbrough to beat Ipswich Town at 8/11 (Ladbrokes & Coral)
Adel Taarabt to score  first at 17/2 (Victor Chandler) in QPR v Aston Villa game
Marvin Emnes to score first at 9/2 (Betfred, Totesport & Stan James) in Middlesbrough v Ipswich game

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