Sky Bet Championship 2023-24 – Saturday 9th March Matches Tips, TV and Betting Preview

The Sky Bet Championship continues on Saturday afternoon and it does so with another nine matches in what is becoming a really compelling division as the teams have congregated at both ends of the table.

It is a typical Saturday in the second tier as in there is a TV match to get everything underway and then the other games all take place at the traditional time so updates for them will come in the regular places as ever.

Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (3pm unless stated; UK TV in brackets)

Cardiff City v Ipswich Town (12.30pm – Sky Main Event & Sky Football)

Blackburn Rovers v Plymouth Argyle

Hull City v Leicester City

Millwall v Birmingham City

Norwich City v Rotherham United

Preston North End v Stoke City

Queens Park Rangers v Middlesbrough

Southampton v Sunderland

Watford v Coventry City

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Big Matches

Leeds United have already laid a marker down in the race for promotion and Ipswich Town have the chance to answer and return to second spot when they compete in the early kick off in front of the TV cameras. That takes them down to Wales to take on a Cardiff City side who will be confident having won their last three matches, which has moved them into an outside position in the race for the play-offs. Leicester City are seeing their gap at the top narrowed by the day and they head to Hull City for a huge game on Saturday afternoon.

Best of the Rest

Southampton are the other team still in the automatic promotion race and they have a home game against Sunderland to get stuck into on Saturday. Norwich City sit one place outside the play-offs but they host rock bottom Rotherham United in a huge game for the Canaries. Coventry City are also chasing a spot in the top six for a second season in succession and they make the trip to a Watford side who struggle for wins at the minute. At the other end of the table, Blackburn Rovers host Plymouth Argyle in a clash neither will want to lose and that is the same equation when Millwall host Birmingham City.


There are a couple of bets which stand out to me over the course of the afternoon with the first of them coming in the form of a Preston North End side who ended up not playing in midweek. At this stage of the season that could be quite important because the games have come thick and fast recently so even though they would have travelled to Southampton ahead of that match being postponed, they should be fresher than a Stoke City side who had to battle hard against Leeds United in midweek, ultimately coming up short. Stoke have got themselves into a right mess and while they probably have the individual quality to get themselves out of trouble, they look to be in a bit of a rut on their travels. They have only won two of their last 11 on the road and one of those was at Rotherham which probably isn’t worth using as a form guide. That dates all the way back to October. Ryan Lowe sides tend to finish the season well and that looks to be happening again here with Preston unbeaten in their last seven and only suffering one defeat in their last nine which was via an injury time penalty at Leeds. I’m surprised Preston are a 0.25 line on the Asian handicaps but I’ll happily take it.

The other bet I like is for Coventry City to beat Watford. The shared images of that scouting mission in midweek highlights how confident the Sky Blues are in this match and while they could act as motivation for the Hornets, I don’t think their mercenaries will particularly care what others think of them. Coventry ended a two match losing run with an emphatic 5-0 win over Rotherham in midweek where they had the match sewn up after about half an hour and were able to get a good rest into some key players in the second half and turn the latter 45 minutes into a stroll in the park. Watford were not afforded that luxury. They had to battle hard to get a point out of Swansea on Wednesday night so they have had 24 hours less to recover for this one and that is often significant at this stage of the season. Coventry are a team on the up whereas Watford have stalled with just a narrow win over Rotherham to show for their efforts in their last nine games. If there is a winner here I have to think it will be the visitors who get it.


Back Preston North End (-0.25AH) to beat Stoke City for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Bet365

Back Coventry City (-0.25AH) to beat Watford for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Bet365