Sports Betting Weekly

Derby County v Watford

When: Saturday, 04 April 2015 @ 01:45 (FINISHED)
Where: The IPRO Stadium
Both Derby County and Watford will be looking for a win to bounce back from the disappointments both sides suffered before the international break, with the former rolling over against Wolves and latter losing out in the 93rd minute to Ipswich Town.

Defeat was probably more damaging for Derby than it was for Watford in the sense that the Rams’ status in the top six is now hanging in the balance from what had seemed an unassailable position earlier on in the season. In fact, Derby could start this 19:45 kick-off knowing they need to win in order to even get back into the top six, obviously depending on how Ipswich fare against Bournemouth and how Brentford do away to Fulham earlier in the day.

The Hornets, on the other hand, are still well in the mix for the title and will go into this late fixture knowing that a win could potentially send them top if Bournemouth fail to claim victory at Ipswich, with Watford just one point behind the Cherries before a ball is kicked this weekend.

Thankfully for Derby, Scottish international striker Chris Martin is back in contention following a spell out with injury – and how the Rams have missed his presence in recent weeks. Since the Scotsman got crocked in a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, Derby have won just two of the 10 games he’s missed as their automatic promotion charge has been spectacularly derailed.

Martin is held in high regard thanks to his goalscoring exploits in the East Midlands – he has 19 goals in 41 appearances this season – but clearly he brings something else to the team which neither Darren Bent nor forward Jonny Russell have managed to provide in his absence.

The question Derby fans will be asking is whether he can pick up where he left off before his injury, and Martin is currently being touted at 11/2 to score first and 9/5 to score anytime. The anytime bet could be a shrewder option given the club may choose not to rush Martin back into action immediately, but he is likely to appear from the bench at some point. With this in mind, Bent is expected to lead the line and can be had at 11/2 to break the deadlock or 2/1 to net anytime.

Watford are hardly shy of goalscorers themselves, although they were made to rue a number of missed chances against Ipswich. Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo and Matej Vydra will be out to avenge that defeat and, given Derby’s recent defensive frailties, the likelihood is that at least one will score. Deeney is probably the best bet of the three and is priced at 7/1 to score first or 7/4 to bag anytime.

As for the game itself, Derby – perhaps due to home advantage – are slight favourites at 6/5, whereas the travelling Watford contingent are 5/2 to celebrate victory. A draw is also priced at 5/2 if you feel that this is the type of game where both sides will have to settle for a share of the points.