Friday, February 22, 2019

Championship Preview – Matchday 23

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 22 Dec 2018

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Norwich City will reclaim top spot in the Championship if they can beat Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Canaries were displaced by Leeds United last weekend after they only managed to draw with Bristol City, though they can return to the summit with three points with Leeds not in action until Sunday afternoon.

A clutch of sides will be keen to close the gap on the title favourites, starting with third place West Bromwich Albion who travel to a Rotherham United side who are looking over their shoulder after winning just one of their last fifteen games.

Home

Derby County are the only side in the top-six to be at home this weekend, with Bristol City the visitors while Sheffield United will hope to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to West Brom as they face bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Middlesbrough are hanging in the top six despite taking just two points from the last twelve available to them while they go into Saturday’s game at Reading having been knocked out of the EFL Cup by League Two Burton Albion on Tuesday.

Seventh place Nottingham Forest will look to pounce on any mistakes made by any of the sides above them as they host Queens Park Rangers while even Aston Villa could find themselves in the top six at Christmas, though for that to happen they would need to beat leaders Leeds and hope other results fall in their favour.

Rise

Jonathan Kodja’s late equaliser against Stoke City last weekend made it seven games unbeaten for the Villains, who can now be backed at a price of 5/2 to clinch promotion by any means.

Swansea City also have an eye on the play-off places and will be looking to make it three straight wins for the first time this season as they travel to Hull City in the day’s late kick-off.

However, the Tigers are on their best run of the season after going four unbeaten – a run that sees them five points clear of the bottom three.

Sacked

Sheffield Wednesday are level on points with Hull, and that was not deemed good enough by their board who relieved Josh Luhukay of his duties on Friday after eleven months in charge.

The Owls take on upwardly mobile Preston North End at Hillsborough, with Steve Bruce reportedly their first choice to jump into the hot seat.

Birmingham City travel to Wigan Athletic five points off the top six while Bolton Wanderers and Millwall, who start the day in the bottom three face tough trips to Brentford and Stoke City respectively.

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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