Leeds United is now officially third, while Norwich City continues their winning run. There is an active fight for the first place, active fight for play-offs and active fight for survival. At this point, we can say that this is one of the most exciting seasons in Championship so far. These are our predictions for this weekend.
Leeds United vs West Bromwich Albion
Leeds United is back in play-off place and they have to start winning again in order to get their first place back. They are without the doubt the best team in Championship, but their current form has come in the worst moment. They have lost their last match against Queens Park Rangers and with Kemar Roofe injured don’t have a lot of options in attack. West Bromwich Albion has lost their last match against Sheffield United and this is their second chance to get a win against the direct rivals. Although West Bromwich Albion is having the best attack in the league, I think that Leeds United can’t afford anything but a win.
Leeds United to win: 2-1
Aston Villa vs Derby County
It’s hard to say which one of these two clubs is in the worse form at the moment. Aston Villa wasn’t good enough this whole season, while Derby County has been excellent until recently. One can say that a long cup run has cost them play-offs, but I think that Derby County had certain problems with attack even before this cup run. David Nugent has been awful for Derby County this season as he ruined more than enough chances to get more points for his team. I don’t expect him to start on Saturday.
Brentford vs Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers have won their last match against Leeds United, but their form recently has been awful. It’s not just their form, but they have had a rough schedule too. Brentford on the other side has been excellent lately, they have also lost their last match, but their recent form was similar to the one they had at the beginning of the season. They are scoring a lot of goals, they are more organized in defence and they are always looking to get all three points from the game. With a home advantage, I would say that they are the favorites to win here.
Brentford to win: 2-0
Hull City vs Birmingham City
Now, with Derby County and Bristol City having tough matches, this could be a chance for Birmingham to finally get into play-offs. They are back on tracks again and they have been amazing in attack this whole season. Hull City, on the other side, is also trying their best to reach play-offs and with only three points behind Birmingham, the home side will be working hard to get a win on Saturday. For me, Birmingham City is having a better team, they have performing better this whole season and I think that they can win this one.
Birmingham City to win: 1-2
Ipswich Town vs Reading
Ipswich Town managed to get a point away from home against Wigan in their last match, while Reading also took a point, but they did it at home against Rotherham. This will be a big match for both teams. Ipswich Town will be looking to get all three points at home against their relegation rivals, while Reading will try to continue their good form. I wouldn’t expect a very exciting game with a lot of goals, but I expect Reading to get an away win.
Reading to win: 0-1
Millwall vs Norwich City
With their recent form Millwall is far away from safety, and to even to say that they are tough team to face when they play at home is not correct anymore. Their season so far has been a disaster, while Norwich City on the other side is having a season that nobody expected them to have. They hold the first place, they are in amazing form and their away record has been more than excellent. Teemu Pukki is Championship top scorer with 23 goals so far and I expect him to score again on Saturday.
Norwich City to win: 0-2
Preston North End vs Bristol City
Although they have lost their last two games, Bristol City is still in amazing form and they are still in play-offs. With Derby County having a tough match they have another opportunity to get away from their direct rivals, but will they take it? Preston North End is not an easy team to play against at the moment, they are unbeaten in their last eight matches and they will look to stay unbeaten on Saturday too. I expect both teams to score in this one, but I don’t expect any of these two sides to get all three points.
Rotherham United vs Blackburn Rovers
I don’t know what is going on with Blackburn Rovers, but it looks like they have dropped their form the minute they saw that they can’t reach the play-offs anymore. They have been excellent this season and they have an amazing team, but their recent form has been awful both at home and in away games. Rotherham United is still fighting to survive and stay in Championship for one more season, they are good at home and they will certainly work harder on Saturday.
Rotherham United to win: 1-0
Stoke City vs Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest has been awful away from home this season. They’ve managed to get 19 points from away performances, but they’ve got only three away wins so far. Stoke City is far from their best form and they are struggling to score and to get a win. With Martin O’Neill, Nottingham Forest has really improved their defence and I am confident that they can get a clean sheet in this one. Considering that they are chasing play-offs, I think that they are favorites to win on Saturday.
Nottingham Forest to win: 0-1
Swansea City vs Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers are by far one of the worst sides in Championship this season and I am not sure if they have any chance to survive. Swansea City is not having the best season, but with a team that they have I think that they are doing just fine. They are quite good at home and although they are having problems to score from time to time, I don’t think that it will be a problem for them to find a back of the net against Bolton Wanderers.
Swansea City to win: 2-0
Wigan Athletic vs Middlesbrough
For now, Middlesbrough is staying in play-offs. They have improved their form lately and they have made a nice gap between them and their rivals. Wigan Athletic is five points clear from relegation zone and I don’t think that they will get relegated this season. They are good at home, but their recent form has simply been awful. I think that Wigan is having an excellent team, but I don’t think that they can compete with top 6 sides for now.
Middlesbrough to win: 1-2
Sheffield Wednesday vs Sheffield United
Big derby will be played on Monday night with both teams from Sheffield being in excellent form at the moment. Sheffield United is still looking to get that first place, while Sheffield Wednesday has been making some excellent result with Steve Bruce lately. I expect a lot of action and lot of goals from this one, but for me, Sheffield United has been better this whole season and they have a better chance to win this one on Monday.
Sheffield United to win: 1-3