Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Championship Preview – Matchday 43

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 19 Apr 2019

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Norwich City’s return to the Premier League will be confirmed today if they beat Sheffield Wednesday in the day’s late kick-off and Sheffield United lose at home to Nottingham Forest.

Back-to-back draws have halted the Canaries’ seemingly inevitable promotion, though that hardly besmirches an impressive run which has seen them lose just one of their last fifteen league games.

Whilst it would provide a boost to their city rivals’ hopes of finishing in the top two, the Owls will be desperate to delay Norwich’s celebrations, with Steve Bruce’s side harboring their own hopes of finishing in the top six.


The Blades will move into the automatic promotion places if they beat Nottingham Forest at Bramall Lane, though could well be replaced later in the day when Leeds United host Wigan Athletic.

West Bromwich Albion can move a step closer to confirming a top fix finish with victory over Hull City, though the Tigers are among a clutch of sides hoping to make a late charge to finish in the play-offs.

Aston Villa – many peoples tips for winning the play-offs travel to a Bolton Wanderers side who will be relegated to League One unless they win on Friday afternoon, while even that may not be enough depending on the results of the sides directly above the drop zone.

One of those sides – Reading face a tough trip to sixth place Bristol City while Millwall, who are also looking over their shoulders host Brentford.


Rotherham United came from two goals down to salvage a point at Stole City last time out and will hope to go one better as the welcome Swansea City to the New York Stadium.

Despite being one of the preseason favourites for relegation, the Millers refuse to go down without a fight and with a clutch of sides in their sights, you would have to think twice about backing them for an immediate return to the third tier.

One win in seven and a ten-point deduction has seen Birmingham City slip towards the lower reaches of the table, and while they are six points clear of the bottom three you may be tempted to back them at 100/1 to go down, ahead of their trip to Derby County.

The Rams start the day two points shy of the top six, and one worse off than Middlesbrough, who will hope to continue their resurgence at home to Stoke City.


Two sides who can almost certainly begin preparing for another season in the Championship meet at Loftus Road where Queens Park Rangers face Blackburn Rovers while already relegated Ipswich Town travel to Preston and North End.

A play-off push may just be beyond the Lilywhites, though they have been boosted by manager Alex Neil penning a new deal following strong links with the vacant position at West Brom.


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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