- On Saturday, December 26th, we have Boxing Day in England, meaning we are in store for ten Sky Bet Championship Fixtures
- Norwich will be at the top of the table on Christmas Day but face fifth place Watford at 2:45 PM EST
- In other featured matchups, fourth place Brentford travels to Cardiff as they try to climb closer to automatic promotion, and Huddersfield play Barnsley in a close mid-table battle which could take either side into the top half
Boxing Day in England is simply the best day on the calendar for English football. The holidays are nearly over, and we as fans get to relax and take in countless EFL Championship matches from the comfort of our homes. This year there are ten Sky Bet Championship fixtures on the slate, including a prospective barnburner between Norwich and Watford. These two sides were both in the top flight last year but are now battling to get back after extremely disappointing Premier League seasons.
If that high-class fixture was not enough, we also have another top-four side being tested by Cardiff City, winners in three out of their last five matches. The Sky Bet Championship table is still extremely close with four teams outside of the top four close enough to peak their head in after Saturday’s round of games. It is still early in the year, but games around this winter season usually have a vital impact on the placements in the table come May.
|Nottingham Forest vs Birmingham||+125||+200||+250|
|Reading vs Luton Town||+107||+225||+265|
|QPR vs Swansea City||+210||+225||+132|
|Barnsley vs Huddersfield Town||+116||+215||+250|
|Blackburn Rovers vs Sheffield Wednesday||-141||+260||+400|
|Cardiff City vs Brentford||+215||+230||+123|
|Bristol City vs Wycombe||-130||+255||+360|
|Derby County vs Preston North End||+140||+220||+200|
|Coventry City vs Stoke City||+195||+205||+155|
|Watford vs Norwich City||+160||+210||+180|
All odds taken Dec 23 at DraftKings
EFL Championship Pick 1: Barnsley vs Huddersfield Town
These two sides are in 13th and 12th place respectively but are tied on point and goal difference at -3. Additionally, they have split their last two head-to-head matches with 2-1 victories for each club. Huddersfield Town will be looking to build on a 2-0 victory at home to fifth place Watford last Saturday while Barnsley looks to get back to winning ways after a 2-0 hiccup against Swansea.
? “It will be one of the hardest tests we’ve had so far this year.”
Carlos Corberán looks ahead to Barnsley game#htafc
— Huddersfield Town (@htafc) December 23, 2020
As a reminder, Huddersfield will be without top-goalscorer Josh Koroma as he sits out with a long-term hamstring injury. While Huddersfield is down a star, Barnsley gets one back as Callum Styles comes back from suspension to his role at left wingback where he has scored three goals this season. Barnsley was on a run of very good form before last weekend’s slip-up and I expect them to go back to that despite Huddersfield’s good showing against the Hornets.
My Pick: Barnsley moneyline (+116)
EFL Championship Pick 2: Cardiff City vs Brentford
Higher up the EFL Championship table, Brentford looks to keep their spot in the top four in their Boxing Day match against Cardiff. It has been all smiles for the Brentford Bees as of late with a point won at Vicarage Road and two successive wins against Reading and Premier League side Newcastle in the EFL Cup. Cardiff however, have struggled without Kieffer Moore, losing two out of their last three games.
Ivan Toney needs just 15 goals in the remaining 27 Championship fixtures to break Glenn Murray’s record for the most in a season.
Only six players scored more than his current total (16) in the whole of last season ?#BrentfordFC ? pic.twitter.com/VXYT61PpTE
— Jack Dosson (@JackDossonSport) December 16, 2020
Conversely, Brentford’s offense is an efficient machine, scoring 31 goals in 20 games; this feat has only been topped by Bournemouth with 35. Ivan Toney has been ridiculous this year, scoring 16 goals and providing three assists in just 20 Sky Bet Championship appearances. Newcastle will be upset having let him go two years ago, and Brentford should be relying on his creativity to top Cardiff on Boxing Day.
My Pick: Ivan Toney to score (+148)
EFL Championship Pick 3: Watford vs Norwich City
Our last featured match of the Sky Bet Championship Boxing Day schedule is one fans should be drooling over. First place Norwich against fifth-place Watford on Boxing Day is going to be a great contest, no question. Watford have won their last two matches against Norwich, however, have found themselves in a tough run of form, only winning two out of their last six matches.
? Another one!
Promising young centre-back Andrew Omobamidele has penned a new deal at Carrow Road until 2024! ?
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) December 23, 2020
Norwich, led by Daniel Farke have won their last five matches, and in zero of those games did they let up more than one goal. With that being said, they do typically slip up now and again and are facing a more than competent Watford attack featuring Ismaila Sarr and Joao Pedro which is why I favor the over in this one.
My Pick: Over 2.5 total goals (+110)