There are seven Championship games on Saturday, all kicking off at 3pm, with promotion hopefuls Fulham and Aston Villa’s clash at Craven Cottage among the stand-out games.
Villa’s impressive recent form has seen them move ahead of Derby into the second automatic promotion place and Steve Bruce’s side are building nicely for the business end of the season, where momentum is key.
Villa easily outclassed local rivals Birmingham in the Second City derby last weekend but will face a tougher examination against the Cottagers. Slavisa Jokanovic’s men have won four of their last five in the Championship and are now fifth in the table, well in contention for a play-off place at least.
They’re seven points behind Villa before this weekend’s game and will know three points could really open up the promotion race, with odds of 23/20 for a Fulham win looking generous here.
Leaders Wolves appear destined for the title and, at 6/5, are expected to maintain their relentless run by winning at Preston. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are 11 points clear of the chasing pack and can take another step towards glory with victory at Deepdale.
Two other promotion candidates go up against each other at the Cardiff City Stadium as the Bluebirds host Middlesbrough. Cardiff are 7/5 to win, with Boro 43/20, but the draw at 21/10 may be the best option here as two evenly-matched sides may have to settle for a hard-earned point.
Birmingham’s recent improved form was halted by Villa last week but they can get back on track when Millwall visit St Andrew’s.
Blues have won three of their last four at home in the league and their need seems greater than the Lions in this clash. Neil Harris’ men are 10 points clear of the relegation zone so back the home side to get another valuable three points on the board here at 17/10.
Sunderland are in grave danger of suffering successive relegations and they simply must start to find wins to avoid slipping down to League One.
They’ll be buoyed by last week’s amazing comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Bristol City and, at odds of 47/20, they can secure a narrow win over Brentford, who have now slipped eight points off the play-off places.
In the remaining games, Burton’s miserable spell is unlikely to end when Nottingham Forest make the short journey to the Pirelli Stadium. Both sides are woefully out of form but back Forest at 29/20 to see off the Brewers, who have looked out of their depth at times this season and seem destined for a return to the third tier while, finally, QPR (20/21) should comfortably see off Bolton.
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