Sunday, December 8, 2019

Championship Preview – Matchday 25

Deke Hardman in General Soccer News 29 Dec 2018

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After coming from behind to secure stoppage time victories in each of their last two games, leaders Leeds United will be hoping for a more straight-forward afternoon as they take on Hull City.

However, the Tigers are themselves unbeaten in six and will be no pushovers as they look to continue their climb up the table.

Leeds sit three points clear at the summit after Saturday’s dramatic win over Blackburn Rovers – their seventh in succession though they know that is Norwich City, they have a side hot on their heels so there is absolutely no room for complacency.

After salvaging a point against Nottingham Forest last time out, the Canaries will look to return to winning ways as they welcome fellow promotion hopefuls Derby County to Carrow Road.

The Rams were beaten at Sheffield United on Boxing Day – their first defeat in five league games but remain in the top six, nine points off the automatic promotion places.


West Bromwich Albion are unbeaten in eight – winning six of those games and will look to keep the pressure on the top two as they host Sheffield Wednesday, while the Owls city rivals United welcome Blackburn to Bramall Lane.

Rovers have won just one of their last eight games and will need to improve their form quickly if they are to have any chance of finishing in the top six.

No sides currently in the top half of the Championship have lost more games from their last five than Middlesbrough, though they will be confident of taking the points as they welcome bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town to the Riverside Stadium.


The Tractor Boys have won just one of their last twelve games and remain odds on favourites for relegation while Rotherham United aren’t even odds-on to go down after winning just one in seventeen.

The Millers, who travel to Bristol City could well be in the bottom three come 5pm on Saturday, so you may be tempted to take advantage of the price of 6/5 for them to be sent back down to League One at the first time of asking.

Twenty-third place Reading are also bang in trouble and face a tough trip to Loftus Road while Bolton Wanderers, who are just one place and two points better off than the Royals take on Stoke City at home.


Millwall are a point above the drop zone and will look to be latest side to deny Nottingham Forest of victory while Wigan Athletic and Brentford, who are both looking over their shoulder are at Swansea City and Birmingham City respectively.

Finally, having returned to winning ways at Swansea on Boxing Day Aston Villa will be keen for a win that could edge them closer to the play-offs as they head to Preston North End.


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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