Blackburn vs Sheff Wed Prediction: Smith to prolong Owls’ safety bid

 | 20th April | 

4 mins read

Blackburn vs Sheff Wed Prediction

The closer the Championship gets to its 2023/24 conclusion, the more difficult it becomes to assess what on earth is going on. So when Blackburn Rovers host Sheffield Wednesday at Ewood Park on Sunday (kick-off 12:30 BST, live on Sky Sports Football), we should be expecting the unexpected.

After all, Rovers went to Leeds United and won last weekend, following on from Plymouth Argyle’s shock victory over Leicester City. This is the league campaign that just keeps on giving, so these Blackburn vs Sheff Wed predictions have had to consider a 0-0 bore and a 5-4 thriller alike as distinct possibilities.

Blackburn vs Sheff Wed Betting Tips

  • Draw @ 9/4
  • Michael Smith first goalscorer @ 15/2

Team news

Ryan Hedges and Yasin Ayari are out of the reckoning for Blackburn due to hamstring injuries, Arnor Sigurdsson is missing with a thigh problem and Harry Leonard’s knee issue has ended his season. Meanwhile, John Fleck’s shin problem makes him an unlikely returnee over the next couple of weeks.

John Eustace could also have a decision to make if Scott Wharton doesn't make it after he was withdrawn at half-time of the 1-0 win at Elland Road last Saturday with a back injury.

Wednesday will be hoping to get Ian Poveda and Di’Shon Bernard back in the picture before they run out of games. Poveda has been out since damaging a hamstring for the second time in quick succession in the 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers a fortnight ago, while Bernard has missed five matches after picking up a knock in the warm-up ahead of a Good Friday draw with Swansea City.

Juan Delgado is back in training for the Owls but, having been left off the registration list for the second half of the season, the Chilean international is ineligible to return until 2024-25.

Match odds

As the home side, Rovers are 19/20 favourites, with Wednesday at 5/2. It's 9/4 for a share of the spoils, while you can get 8/11 on both teams finding the back of the net.

Draw @ 9/4

A share of the spoils would do more for Blackburn’s objectives than for a Wednesday side who are quickly running out of time to finally escape a relegation zone which they have populated for over eight months since a 4-2 loss to Hull City on matchday two.

And with their status in the second tier under such a cloud, it is the Owls who will probably have to make the early running at Ewood Park. If they can get ahead, then they have a great chance to pick up at least something from the trip across the Pennines.

The danger for this prognostication is that an early Blackburn goal could be the first step towards a landslide result given Wednesday’s desperation, but I’m backing a massive following of 7,000 Wednesdayites in the Darwen End to roar their side to a positive result. Whether they can get the full three points they desperately need is another issue, but 9/4 implies a 30.8% probability of the teams getting a point apiece.

Blackburn v Sheff Wed draw @ 9/4

Michael Smith first goalscorer @ 15/2

Hear me out on this one. Yes, Smith has just four goals to his name all season – and only one since October. Sure, he’s netted only 22 in 127 career Championship games despite making a bit of a name for himself as a prolific scorer in League 1 over recent years.

But in the last few weeks the 32-year-old has become a more vital cog than ever in the Wednesday machine. Albeit, I’m using the word ‘machine’ against my better judgment when talking about the Owls!

Smith was the scorer of the crucial late equaliser against Norwich City two games ago and then had the ball in the net against Stoke last weekend, only for Josh Windass’ intimate bear hug on keeper Daniel Iversen to be spotted by referee Stephen Martin. He’s started their last three and led the line well, and Wednesday have – believe it or not – looked far more dangerous from corners.

With Will Vaulks and Marvin Johnson getting the lion’s share of the corner-taking responsibilities following months of Barry Bannan hitting the first man, Wednesday have actually became tough to hold out at flag kicks. And that makes Smith a danger.

He’s also Wednesday’s penalty taker – or at least he was when they were last awarded one in the League 1 play-offs over 11 months ago, so if the Owls finally get another chance from 12 yards he has that extra hope.

If Danny Rohl’s side are going to prolong their survival bid for another six days, Smith getting on the scoresheet might be a near-necessity.

Michael Smith first goalscorer @ 15/2

You can read all our latest Football Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights content hub.

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