Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Championship Preview – Matchday 21

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 10 Dec 2018

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Norwich City and Leeds United both survived scares to remain in the Championship top-two this weekend.

The Canaries looked in cruise control on the hour mark – two-nil up against struggling Bolton Wanderers though goals from Sami Ameobi and Mark Beevers drew the Trotters level with just two minutes left on the clock.

However shortly after a red card for Ameobi, Teemu Pukki scored an injury-time winner to keep Daniel Farke’s side at the top, one point ahead of Leeds.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men were a goal down against Queens Park Rangers, though a goal either side of half time from Kemar Roofe – the second from the spot secured all three points for the hosts at Elland Road.

Sheffield United are up to third, though left it late against Reading with both of their goals in a 2-0 win coming in the last eight minutes, while Derby County are only behind the Blades on goal difference after a Jack Marriot strike was enough to give the Rams all three points at Wigan Athletic.

Controversy

West Bromwich Albion are fifth after Jay Rodriguez’s controversial late effort gave his side a share of the spoils against rivals Aston Villa.

The former England international appeared to bundle the ball into the back of the net with his hand to level a minute into added time.

Middlesbrough also picked just a point at home to Blackburn Rovers, and did so with ten men after Muhamed Besic was given a straight red card shortly before Charlie Mulgrew put the visitors in front.

Shock

However, Britt Assombalonga equalised just past the hour mark to put Boro two points ahead of his former club Nottingham Forest, who slipped out of play-off places after suffering a shock home defeat to Preston North End.

Birmingham City are in ninth despite being beaten 1-0 by Bristol City though Stoke City are now level on points with the Blues after triumphing over bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town thanks to goals from Tom Ince and Joe Allen.
Swansea City survived a fight-back from Brentford, holding on for a 3-2 win at Griffin Park.

The Swans were three-up inside twenty-seven minutes, with Wayne Routledge and Leroy Fer scoring either side of a Chris Mepham own-goal.

Rise

Efforts from Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma gave the hosts hope, though the points went back to south Wales and were enough to see Graham Potter’s side move into the top half, and they can be backed at 7/1 to finish in the top six.

Millwall and Hull City played out a 2-2 draw at the end with the Tigers both opening and ending the scoring, while the same can be said about Sheffield Wednesday, who themselves drew 2-2 with Rotherham United.

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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