The last round in this year is certainly brining us a lot of action. A big number of teams are still fighting for promotion and this time we won’t have a lot of direct opponents. Leeds United will most likely keep their first spot, but can Birmingham or Queens Park Rangers take a play-off spot from Derby County or Middlesbrough? These are the predictions for this weekend.
Birmingham City vs Brentford
Here is a chance for Garry Monk and his team to finish this year in play-offs. Birmingham City has been amazing this whole season, they are excellent in attack and they have lost only one home game so far. When it comes to Brentford, they are finally getting some good results with defensive football, but they are still in awful form. Considering that they are experimenting with defensive football at the moment, I wouldn’t expect a lot of goals from this one. But Birmingham City has to go for a win and they have a squad capable of getting all three points.
Birmingham City to win: 2-0
Bolton Wanderers vs Stoke City
Stoke City is struggling to score, but Bolton Wanderers are having a really hard time finding a back of the net. Bolton is the team with worst form in Championship, they are losing a lot of matches and they are conceding far too many. Stoke City is finally finding their form and although they are struggling to score, they are fighting for play-off spot and games like this has to be won when you are trying to get in top 6.
Stoke City to win: 0-1
Bristol City vs Rotherham United
Rotherham still hasn’t won a single away game, while Bristol City is unbeaten in last six matches. Lee Johnson is still trying to get the best out of his squad and to find the best starting line-up, but they are certainly going to attack more and create more chances at home against Rotherham United. Famara Diedhiou has been in solid form lately and he has proven before that he can be very dangerous in attack, so I expect him to continue that excellent form on Saturday against Rotherham.
Bristol City to win: 2-1
Leeds United vs Hull City
Leeds United has definitely been impressive this season. Their main striker, Kemar Roofe has scored a last minute winner in their last two matches. Currently, Leeds United is holding a first spot with three points more than Norwich and impressive winning run. They have won their last seven matches and they should easily win against Hull on Saturday. I wouldn’t say that Hull is an easy opponent, they are in excellent form and they have lost only one of their last ten matches. But considering a team that Leeds United has and the fact that they play at home, I would say that they should easily win this one.
Leeds United to win: 2-1
Middlesbrough vs Ipswich Town
Middlesbrough is in awful form and fans are losing patience with Pulis, but they simply can’t lose against Ipswich at home. Ipswich has improved under new manager, but they are still not good enough to compete with top 6 sides away from home. The biggest problem with Middlesbrough has to be finding a back of the net and finding a good winger is their top priority at the moment, but before they sign a player that can give them more creativity in attack; they have to work hard and try to score with what they have.
Middlesbrough to win: 1-0
Millwall vs Nottingham Forest
There are numerous articles saying that Aitor Karanka is reportedly facing the sack. For me, that would be the worst decision that Nottingham Forest board could make. They are only 3 points bellow play-offs and they are obviously forgetting where they’ve been last few seasons. When it comes to this game, I wouldn’t expect much from neither side. Nottingham Forest has good away record, while Millwall has been excellent at home this season. Although there are always a lot of goals when Millwall is playing at home, I don’t expect that on Saturday.
Norwich City vs Derby County
Norwich City is losing points while Leeds United is winning. They have to get back in form and give their best to get their first place back quickly. Luckily for them, there is no better time to play against Derby County but now. They have won only two of their last five matches and they are struggling to get a good result away from home. I expect both teams to score in this one, but considering the fact that Norwich is playing at home and that they are fighting for the first place, they have a better chance to win this one.
Norwich City to win: 2-1
Preston North End vs Aston Villa
Aston Villa wasn’t in the best form lately, but after their 1-0 win against Swansea, they are once again having a chance to get into play-offs. Preston is another team that hasn’t been in their best form recently and they will certainly struggle against the second best attack in the league. Yannick Bolasie has been impressive for Aston Villa under Dean Smith and I expect him to shine on Saturday and be one of the key players on the field.
Aston Villa to win: 1-3
Queens Park Rangers vs Reading
Another team that can end this year in play-offs is Queens Park Rangers. They are only two points bellow Middlesbrough and Derby and with a little bit of luck, they can end up in top six after this weekend. They have really been amazing this season as they’ve managed to get in this position after being the worst team in the league. Reading is having a new manager, but this is another tough away game and I can’t see them winning away from home against QPR.
Queens Park Rangers to win: 2-1
Sheffield United vs Blackburn Rovers
Sheffield United is back in the game after their incredible win against Derby County on Boxing Day. This time they have an easier opponent, but Blackburn Rover is still a good side although they’ve got in bad form recently. Billy Sharp scored three goals in last four matches for Sheffield United and he currently has 13 goals for his side. I expect him to continue that form on Saturday as I expect a lot of goals and lot of action in this one.
Sheffield United to win: 2-1
Swansea City vs Wigan Athletic
Swansea is currently an average midtable side, but Wigan Athletic has been one of the worse teams in Championship when it comes to an away performance. The biggest problem for Swansea City is finding a back of the net, but Wigan has been conceding far too many goals lately so it shouldn’t be a problem for Swansea to score. I don’t expect a lot of goals from this one, but I expect a minimum result win from Swansea City.
Swansea City to win: 1-0
West Bromwich Albion vs Sheffield Wednesday
This should really be an easy game for West Bromwich Albion. They have the best attack in the league, they are in excellent form and Sheffield Wednesday is conceding far too many goals to be able to compete with teams like West Bromwich Albion. I am expecting a home side to score a lot once again. They are back in the fight for straight promotion and they will work really hard to get another win on Saturday.
West Bromwich Albion to win: 3-0