Our football writer previews the English Football League Championship round 45 action which kicks off on Friday 27 April 2018.
In the penultimate round of 2017/18 English Championship football, yours truly will be determined to pick a few winners! Newly promoted champions, Wolves, will break the 100-point mark should they claim maximum points against Sheffield Wednesday this weekend and what a way to do it – in front of their beloved fans in their final home game of the season!
With just two promotion play-off places remaining, this weekend’s action is likely to come down to the wire. The relegation battle is ongoing as well, but Sunderland looks sure to be deemed relegated come Friday evening. Burton Albion are putting up a solid fight, while Barnsley are struggling to get out of the drop zone.
Friday 27 April
Fulham are unbeaten in their last 22 matches with 17 wins and five draws. Relegation-threatened Sunderland are without a win in their last five matches and can’t afford to drop any more points and should Bolton earn at least a point over their last two games, it will send the Black Cats down to League One.
The Cottagers have been absolutely brilliant in the second half of the season and will be determined to finish the campaign off strong. Sunderland are lacking confidence and fighting spirit and I just can’t see them keeping Fulham quiet. Back the hosts on the (-1) Handicap at 13/20.
Saturday 28 April
Hull were involved in a 10-goal thriller at Bristol City last time out after the sides played to a cracking 5-5 draw. Hull showed tremendous fighting spirit but, in the end, couldn’t hold on to their lead, conceding in injury-time.
At the time of writing, Cardiff’s automatic promotion place is still up for grabs and Fulham are hot on their heels – no slip up can be afforded. The Bluebirds have won back-to-back games but have lacked consistency on the road. The Tigers have a good record against Cardiff and they’re tipped on the Win/Draw Double Chance to upset the applecart at 13/20.
Aston Villa 9/10
Aston Villa remain in contention for that automatic promotion place and must claim collect all three points this weekend if they are to stay in with a chance. Derby are looking to make the promotion play-offs but their form suggests otherwise.
At the time of writing, they have suffered three losses on the spin and that doesn’t look like improving here. The Villains have won their last three games, scoring six goals without conceding. The Rams have lost two matches on their travels on the bounce and should go down. Get on the home win.
At the time of writing, Barnsley must win to stand a chance of surviving the drop but face a difficult task in the form of Brentford. The Bees are undefeated in their last seven matches, while the hosts are winless in their last three matches.
The Tykes have managed just four wins from 22 home games and are expected to struggle here. Back Brentford to come away with a narrow victory.
Burton Albion 27/20
Second from bottom on the table, Burton Albion, has been excellent of late with back-to-back wins and desperately need to maintain that form if they are to survive the fall to League One. Bolton have been dismal with five losses from their last six matches and are winless in their last nine travels.
Burton Albion won the reverse tie 1-0 and are good value to complete the double over Bolton. Take the Brewers to get up for the win.
Norwich are placed mid-table after what has been a below-average season from the Canaries. Leeds haven’t been any better and are only above Norwich due to their superior goal-difference.
There has been nothing exciting about either of these teams and with that being said, I’m expecting a dour encounter. The Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market is tipped at 21/20.
Bristol City 31/20
Nottingham Forest are yet to play their match on Tuesday 24th of April at the time of writing. They have been dismal in recent weeks but will be looking to capitalize on home advantage when they come up against the Robins on Saturday.
Bristol City’s 5-5 home draw against Hull City hindered their chance of making the promotion play-offs. However, they still have a slim chance but must win this weekend and I feel they have the quality to edge the victory.
QPR have been dismal with three losses from their last four matches, including back-to-back defeats. Birmingham ended a run of consecutive losses last time out with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Sheffield United.
However, the Blues have lost six of their last seven travels, as well as the reverse tie 2-1. Take QPR to claim maximum points.
Reading are unbeaten in their last five home games but are coming off a disappointing 3-0 hammering away to Sheffield Wednesday. Ipswich have been poor in recent weeks with three losses from their last four matches, including two defeats in a row.
The Royals have won the last six meetings at home against Ipswich, scoring 12 goals and conceding just three in the process. Back the home team to reign victorious.
Sheffield United 11/10
Sheffield United have been up and down on the form guide this season but are unbeaten in their last seven home matches. Preston have the best away record in the league at the time of writing and will be hoping to maintain that form. Just one point separates these sides on the standings.
A tight game is on the cards but both teams are tipped to find the back of the net. Back Both Teams to Score – Yes – at 7/10.
Sheffield Wednesday 6/1
Newly-crowned champions Wolves will be looking to end their final match on home soil for the season with a victory. Sheffield Wednesday have been excellent with two wins on the bounce but their lack of consistency on the road leaves a lot to be desired.
Wolves won the corresponding fixture 1-0 but are likely to be more convincing on their ground. The Halftime-Fulltime home win is tipped at even money.
Let’s keep this one short and sweet! Middlesbrough have been superb at home with six wins from their last seven matches, while Millwall are unbeaten in their last nine travels. Both teams are tipped to come out firing, so I suggest backing the Totals – Over 2.5 Goals – market at 21/20. Get on!
TREBLE TIPPED @ 7/1
Reading Win 8/10
Aston Villa Win 9/10