Championship promotion battle hots up with four big midweek ties
There are just a handful of games left in this Championship campaign, and the stage is set for a thrilling battle in the race for automatic spots and play-off places.
Ahead of a full programme of midweek action, we take a look at four of the biggest clashes involving the promotion hopefuls…
Aston Villa [4th / 73 points] v Cardiff City [2nd / 80 points]
While the Bluebirds are still 3/10 for promotion, last weekend’s results did not go well for them. Neil Warnock’s men lost at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, whilst third-placed Fulham piled on the pressure with a third successive win.
However, they could well bounce back against Villa on Tuesday night. The West Midlands club were soundly beaten 3-1 at Norwich City on Wednesday, and have now taken just four points from the last five games.
With a play-off spot almost guaranteed for Villa, it’s Cardiff who need the result more. The visitors are 12/5 to bag an away win for the 10th time in this league campaign.
Fulham [3rd / 78 points] v Reading [19th / 42 points]
Nobody can match the Cottagers for form in 2018. They’ve managed an astonishing 13 wins and three draws in an unbeaten 16 league games. And there’s little chance of lowly Reading causing them any problems.
The Cottagers haven’t just won their last three matches, they’ve done so without conceding a single goal. It’s 29/20 for Fulham to Win to Nil, while the hosts are 4/11 to simply take three points.
Right now they’ve got the league’s most in-form striker, in the form of fiery Serbian Aleksandr Mitrovic. He’s netted nine times in as many games, and is 5/6 to Score Anytime against a ropey Royals defence.
Sheffield United [9th / 62 points] v Middlesbrough [6th / 66 points]
As it stands, Tony Pulis’ Boro occupy the last of the coveted play-off spots. But with the Blades – amongst others – breathing down their neck, this looks set to be a huge game.
Meetings between these sides tend to be cagey affairs. Only one of the last seven has produced more than a single goal. With the stakes so high, more of the same looks likely – with 8/13 for Under 2.5 Goals.
The hosts do have a striker in form though, with Leon Clarke registering in the last two games. He’s 9/5 to Score Anytime. As it stands, Boro are 9/2 for promotion, while it’s 25/1 for the Blades to complete the double-bounce.
Wolves [1st / 89 points] v Derby County [5th / 68 points]
The odds tell the story as far as Wolves are concerned. They’re now just 1/80 to win the Championship title. So the big talking point here regards the Rams – who are looking to secure their spot in the top-six.
Whatever the result, this is likely to be one for the neutrals. The Molineux club have netted in 12 of their last 13 games. For Derby, that figure is seven of the last eight. It’s 21/20 for Both Teams to Score in Wednesday night’s clash.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing