Ian Holloway's predictions: Brentford to shock Newcastle

Ian Holloway is back with his Sky Bet EFL predictions
Image: Ian Holloway is back with his Sky Bet Championship predictions

Newcastle to lose at home? Neil Warnock to start with a bang? Ian Holloway returns with another round of Sky Bet EFL predictions.

Aston Villa v Wolves, Saturday 5.30pm, Sky Sports 1 HD from 5.15pm

Steve Bruce is one of my heroes. He'll get Villa moving forward in a way that only he knows how to. He's got more experience in that department than Roberto Di Matteo had, who had been working at a different type of level with a different remit. 

Steve Bruce has been out of work since quitting Hull City
Image: Steve Bruce has been appointed Aston Villa boss

Bruce will assess where the strengths and weaknesses in that squad lie immediately because he'd have been watching their bad start. When I look at Aston Villa's squad, it's a bit of a mismatch of who is going to play where. 

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Whether he can get a win in his first game, which is a tough local derby, is another matter. Despite them losing their last three games, I liked the look of Wolves against Norwich, especially in the second half, and this is a team that have beat both Newcastle and Brentford this season. 

OLLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)

Huddersfield v Sheffield Wednesday, Sunday 12pm, Sky Sports 2 HD from 11.30am

This will be a brilliant game to tune in to. Both teams like to play at a good tempo, but in their current form it's impossible to go against top-of-the-table Huddersfield. 

Huddersfield boss David Wagner has accepted a misconduct charge from the FA
Image: Huddersfield boss David Wagner is having a season to remember

The expectation levels seemed to have affected Sheffield Wednesday this season. It's something that Carlos Carvalhal is going to have to deal with. All the big teams see Wednesday as a threat now and perhaps raise their game slightly when they're in town.

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The beauty of the way Huddersfield play is how quickly they get bodies forward into dangerous areas. Even if the attack breaks down they are still on the front foot as they then press from there with great enthusiasm. It's very much the modern way of playing and plenty of teams are having huge success from this style of football. It should prove too much for Wednesday, who may well take the lead, but I can see Huddersfield roaring back late on.

OLLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 13/2)

Newcastle v Brentford, Saturday, 3pm

I've got to admit, I jumped to conclusions at the start of the season when Brentford couldn't keep hold of their good players like Jake Bidwell. I couldn't have been more wrong with my prediction. Dean Smith and the squad are proving me wrong. Good on them. 

Newcastle look like a team that are enjoying the challenge the Championship brings. The rest of the division needs to watch out as this team could go on a huge winning run at any stage of the season. However, Brentford look confident and Newcastle's home form has been a bit up and down. They lost to both Wolves and Huddersfield at St James' Park.

Scott Hogan of Brentford receives The Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for September - Mandatory by-line: Robbie Stephenson/JMP -
Image: Scott Hogan of Brentford receives The Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for September

Brentford have only shipped nine goals this season, which makes me think they may have enough to stifle Rafa Benitez's men. This is my shock of the weekend. Scott Hogan to net the winner.

OLLIE PREDICTS: 0-1 (Sky Bet odds 17/2)

Derby v Leeds, Saturday, 3pm

Who knows where Derby will be at this weekend? What kind of affect will Steve McClaren's return have on that squad? McClaren had them playing really well at one point and they looked capable of tearing up the division. But then they imploded. Nobody really knows why he left or what happened.

Leeds have picked up and could nick a victory here, but I can see a bore draw.

OLLIE PREDICTS: 0-0 (Sky Bet odds 13/2)

Brighton v Preston, Saturday, 3pm

Brighton have kept six clean sheets in 11 games this season which is phenomenal. If they keep this up, then they will go very close to automatic promotion again as they have players in the front-line that can score regularly. Preston are going well too and also don't concede many. A low scoring home win looks the smart call. 

OLLIE PREDICTS: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds 6/1)

QPR v Reading, Saturday, 3pm

Some call this the Hoop Derby, but it's not that at all. Reading nicked QPR's hoops - end of story.

It was great to see QPR put their hoodoo to bed against Fulham, but I still want to see more from them. This will be a tough test against a well organised Reading, who have a certain way of playing. I'm not confident about predicting a result, but I do fancy Conor Washington to start scoring now he's broke his drought. Strikers like him live and breathe on goals.

Conor Washington of QPR tackles with Denis Odoi of Fulham
Image: Conor Washington of QPR netted his first league goal for the club at Fulham

Now he's got one he'll go from strength to strength. QPR fans will start to doubt whether he's good enough because of his non-League background, but one of the club's greatest ever full-backs David Bardsley came through the lower leagues. It isn't where you start, it's where you end up. I hope the fans stick with him.

OLLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)

Norwich v Rotherham, Saturday, 3pm

Norwich are the real deal and probably will have too much quality in the final third, most probably from Cameron Jerome, who is loving life again at this level. He gets lots of teams promoted and I think he'll do it again this season. 

OLLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 6/1)

Barnsley v Fulham, Saturday, 3pm

Barnsley are fearless, although they've only picked up one point from their last four games. However, a return to Oakwell should bring about another home win. I already think they'll stay up comfortably. 

OLLIE PREDICTS: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds 15/2)

Wigan v Burton, Saturday, 3pm

This Burton team are all about team spirit and togetherness. Home or away, they are always likely to give their all. The club have put a plan in place and on a small budget they are competing with some massive clubs. Away win.

Highlights of Burton's 2-0 win over Cardiff from the Sky Bet Championship

OLLIE PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds 8/1)

Cardiff v Bristol City 2-1

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