Thursday, November 15, 2018

Championship Preview – Matchday 17

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 8 Nov 2018

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Matchday seventeen in the Championship kicks off with the Steel City on Friday evening, with Sheffield United taking on Sheffield Wednesday at Brammall Lane.

The Blades will return to the top of the league with a win while a draw would see them move level on points with Leeds United and Norwich City, while the Owls are merely looking to get back on track after losing each of their last four fixtures.

Title favourites Leeds returned to the summit with victory over Wigan Athletic on Sunday and will look to extend their unbeaten run to four games as they travel to a West Bromwich Albion side who have taken just one point from the last twelve available.

Norwich enjoyed, at least for one evening being at the top of the tree welcome Millwall to Carrow Road with the Canaries and the rest of the sides who go in to the weekend in the play-off places all at home.

Fourth place Middlesbrough face Wigan Athletic while East Midlands duo Derby County and Nottingham Forest play host to Aston Villa and Stoke City respectively.

Old friends

The game at Pride Park will be an interesting one for those in the dugouts with Rams boss Frank Lampard and Villa assistant John Terry going head to head after more than twelve years shared success at Chelsea.

Blackburn Rovers are one of several sides on the fringes of the top-six and could even end the day in there if they beat Rotherham United at Ewood Park while Swansea City, Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers are themselves just three points behind sixth place Forest going into the weekend.

Rebound

All three sides lost last time out with Birmingham seeing their eleven-game unbeaten run ended by Derby.

They will look to bounce back as they host Hull City while QPR are at home to Brentford and the Swans travel to Bolton Wanderers.

The Bees had gone nine games without a win before beating Millwall last weekend – Thomas Frank’s first victory since taking charge – though they could move to within two points of the top six on Saturday if they win and other results fall in their favour.

Rekindled

They were, just two months ago favourites to win promotion but can currently be backed at a generous 6/1 to go up.

Only one point separates Hull and Bolton though the Trotters are three positions to the good, and both will be interested in what happens at the Madejski Stadium with twenty-second place Reading taking on bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town while Preston North End will also be looking over their shoulder.

Alex Neil’s side face a tough trip to Bristol City, who remain in touching distance of the top six despite losing three of their last four games.

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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