Monday, October 21, 2019

Championship Preview – Matchday 22

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The Championship kicks off with yet another mouth-watering Friday night fixture with Sheffield United taking on West Bromwich Albion at Bramall Lane.

The winner will be guaranteed to end the day in third place, with the Blades going into the weekend occupying that position, one point above their opponents.

Leeds United will move into first place if they avoid defeat at struggling Bolton Wanderers, who came close to taking something from their game with leaders Norwich City last time out, though the Canaries will guarantee themselves top-spot if they win at Bristol City in the Saturday’s late kick-off.


Middlesbrough occupy sixth place and will look to keep themselves in the play-off places as they travel to Queens Park Rangers, where they will come up against their former coach Steve McClaren.

Another two of McClaren’s former employees go head to head on Monday evening in what is unquestionably the stand out fixture of matchday twenty-two as Derby County host Nottingham Forest in the East Midlands derby.

Forest can leapfrog their opponents with victory, though it has been four years since they have triumphed at Pride Park while the Rams are unbeaten in the last five ‘El Cloughicos’.

With my colours firmly nailed to the mast I feel duty bound to curse my beloved team by suggesting that you may be tempted to take advantage of odds of 11/4 for a win for Aitor Karanka’s side.


Eighth place Aston Villa host Stoke City looking to edge even closer to the top six while Birmingham City and Blackburn, who like the Potters are on thirty points meet at Ewood Park.

Swansea City ended a run of three straight defeats with victory at Brentford last weekend and will look to build on that result as they welcome Sheffield Wednesday to the Liberty Stadium.

The Owls have won just one of their last nine games and defeat here could see them slip closer towards the bottom three with two six pointers taking place between the four of the sides below them.

Danger zone

Brentford have just one win from their last fifteen games and they travel to a Hull City side who are in relatively good form while Rotherham United and Reading meet at the New York Stadium with the Royals knowing that three points would see them move above the Millers and out of the relegation zone.

Preston North End have lost just one of their last eleven – a run that culminated in a surprise victory at the City Ground a week ago and they will fancy their chances of another win as they host a Millwall side who can’t buy a win of late.

Finally, bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town, who are yet to triumph under new boss Paul Lambert host Wigan Athletic hoping for a repeat of the result from the last time the sides faced each other – the Tractor Boys triumphing 3-0.


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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