Sometimes I believe that we need these international breaks to understand how much we actually love football. There is no doubt that we all missed Championship football and this weekend we’ll finally get back in action. Let’s see if Norwich can keep the first place as Middlesbrough and Leeds are waiting for their mistake. These are the Championship predictions for this weekend.
Ipswich vs WBA
If their 4-1 win against Leeds United wasn’t enough, Dwight Gayle came back from injury for West Bromwich Albion. Ipswich is in quite a bad form this season, they hold the last place but since the arrival of Paul Lambert they have managed to draw two games. I can’t see Ipswich winning this one, they are still adapting to the new style and the manager still hasn’t found the best starting line-up. Although West Bromwich Albion has struggled to get a win recently, as a better team they have much bigger chance of winning this one.
WBA to win: 0-3
Rotherham vs Sheffield United
This match will be a good challenge for the blades to see if they are capable to compete with big teams this season. If you want to win the promotion, you have to win games like this. Rotherham hasn’t showed much in Championship this season, but they have lost only one home game so far. Sheffield United is still fighting for the first place and I expect them to go for a win. I believe that both teams would score on Saturday, but Sheffield United has been in quite better form this season.
Sheffield United to win: 1-2
Hull vs Nottingham Forest
Hull is stuck in relegation zone and I can’t see them doing much more than fighting for survival this season. Nottingham Forest on the other side has been solid this whole season, they are always either in play-offs or few points below and they are clear about their ambition to get a promotion this season. Lewis Grabban has been in excellent form again this season, so I am expecting him to score against Hull on Saturday. Nottingham Forest should try to get another clean sheet in this one.
Nottingham Forest to win: 0-1
Leeds vs Bristol City
Bristol City is showing some good football this season, but they are not getting good results. Leeds United is having both, but they have lost their first place and now they have to chase Norwich. When it comes to Leeds, they have good fixtures. We can expect a lot from them in next few rounds and it all starts with this one. They are the better team than Bristol City, they are in better form and they have an advantage of playing at home. Leeds United has to be the favorite to win this one.
Leeds to win: 2-0
Millwall vs Bolton
Although these are the direct opponents, it’s clear to everyone which side has a better chance to win. If there wasn’t for a good start, Bolton would be by far the worst team in Championship this season. They’ve managed to get only five points in their last ten matches and they simply are not good enough to get an away win on Saturday. Millwall is once again excellent at home, they are getting a lot of wins and they can focus on keeping another clean sheet on Saturday against Bolton.
Millwall to win: 2-0
Preston vs Blackburn
Looking at their last ten matches; both teams are in similar form. Preston is finally getting back where everyone expected them to be this season, while Blackburn is fighting hard to keep their spot near play-offs. This match should be quite equal; with both teams having their chances and both teams will probably score. If I had to choose between these two, I would always go for the team that’s been in good form this whole season than the team that’s been in good form only recently. However, Blackburn is playing away from home, so draw should be the most likely result.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Derby
When everyone expects Derby to win, they go and lose that one. That is what happened with Aston Villa in their last match and now they have to get points away from home. Sheffield Wednesday is in awful form lately, in their last five matches they’ve managed to get only one point, they scored only 2 goals and conceded 12. For Derby County this is the perfect time to play against Sheffield Wednesday, they will most certainly go for a win and it would be a surprise if they don’t get all three points.
Derby to win: 1-3
Stoke vs QPR
This game is the big test for both teams. Stoke City has to win; they need to get near play-offs as soon as they can and QPR should be looking to improve their away performance with another win. When it comes to form, QPR has been outstanding lately with only Norwich being in better form than they are. I can see Stoke City struggling against QPR on Saturday, although they will most certainly go for a win, this match can easily finish with both teams keeping a clean sheet.
Swansea vs Norwich
Swansea has been good at home lately, but Norwich is outstanding away from home this season. Although this will certainly be a tough match for both teams, Norwich has won their last five matches in Championship and they will certainly work hard to keep their first spot. I expect both teams to score in this one, with Norwich having a better chance to score more than once. Teemu Pukki has been excellent this season and I am expecting him to continue that form.
Norwich to win: 1-2
Wigan vs Reading
Although they have been struggling lately, Wigan has been excellent at home this season. Reading on the other side hasn’t showed much when it comes to an away performance and I can’t see them getting a win in this one. Wigan had tough matches lately, they lost against Middlesbrough, Leeds, Sheffield United and Millwall, but they are good enough to get a win against team like Reading. I expect Nick Powell to get back from playing as a striker to his more natural position in midfield.
Wigan to win: 2-0
Brentford vs Middlesbrough
Last game on Saturday will be the clash between Brentford and Middlesbrough. Brentford has been in awful form since Dean Smith left and this has to be the biggest advantage for Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill scored two goals in Middlesbrough 2-0 win against Wigan so we can expect him to start as a striker once again on Saturday. Although this is an away match for them, I believe that Middlesbrough is having a better chance to win this one.
Middlesbrough to win: 1-2
Aston Villa vs Birmingham
The last match in this round will be played on Sunday and it will be the big one. Aston Villa will meet Birmingham and this has to be the most exciting match in this round. One thing that we can certainly expect is a lot of goals on both sides. Aston Villa is excellent at home, they have a good team and they are very dangerous in attack. Birmingham on the other side has been in amazing form this season too, Lukas Jutkiewicz scored 9 goals so far and he can easily score against their rivals. Although I expect Aston Villa to attack more and create more chances, I believe that these two teams will split points in the end.