Football Expert & Columnist
Last Updated: 12/01/18 10:59pm
David Prutton returns with his predictions ahead of this weekend’s Sky Bet EFL matches…
But who is our resident expert tipping for victory? Read on to find out…
VOTE: EFL Goals of the Month
Watch and vote for your favourite goals in the Championship, League One and League Two from December here
Cardiff v Sunderland, Saturday midday – Live on Sky Sports Football
Cardiff are proof of how quickly things can change in the Sky Bet Championship, especially over the busy Christmas period. From being on the shoulder of Wolves just a couple of weeks ago they’re now 14 points adrift after four defeats on the spin.
Sunderland at home represents a great opportunity for them to get back to winning ways, particularly with the Black Cats rooted to the bottom of the table. It will be an emotional return for Chris Coleman to the Cardiff City Stadium, but I can’t see them getting a result on Saturday.
Prutton predicts: 2-1 with Kenneth Zohore to score first (22/1 with Sky Bet)
Sheff Wed vs Cardiff
January 20, 2018, 5:15pm
Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa, Saturday 5.15pm – Live on Sky Sports Football
Once again the two former European champions meet in the second tier, which just goes to show the size of some of the clubs in the Sky Bet Championship these days.
Aitor Karanka will be taking charge of a Forest side that should be riding high after that victory over Arsenal in the FA Cup and I fancy them to sneak a narrow win here.
Prutton predicts: 1-0 with Kieran Dowell to score (30/1 with Sky Bet)
N Forest vs A Villa
January 13, 2018, 5:15pm
Birmingham v Derby, Saturday 3pm
Birmingham looked dead and buried a couple of weeks ago but two quick wins against Leeds and Reading suddenly revitalised their season and their bid for survival.
Derby are a different kettle of fish altogether, however. Gary Rowett’s side are one of the best in the league and showed their quality in how long they held Manchester United in the FA Cup. I fancy the former Blues boss to strike another blow against his old side at St Andrew’s.
Prutton predicts: 0-2 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
Bristol City v Norwich, Saturday 3pm
Bristol City may have been beaten in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester City, but they put in an almighty shift at the Etihad Stadium and deserve a huge amount of credit for their performance.
It’s back to business for them in the Sky Bet Championship now, and they’re facing a Norwich side who will have half an eye on their trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in their FA Cup replay in midweek. The Robins have lost four on the spin but I’m backing them to end that run here.
Prutton predicts: 1-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)
Hull v Reading, Saturday 3pm
It’s just not quite happening for Nigel Adkins at Hull so far. He won his first game in charge but there’s just been two points accrued in the league since then, and now they find themselves just outside the drop zone on goal difference.
Things have to change quickly and it’s a great opportunity for them against a Reading side whose form has been just as bad, if not worse, as theirs. It’s going to be a nervy one, but I feel like this will be a narrow home win.
Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Ipswich v Leeds, Saturday 3pm
If Ipswich are to rekindle any hopes of a play-off push then getting three points against Leeds would be a great place to start. A poor Christmas period saw Mick McCarthy’s men drop right off the pace again.
Leeds put in a dreadful performance at Newport in the FA Cup at the weekend, but Thomas Christiansen won’t be too bothered if they go on to book a top-six spot. I can’t split these two, however, so I’ll back a draw.
Prutton predicts: 1-1 (9/2 with Sky Bet)
Middlesbrough v Fulham, Saturday 3pm
What a big win that was for Tony Pulis on New Year’s Day as Boro came from behind to win at Preston. Two defeats from their first two league games wouldn’t have been a disaster by any means, but you always want to get that first win as quickly as possible.
Fulham are creeping up quietly on the play-off places again after a good recent run and victory at the Riverside would put them right up there. I reckon Boro will have too much for them on Saturday, though.
Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Blackburn v Shrewsbury, Saturday 3pm
This is a big game in the battle for automatic promotion from Sky Bet League One. It’s third vs second and Blackburn will be desperate to close that five-point gap on Shrewsbury.
A win for the Shrews would be a huge statement in their promotion ambitions, and I feel like they could sneak this one at Ewood Park.
Prutton predicts: 0-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Lincoln v Notts County, Saturday 3pm
League Two is so tight right now that sixth-placed Lincoln could find themselves as high as third or as low as 10th by 5pm on Saturday night!
Three points would also help them close the gap on Notts County, who have started to pull away a little along with leaders Luton. But I feel like Kevin Nolan’s side will get the three points here.
Prutton predicts: 0-2 (14/1 with Sky Bet)