Some matches from this gameweek might end up to be postponed because of the snow. For now, it’s only Sheffield United vs Burton, but it may happen to other games too. Some big games will be played both in top 6 and in relegation zone. Middlesbrough will play against Leeds, while Derby County will face Fulham. It’s crucial week for some clubs, let’s not forget that Wolves are now only 6 points above Cardiff, and if they lose again their first spot won’t be so secured anymore.
Middlesbrough vs Leeds
Big game for both sides. They are both chasing play-offs and both will give their best to win. Samuel Saiz is back for Leeds United, and with him they’ve played much better in their last two games. Both clubs are having similar style of play, both rely on defence and wait for their chance from counter. Britt Assombalonga will probably play again on Friday as Gestede is injured, and striker is not in his best form recently. Both clubs will certainly score, but with better attack, Leeds seems to have better chance of winning.
Leeds to win: 1-2
Aston Villa vs QPR
This should be an easy task for Aston Villa. They are in much better form than QPR and they are still fighting for straight promotion. QPR’s away performance has been awful this season with only 2 wins from 17 games. Villa on the other side is excellent at home; they have won 10, lost only one game and had 6 draws. In last 10 games Aston Villa is in excellent form, 8 wins, one draw and one loss. They can certainly score, but they should try to keep clean sheet too as it would be a big boost for the team.
Aston Villa to win: 2-0
Barnsley vs Norwich
Two good results for Barnsley lately, but both were against direct opponents. Although Norwich is not so great this season, their away performance has been excellent. Barnsley at home? Not so good this season. Both clubs are struggling to score, but Norwich has a far better defence, so against Barnsley they can easily rely on them and wait for their chance on counter. In a game like this, the one that score can often be the one that wins, as only one goal can be quite realistic expectation. Norwich to win: 0-1
Bolton vs Preston
Preston had such a nice chance to be in play-offs now, but they couldn’t beat Ipswich at home, and now they need to fight for their spot once again. Bolton is an easy opponent for a challenge like that. They are better than Burton, but they are still not good enough against sides that are fighting for promotion. However, from their last 10 home games, Bolton lost only one, so Bolton can still be a tough opponent. Although Preston may struggle, they should try everything to win this game in order not to lose their fight for play-offs.
Preston to win: 0-1
Brentford vs Cardiff
We have all witnessed that Cardiff can do anything this season. They have been magnificent against everyone, but when someone is desperate for points, like Brentford is, it is hard to win against them. Cardiff has never struggled with defence this season, their defensive system is perfect and they don’t concede too many, they had a bad run when they struggled to score, but that run is over now. However, Brentford is good this season, especially when they play against better sides, so both sides might manage to score, but hardly anyone is going to score more than once.
Bristol City vs Sheffield Wednesday
Similar to QPR, Sheffield Wednesday is awful in away performance too. Bristol City has just lost their play-off spot, and they need a win as soon as possible. They score enough but their defence somehow always fails. Luckily for them, Sheffield Wednesday is struggling to score, so Bristol City can rely on Bobby Reid and Famara Diedhiou and try to score more than once.
Bristol City to win: 2-1
Derby vs Fulham
For both clubs, this might be the biggest game of the season. Fulham has just won against Wolves with 2-0, and win against best team in the league is incredible boost for Jokanovic’s side. Derby, on the other side, has again failed to organize their defence and conceded 3 goals from Reading. This game promises a lot of goals and lot of excitement. Both sides are playing attacking football, and both sides are chasing a straight promotion. However, Fulham is in much better form currently, and they can easily find a win against Derby County too.
Fulham to win: 1-2
Ipswich vs Hull
Hull just isn’t good enough this season, while Ipswich has been good at home. Ipswich is scoring a lot, but Hull is a tough opponent lately, so they might struggle to find the back of the net. Play-offs are not so realistic for Ipswich anymore, but they can always try, and winning games like this can be an excellent start. Hull might get down to relegation zone if they lose here, and they will provide a good fight, but still they are not good enough to win.
Ipswich to win: 1-0
Millwall vs Sunderland
In last 15 games, only Fulham and Wolves had better results than Millwall. At this point, it’s alright to think about play-offs as teams above them are losing quite often. What a season that would be for Millwall? Sunderland is an easy opponent, and Millwall defeated far better sides at home, so anything but three points would be unacceptable for Millwall. Sunderland will try to defend as best as they can, but Millwall has not struggled to score lately, and they can score at least twice against this Sunderland side.
Millwall to win: 2-0
Nottingham Forest vs Birmingham
Nottingham Forest is having a terrible run at home, but not to win against Birmingham is harder than to win. Birmingham has won only two away games so far and had only 4 draws from 17 games. Nottingham has scored 5 times against QPR, and if they continue that form, they can easily win against Birmingham who is struggling to score. For Aitor Karanka and his team, this should be an easy task.
Nottingham Forest to win: 2-0
Wolves vs Reading
Wolves are on some kind of a bad run and playing against Reading seems to be the perfect opportunity for them to get back on tracks. Jaap Stam has a trouble with his defence, they concede too much and their performance is nothing like last season. On the other side, Wolves are good in both defence and attack, so it will be hard for Reading to score, and will be hard for them not to concede too. Cardiff is getting close to Wolves and they need to start winning as soon as possible to secure their first place.
Wolves to win: 3-0