Championship weekend betting preview: Take a chance on Tykes


The Championship isn't a division that entertains many long winning streaks, so Reading's achievement in stringing eight successive victories together is deserving of all the credit that was bestowed on it last weekend.

However, the unparalleled competitive balance of the league itself is what we respect more than anything and that's why we're backing Barnsley to beat Brian McDermott's men at Oakwell on Saturday.

The Royals suffered their first setback since January 21 when they were held 1-1 by struggling Doncaster in midweek and that's the ideal precursor to siding with their superior South Yorkshire neighbours four days later. You can get 7/2 about the Tykes and that's a staggering price when you consider they boast a 44 per cent win ratio on home soil this season.

Keith Hill's men can always be relied upon to set about their opposition with great enthusiasm, regardless of reputation, and we think it's about time they turned around a sorry return of just four points from the last eight matches, the last five of which have been winless.

Only once before in five years of continuous management has Hill gone six league games without victory and while Barnsley's current barren spell follows the unavoidable departures of Danny Drinkwater and Ricardo Vaz Te in January, we don't believe the overall quality within the Oakwell dressing room has diminished all that much.

Hill isn't one for wallowing in his own bad fortune and he has sourced what he considers to be adequate replacements, so we have enough faith in the level-headed Lancastrian to turn things around sooner rather than later.

Reading climbed into the automatic promotion places with Alex Pearce's equaliser at the Keepmoat on Tuesday and that now brings its own pressure for a team that has been continually in pursuit for the past three months.

Of course, you could argue that they won't be happy until they've prised pole position away from Southampton and that's a big part of why Jason Roberts was brought to the club, to give the younger players a voice of genuine top-level experience to listen to but we also have reservations about how long the former Blackburn man can maintain such high standards on the pitch.

The 34-year-old Londoner has played eight matches in the space of four weeks, netting four crucial goals, but you'd expect such a gruelling schedule to take its toll on his effectiveness eventually.

Recommended bet:

1pt Barnsley to beat Reading at 18/5 (Bet Victor)

For more betting news and views, please visit You can also follow Mike Holden on Twitter: @Miguel_BOTB

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower