Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Championship Preview: Matchday 18

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 23 Nov 2018

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The Championship returns on Friday evening with the action kicking off at Portman Road where bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town host West Bromwich Albion.

The Tractor Boys have won just once in the league all season, though they are unbeaten under new manager Paul Lambert after drawing with both Preston North End and Reading in their last two games.

They will remain at the foot of the table even if they beat the Baggies though they could move to within two points of safety depending on results elsewhere.

Darren Moore’s side have their eyes on the other end of the division and will go second with a win at least until Saturday afternoon.

Their win over Leeds United last time out was their first in five games and can currently be backed at a price of 6/4 to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.

Saturday’s action kicks off at the New York Stadium where Rotherham United host a Sheffield United side who will be looking for the three points which would take them back to the top while Norwich City, who go in to the weekend in first place travel to Swansea City later in the day.


Middlesbrough sit in second place but could be as low as sixth by the time they kick-off against Brentford at Griffin Park in the day’s late kick-off while promotion favourites Leeds United welcome Bristol City to Elland Road.

East Midlands rivals Derby County and Nottingham Forest are separated by one point, one place and a dotted line and both face potentially tricky trips to Yorkshire.

The Rams are at Sheffield Wednesday, who ended a run of four defeats with a goalless draw in the Steel City derby a fortnight ago while Forest go to a Hull City side who despite sitting in the bottom three have lost just one of their last five games.


Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers, who are both just two points off the top six are away at Preston North End and Stoke City while there is a potential six pointers at The Den where Millwall take on Bolton Wanderers.

Both sides sit level on points though it is the Trotters who are below the dotted line on goal difference while Reading, who have also taken just sixteen points from seventeen games are at Wigan Athletic.


Sunday’s one and only second-tier fixture sees Aston Villa host Birmingham City in the Second City derby, with the pair joint on points.

The Villains, who are a place ahead of City on goal difference have kept clean sheets in seven of their last ten games against their fierce rivals, with four of those games finishing 1-0.


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 and, 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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