Our football writer previews the English Football League Championship round 44 action which kicks off on Friday 20 April 2018.
Wolves sealed their return to the Premier League last weekend without having to kick a ball. Title-rivals Fulham would have been disappointed in the manner in which they conceded the Championship after shipping a last-minute header against Brentford to share the spoils at 1-1.
The league might be wrapped up, but there is still plenty of action to look forward to, with the play-offs and the relegation-battle still on-going! Let’s get to round 44.
Friday 20 April
Two of the league’s in-form sides will clash on Friday night in what promises to be a cracking contest! Millwall are unbeaten in their last 17 matches, while Fulham are undefeated in their last 10 travels, including four wins on the spin.
You can expect a tightly contested matchup. Both teams will be determined to maintain their unbeaten run. Get on the Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – at even money.
Saturday 21 April
Bristol City 12/10
Hull City 2/1
Bristol City have been poor in recent weeks with three losses from their last four matches but their form at home has seen them win three of their last four. Hull City fell to a disappointing 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday last time out and that doesn’t look like improving here.
The Robins won the reverse tie 3-2 against the Tigers and will be hoping they can get the double here. Back Bristol City to make home advantage count.
Burton Albion 31/10
Sunderland and Burton Albion have both shown plenty of fighting spirit in recent weeks, which makes for an entertaining relegation dog-fight. The Black Cats won the corresponding tie 2-0 and will be looking to make it back-to-back wins against Burton Albion.
The Brewers are off the back of a 3-1 win over Derby at home and will be looking to build on that momentum. Play it safe here and take Both Teams to Score – Yes – at 8/10.
Aston Villa 7/10
Ipswich are placed 12th on the standings after what has been an extremely inconsistent season. They have lost five of their last seven matches and Aston Villa will be looking to pile more misery on the Tractor Boys.
The Villains have been impressive of late with three wins from their last four matches and look well worth a punt to come away with maximum points. The away win is tipped.
Bolton earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Barnsley last time out and will be hoping to go one better here in front of their beloved supporters and claim all three points. Wolves secured the title last weekend and might be in party mode, with manager Nuno Espirito Santo expected to give some of his fringe players a run.
The Trotters are fighting for survival and won’t go down easy. In fact, I’m backing Bolton to capitalize on home advantage here.
Preston have been impressive of late with back-to-back wins, scoring five goals and conceding just twice. Norwich have travelled dismally in recent weeks as they remain without a win in their last six matches on the road.
The sides cancelled each other out in the reverse tie, playing to a 1-1 stalemate, but with home advantage, Preston will look to take all three points. The home team should be backed.
Leeds are without a win in their last four matches, including three losses. Relegation-threatened Barnsley have been terrible on their travels with only four wins from 20 matches, including three defeats on the trot.
However, the Peacocks won the reverse leg 2-0 and will be looking to make it two wins on the bounce against Barnsley. Get on the home win.
Brentford are unbeaten in their last six games with three wins in the process. QPR have been horrendous on the road with six losses from their last nine matches, including back-to-back defeats, conceding five times without finding the back of the net.
The hosts are undefeated against QPR in the last four head-to-heads against Brentford winning on three occasions. Back the home side to come out on top.
Sheffield Wednesday 5/4
Following two losses on the bounce, Sheffield Wednesday returned to winning ways last time out with a narrow and hard-fought 1-0 win away to Hull City. Reading have travelled poorly in recent weeks with four straight defeats, scoring just twice and conceding 10 times.
The sides met in this fixture in the FA Cup in January with Sheffield Wednesday prevailing 3-1 winners at home. Back the hosts for the win once more.
Derby have been poor of late with back-to-back losses, scoring only once and conceding five times. Middlesbrough are fourth on the table, fighting for a chance at a return to the Premier League. However, they have lacked consistency in recent weeks.
Derby romped to a 3-0 victory in the corresponding fixture, but with their current form on-going, they will be lucky to earn a point. The Rams will need to concentrate on defending, while Middlesbrough desperately need to improve on their travels. The Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market is tipped at 17/20.
Sheffield United 29/20
Birmingham are just two points clear of the relegation zone with two losses on the bounce, scoring once and conceding five times. Sheffield United are winless in their last four matches away from home and will be looking to find a winning formula here.
Four of the last five meetings at St Andrew’s have seen Birmingham reign victorious. Follow the trend and take the Blues to claim maximum points.
Nottingham Forrest 57/10
Cardiff have been strong at home this season and have won seven of their last eight matches on their ground. Nottingham Forrest have dismal with three losses from their last four travels, including back-to-back losses on the road.
Cardiff are unbeaten in the last eight meetings against Nottingham Forrest with seven wins. Take the home side to get the job done.
TREBLE TIPPED @ 82/10
Bristol City Win 12/10
Birmingham Win 19/10