As we approach the half way point of the Championship season, the league table is starting to take shape, and it is becoming increasingly clear who is in danger of relegation. With just one victory to their name in 12 outings Coventry are in real trouble with Doncaster the only side (in the bookies eyes) more likely to be playing League 1 football next season.
Joining City and Doncaster at the head of the ‘to be relegated’ market are Bristol City and Watford and so easyodds.com analyses both the reasons and the risks in backing each of these sides for the drop.
Coventry @ 12/25
Unfortunately for the Sky Blues, Coventry are the team with the worst form in the Championship, winning just 1 game in their last 12 matches, and whilst they rarely lose heavily, they have a tendency to lose by the odd goal or lose games they should at least be taking a point from. The Ricoh Arena, which has rarely been a fortress in recent seasons, has got to be a place where it is difficult to win if they have any chance of survival, and a return of 2 wins in 10 is not consistent enough at home. Manager Andy Thorn is under increasing pressure, and as Bristol City have proved in recent weeks, a managerial appointment could be the catalyst for an upturn in form and confidence. Odds of 12/25 make Coventry second favourites for relegation, and much could depend upon their run in as 4 of their last 5 games are against relegation rivals Bristol City, Burnley, Millwall and Doncaster before ending with a ghastly looking away tie at Southampton. That gives the Sky Blues an opportunity for a late salvo, by winning some six-pointers, but if they do not improve their form soon, it could yet be too little too late.
Doncaster @ 43/100
When Sean O'Driscoll lost his job and Dean Saunders was brought in as manager, few could have predicted the changes made at the Keepmoat. The starting line up is almost unrecognisable from the O'Driscoll years, as super agent Willie McKay has brought in many well known faces for low wages on short term contracts. The likes of El Hadji Diouf, Marc Antoine Fortune and Habib Beye offer supreme experience to the quality Doncaster already had in the likes of Billy Sharp and Brian Stock. However the 'Doncaster project' has yet to reap the rewards, and they currently sit at the root of the table. In fact, since the initial upturn under Saunders, Doncaster now only have 1 win in 8 and have only managed to score 13 goals all season. Odds of 43/100 make them the bookies favourites for relegation, and their unsettled team could be why. Despite the obvious improvements to their squad, they are yet to gel as a team and may never do - because the revolving door in and out of Doncaster shows no signs of stopping.
Watford @ 13/5
Watford can probably feel hard done by for being third favourites to go down, as Sean Dyche has used the loan system to improve his squad in recent weeks and it has improved results tenfold. Their form at Vicarage Road has really impressed, with the Hornets claiming three points in 4 of their last 5 matches on home soil. Michael Kightly, Carl Dickinson and Craig Beattie have all fitted the mould of unfussy, hard working players with a strong team ethic and it now seems to be paying dividends. As well as that pragmatic attitude, they have a quality Championship strikeforce in the exciting Marvin Sordell and Scottish targetman Chris Iwelumo. We can see them staying up this season, as long as Dyche sticks to his guns, and doesn't show his managerial naiveity in his first full season.
Bristol City @ 7/2
After a truly awful start that has never seen them out of the bottom three all season, the arrival of Derek McInnes has been monumental for Bristol City. Under former coach Keith Millen they were slow and ponderous, really lacking in creativity, they are now capable of playing the top sides and more than matching them - see their 2-0 win over high flying Southampton. A return of 13 points out of the last possible 15 would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago. However, be warned, this all comes from the inspiring combination between Albert Adomah and Nicky Maynard, who between them have scored 5 goals in the last 3 games. Unfortunately for the Robins though, come January, neither could be at Ashton Gate. Scouts are watching both players, and Adomah will likely be at the African Nations Cup for Ghana. It will be interesting to see how McInnes copes with losing one or both of his prize assets... it could be a loss which the Robins will struggle to recover from.
Coventry take on Portsmouth this weekend and we've got the best odds on every market. We'll also be offering up our best bet on Saturday's match so make sure you return to this site on Thursday to read our exclusive tip.