Friday, February 22, 2019

Championship Preview – Matchday twenty-eight

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 17 Jan 2019

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Norwich City can move to within a point of leaders Leeds United if they return to winning ways against Birmingham City at Carrow Road on Friday evening.

The Canaries are without a win in their last five games in all competitions and have taken just four points from their last four matches in the Championship.

That run has seen them slip outside the top two though they can reclaim second spot if they avoid defeat against Garry Monk’s side.

The Blues have promotion aspirations themselves and a win will take them to within a point of the play-off places ahead of the weekend’s other fixtures.

Leaders

Leeds travel to a Stoke City side who are winless in their last six, begging the question of how much extra preparation Marcelo Bielsa has done ahead of the fixture.

There have been reports that the Argentinian could be set to resign follow the spying debacle though he remains in charge for the match against Nathan Jones’ side, who crashed out of the FA Cup in dramatic circumstances on Tuesday evening.

Second place Sheffield United travel to Swansea City looking to make it five league wins on the bounce while West Bromwich Albion will be keen to keep up the pressure on the top two when they head to Bolton Wanderers on Monday evening.

Having lost just one of their last five, fifth placed Middlesbrough host Millwall while Bristol City could move into the top six if they win and other results fall in their favour.

Miracle

Standing in the Robins’ way is Nottingham Forest in what will be Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge of the club he represented with distinction for ten years as a player.

The former Republic of Ireland boss has been tasked with getting the Reds into the top flight after a twenty-year exodus and you can back him to succeed this season at a price of 16/1.

Hull City and Aston Villa are separated by two places and just one point ahead of their meeting in the Midlands while eleventh place Queens Park Rangers host Preston North End.

Blackburn Rovers welcome bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town to Ewood Park while Reading travel to a Derby County side who are fresh from Wednesday evening’s penalty shoot-out victory over Southampton in their FA Cup third round replay.

Slide

Rotherham United host Brentford knowing that anything other than victory could see them finish the day in the bottom three while Wigan Athletic travel to Sheffield Wednesday with both sides looking to pull themselves away from trouble.

The Latics ended a run of eight games without victory by beating Aston Villa 3-0 last time out while the Owls have taken just three points from the last twelve available to them.

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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