Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Championship Preview – Matchday 12

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 6 Oct 2018

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Leeds United will be looking to strengthen their grip at the top of the Championship as they get matchday twelve underway against fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford on Saturday lunchtime.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side edged past Hull City midweek to return to the summit, with West Bromwich Albion only managing to draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

The Baggies were two-nil down with just five minutes on the clock but managed to salvage a point thanks to an own goal from Joey Pelupessey and a superb solo effort from Harvey Barnes.

Darren Moore’s side will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways as they welcome Reading to the Hawthorns while second place Middlesbrough play hosts to Nottingham Forest.

Boro eased past Ipswich Town midweek, while Forest drew 2-2 with Millwall on an eventful evening at the City Ground.

Darkness

With Aitor Karanka’s side a goal to the good the floodlights failed causing a near fifteen-minute delay in play, and while Joao Carvalho doubled the Reds’ with a sublime free-kick shortly after play had recommenced the Lions scored two late on to take a share of the spoils.

Like Leeds and Boro, Sheffield United have taken twenty-two points from eleven games and they will have their eyes on first place as they take on Hull at Bramall Lane.

There is little doubt of who the form side in the division is, and Norwich will look to continue their fine run of form as they welcome Stoke City to Carrow Road.

Form

The Canaries have taken fourteen points from eighteen available in the league and would have been boasted an even better record had they not conceded a late equaliser at Derby County last time out.

Many were tipping Norwich to be among the sides battling for promotion last season ahead of a fourteenth-place finish though they can be backed at 13/2 to go up this time around.

That point kept the Rams within touching distance of the play-offs ahead of their trip to Queens Park Rangers who, after three straight defeats won at Reading on Tuesday.

Basement

Swansea City and Wigan Athletic are, like Derby only outside of the top six on goal difference and face the division’s bottom two with the Swans hosting Ipswich and the Latics travelling to Preston and North End.

Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday both go into the weekend in the top half ahead of their meeting at Ashton Gate on Sunday while Saturday’s late kick-off sees Bolton Wanderers face Blackburn Rovers at the Macron Stadium.

Elsewhere, Birmingham City take on Rotherham United at St Andrews while the Blues’ fierce rivals Aston Villa begin life without Steve Bruce with a tough trip to Millwall, with Kevin MacDonald in temporary charge.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deke Hardman


Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both SoccerNews.com and FreeBetting.com, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.

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