It’s only three gameweeks until the end of the season and battle for play-offs and straight promotion isn’t over yet. This is certainly the best part of the season, especially when the season is competitive as this one is, and in next few weeks in Championship, we will see a lot of passion, real fight, and a lot of disappointment as well.
Millwall vs Fulham
First game will be played on Friday, and when it comes to the straight promotion, this is the most important game so far. If Fulham lose, they will depend on Cardiff a lot, and Cardiff is not going to lose their second spot that easy. Millwall is fighting to secure their play-off spot; they are unbeaten in their last 17 games and they have been magnificent at home. Both clubs need a win, and both clubs are in incredible form, however, I don’t think that any of these two sides is going to win. This will be a tough one, and although I believe that both teams will score, I think that this one will end up with a draw.
Birmingham vs Sheffield United
Both clubs are in quite similar form lately, but Birmingham is fighting for survival, while Sheffield United is fighting for play-offs. This will be a good game, I expect a lot of goals from both sides as both sides will try to win this one. Sheffield United is not so great away from home this season, while Birmingham is unbeaten in their last three home games. However, I expect that Sheffield United will get all three points in this one, they are the better side, their key players are all fit to play, and they are better in attack than Birmingham.
Sheffield United to win: 1-3
Bolton vs Wolves
Wolves are now officially promoted to Premier League, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need another win. If they win at least two of their next three games, they can end up with more than 100 points, which is certainly an incredible way to finish the season. Bolton is fighting for survival, and they are quite good at home, but can they get a good result against Wolves? I don’t think so! It will be hard for them to keep Diogo Jota, Benik Afobe or Ruben Neves from scoring on Saturday.
Wolves to win: 0-2
Brentford vs QPR
Brentford is still having some small chance of getting into play-offs. Of course, they depend a lot on teams above them, but they will certainly try to win all of their next three games. QPR is awful when it comes to an away performance; they have only 3 wins in 21 away games, while Brentford is decent at home. Although QPR have finished their season, they can still fight for a win, but although this might be a tough game, I still expect Brentford to win.
Brentford to win: 2-0
Bristol City vs Hull
I hope that I am wrong, but I believe that Bristol City will end their fight for play-offs on Saturday. They are losing a lot of games lately while Hull has been in excellent form. I expect a lot of goals from this one, but I don’t think that any side will win. Bobby Reid can still end up as a Championship top scorer, and I believe that he can score at least one against Hull on Saturday.
Derby vs Middlesbrough
This is probably the most important match in this gameweek. Middlesbrough and Derby County are direct opponents and if Millwall continue their winning run, only one of these two can end up in play-offs. Of course, both teams will work hard to win, but which side is better lately? It has to be Middlesbrough. In last 20 games, Middlesbrough has been in much better form than Derby, they are having more wins, they are scoring more and they are better in defence. Derby County is having a game in hand, but that game is against Cardiff and they still need a win against Middlesbrough to get back in play-offs, but I don’t think that they are good enough currently to get a win against a direct opponent.
Middlesbrough to win: 1-2
Ipswich vs Aston Villa
Aston Villa has secured play-offs, but they don’t need to start losing now. They are excellent at a back and they have a lot of options in attack, they might rest some of their key players, but they are still good enough to compete with Ipswich. Ipswich has been awful lately, they’ve lost against Nottingham Forest in their last game, and with that kind of performance, they can’t really expect a good result against Aston Villa. I expect that Aston Villa will win this one, and they may keep another clean sheet against Ipswich.
Aston Villa to win: 0-1
Leeds vs Barnsley
Paul Heckingbottom will meet his former side, Barnsley, and it will be nice to see if Leeds United can finally get a win. Barnsley needs a win more than Leeds, they will work hard to secure all three points and they know that they are capable of doing it. This will be a tough game for Leeds, their only players that seem to be in good form are Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe. I expect one of them to score on Saturday, but I don’t think that Leeds United can get a win against Barnsley.
Preston vs Norwich
Preston is still in fight for play-offs, they need a bit of luck, but nothing is impossible in Championship. Norwich is good when it comes to an away performance, but they don’t seem to be good enough to compete with teams that are above them. Preston will certainly have more possession and they will attack more, but I don’t think that they can stop James Maddison or Nelson Oliveira from scoring. However, although I expect both teams to score, Preston is a better side and they really need a win now, so for me, they are having a better chance to win.
Preston to win: 2-1
Sheffield Wednesday vs Reading
Sheffield Wednesday has finished their season, while Reading is still fighting for survival. This will be a tough one, as Sheffield Wednesday is good at home and Reading is a tough team that relies on their defence more. I wouldn’t expect a lot of goals from this one, there will probably be only one goal, but the question is, which club will score? For me, that should be Reading. Their away performance is decent, with a win on Saturday they will probably secure their survival, and Sheffield Wednesday is not so good against defensive sides this season.
Reading to win: 0-1
Sunderland vs Burton
Both sides will probably be relegated to League One, but this game is a good chance for at least one of them to keep fighting and hoping. Sunderland is having a better squad, but their home performance has been outrageous this season. Burton on the other side is decent when it comes to an away performance, so this would be a really good game. I am expecting Sunderland to miss a lot of chances if they start Ashley Fletcher again, he is young, but he is definitely not good enough to play in Championship. Both sides need a win, and in the open game, I believe that Burton is having a better chance to win.
Burton to win: 0-1
Cardiff vs Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest has finally won a game, but they still don’t look good enough to compete with a side that’s fighting to secure a straight promotion. For Nottingham Forest everything will be about defence, and Cardiff has one at home against defensively better sides than Nottingham. Cardiff needs a win, they need to secure a straight promotion, and home game against Nottingham Forest is the perfect opportunity for them to do that, especially when Fulham is having a tough game against Millwall.
Cardiff to win: 2-0