Writer: Site Staff
Date:Friday September 9 2011
Championship action returns this weekend after a break due to the international fixtures.
Odds from bwin where you can also enjoy a free £25 bet.
There are a number of interesting match-ups scheduled, including Southampton's clash with Steve McClaren's Nottingham Forest and West Ham's home game against Portsmouth.
Southampton have started the season on fire, winning four out of their first five league games in a run which has seen Nigel Adkins' side trimmed to 11/2 to lift the title at the end of the season.
The Saints will fancy their chances against Forest this weekend at St Mary`s and the 9/10 about a home win looks an attractive price given how strongly Southampton have started the campaign.
Forest are 18th in the Championship table with only one league win to their name after the opening five games, with this victory coming against struggling Doncaster.
The Tricky Trees lost their last outing - a 4-1 home reverse against West Ham - and there has been much speculation as to how long Forest boss McClaren will remain in charge of first team affairs at the City Ground.
However, it could be argued that Forest have nothing to lose from this weekend's trip to the south coast and, unburdened by expectation, could be set to put in a much improved display which would make the 29/10 on an away win worth a second glance.
The other major game in the Championship programme this weekend is West Ham against Portsmouth - a fixture that would have been a Premier League clash just a few seasons ago.
The Hammers are hot favourites for this match-up and the 8/13 about Sam Allardyce's side claiming all three points will be a popular choice for many punters who enjoy backing short-priced home teams in accumulators.
Portsmouth have had a rather mixed start to the campaign, although they are always capable of causing shock results as their squad does have a great deal of quality despite its alarming lack of depth.
Steve Cotterill's side have already beaten Reading and picked up points against both Cardiff and Middlesbrough this season, which illustrates that they are capable of picking up a result at Upton Park on their day.
bwin offers 5/2 for the draw and a huge 9/2 for a Portsmouth victory.
In the outright market for the division West Ham retain favouritism at 37/19 and with the Hammers in impressive early season form, that price could become even tighter in the coming weeks.
Early season pace setters Southampton and Brighton have both attracted plenty of support and the two south coast sides can now be backed at 11/2 and 7/1 respectively.
Meanwhile, Derby County can still be backed at an enormous 25/1 for the title - a price which will tempt many Rams fans as Nigel Clough's side currently only lie a point off the top of the table.
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Date:Friday September 9 2011
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