SkyBet: Tigers can bring Jewell’s revitalised side back down to earth

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Birmingham to beat Sheffield Wednesday.

So they have no cause for optimism as they visit Birmingham City in the fifth round of the FA Cup today and we can fully expect the Premier League side to be the central pillar of the majority of multiple bets.

In the Championship, there is a huge game at Elland Road where Norwich are the visitors.

The Canaries have been beaten only three times on their travels and just Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers have prevented them from scoring an away goal, so there is every chance Leeds will need to score at least two to win.

Despite United’s outstanding recent form – only one defeat in 18 league matches – this evenly-balanced encounter looks destined to be a draw.

Crystal Palace last conceded a goal at Selhurst Park on November 9, so Sheffield United know they are in for a tough afternoon in south London.

Only five goals have been scored in the last seven games here, all of them by Dougie Freedman’s side, so it looks certain to be a low-scoring affair.

The Blades are in desperate need of a positive result after going 11 without a win in all competitions, but the statistics suggest Palace look a decent bet at 11-10.

Ipswich are in eye-catching form under Paul Jewell, with their 6-0 demolition of Doncaster in midweek being their fourth win in five league games, but they may find they meet their match in Hull City, whose march up the table continued with their 1-0 victory over Preston a week ago.

September 28 was the last time the Tigers lost an away game and they have won three of the last four on the road, scoring plenty of goals. Portman Road will not be an easy place to win, but such is Hull’s form they should be backed to pick up the points.

Doncaster’s recent results have put Barnsley’s win at the Keepmoat Stadium into perspective and the Tykes have generally been poor away from Oakwell.

However, they may just pinch a point against Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Pompey’s win at Doncaster last week was their first since early December, so there is nothing for Barnsley to fear.

Rovers, on the other hand, are going through something of a crisis and today’s opponents Swansea will be a popular choice on the coupons.

Bournemouth have done well to maintain their lofty League One position despite losing their manager and a number of key players recently, but Huddersfield can outclass them at Dean Court this afternoon.

Lee Clark’s side have scored four goals in each of their last two away league games and can take that form into this crucial promotion battle.

Third place also battles second in League Two, as Shrewsbury visit Don Valley to take on Rotherham United.

The Shrews have stormed into the automatic promotion places with a run of four straight wins as others around them have stuttered, including the Millers.

Shrewsbury have made good signings in James Collins and Nicky Wroe, while Jon Taylor has grasped his big chance with four goals in four games.

Rotherham’s recent record of six defeats in nine makes Ronnie Moore’s side look vulnerable despite the loan signing of Omar Daley from Bradford City.

Weekends Best Bets:

Birmingham to beat Sheffield Wednesday.

Crystal Palace to beat Sheffield United; Under 2.5 Goals.

Hull to beat Ipswich.

Leeds United v Norwich City – Draw.

Swansea to beat Doncaster.

Huddersfield to beat Bournemouth.

Shrewsbury to beat Rotherham.