Friday, 17 April 2009

Weekend Championship Preview, Game 43

Four games left then and Blackpool at home tomorrow before Cardiff City visit on Tuesday. The Blackpool game really is a nothing match and it will likely be watched by the lowest, least interested crowd of the season. Let's hope the players give us a game to keep us entertained or I can see people drifting away long before the end. Elsewhere, here's my view of how the others will go, which, if form is anything to go by, a third will prove right, another third close and the rest completely wrong. Maybe a message in that for me?

Charlton Athletic v Blackpool

Try as hard as I can and I can't see this game being any good. All of the players will have an eye of their Summer holidays and it's predicted to be played on another wet and miserable day in front of a half-empty, apathetic Valley crowd.
Prediction; 0-0

Crystal Palace v Derby County
Just how poor our actual crowd tomorrow is, should be benchmarked against the paltry numbers turning up at Selhurst Park in recent weeks. Their 12,000 gates against Coventry and Birmingham in recent weeks might come under pressure here in another end-of-season mid-table affair. The Eagles haven't won in six and have only managed three wins in their last 18 games. I really am concerned that they might be following in our footsteps.
Prediction; 1-1

Nottingham Forest v Coventry City
Forest's big opportunity to move out of the bottom three. They will need to win in an East Midlands derby but they should have all the motivation and firepower needed to overcome the Sky Blues.
Prediction; 2-0

Plymouth Argyle v Doncaster Rovers
Plymouth know that a win here should secure their Championship status and I expect them to do just that against a Doncaster side that have been blowing hot and cold in the last few weeks.
Prediction; 2-0

Preston NE v Cardiff City
Cardiff's play-off appearance looks safe but PNE are still clinging to the hopes of catching Burnley or even, fast-falling Reading. I can see the Lilywhites winning here but failing in their bid for extra matches this year.
Prediction; 2-1

Reading v Barnsley
Surely Reading will dig out the win they need here? Barnsley have fallen back into the mire and will be scrapping for the points themselves - they might need to rely on winning at Oakwell.
Prediction; 2-0

Sheffield Wednesday v Southampton
Sheffield Wednesday could bang another nail into the Saints' coffin tomorrow. Southampton threw themselves a lifeline by edging past Palace on Monday but they need something here if they are to have any chance of controlling their destiny. I suspect Wednesday might be too strong for them.
Prediction; 2-1

Swansea City v Bristol City
Bristol City look to have missed the play-off boat. Swansea must win here to keep alive their chances of making it.
Prediction; 2-1

Watford v Birmingham City
Watford are safe and Birmingham will go into this game knowing they are probably two wins away from automatic promotion. They stood up well at the Valley last week and I can see them getting the result here.
Prediction; 1-2

Wolverhampton Wanderers v QPR
Home banker for me. Gareth Ainsworth and his boys should come under heavy pressure here and I don't believe they have the spirit to cope.
Prediction; 3-0

Ipswich Town v Norwich City
This is the Sunday derby match and it promises to be a cracker. Town can record an historic win in the vein of "we sent the Palace down." It's almost impossible to call these games but my money would be on Ipswich to have the last laugh.
Prediction; 1-0

Burnley v Sheffield United
This is Monday's match and another biggie as Lancs v Yorks. Burnley know that a win here will virtually guarantee the last play-off place and they would join United who they could well end up playing again over two legs. Psychologically then, Kevin Blackwell will want to win this and that could be motivation needed to see-off a Burnley side who may have to settle for qualifying at home.
Prediction; 2-1

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