Bristol City can make it three wins in a row by stunning stuttering Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the Championship’s game of the weekend.
Neither City nor the Blades were expected to be challenging for promotion as the campaign nears the halfway point but they are level on points in third and fourth places respectively ahead of the 21st round of fixtures.
However, Chris Wilder’s team have hit the wall recently after topping the table earlier in the season and Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Millwall means they have only taken one point from their last three games.
In contrast the Robins have won five of their last seven Championship fixtures and followed up the 3-2 victory at Hull City by defeating Middlesbrough last weekend.
United have only drawn one of their first 20 matches while Bristol City have lost one of their ten away games to date so a win for Lee Johnson’s side appears to be too good to ignore at odds of 49/20.
On Saturday table-topping Wolves can move a step closer to bringing Premier League football back to Molineux for the first time since 2012 by inflicting more misery on Sunderland, who are 13/10 to suffer back-to-back-relegations.
Wolves have won their last six Championship matches, since suffering a 2-1 reverse at QPR in October, and should ease to a victory by two goals at odds of 57/20 against a Black Cats side that have shown some signs of life since Chris Coleman took charge at the Stadium of Light last month.
Aston Villa, 2/1 to be promoted this season, have been excellent at home this term, losing only once in ten games, and should be too strong for a Millwall team that have yet to win on their travels.
Steve Bruce’s side usually make life difficult for themselves so a Villa win from behind at odds of 6/1 may be worth taking up.
Anything but a victory for Middlesbrough against Ipswich Town could lead to more grumbling on Teesside as Garry Monk’s team struggle in their attempt to make an immediate return to the top-flight following last season’s relegation.
Boro have flattered to deceive at the Riverside Stadium and have slipped to ninth after losing three of their last four matches, two places below Ipswich who have surprised many people following a difficult 2016/17 campaign which included an FA Cup exit at the hands of Lincoln City.
Mick McCarthy’s team can add to the Boro gloom by returning to Suffolk with a point after a 1-1 draw, available at 13/2.
Barnsley have a poor record at Oakwell, losing on five occasions already this season, and good travellers Derby County can enhance their promotion hopes and make it four victories from five games by winning in south Yorkshire at 11/10.
Nottingham Forest have not drawn a match yet this season and are safely in mid-table after winning nine and losing 11 of their 20 fixtures.
Mark Warburton’s team slumped to a 4-2 defeat at Ipswich in their last game but can bounce back from that setback by beating relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers at The City Ground with Tyler Walker good value at 11/2 to score the first goal.
Preston can inflict an eighth home loss of the campaign on Burton Albion who are 1/5 to be relegated to League One.
Nigel Clough somehow kept the Brewers in the Championship last season but it is looking increasingly unlikely that he can repeat the trick this term and they already have a minus-26 goal difference.
Fulham’s season should be handed a boost this weekend when Birmingham City are the visitors to Craven Cottage.
The Blues are still recovering from the ill-fated Harry Redknapp era and have found goals extremely hard to come by – they have only managed a paltry ten in 20 matches to date.
City have taken just two points from a possible 30 on the road and are unlikely to improve that dismal record in the capital with Fulham available at 11/1 to win the match 3-0.
Hull City lost patience with Leonid Slutsky after last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday with Nigel Adkins replacing the Russian, a result which stretched their winless sequence to seven matches.
The Tigers could not have hoped for much better opponents on Saturday than mid-table Brentford though.
QPR have had a fine record at Loftus Road in the first four months of the season where they have accrued 18 of their 22 points.
However, Ian Holloway’s team are going through a dreadful period and have failed to win any of their last six matches, a sequence which has left them just six points above the relegation zone.
Leeds United have endured a poor run themselves, losing eight of their last 13 fixtures after winning five and drawing two of the first seven.
Norwich City have been abysmal at Carrow Road where they have only enjoyed three-point hauls on two occasions this season, and they may have to settle for a draw against Sheffield Wednesday at odds of 12/5.
The Owls have already been involved in nine draws this term, with four of them coming away from Hillsborough.
Finally, on Monday, Reading can extend their recent unbeaten run to five matches by drawing with second-placed Cardiff City at 11/5.
Neil Warnock’s team have been one of the surprise packages of the season and have won their last four games while they have the best defensive record in the division. The odds on there being two goals in the game are 43/20.
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