After their FA Cup run, Championship clubs are preparing for new gameweek. For clubs on top, these fixtures look easy for getting some points and secure their good spot, while some at the bottom can use this gameweek to get out of the relegation zone. Certainly, there is no easy game in Championship, but some sides are simply better than others and not many surprises should be expected this weekend.
Sheffield United vs Sheffield Wednesday
If you’re looking for a perfect way to begin your weekend, you should certainly start with this match! Two biggest rivals with a great history will play against each other on Friday night. It is not a secret that both clubs are having a bad run recently, but Sheffield United is having a better season than their rivals. December has passed, and win at home in this season can be a big boost for a team. Leon Clarke has been in amazing form this season and he will certainly give his best to score again on Friday, and with Sheffield Wednesday struggling to find a good result away from home this season, Sheffield United might keep a clean sheet too.
Sheffield United to win: 2-0
Cardiff vs Sunderland
Injuries have done no good to Cardiff in their last few games. They’ve lost their second spot and they have lost four games in a row. Cardiff City is struggling to score as their options upfront are all injured. However, playing at home against Sunderland is a perfect chance for Cardiff to get back on tracks. Both clubs are having a similar style of play, but Cardiff is having much more quality in their squad. Lots of goals shouldn’t be expected from this one, with Cardiff having a better chance of winning.
Cardiff to win: 1-0
Barnsley vs Wolves
With new owners, Barnsley is going to spend more money on their transfer targets to improve their squad. They are not expected to go down now, but good result against Wolves is a hard challenge for them. Wolves are by far the best side in Championship this season, and with Leo Bonatini and Diogo Jota playing so comfortably, they will certainly try to win against Barnsley on Saturday.
Wolves to win: 0-2
Birmingham vs Derby
In order to secure their second place, Derby needs a win in games like this. Luckily for them, their direct opponents are having a bad run recently, so Derby County will certainly try to use that advantage to get more points. Gary Rowett has signed a new contract with Derby, so rumours of him going to Stoke are not so realistic anymore. Derby is on excellent form lately, while Birmingham is still struggling to get out of the relegation zone. Matej Vydra has been magnificent this season and it will be hard for Birmingham’s defence to keep him from scoring.
Derby to win: 1-2
Brentford vs Bolton
Although Bolton is not so good away from home, they might pull a surprise on Saturday. Brentford is playing better when odds are not in their advantage, and although they might not lose the match, there is a chance of them losing some points against Bolton. Both sides are scoring and conceding a lot, so lots of goals can easily be expected from this one, and with Bolton going for a point, they might just manage to get a draw after all.
Bristol City vs Norwich
Bristol City had a hard away game against Manchester City in Carabao Cup semi-final, however, now it’s not the right time to rest. If they lose this one, they can easily lose their fight for second spot, so Lee Johnson will probably bring in a strong side. Bobby Reid scored against Manchester City, and if he plays on Saturday, it will be hard for Norwich’s defence to keep him from scoring again. Norwich, on the other side, is struggling to find a back of the net, so Bristol City can easily keep a clean sheet on Saturday.
Bristol City to win: 1-0
Burton vs QPR
Here is a chance for Burton to shine! Well, not exactly to shine, but they can get out of the relegation zone and they will certainly give their best to get all three points on Saturday. QPR has been awful away from home this season; they have won only 1 out of 13 away games so far. Burton is not so great away from home either, but with their biggest opponents having tough games, Burton will give their best to win this one.
Burton to win: 2-1
Hull vs Reading
This is a tough game to analyze. Both clubs are tough opponents, and both clubs can pull a surprise against better sides, but with games like this, the only thing you can be sure of, is that there won’t be a lot of goals in this one. Reading had a better season so far, but they are not as good as they were last season, so this game can easily get finished with both teams keeping a clean sheet.
Ipswich vs Leeds
Now, here we have an interesting game. It promises a lot of goals, lot of excitement and lots of attractive football. Ipswich has been amazing at home this season, and although they’ve been on a bad run recently, they will certainly give their best to win on Saturday. Leeds, on the other side, needs to win games like this in order to maintain in play-offs. Samuel Saiz has got a six-game ban, but Egzijan Alioski and Kemar Roofe can still make a difference and help Leeds win this one.
Leeds to win: 1-3
Middlesbrough vs Fulham
This will certainly be an interesting game to watch. These clubs are having a completely different style of play. While Fulham is playing an attractive and more attacking football, Tony Pulis is having a great defensive system and Middlesbrough is not going to try to score a lot of goals. Although Middlesbrough is having a better season so far, it looks like Fulham is finally getting back on tracks, and when they are in good form, they can be a real danger to any opponent.
Fulham to win: 1-2
Millwall vs Preston
On Saturday, Preston will have another hard game. They have been amazing away from home this season, but winning an away game against Millwall is really tough challenge. This game is certainly not promising a lot of goals, and it is hard to say if any side has better chance of winning. Of course, both sides will give their best to get all three points, but a draw is most likely outcome in this one.
Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa
With Aitor Karanka being a new Nottingham Forest manager, these clubs are playing almost the same style of play. They will rely on their defence and probably wait for their chances on counter. However, it is hard to imagine how that will go when both clubs have the same style of play. With games like this, both clubs can keep a clean sheet and split points.