Thursday, January 23, 2020

Champioship Preview – Matchay 40

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 8 Apr 2019

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Norwich City are just four wins away from clinching the Championship title, after thumping Queens Park Rangers by four goals to nil in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Goals from Emiliano Buendia, Marco Steipermann and Teemu Pukki (2) helped secure an emphatic win for Daniel Farke’s side, even by their high standards, though Buendia’s dismissal on seventy-one minutes took a little of the gloss off.

Nevertheless, defeat for Leeds United at Birmingham City has seen the Canaries open up a seven-point lead at the top, while they are eight points clear of Marcelo Bielsa’s men, who are down to third.

Sheffield United are second after they edged past Preston North End at Deepdale – David McGoldrick with the only goal of the game while West Bromwich Albion stay fourth despite falling to a 2-0 defeat at Millwall.

Bad day

Ahmed Hegazi both scored an own goal and was dismissed for two bookable offences, with Ryan Tunnicliffe having opened the scoring on the half-hour mark.

However, Neil Harris’s side remain just a point clear of the bottom three after Rotherham United beat Nottingham Forest by two goals to one at the New York Stadium.

Michael Smith and Michael Iheikwe netted either side of a Lewis Grabban strike, to keep the Millers in touch with their relegation rivals and see their relegation odds drift to 4/5.

Reading are just a point above Rotherham after they were beaten 3-1 at Hull City – the Tigers, along with Forest and Preston five points off the play-offs while Middlesbrough are a point better off than that clutch of sides, despite suffering a sixth straight defeat at Swansea City.


Aston Villa came from behind to strengthen their claim for a top-six spot – beating Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 at Hillsborough.

Gary Hooper put the Owls ahead inside seven minutes, with John McGinn leveling fifteen minutes later, before stoppage time strikes from Albert Adomah and Tammy Abraham turned the game on its head.

Bristol City stay sixth despite only managing to draw with Wigan Athletic, while Derby County are seventh, and a point better off after sharing the spoils in a six-goal thriller with Brentford.

The Rams took the lead on three occasions, but each time were pegged back thanks to goals from Julian Jeanvier, Neal Maupay and Said Benrahma.


Stoke City edged out Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in the most midtabe of all midtable clashes while the battle of the bottom two was won by Ipswich Town, who are now just five points behind Bolton Wanderers but a massive thirteen from safety with six games to play.

A first half brace from Colin Quaner put the Tractor Boys in control, with Josh Emmanuel’s late own-goal proving to be nothing more than a consolation for the hosts.


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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