Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Championship Preview – Matchday 24

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 26 Dec 2018

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Leeds United will look to tighten their grip at the top of the Championship as they welcome Blackburn Rovers to Elland Road on Boxing Day.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side came from two goals down to take all three points at Villa Park on Sunday and will hope to take that momentum into this fixture as they look to secure a seventh straight league win.

Norwich City are just a point behind Leeds after stringing together a eleven-game unbeaten run and are favourites to triumph as they welcome a Nottingham Forest side who haven’t scored in three to Carrow Road.

Goal-shy

Aitor Karanka’s side are in seventh place, though their promotion push has suffered of late with them taking just one point from their last three games.

West Bromwich Albion, who are riding high in third place take on Wigan Athletic at the Hawthorns while fourth place Middlesbrough are also at home – Sheffield Wednesday the visitors to the Riverside Stadium.

Fifth plays sixth at Bramall Lane with Sheffield United hosting a Derby County side who sit one place and one point above them.

The Blades have won just two of their last seven games and are the side currently in the top six who are tipped to fall off though the Rams will be keen to return to winning ways after drawing back-to-back games.

Chasing pack

Birmingham City and Stoke City come face to face at St Andrews with both sides just four points off the top six, separated by goal difference alone while Queens Park Rangers are also on thirty-four points having secured a surprise victory at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

Safety

Steve McClaren’s side welcome bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town to Lotus Road with the Tractor Boys looking for a win that could take them to within a point of safety depending on results elsewhere.

There are two potential six-pointers taking place as second-from-bottom Bolton Wanderers host Rotherham United and Millwall face Reading.

The Royals are above the Lions, and the dotted line by virtue of goal difference though it is Neil Harris’s side who are the more likely to survive in the eyes of the bookmakers, with a price of 3/1 available for them to be relegated.

Preston North End and Hull City have both pulled away from trouble of late and the pair clash at Deepdale while Bristol City and Brentford play at Ashton Gate in what is very much a midtable battle.

Finally, two sides who would have certainly hoped to have been higher up the table at this point meet at the Liberty Stadium, with Swansea City taking on Aston Villa.

The Swans have lost four of their last six, while Villa looked to have been extending their unbeaten run to seven games on Sunday before leaders Leeds turned the game on its head.

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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