Our football writer previews the English Football League Championship round 35 action which kicks off on Friday 2 March 2018.
Just three games ago Cardiff were placed fourth on the table, 13 points behind the league leaders. Three games later they are now just six points behind Wolves and will be determined to continue piling the pressure on the table-toppers. Let’s find out what lies ahead going into this weekend’s round of fixtures.
Friday 2 March
Middlesbrough are coming off a hard-fought 3-3 draw away to basement-dwellers Sunderland. The Boro have been impressive on home soil of late with back-to-back wins and will be confident going into this contest.
Leeds are without a win in their last five matches, including three losses and two draws. The home win is the way to go.
Saturday 3 March
Aston Villa 15/20
Aston Villa will be floating on cloud nine after ousting Sheffield United 4-2 away from home. The Villains are unbeaten in their last nine matches on their ground with six wins. QPR have been poor of late with back-to-back losses and have lost their last three travels.
Aston Villa have won the last three meetings against the R’s and will be eager to make it four on the spin. Get on the home win.
Nottingham were brilliant last time out, hammering QPR 5-2 at Loftus Stadium, ending a winless streak of five matches. However, they return to home soil this weekend, where they have lost five of their last six games.
Nonetheless, Birmingham have been dreadful in recent weeks with four consecutive defeats, conceding 10 goals without finding the back of the net. A cagey affair is expected with the Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market tipped at 6/10.
Brentford were disappointing last weekend, going down 1-0 to Leeds United but prior to that winning back-to-back matches, including a 5-0 victory over Birmingham on home soil. Cardiff have been in top form with four straight wins, scoring five goals without reply.
Recent meetings have produced some eye-catching displays with seven of the last eight meetings producing Over 2.5 Goals. Follow the pattern at 17/20.
Ipswich are off the back of a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Preston and will be hopeful of building on that against Hull City, who have lost six of their last seven travels. It’s difficult to call this one at the time of writing, with the Tigers yet to play their home match against Barnsley.
However, six of the last seven meetings between the sides have seen Over 2.5 Goals and I’m tempted to follow the trend. Get on at 12/10.
At the time of writing, Barnsley are showing good fighting spirit in the relegation battle. However, they are without a win on home soil in their last nine games.
Norwich have been impressive on the road in recent weeks as they remain unbeaten in their last six matches. The away team should be backed.
Sheffield United 9/20
Burton Albion 6/1
Sheffield United would have been disappointed after falling to a 1-0 defeat at Hull City last time out. However, they have been excellent at home with two wins on the bounce, while Burton Albion are second from bottom on the table.
The Blades won the reverse tie 3-1 and will be confident of wrapping up the double on Saturday afternoon. The home win is on the cards.
Bristol City 7/10
Sheffield Wednesday 37/10
Bristol City are winless in their last five home games with two losses. Sheffield Wednesday have shown the same dismal form on their travels which makes this clash all the more enticing. The reverse tie ended goalless but I’m expecting a much more attacking game of football here.
The Robins can’t afford to keep dropping points with the promotion play-off places still up for grabs. Back Bristol City to make home advantage count.
Millwall have been in top form – unbeaten in their last eight games with three wins on the trot, while their undefeated streak on home soil stretches back to nine matches. Sunderland are without a win in their last six, including four defeats.
The Black Cats have lost three of their last four travels and that doesn’t look like improving here. Take Millwall to come out on top.
Bolton are unbeaten in their last six matches with four wins and will be hopeful of maintaining that impressive form. However, Preston are undefeated in their last nine games on the road, adding a bit of spice to this contest.
Five of the last six meetings have seen Under 2.5 Goals, while the last two clashes have produced goalless draws. The Under 2.5 Goals market is available at 5/10, the draw can be found at 2/1 and if you feeling lucky – like myself – you can get on the Correct Score (0-0) at a valuable 6/1!
Derby are unbeaten in their last eight matches at home, while Fulham are undefeated in their last 12 games with nine wins. I’m going to keep this short and sweet. I’m going with the form guide and backing the Cottagers to maintain that outstanding form.
Wolves are winless in their last three matches, including a 2-0 beating at Fulham last time out. Reading – at the time of writing – are without a victory in their last four games and have managed just one win from their last seven travels.
Wolves won the reverse tie 2-0 and will be desperate to return to winning ways on Saturday evening. Take the home side on the (-1) Handicap at 21/20.
TREBLE TIPPED @ 7/1
Bristol City Win 7/10
Millwall Win 7/10
Fulham Win 7/4