Our football writer previews the English Football League Championship round 39 action which kicks off on Friday 31 March 2018.
With just eight games to go until the EFL Championship enters the play-off round, table-toppers Wolves will be determined to maintain their lead at the summit. Cardiff are just six points adrift of the log-leaders and will give one final push in the hope of snatching first place. There are 12 fixtures to look forward to this weekend, so let’s get to it.
Friday 30 March
Millwall have been in top form, going unbeaten in their last 12 matches with three wins on the spin. Nottingham Forest have managed just five wins from 19 games and that doesn’t look like improving on Friday afternoon.
The Reds won the reverse tie 1-0, so revenge will be on the menu. Back Millwall to utilize home advantage and claim maximum points.
Sheffield Wednesday 37/20
Sheffield Wednesday come off the back of a hard-fought 2-1 win away to Leeds and will be looking to build on that. However, prior to that defeat, the Owls were on a five-match winless run so hopefully, the international break doesn’t kill their momentum.
Preston have won three of their last four matches and are undefeated in their last 11 travels. The away team should be backed.
Sheffield United 5/2
Brentford are without a win in their last three games. They have been inconsistent this season and occupy 11th place on the table. Sheffield United haven’t been much better and should struggle away from home. The sides are tipped to cancel each other out.
Norwich ground out a hard-earned 3-2 home win over Reading last time out and will be hoping to make it back-to-back victories. However, Fulham are unbeaten in their last 16 matches with 12 wins and four draws.
The reverse tie ended 1-1, but the Cottagers won this meeting 3-1 last season and will be hopeful of claiming maximum points once more. The away win is tipped.
Bristol City 13/10
Barnsley have been horrendous on home soil and are now without a win in their last 11 home games. Bristol City have been dismal on the road in recent weeks as the Robins remain winless in their last eight travels.
Both sides will be desperate to return to winning ways. Looking at past head-to-heads, the teams have produced 29 goals between them at an average of 4.8 per game. The Over 2.5 Goals market is well worth a punt at 19/20.
Burton Albion 7/1
Cardiff are unbeaten in their last 11 matches, including five straight wins on their ground. Burton Albion are facing the drop and have been terrible in recent weeks with four losses from their last five matches, as well as back-to-back defeats.
On paper, this looks like a walk in the park for the home team, but never underestimate a team fighting relegation. However, Cardiff should do enough to claim the win.
Leeds have been poor in recent weeks with three losses from their last four matches, including a 2-1 home loss against Sheffield Wednesday last time out. Bolton ended a winless run of four matches with a hard-fought 1-0 home victory over Aston Villa before the break.
The Peacocks have lost back-to-back matches at home, scoring just once and conceding five times. On the other hand, their opponents have managed just one win from 19 travels. Get on the Under 2.5 Goals market at 7/10.
Middlesbrough and Wolves are next up to do battle. The hosts are unbeaten in their last six matches with four consecutive wins on home soil. Wolves have won three of their last four matches, including two victories on the bounce.
With both sides playing good attacking football, I’m expecting end-to-end action. Both Teams to Score – Yes – is tipped at 19/20.
Reading are without a win in their last nine matches, including back-to-back defeats. QPR are unbeaten in their last four games with two wins, but have travelled poorly with only three victories from 19 games on the road.
The reverse tie ended 2-0 and I’m expecting another tightly contested match between the Royals and the R’s. The Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market should be backed at 8/10.
Derby are without a win in their last seven matches but will be sure to capitalize on home advantage against relegation-threatened Sunderland, who have lost their last four travels, conceding 12 goals and scoring just three times.
The Rams haven’t been at their best at home this season, but the Black Cats have been simply awful at the foot of the table. Go for the home win.
Saturday 31 March
Birmingham ended a losing run of seven consecutive matches with a triumphant 3-0 home victory over Hull City. Ipswich have been poor of late with back-to-back defeats, conceding four goals without finding the back of the net.
The Blues have won the last two meetings on home soil against the Tractor Boys and will be eager to build on that. The home win is on the cards.
Hull City 16/10
Aston Villa 33/20
Hull City were hammered 3-0 at relegation-candidates Birmingham last time out and will be determined to return to winning ways. Aston Villa have lost back-to-back games on the road but are gunning for a play-off position and can’t afford to drop any more points.
I’m expecting an entertaining matchup between the two, including a goal fest and an outright winner in the form of the Villains. With that being said, the Matchbet & Both Teams to Score looks a promising bet – Aston Villa & Yes – at 17/4! Get on!
TREBLE TIPPED @ 19/1
Barnsley vs Bristol City Over 2.5 Goals 19/20
Birmingham Win 1/1
Aston Villa Win & BTTS 17/4