Just three selections are enough to attract odds greater than 11/1 on a Championship accumulator for Boxing Day. Here’s what we opted for…
The headline match on what is always one of the most exciting football days of the year pits two of the clubs relegated from the Premier League last season, Birmingham and West Ham, against one another in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
West Ham head up to St Andrew’s – where they blew a two-goal Carling Cup semi-final aggregate advantage on their last visit – in the second automatic promotion spot, 14 points clear of Chris Hughton’s side.
The Blues aren’t out of the promotion picture though, boasting two games in hand, and haven’t lost once at home domestically. The visitors meanwhile are the division’s best travellers, so the likelihood is that both cancel each other out.
Elsewhere, Reading are one of the Championship’s form teams after winning four of their last five fixtures, seeing off the might of West Ham and Leeds in their last two, so have to be fancied to continue their play-off charge against Brighton.
The Seagulls looked like title contenders in the early months but have since fallen to tenth, the main reason being their inability to deliver when facing the elite, beating only one of their top-half companions.
Completing our Boxing Day treble are a side who have been nowhere near as impressive as Reading recently, Nottingham Forest.
Steve Cotterill’s men spent Christmas in the bottom three because of a run of five matches without a victory, yet are 21/20 to defeat Peterborough at the City Ground, a generous price given that Posh are winless in five on the road.
Nottingham Forest to beat Peterborough @ 21/20
Reading to beat Brighton @ 4/5
Birmingham and West Ham to draw @ 23/10