Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Weekend Championship Preview, Game 34

Our immediate fate in terms of the division we play in next season should become much clearer during the next ten days as we face Swansea, Doncaster and Watford. The home matches against Doncaster and Watford promise to deliver the lifeblood of points but I think much will depend on the perfromance and result in Swansea on Saturday. If the tail really is to wag, then we need an encouraging performance and three points to set us up for the home games. Lose comfortably and we may play with more fear against Doncaster and Watford, both of whom can afford to either shut up shop or go for it.

Barnsley v QPR
QPR are in danger of dropping out of the play-off race despite a good point at Cardiff in the week. Barnsley will be under pressure to put in a better shift than they did against us. I can see another unhappy draw.
Prediction; 1-1

Bristol City v Blackpool
After the season they have had, it's hard to believe City are back in a play-off position. Can you imagine them in the Premier League? No, neither can I. Having said that, another three points here against Blackpool would keep them nicely in contention and could just give Blackpool some relegation jitters.
Prediction; 2-0

Burnley v Sheffield Wednesday
Wednesday steadied the ship by beating palace last week and they are now safely midtable. The Clarets meanwhile need the points for a play-off place they deserve this year and I am confident they will win this encounter.
Prediction; 3-0

Norwich City v Coventry City
After an impressive winning start, Bryan Gunn has not seen Norwich win in the last six games and they have hit poor form at just the wrong time. they have a tough run-in and could well be facing relegation when they play their last game of the season at the Valley. Coventry at home is a must win game and if they can't do it, they are looking very vulnerable.
Prediction; 1-0

Preston NE v Ipswich Town
Like Bristol City, Preston don't deserve a play-off place in my mind and I think Sheffield United will overhaul them. Ipswich have been good on the road this season and I'll be brave and tip the Town here.
Prediction; 1-2

Reading v Nottingham Forest
Not a good time for leaky Forest to be going to Reading. I can see Forest coming home with a dented goal difference.
Prediction; 4-0

Southampton v Cardiff City
Great win for the Saints last week and they will be hoping Cardiff might tire early having played on Wednesday evening. These sides are at opposite ends of the table for a reason and I'm putting the Southampton result last week down to a flash-in-the-pan.
Prediction; 0-2

Swansea City v Charlton Athletic
I was at the last Swansea v Charlton game 25 years ago but can't bring myself to make the journey on Saturday because I have so little confidence that we can get a result. We have the worst away record in the division and I think it will worsen on Saturday as the Swans atone for their misfortune at the Valley earlier in the season.
Prediction; 3-0

Watford v Crystal Palace
Big game for the Hornets. A win should give them breathing space to play better football. I don't think they'll go down and this might be easier for them than they think.
Prediction; 2-0

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Plymouth Argyle
Home banker here. Argyle are struggling badly but should be kept out of the bottom three this weekend by Norwich or Forest.
Prediction; 3-0

Sheffield United v Birmingham City
A chance here for Sheffield to make their mark this year. The win would lift them into the play-off zone with a game in hand on a couple of their rivals. Birmingham are hanging onto second but Reading now have two games in hand and will surely leap-frog them when the time comes.
Prediction; 2-0


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