Championship speeds towards its conclusion
It’s all eyes on the Hawthorns as West Brom kick off matchweek 44 of the Championship . The Baggies could take a giant step towards promotion with a win at home to Fulham at 5:00pm GMT. Slaven Bilic’s men sit three points clear of Brentford and will be on the brink of the Premier League with a victory here. Fulham themselves are chasing promotion and are five points behind their hosts, currently in fourth position. A win for Scott Parker’s side keeps their slim automatic promotion hopes alive.
Leeds United, who don’t play until Thursday, will have the luxury of knowing what is required of them as they face Yorkshire rivals Barnsley. The table toppers go into this round of matches three points ahead of West Brom and six in front of Brentford. Regardless of how others teams fare, a win for Leeds should guarantee them their place in the Premier League next term. The visitors need points for very different reasons as they attempt to avoid leaving the Championship out the other exit door.
Perhaps the in-form team in the league, Brentford, face Preston North End at in the penultimate fixture at the Griffin Park on Wednesday. The Bees’ have been sublime since the restart and will be hoping to capitalise on any slip up by those ahead of them. Alex Neal’s Preston go in search of a win after an upturn in form that has seen them close the gap on the play-offs.
Cardiff City welcome Derby County to South Wales on Tuesday and will hope to further secure their play-off place. The hosts’ currently sit in the final playoff spot, just a point ahead of their closest rivals Swansea in seventh. Derby also harbour aspirations of making those all important play-offs. The Rams are currently in 10th, only three points behind their hosts in a congested mid table.
Wigan Athletic suddenly find themselves in dire need of positive results. They face a 12 point deduction at some point in the future following their administration. A deduction like this would see them plunge to the foot of the table as things stand. Their hunt for valuable points sees them welcome Hull City to the DW Stadium on Tuesday.
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In another play-off six pointer Nottingham Forest host Swansea on Wednesday. There are currently six points between the two sides and Forest in fifth look certain for a playoff berth. Swansea in seventh are hoping for a late surge to get themselves in the running for a spot at Wembley.
Elsewhere, Luton Town are desperate for points as they play QPR at home on Tuesday night. Anything but a win for Luton could see them relegated back to League One.
Championship matchweek 44 Other Fixtures
Millwall v Blackburn Rovers (Tuesday)
Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield (Tuesday)
Reading v Middlesbrough (Tuesday)
Bristol City v Stoke City (Wednesday)
Birmingham City v Charlton (Wednesday)
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Championship matchweek 44 preview’. Which teams do you think will pick up wins? Let us know!
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