A typically busy Championship week ends with all 12 games taking place on Saturday. Here are Benjamin Bloom’s predictions – get yours in on the new Football 365 Championship Predictor game.
Hull City v Sheffield United
Will the Hull goalless streak extend to seven games? Will Blades’ recent scoring exploits continue? If both happen then it could be comfortable. Read Ben’s tactical preview of Hull v Sheffield United here.
Barnsley v Blackburn
Blackburn have been a pleasant surprise thus far, moving up to eighth with their win over Hull and Ben Brereton-Diaz scoring again. Barnsley are struggling to find their way just yet under Markus Schopp, but new faces are finally being integrated after visa issues and a couple of late deadline day signings.
Cardiff v Bournemouth
Bournemouth were impressive in beating QPR on Tuesday and have shown they can stand up to a powerful team with their win at Birmingham earlier this season. Cardiff became the latest side to go under at Coventry, but the way they play means they’re never too far from bouncing back.
Derby v Stoke
The news cycle suggests the Derby FFP verdict seems to be close to a conclusion, and with a nine-point deduction being talked about, a win here would stop them entering a minus points situation. Stoke somehow conspired not to beat Barnsley despite creating enough opportunities to win comfortably. Maybe the three points comes this weekend instead.
Fulham v Reading
Reading fans celebrated a vital win against Peterborough on Tuesday, but they can’t rely on worldie goals and the brilliant form of John Swift all season. Fulham bounced back from defeat at Blackpool and were clinical at Birmingham. Nobody has scored more than Fulham; nobody has conceded more than Reading.
Huddersfield Town v Nottingham Forest
Forest have become the first club of the season to part company with their manager; at the time of writing it looks like Steven Reid will act as caretaker and will hope for the mythical ‘new manager bounce’. But Huddersfield’s form has been good so Forest might have to wait for things to turn.
Luton Town v Swansea City
A couple of draw specialists meet at the Kenny – Swansea can’t seem to score and Luton are leaving it very late so far this week. Maybe that extra bit of Championship experience Nathan Jones has over Russ Martin will be the difference.
Middlesbrough v Blackpool
What a rude awakening for Blackpool – after beating Fulham they were comprehensively taken down by Huddersfield. Neil Warnock on the other hand took advantage of Forest’s low ebb midweek with new boys Sporar and Hernandez scoring. More of the same for Boro I think.
Millwall v Coventry
Coventry’s brilliant home form has secured 12 of their 15 points so far, with an away win at Blackpool adding the other three points to an impressive total. Millwall look like they are just starting to get going, although Gary Rowett’s love for a draw might slow down both teams here.
Peterborough v Birmingham
Birmingham fans were quick to tell me the scoreline could’ve been tighter in the 1-4 home defeat to Fulham, and the underlying numbers do suggest there’s something in that. Peterborough have leaked nine goals in the past week and prior to that Fulham game, Birmingham had been pretty efficient up top.
Preston North End v West Brom
Preston snatched a point at Sheffield United in the 95th minute to keep up a good run of eight points in their last four games. West Brom were creating chances for fun in their opening games, but the goals have dried up and a couple of home draws this week sees them drop to third. I’ll go for the Baggies to get back to winning ways.
QPR v Bristol City
Rangers fans will think they should’ve taken something from an entertaining game at Bournemouth in midweek, while Bristol City will be pleased to have gotten away from Ashton Gate where another late equaliser denied them that elusive home win. I think QPR outscore the Robins in this one.
Odds correct at the time of publication. 18+. BeGambleAware.org.