Meanwhile, Mick McCarthy has been installed as new manager of Ipswich Town and is briefed with keeping the team in the Championship this season, with the Tractor Boys five points away from safety at the moment. His task starts with a trip to St Andrews on Saturday.
Birmingham City v Ipswich Town 15:00
Paul Jewell was living on borrowed time before leaving Portman Road by mutual consent after a 2-1 home reverse against Derby, with Ipswich then crumbling days later against a Sheffield Wednesday team who are no great shakes in the division.
Step forward Mick McCarthy who has the tough task of keeping Town afloat this season and you can get odds of 10/3 (Betfred free bets) that Ipswich make a winning start under their new manager. It’s now been twelve games without a win but they will be playing a team struggling for goals at St Andrews.
Birmingham lie 17th after an inauspicious start by new manager Lee Clark although last weekend’s 1-0 win at Leeds ended a four-game winless run and the Blues will now look to start finding the net in front of their own supporters. Quite whether they should be strong favourites at 10/11 (bet365 £200 free bets) to win this one is another matter.
Crystal Palace v Blackburn Rovers 15:00
Blackburn have finally got their man. That’s if you believe the club’s board who present a convincing argument that Henning Berg was their number one choice, although the former Rovers player hardly has brilliant credentials when it comes to football management.
Berg was sacked at Lillestrom a year ago and now has the tough task of getting Blackburn promoted at the first time of asking, with the Lancashire side sitting 5th after a decent start to the season which has seen them go unbeaten on the road.
Five of the visitors’ six matches have ended in a draw and that won’t be a bad result against a team one place above them in the Championship after an excellent start to the campaign which included a 2-1 win at Leicester last weekend.
Crystal Palace are slight favourites to win this one at 8/5 (Blue Square bookmaker) even though they have seen Lennie Lawrence follow Dougie Freedman to Bolton Wanderers, with Curtis Fleming doing his best to stake a claim for the job although the smart money appears to be on Ian Holloway.
Blackburn are 15/8 to enjoy a winning start under Berg and they do have the division’s hottest property in the form of Jordan Rhodes (11/2) who continues to score at a fast rate of knots and already has eight for the season.
Bolton Wanderers v Cardiff City 17:20
13 points separate these teams in the Championship, with Cardiff City having got off to a flyer which sees Malky Mackay’s team lead the way after 13 games played.
The Welsh side have been untouchable at the Cardiff City Stadium, although that home form hasn’t translated into too many points on the road, with two away victories in six games and three goals conceded at Crystal Palace, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest.
Cardiff are available at 21/10 (Sky Bet free bets) to win at the Reebok Stadium although they will have to deal with ‘new manager syndrome’ as Dougie Freedman is unveiled in front of the Bolton supporters who hope the Scot can revive Wanderers’ fortunes.
Bolton currently sit 18th in the Premier League table following last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough which means the Trotters have won just one of their last six games although the bookies make them warm favourites at 11/8 (Stan James bookmaker) to seal an important three points.
On paper, this is a Bolton team that should be higher in the table and Kevin Davies will give the Cardiff defence a typically tough time, with the striker on offer at 6/1, although Peter Whittingham catches the eye at 10/1 for the visitors considering the midfielder is the designated penalty taker.