Thursday, 19 March 2009

Weekend Championship Preview, Game 39

Preston at home on Saturday and the game I have been least interested in seeing so far in this miserable season. I was going to spend the afternoon at Bexley Rugby Club watching them play and the three concluding games of the 6 Nations (a mate plays for them). However, Mrs Peeps has reminded me she has a girls night out and that I had promised to look after the children (be fairly sober), so I will be at the Valley after all.

Expectations from me are very low for this game. Cardiff put the after-burners on last night by beating Watford and Preston will be fired-up to get a result. Even though we are overdue a home win, I suspect we will succomb once again.

Here's who's playing whom elsewhere...

Birmingham City v Norwich City
Reading's late season wobble has given Birmingham the impetus in the automatic promotion stakes and it's now in their own hands once again. Norwich will be praying for a continuation of the their two successive wins but I have to go with Birmingham to edge this.
Prediction; 2-1

Blackpool v Southampton
Golden opportunity for the Saints to drag themselves out of the mire. Three points from safety, they really don't want to be beaten here. Blackpool have slipped in recent weeks and their mid-table security has gone. A win here will enable them to draw breath and play some football in the last few weeks of the season. 
Prediction; 2-1

Charlton Athletic v Preston NE
As I have already said, we are overdue a win, but we are overdue a lot of things that we haven't had. Horribly predictable looking match in prospect. The vet has got his gun out.
Prediction; 1-2

Coventry City v Doncaster Rovers
Mid-table fare here. After losing at home to Reading, I can see Rovers bouncing back at the Ricoh Stadium.
Prediction; 0-2

Crystal Palace v Reading
Reading got a good win at Doncaster but it's looking too little too late. They have to win here and this is the sort of game that will appeal to the Palace party-poopers. I'm going for Warnock's men to put a spoke in the Royals' wheels.
Prediction; 2-1

Derby County v Barnsley
Barnsley are not out of the woods yet but their 3-1 trouncing of Palace last week has shown that they have the mettle to avoid the drop. I can see them grinding a valuable point out here.
Prediction; 1-1

Ipswich Town v Watford
Nothing game in prospect here and that's just what I think Watford will get.
Prediction; 2-0

Nottingham Forest v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Forest in deep trouble and they face a Wolves side who are probably three matches away from a return to the Premier League. Wolves have the ammunition and the motive and should be unstoppable here.
Prediction; 0-2

Plymouth Argyle v Burnley
Argyle are in trouble and play Burnley at the wrong time as the Clarets go in search of precious play-off points. After the highs and low of their fantastic cup runs, they need to concentrate on getting something from the league and I think they will do it.
Prediction; 1-2

QPR v Bristol City
City do well when they travel down the M4 and they are still in play-off contention although they need a strong finish. A point here wouldn't be a bad return and I can see them getting it.
Prediction; 1-1

Sheffield Wednesday v Swansea City
The Swans look to have blown their play-off hopes but it's been a fantastic opening season for them in the Championship and Roberto Martinez will be confident of improving next year. Wednesday have also improved under Brian laws this year and look only a couple of players short of finally putting a promotion bid of their own together. They have been decent at home and should see Swansea off here.
Prediction; 2-0

Cardiff City v Sheffield United  
Having played last night, Cardiff get an extra day to recover as this is the Sunday match. It promises to be the Championship match of the weekend. United have been strong away and Cardiff equally strong at home. Both are in the play-off berths and will have the advantage of knowing the results of all the Saturday matches. A point apiece looks like a good shout.
Prediction; 0-0

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