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English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 32 – Weekend Games – 8-2-12

Birmingham.png Birmingham City - Doncaster Rovers Doncaster.png

Birmingham have been patchy of late but have managed to remain undefeated in their last two games. They are a comfortable mid table position ahead of this match and go into the game with only minor injuries to worry about.

Doncaster simply cannot get a win and are finding safety further away with every game. Time is running out and they need results fast. They too only have light injuries ahead of this match.

Despite City struggling in recent weeks, I can’t see anything other than a Brummie win here.

Birmingham City 2 - 0 Doncaster Rovers

Plymouth.png Plymouth Argyle - Blackburn Rovers Blackburn.png

Plymouth got a needed win at the weekend to give themselves an outside chance of making the playoffs after some poor recent form. They have only minor injuries to contend with ahead of this match as they look to climb closer to sixth place.

Things really are not going Blackburn’s way at the moment and they dropped more points at the weekend, though in fairness, it was to a strong Nottingham Forest. I have sympathy for the manager after picking them as one of my automatic promotion favorites, when it’s not going your way there’s sometimes very little you can do and the manager will probably want to start planning for next season early and forget this one. They also have only minor injures ahead of this game.

There isn’t a great deal between the two sides, though Plymouth look to have a better balance to the team, have home advantage and are in better form. It looks bleak for Blackburn again here.

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 0 Blackburn Rovers

Forest.png Nottingham Forest - Preston North End PNE.png

Forest picked up another point at the weekend to keep them comfortably in the play off places. It’s a strong side and they look fully fit ahead of this game.

Preston got a good win to halt their recent run of disastrous form, though the play offs look to be out of reach now. It’s a shame for the manager who has done a good job of restructuring his full side. They will have a few players missing ahead of this game and the Van Gaal will have to shuffle his team somewhat.

Forest look too strong for their visitors today, home win.

Nottingham Forest 2 - 0 Preston North End

Norwich.png Norwich City - Watford Watford-1.png

Norwich look like they have gone on holiday early this season after all but wrapping up the league early. To be fair, you can hardly blame them, but the manager will probably want to keep that winning mentality alive as next season looks like it will be a much harder one.

Watford look to be in better form in recent weeks and as a result have climbed away from the drop zone, though they aren’t safe just yet. They have only minor injuries ahead of this match though and the manager should be able to field a strong side.

Not much between these sides looking at the potential staring 11, though Watford have a slight edge. You simply can’t write Norwich off though, and I think a draw looks most likely.

Norwich City 1 - 1 Watford

Queens Park Rangers - Coventry City

QPR have been continued to play well despite a few changes in management, though they did suffer a rare defeat at the weekend. In truth the new manager looks to be doing a decent job so far. They will have a few players missing ahead of this match and the manager will have to shuffle his team.

Despite having one of the stronger teams in the league, Coventry’s form has been patchy, though they have picked up a few wins. The playoffs may be too much to ask this season however. They have only one player missing ahead of this game, but it’s their main defender so the manager will have a little bit to think of coming into the game.

Looking at the two sides, it’s clear Coventry have the better starting 11, however the manager has failed to get the best out of them and I’d have to predict a home win.

Queens Park Rangers 2 – 1 Coventry City

Charlton Athletic - Burnley

Charlton’s season has tailed off massively in recent weeks and they now look like they might not even make the playoffs after and outstanding first half of the season. Hopefully the manager will be able to get them back on track soon as they probable deserve at least a play off place.

Burnley have slowly but surely climbed up the table and find themselves fourth with not much of the season left. Main forward Dirk Diggler Kuyt will be missing for this game however so they will need to cope without his tireless work for this game.

Burnley look to have a slightly stronger side and better form going into this match. It will be a tight one though and I fancy a draw.

Charlton Athletic 1 – 1 Burnley

Leicester.png Leicester City - West Bromwich Albion WestBrom.png

Leicester have been picking up a good number of points in recent weeks, though two defeats in three games means they aren’t safe yet. They have injuries to key players ahead of this match to make a difficult task a little bit harder.

WBA have been playing well having climbed to third and are in touching distance of the automatic spot of second. They have only minor injuries ahead of this match and will be hoping to make up more ground on the leaders.

These two teams have similar line ups but are having wildly different seasons. I wouldn’t like to pick a winner here, so I won’t.

Leicester City 1 -1 West Bromwich Albion

WestHam.png West Ham United - Reading Reading.png

West Ham have been finding life tough in recent weeks and are struggling to get wins. The playoffs could well be out of reach now which is a shame as the side looked like it had turned a corner. The side is fully fit coming into this game.

Reading are looking doomed to Division 3 football next season; they are rock bottom of the league have lost their last 5 in a row. They are fully fit though coming into this game.

Both sides have been in poor form, but The Hammers look far more likely to get a result here than Reading.

West Ham United 3 – 0 Reading

Bury.png Bury - Blackpool Blackpool.png

Bury have been playing well coming into this match, though it looks too late in the season to achieve anything other than mid table. They will have a few players missing ahead of this game however.

Blackpool have been struggling over the last few weeks and they too look like the best they can hope for is a mid table finish. They will be missing a few first team players for this match but should be able to cope.

Bury look the more likely winners here on current form.

Bury 2 – 1 Blackpool

Cardiff City - Derby County

Cardiff have been patchy in recent weeks and look another team condemned to mid table obscurity unless they can finish the season strongly. They are fully fit ahead of this game however and will be hopeful of getting one over on a Derby side in poor form.

Derby have picked up a few points in recent weeks, but it could be too little too late. Of the three teams currently in the drop zone they look the most likely to escape however. They do have some minor injuries ahead of this match though and face a difficult proposition in Cardiff.

Both sides have some good players, though Derby look the stronger on paper. Despite this, I think this game will be a draw as Cardiff have been playing reasonably well in comparison to Derby.

Cardiff City 1 - 1 Derby County

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is being short, fat , bald and ugly, and I can’t do anything about that either….

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 1

Fulham 2 – 1 Bolton Wanderers

Milton Keynes Dons 0 – 2 Middlesbrough

Huddersfield Town 0 – 1 Arsenal

Wigan Athletic 0 – 2 Chelsea

Leeds United 1 -1 Manchester United

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Sheffield United 3 – 3 Newcastle United

Manchester City 0 – 2 Bristol City

Sunderland 0 – 0 Everton

Liverpool 2 – 0 Stoke City

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 3

Crystal Palace 0 - 1 Portsmouth

Walsall 0 – 3 Swansea City

Hull City 0 – 3 Millwall

Chesterfield 0 -0 Brighton and Hove Albion

Rochdale 1 – 1 Oldham Athletic

Sheffield Wednesday 0 – 0 Aston Villa

Barnsley 0 – 0 Dagenham & Redbridge

Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Ipswich Town

Peterborough United 1 – 0 Aldershot Town

Exeter City 1 – 1 CARLISLE UNITED

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 4

Wycombe Wanderers 2 – 2 Brentford

Shorpe United 1 – 2 Burton Albion

Southend United 0 -0 Leyton Orient

Bristol Rovers 0 - 1 AFC Bournemouth

Hartlepool United 1 - 1 Colchester United

Rotherham United 2 – 0 Southampton

Notts County 3 - 1 Shrewsbury Town

Accrington Stanley 0 – 0 Swindon Town

Northampton Town 1 – 2 Stockport County

Gillingham 0 – 1 Tranmere Rovers

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 1

Bolton Wanderers 1 – 1 Liverpool

Middlesbrough2 - 0 Fulham

Arsenal 2 – 0 Milton Keynes Dons

Chelsea 2 - 0 Huddersfield Town

Manchester United 3 – 0 Wigan Athletic

Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 1 Leeds United

Newcastle United 1 – 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Bristol City 1 – 1 Sheffield United

Everton 2 – 2 Manchester City

Stoke City 0 - 0 Sunderland

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 33 – Weekend Games – 11-2-12

Doncaster.png Doncaster Rovers - Cardiff City Cardiff.png

Doncaster suffered defeat again midweek to slide further away from safety with not long left to rescue themselves. Injuries and a general lack of fitness will not help their cause much at all ahead of this game and they desperately need a result here.

Cardiff will be disappointed with a draw midweek and would have expected to take all three points, a draw does little other than confirm their mid table credentials. The manager should have a full team to choose from ahead of this game however.

Rovers form has been poor all season, but they have much more motivation than Cardiff to get something out of this game and I think they may just edge it against similar opposition.

Doncaster Rovers2 - 1 Cardiff City

Blackburn.png Blackburn Rovers - Birmingham City Birmingham.png

First of all, congratulations to Rovers for their cup win on Monday night. They followed this up with a league win on Wednesday and look like they may have turned a corner. It’s probably too late to do anything this season, but they can use the prize money to build on this for next season with an out-and-out forward looking like a much needed priority. They do have some injuries ahead of this game however.

Birmingham have been ticking over nicely in recent weeks and have put a few results together but they have a few injuries of their own to worry about ahead of this game.

Both sides have improved in recent weeks so this could be a good game. I will narrowly suggest Blackburn to continue their good form while still on a high.

Blackburn Rovers 2 - 1 Birmingham City

Preston North End - Plymouth Argyle

Preston will be hammered by missing players coming into this game, and if not for a few good loan players they would probably be fielding their under 9 youth team. They are however unbeaten in their last two games.

Plymouth are not without a few missing players themselves, but for a small side they have a solid core of players and should just about be able to cope.

That Plymouth’s starting 11 is superior to Preston’s is not in question. That Preston’s highly talented squad will overtake them within a season is also not in doubt, but right now Plymouth have a big advantage especially with Preston’s squad so thin on top quality players and that will be the telling factor in this game.

Preston North End 0 - 2 Plymouth Argyle

Watford-1.png Watford - Nottingham Forest Forest.png

A poor result for Watford midweek means they are still near the drop zone with the end fast approaching. They have some minor injuries ahead of this game but should be able to cope.

Forest lost more ground midweek in a game they would have been expected to win. They are still within touching distance of second, but they desperately need a striker that can score what we commonly refer to as “goals” rather than relying on their midfield. A fully fit squad is available here for the manager and he needs to get these next few results if they are to have any chance of automatic promotion.

Looking at the sides, I can only see one winner. However Forest have thrown up a number of poor performances this season already. I’d still just about take them to win this one though.

Watford 1 - 2 Nottingham Forest

Coventry.png Coventry City - Norwich City Norwich.png

Coventry have put a decent run together recently but find themselves still some distance from the playoffs. If they can continue to play well however they may just make it, but it’s a big ask. They have players missing ahead of this game against newly crowned champions Norwich.

Congratulations are also due to Norwich on a fantastic achievement. Not many expected Norwich to do anything other than battle relegation this season so to secure promotion so early is a great achievement. Question is now whether the manager pushes on for or rests his main players ahead of next season.

So much depends here on what sort of team Norwich is put out. I have a feeling he may rest some players, but I also have a feeling he might not (perhaps the feeling is just too much coffee). Anyway, a draw seems likely.

Coventry City 1 - 1 Norwich City

Burnley - Queens Park Rangers

Burnley have been playing very well of late and will be full of confidence ahead of this game. They have injuries to contend with but should be able to cope well enough. This could be a tough test though.

QPR have dropped valuable points in recent games and suddenly look in real danger of having to go through the lottery of the playoffs if they don’t improve. With only minor injuries ahead of this match however they will be quietly confident.

The battle for the final automatic promotion spot is turning into the highlight of Division 2 this season with several teams still in contention, these two are foremost amongst them. It could be a good match as both sides look to boost their chances, but Burnley look the stronger to me and I have to go for them.

Burnley 3 - 2 Queens Park Rangers

WestBrom.png West Bromwich Albion - Charlton Athletic Charlton.png

West Brom are another side with a genuine chance of automatic promotion and on form should be considered favorites for that second spot. They have been playing very well of late and with a strong side that’s fully fit, they will take some beating.

Charlton are not out of the race just yet despite their best efforts in recent weeks. They could still turn things round and climb back to second, but it looks a big ask against teams that are better than them and they look like they have run out of steam. Add in a few injuries and it looks an enormous task for the talented manager this season.

Another two sides with real chances of finishing second, but the momentum is with The Baggies and I don’t think Charlton have enough left in the tank to put them away.

West Bromwich Albion 3 – 1 Charlton Athletic

Reading - Leicester City

Reading look finished. They haven’t won a game this century and look like they’d probably miss the ground if they fell over. I know the manager wants to win and is trying hard, but the side simply aren’t good enough. On the plus side they are injury free ahead of this game if that matters….

Leicester are far from safe at this point and are perilously close to the drop zone. More bad performances have not helped their cause at all this season and they need to pick up points asap. Injuries to key players will make things a bit harder ahead of this game.

I really really want to tip Reading for a win just for the novelty value and the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever tipped poor Brian Sandalls (Avram Grant) to ever win a game and he seems an amiable enough guy. However, looking at the two sides and current form, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Away win.

Reading 0 – 2 Leicester City

Blackpool.png Blackpool - West Ham United WestHam.png

Blackpool look to have done enough now to secure another season at this level, though not enough to get anywhere near the playoff spots. They have a few players missing ahead of this game and it looks like it’s going to be a difficult task for them.

West Ham need a strong finish to the season if they are to reach the playoffs. They have a good setup and it’s certainly do-able, but it will depend on the sides above dropping points and this may be what ultimately costs them. The side is fully fit ahead of this game so it’s in their own hands.

Of the two sides, West Ham look the stronger, form is similar, so it looks like The Hammers better players will be the deciding factor.

Blackpool 1 - 2 West Ham United

Derby.png Derby County - Bury Bury.png

Another point picked up for Derby midweek meant they climbed closer to safety. A win would have been priceless at this point (about 30p actually) but a point could still be a big help at the end of the season. They really should be too good to go down, but I’ve heard that before (often from the Mrs) and unless they can string a few results together they will be down a level next season.

Luckily for Bury they look safe now because they side has several players missing ahead of this game. This looks like it’ll be a tough game against a side that are probably stronger than them and fighting for their survival, and this looks like it could well be one game too many for Bury.

If you discount form, Derby look the clear winners, If you include form, it looks like a Bury win, but with Bury having several injuries and nothing left to play for, I fancy Derby to close the gap on 17th place.

Derby County 2 - 1 Bury

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is not being able to convince anyone to sell me their talented german risers…

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 3

Portsmouth 2 – 0 Exeter City

Swansea City 2 – 0 Crystal Palace

Millwall 2 – 0 Walsall

Brighton and Hove Albion 0 – 1 Hull City

Oldham Athletic 2 – 0 Chesterfield

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Rochdale

Dagenham & Redbridge 0 – 1 Sheffield Wednesday

Ipswich Town 0 – 2 Barnsley

Aldershot Town 2 – 2 Yeovil Town

CARLISLE UNITED - Peterborough United

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 4

Brentford 2 – 0 Gillingham

Burton Albion 2 - 2 Wycombe Wanderers

Leyton Orient 2 – 2 Shorpe United

AFC Bournemouth 0 – 0 Southend United

Colchester United 2 – 1 Bristol Rovers

Southampton 1 – 1 Hartlepool United

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 1 Rotherham United

Swindon Town 2 - 1 Notts County

Stockport County 2 – 1 Accrington Stanley

Tranmere Rovers - Northampton Town

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 3

Swansea v Crystal Palace

After getting off to an under-achieving start Swansea find themselves move up into eighth place and are unbeaten in their last seven games, only conceding one goal. Palace on the other hand are struggling with form with only one win in six, Dazinho's men are losing confidence and would pledge for a win, but can they pull it off?

Swansea 2-1 Crystal Palace

Millwall v Walsall

Craigs Millwall are gradually finding their feet and are unbeaten in nine games so far and after a bad start to the season Millwall are pleased about their latest results and if they could keep it up they could be where they finished off last season. Walsall have struggled to be with consistency this season and that’s why they are 18th in the league, a win for them though, could see them climb out of the relegation places. The form of Dembele could help them with that.

Millwall 3-1 Walsall

Brighton v Hull

Brighton, who finished fourth last season surprisingly see themselves rock bottom of the table with only 29 points. They need all the points they can get to stay up and they will find it hard with only six games left. Racky's Hull were relegated into this division last season and have struggled with consistency, but the form of there star Centre Forward Milivoje Novakic could secure them the win, he has netted 12 goals in only 19 games.

Brighton 0-2 Hull

Oldham v Chesterfield

Inform Oldham are lavishing life in division three so far and there sitting in play-off places at 5th. However that unlucky 2-1 loss to Rochdale might lower the player’s confidence. Chesterfield on the other hand are struggling with form and haven't been managed in 27 days! With no win in 10 i reckon this could turn into a cricket score, especially with Jonas in an Oldham shirt.

Oldham 4-1 Chesterfield

Aston Villa v Rochdale

Villa's poor forms this season finds them in 11th place so far and are struggling to string a set of decent results together. Gary's Rochdale is in superb form though and they are planning to top Division 3. However with Osvaldo out injured and Smalling suspended, they will have to graph a victory out from a decent Villa side.

Villa 1-2 Rochdale

Dagenham & Redbridge v Sheffield Wednesday

D&R are playing a manage-less Wednesday and have a better chance of coming out with a victory, but with their poor form the players are losing confidence and are losing the game before its even played. They really need a bit of luck to go their way to try and keep them from relegation.

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Ipswitch Town v Barnsley

This game could go either way and both teams are doing well so far. Barnsley have the upper hand with their attack against a dodgy Ipswich defence. Barnsley's star man Asamoah Gyan is suspended so they will have to rely on Tim Cahill to play the Forward roll. Ipswich’s inform star Neymar is having a good season but he has expressed his desire for his team to finish higher in the table then last.

Ipswitch 3-1 Barnsley

Aldershot Town v Yeovil Town

This is one of the games of the week, Aldershot (4) and Yeovil (7) have been doing great in Division 3 and both managers are pushing towards Play-Off success. Aldershot’s Urby Emanuelson is in the form of his life and with 15 goals and 14 assists to his name. Yeovil are feeling extremely confident going into this game with two wins under their belts and are full of confidence, they just have to make sure there defence can handle Aldershot’s attack.

Aldershot Shot 2-2 Yeovil Town

Carlisle United v Peterborough United

Table toppers Carlisle are in outstanding form, only losing six games so far this season, the second lowest in the whole set-up. Peterborough have had an up and down season winning and losing one after the other, they could be play-off contenders if they were a little more consistent but a game against Carlisle will be very hard to win. Adebayor is looking to top the goal scoring tally again, could he be a vital part of Carlisle winning the league?

Carlisle United 3-1 Peterborough United

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 34 – Midweek Games – 15-2-12

Doncaster.png Doncaster Rovers - Blackburn Rovers Blackburn.png

Doncaster made a tiny little step towards safety at the weekend and find themselves within touching distance of Leicester above them. It was a game that could have gone either way but Rovers will be happy with the point. They have only minor injuries ahead of this game and should be able to field a strong team.

Blackburn got a win at the weekend that will consolidate their mid table position. Since their cup win they have gone on to put a few results together and it’s a shame this run didn’t happen earlier for them. They have a few injures ahead of this game but have enough depth to cope.

The meeting of the Rovers; looking at the sides I would expect Blackburn to come out on top though Doncaster won’t roll over.

Doncaster Rovers 1 - 2 Blackburn Rovers

Birmingham City - Preston North End

Defeat at the weekend for Birmingham is unlikely to make much difference to their season. With not much left to play for they seem to be simply going through the motions.

Preston are in a similar situation and also seem to have packed up for the season early. They have been poor in their last few games and with nothing now to play for are unlikely to really go for it in this match.

This looks a boring match in prospect for any neutrals as two teams with nothing to play for meet. With neither side really trying to win a draw seems most likely.

Birmingham City 0 - 0 Preston North End

Plymouth Argyle - Watford

Plymouth just can’t seem to put a run together at the minute but they are still within touching distance of making the playoffs. Injuries to key players could make things more difficult, but judging by their recent form (win loss win loss win loss win loss) a defeat is on the cards here regardless of what team the manager puts out.

Watford have proved more resilient in recent weeks but are still struggling to pick up wins. They aren’t clear of the drop zone yet either so another win or two will be needed to ensure the manager is able to sleep again. They also have players missing coming into this game.

Plymouth have a better side than Watford in general and seem to how win (and lose) a game. They are due a loss here so I’ll go for Watford to sneak it.

Plymouth Argyle 1 - 2 Watford

Nottingham Forest - Coventry City

Big Mo’s side seem to have forgotten how to win a game recently after a good run. Luckily the chasing pack have not been much better and they look to be safe inside the playoff spots. They have minor injury concerns ahead of this match but have enough depth to cover this.

Coventry have looked better in recent weeks but it’s probably too late to make the playoffs now after some poor early form. They look to have a full side available ahead of this game.

Two good sides meet here with neither in red hot form but a little bit to play for. I think Forest have a slight advantage in personnel however and will tip them for a narrow win.

Nottingham Forest 1 - 0 Coventry City

Norwich.png Norwich City - Burnley Burnley.png

Norwich appear to have gone on holiday early this season, but who can blame them after the season they’ve had. They have no players missing ahead of this game, not that it matters anyway.

Burnley have been playing well of late and find themselves in second place with not much of the season left. It’s a decent side though not as strong as some and the manager deserves credit for getting them playing so well and into second. They have some minor injuries ahead of this match.

First vs. second in this top of the table clash, but only Burnley have anything still to play for and I suspect they will take this while Norwich are content to rest their players.

Norwich City 0 – 2 Burnley

QPR.png Queens Park Rangers - West Bromwich Albion WestBrom.png

QPR are finding results hard to come by just when they really need them. Three back to back defeats has seen them lose second place and they will almost certainly have to go though the playoffs if they want to make Division 1 next season, but with only minor injuries coming into this game they still have a fighting chance.

West Brom have been playing far better than their hosts though the manager may feel they can do a little better still. If they can continue in this form they’re in with a good chance but will need to rely on Burnley dropping points. The side is fully fit ahead of this game and the manager will be hopeful his strongest side is strong enough here.

This could be a good game as two teams with real second place prospects come together. Looking at recent form and I think The Baggies will have enough to beat QPR on their own turf and put paid to their automatic promotion hopes.

Queens Park Rangers 1 – 2 West Bromwich Albion

Charlton.png Charlton Athletic - Reading Reading.png

Charlton picked up a point at the weekend to make sure they stay in the playoff places for at least a little longer, though with the side performing so badly in recent weeks it looks only a matter of time before one of the chasing pack catches them. They have some minor injuries to worry about ahead of this game but should have enough squad players to cover this.

A very rare win for Reading at the weekend means they still have hope coming into the final games. The manager was thought to have given them a real blasting before the game and it appears to have worked. Another win here against a Charlton side who are really struggling themselves and Reading could be in with a real shout of avoiding the drop.

Both sides have a lot to play for here, but with Charlton looking punch drunk now I fancy Reading to kick them while their down.

Charlton Athletic 1 – 2 Reading

Leicester.png Leicester City - Blackpool Blackpool.png

Leicester’s season seems to have hit the skids again and after some decent performances they have now lost three games in a row. Relegation spots are staring his side in the face and they have an uphill battle to stay clear from the teams below them. They also have some injuries to key players ahead of this match.

Blackpool are another side that can’t seem to find any consistency but they have the luxury of mid table safety on their side at least. They come into this game with no players missing.

Blackpool have very little left to play for while Leicester are fighting for their survival, I expect that to be the telling factor in this game.

Leicester City 1 - 0 Blackpool

WestHam.png West Ham United - Derby County Derby.png

The Hammers come into this game on the back of two wins in a row as they look to make a late bid for a playoff spot. They have some ground to make up, but with Charlton stuttering above them, they have a chance. They have no injuries to worry about ahead of this game and the manager will be fairly confident of taking all the points here.

Derby are still finding things tough at the bottom and can’t buy a win just now. Time is running out for them and they really need to take all the points in this game. The side is fully fit so it’s in their hands.

This could be a tough match for both sides for very different reasons. Of the two, The Hammers look the more likely winners.

West Ham United 2 - 1 Derby County

Cardiff.png Cardiff City - Bury Bury.png

Cardiff have drawn their last three games and with nothing left to play for this season, this could well be another one. The side look to be fully fit ahead of this game however so maybe they will buck the trend.

It’s a similar situation for Bury, though they at least know how to win a match. There is a remote possibility of making the off spots if they continue winning and results go their way, but it seems unlikely right now. They also have a few players missing coming into this match.

Cardiff’s season is all but over while Bury’s certainly will be if they do anything other than win here. I’ll stick my neck out a little and predict Bury to keep their faint hopes alive a little longer.

Cardiff City 1 - 2 Bury

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is some of the counter offers I keep getting….

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 35 – Weekend Games – 18-2-12

Blackburn-1.png Blackburn Rovers - Cardiff City Cardiff-1.png

Blackburn’s recent good run was halted midweek. They look like they have done enough to secure safety now but apart from the cup win it’s been a hugely disappointing season for them. A couple of injuries ahead of this game should be easy enough to overcome.

Cardiff also suffered defeat in their last game to prolong their winless streak. They too look to be just about safe now but might want to pick up another point or two just to be safe. They have some players missing ahead of this game but should also be able to cope.

Nothing left to play for for either side. Blackburn look the stronger though and they edge my prediction.

Blackburn Rovers 1 - 0 Cardiff City

PNE.png Preston North End - Doncaster Rovers Doncaster.png

Defeat for Preston midweek has effectively ended their season and the manager can now concentrate on next season early. They have several players missing ahead of this game so it seems likely some reserve players will get a run out.

Victory for Rovers midweek means they now have a very real chance of avoiding the drop. If they can win two more games in the next four I suspect they will survive, and this game is a very winnable one. It’s all in their hands now and they deserve some credit for battling to the end.

Rovers look to be in far better shape than Preston ahead of this game and with everything to play for I think they will take this.

Preston North End 1 – 3 Doncaster Rovers

Watford - Birmingham City

Watford continue to pick up the odd point here and there, but with the sides below them picking up wins they look like they could be in real danger. They face a difficult task here against a decent side and come into the game with a few injuries to worry about. They need points here.

Birmingham haven’t been great, but they are winning the odd game. They have a small chance of making the play off’s but it looks unlikely. The side is fully fit ahead of this game.

There’s very little between the sides in general and with neither side playing well I fancy this game to fizzle out equal.

Watford 1 - 1Birmingham City

Coventry City - Plymouth Argyle

Coventry’s slim chance of making the playoffs took a blow midweek with a another poor performance. There seems very little left to play for for them now. The side is fully fit ahead of this game however.

Plymouth could have done without dropping points midweek but it’s not the end of the world and they still have a chance to finish in the top six. They will have to shuffle some players around in defence ahead of this game though.

Plymouth look to be in better form coming into this game despite giving up home advantage and I think that will be enough to get through this game ahead.

Coventry City 1 - 2 Plymouth Argyle

Burnley.png Burnley - Nottingham Forest Forest.png

Things seem to be about to take a downward spiral for Burnley after playing very well previously. Defeat midweek and a spate of injuries and suspensions could well put-paid to their automatic promotion chances.

Forest on the other hand got back to winning ways midweek just in time to give them a chance to take that automatic spot. Their side is strong one and they are a force to be reckoned with. Only minor injuries for them coming into this game.

Burnley couldn’t have picked a worse time to play Forest. The amount of players missing alone swings this heavily in Forests favour quite heavily without even looking at the potential line ups. Away win.

Burnley 0 – 3 Nottingham Forest

WestBrom.png West Bromwich Albion - Norwich City Norwich.png

West Brom looked to be in prime position to take second place midweek but a painful defeat meant they lost ground instead. They are still in with a shout however and with only minor injuries will be hoping to get back on track here.

Another win for Norwich despite them being on holiday and only playing six players midweek meant they increased their lead to twenty points at the top. They have no injuries but have 16 players away on holiday in Portugal.

Tough one to call, West Brom shade it on players but Norwich seem unbeatable. A draw here might be fair.

West Bromwich Albion 1 - 1 Norwich City

Reading.png Reading - Queens Park Rangers QPR.png

Two games ago Reading looked doomed. A week later and they are in with a real chance of avoiding the drop after some robust man management resulting in two back to back wins. The side is fully fit ahead of this game it’s all to play for for them but a potential banana skin is on the horizon.

QPR haven’t been great in recent weeks, but they won midweek to hang onto second spot. It’s tight up there and they really need to keep performing if they want to remain there. They have a number of injuries ahead of this game and this may well hand the initiative to their rivals.

This could be a very interesting game for both sides for very different reasons. QPR should in theory win this, but I can’t rule Reading out and will go for a draw.

Reading 1 - 1 Queens Park Rangers

Blackpool - Charlton Athletic

A win midweek was a nice little bonus for Blackpool but it looks unlikely to make much difference to their season now and they are a comfortable mid table but have nothing left realistically to play for this season. The side is fully fit coming into this game so will fancy their chances against stuttering Charlton.

Charlton look to be in a real mess and can’t buy a win. The manager has done a decent job most of the season but seems powerless to arrest their slide. A major rebuilding process may be needed to bring in more quality ahead of next season if they are to have any real hopes of promotion, but there is still a lot to play for here and they desperately need to find some form before it’s too late. Several injuries to the side have not helped in the slightest however.

Looking at the sides, Blackpool have a distinct advantage being fully fit. They have home advantage and are also in much better form. In short, everything points to a home win.

Blackpool 2 - 0 Charlton Athletic

Derby.png Derby County - Leicester City Leicester.png

Derby had looked the most likely of the three relegation threatened teams to avoid the drop this time last week. Since then they have lost both games while their rivals have picked up wins and suddenly they look utterly certain to be playing division 3 football next season despite having a good side. It’s a massive shame for the manager who has built an impressive side but just can’t get the players playing for him. They are fully fit ahead of this game however and face a side also fighting for their lives.

No doubt I am beginning to sound like a broken record when talking about Leicester, but the reality is that one of the stronger teams in the league with a good manager look to be in massive danger. However, the side has not been helped by the fact the manager has been missing for several weeks after a “fishing trip”. It’s now three weeks since the manager was seen and stand in manager Mr Blobby looks to be in charge again for the match on Saturday. They have only light injuries ahead of this match and shouldn’t be impacted by this at all.

Two sides in very poor form but with good teams. Te advantage must go to Derby however simply because their manager hasn’t yet given up.

Derby County 3 - 0 Leicester City

Bury.png Bury - West Ham United WestHam.png

Bury have been in decent form in recent weeks and find themselves in with a chance of making the playoffs. They’ve picked up their game at the right time but face a tough test here against a side that are also chasing the same ambition. They have several players missing ahead of this match and there is little doubt this will affect them.

West Ham have also found some form just as they need it most and look the favorites to nab the last playoff spot. They have won their last three in a row and a win here will almost certainly see them overtake Charlton and move into sixth place. They are injury free ahead of this game and will be confident they can take out Bury in their currently weakened state.

These two managers know each very well from their time as rivals in the under 9 girls league so this will be an interesting matchup with higher stakes. Looking at the sides though it’s clear The Hammers have the advantage. With injuries to Bury making things harder, its tough to see past West Ham and I’d have to go for Fitzpatrick getting one over on old sparring partner Matterson on this occasion.

Bury 1 – 3 West Ham United

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is the amount of transfer banned players I have….

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 36 – Midweek Games – 22-2-12

Blackburn-1.png Blackburn Rovers - Preston North End PNE.png

Blackburn could still do with at least one more point to make sure they aren’t dragged into the relegation dogfight below but defeat again at the weekend means they failed to get this and could still mathematically be relegated. The side has a few injuries ahead of this match so will need to reshuffle.

Preston picked up a point midweek but their season is effectively over now. Its just as well as the side is in a horrific state with multiple players missing coming into this game.

Both sides have been playing poorly but Preston will have at least five players missing coming into his game and I will tip Rovers to take the points.

Blackburn Rovers 2 – 0 Preston North End

Doncaster.png Doncaster Rovers - Watford Watford-1.png

Doncaster’s stubborn refusal to give up has meant they have climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time in a long while. Its still a precarious position however, but certainly not a lost cause. They have some injuries ahead of this match so the manager will need to shuffle his team.

Watford are another team that could do with a few more points just to make sure they’re safe. Defeat here could in theory suck them back into the danger zone while a point will probably be enough to see them safe. They also have players missing for this game.

This looks to be a tight game with both teams fighting for survival. Both sides will want to win but equally both would probably accept a draw and a draw’s my prediction.

Doncaster Rovers 2 – 2 Watford

Birmingham.png Birmingham City - Coventry City Coventry.png

Defeat for Birmingham at the weekend has effectively ended their season now and leaves only pride to play for. This is probably a good time to play some of the unhappy players in the side.

Coventry are in exactly the same situation and will also benefit from giving some game time to squad members.

Neither side have anything to play for. I expect some reserve players to make it into this game and a draw seems a fair result.

Birmingham City 1 – 1 Coventry City

Plymouth.png Plymouth Argyle - Burnley Burnley.png

Plymouth have kept the pressure on and are knocking on the door for sixth place now. Only goal difference has prevented them taking that last playoff spot so far but they are unlikely to improve that here with a tough game on the horizon. They also have a few players missing ahead of this game.

Burnley meanwhile have their sights set even higher and are chasing that last automatic spot and are also only behind because of goal difference. They have a solid chance of catching second should QPR slip up but face a tough game here. They too have some injuries coming into this game.

This looks to be a tight encounter with the winner being wide open. Burnley however have been playing even better than Plymouth and I’d have to side with them on this one.

Plymouth Argyle 1 – 2 Burnley

Forest.png Nottingham Forest - West Bromwich Albion WestBrom.png

Forest have been very indifferent of late and seem to be struggling again. They look like they may have blown their chance at second place, but a win here could potentially put them back in with a half chance at least. They at least look fully fit ahead of this game.

Its exactly the same story for West Brom who are on the same points as Forest. They also had a very good chance to cement second place but poor performances meant they look to have thrown that away. They have some minor injuries ahead of this game.

With neither side playing very well this has draw written all over it and I suspect if that prediction is right it will end the hopes of both for that coveted second place.

Nottingham Forest 2 – 2 West Bromwich Albion

Norwich.png Norwich City - Reading Reading.png

Norwich continue to impress and won at a canter at the weekend with only six players in total playing. This week it looks like Horne has sent the rest of his side on holiday and left just his goalkeeper to play this match. With only minor injuries ahead of this game the signs point towards them continuing that run.

Reading look like they may have blown their chance to escape the drop. It was a bitterly disappointing result for them and all but condemns them to Division 3 football next season with a tough game on the horizon here. Injuries to first team players will not help their cause one bit here.

First vs. last here, and I can’t do other than go for the team at the top who are churning out results effortlessly.

Norwich City 2 – 0 Reading

Queens Park Rangers - Blackpool

QPR may well have rescued themselves win that win at the weekend. They managed to hang onto second by the skin of their teeth and this looks a winnable game so it’s all in their hands here, especially as they are injury free.

Blackpool are another team that could pack up and go home early. They look a decent team on their day and with a fully fit side look likely to give QPR a run for their money.

Both sides look fallible, but while Blackpool look to have a better side, its QPR that look the more likely winners.

Queens Park Rangers 1 – 0 Blackpool

Charlton Athletic - Derby County

I am honestly amazed that Charlton have managed to hang onto 6th spot for as long as they have done. They haven’t won a game now in some time and they surely can’t continue like this. The side is fully fit however and against Derby they must be capable of winning.

Derby have picked up points in recent weeks to keep themselves in with a chance of survival. Another win at the weekend was vital and if they can win here they may just do it after all. The team is fully fit and it’s a good time to play a side like Charlton.

This could be a tight game. Charlton should be favorites to win looking at the sides’ league positions, but Derby have shown a desire to win that Charlton simply don’t have. Away win seems most likely.

Charlton Athletic 1 – 2 Derby County

Leicester City - Bury

As predicted, Leicester dropped into the relegation zone at the weekend. Another defeat meant that one of the strongest teams in the league look relegation certainties now. The side have been unable to cope with their managers disappearance and it looks a big ask for them to now avoid the drop. Injuries to the side won’t help their cause either.

A draw didn’t really help Bury’s cause too much at the weekend but it did at least keep them within touching distance of sixth place. This game looks very winnable and that might set them up for an interesting finale.

There looks to be only side in this and I can’t look past Bury to get a convincing win.

Leicester City 0 - 3 Bury

Cardiff.png Cardiff City - West Ham United WestHam.png

Cardiff are probably too far back now to catch sixth place but they will want to have a go at least. With only minor injuries to the side the manager will be able to field his strongest side for this game.

West Ham have a great chance to take that sixth spot if they can overcome this potential banana skin. With only minor injuries ahead of the match, they have a good chance.

The Hammers look to have a better side that their hosts and have been in better form in the last few weeks. Away win seems most likely.

Cardiff City - West Ham United

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is this cold i can't seem to shake….

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 37 – Weekend Games – 25-2-12

PNE.png Preston North End - Cardiff City Cardiff-1.png

Another poor result for Preston midweek and its probably just as well their season is nearly finished as they might have been in danger of being dragged into the relegation zone at this rate. It looks like the manager will have some real problems putting out his side for this game with multiple players missing.

It’s a similar story for Cardiff and they too have nothing left to play for coming into this game, though they at least look like they can put out their first team for this match should they choose to.

Preston look like they will really struggle here with several players missing, I can only see Cardiff winning this as a result.

Preston North End 0 - 2 Cardiff City

Watford-1.png Watford - Blackburn Rovers Blackburn-1.png

Watford confirmed their safety midweek after another good performance. It leaves them with nothing to play for but that’s a good thing as they could instead have been playing for their survival. They have a few players missing ahead of this game but should be able to cope fairly well.

Blackburn also won midweek to continue their up and down season. Its far too late for it to make any difference now but at least they can finish the season in decent form. They do however have several players missing coming into this game.

Blackburn look to have a stronger side, but with players missing it looks a fairly level playing field and a draw seems likely here.

Watford 1 – 1 Blackburn Rovers

Coventry City - Doncaster Rovers

A solid Coventry win midweek wasn’t enough to give them any realistic chance of making the playoffs and they will need to start all over again for next season. It’s a side packed with quality youth however so it could be just a matter of time before they get up there. They look to be 100% fit for this game.

Defeat for Doncaster midweek meant they once again find themselves in the drop zone. It’s extremely tight down there but of the teams currently in the relegation zone they look the most likely to survive at this point. The side is fully fit ahead of this game but face a tough test here.

Both sides have been in decent form of late, but Doncaster are playing for their lives and that might be enough to give them the drive they need to win this, though a draw seems most likely.

Coventry City 1 - 1 Doncaster Rovers

Burnley.png Burnley - Birmingham City Birmingham-1.png

A midweek win for Burnley means they look in good shape to hold onto their second place. They’ll need to be on their guard however with QPR not far away and one slip could see them miss out. A few injuries ahead of this game won’t help them much though.

Defeat midweek for Birmingham made little difference to their season and there’s nothing at all left for them this season. The side looks fully fit ahead of this game and could make it an interesting run in for Burnley.

Burnley are the side in better form here and they need to win this game in order to remain second, I think they should just about do it.

Burnley 2 – 1 Birmingham City

West Bromwich Albion - Plymouth Argyle

West Brom looked odds on to finish second not so long back, just a few weeks later and they look likely to drop out of the playoff spots completely if they aren’t careful. They have a tricky match here but luckily only minor injuries to worry about.

Defeat midweek for Plymouth has all but ended their playoff hopes. The manager will be very disappointed but if his side win here and West Ham lose, they will still have a chance. Its seems unlikely but if things do go their way there’s always a chance and that’s the carrot the manager needs to dangle in front of his team. They look relatively unscathed coming into this game though so you can’t rule them out.

This looks an interesting game in prospect and one that both sides need to win. A draw won’t benefit either team but I think it looks the most likely result.

West Bromwich Albion 3 – 3 Plymouth Argyle

Reading.png Reading - Nottingham Forest Forest.png

A midweek win for Reading keeps them in with a chance of surviving but they face a really tough game here. The manager will be desperate to take at least a point but with injuries to key players it looks a difficult task.

A midweek win for Forest may have come too late who really needed to win last weekend’s game as well. Those dropped points look like they will cost them automatic promotion now but for a team of Forests ability, the playoffs won’t be the end of the world.

At this point, a win for Reading is probably worth more to them than it is for Forest who look resigned to a playoff battle. That said, the difference in quality between the two sides is very obvious and I can’t see a poor Reading side having enough about them to beat Forest. A draw is possible with home advantage however, but there’s no doubt Forest look the most likely winners.

Reading 1 – 2 Nottingham Forest

Blackpool.png Blackpool - Norwich City Norwich.png

A draw midweek made little difference to Blackpool’s season and the planning for next will have already started by now. The have a few injuries ahead of this game and will have a chance to play a few reserves with the result not important.

Norwich suffered defeat midweek after sending just their goal keeper out to play. They were unlucky to lose but after having their keeper sent off in the 65th minute Reading were able to take advantage and scored a winner with ten minutes to go. Not that it makes any difference to Norwich manager Josh Horne and his squad who are currently sunning themselves in Portugal with page 3 girls….

Neither side will really be bothered about this game and I expect it to be a draw.

Blackpool 0 – 0 Norwich City

Derby County - Queens Park Rangers

Derby’s brief flirtation with survival looks short lived already as another defeat leaves them rooted to the foot of the table. The small gap between them and survival however means they aren’t quite sunk yet, but it looks a close run thing and they really need a win here. Injuries to key players won’t help though.

QPR find themselves still within touching distance of second place but that recent poor form and more points dropped midweek could well cost them dearly. The side look fully fit ahead of this game and will be favorites to pile more misery on Derby in this game.

Looking at the two sides Derby look to be considerably stronger than their visitors at the weekend and they have a strong team, so how its gone so spectacularly wrong this season for them only the manager can answer. I’d have to go for QPR despite being a weaker side, they at least look like they know how to win games.

Derby County 1 – 2 Queens Park Rangers

Bury.png Bury - Charlton Athletic Charlton.png

Despite a midweek win, Bury’s hopes for making the playoffs now look over barring any collapse from the teams ahead of them. They have a few injuries coming into this game but it will give the manager a chance to play some squad players.

A win for Charlton has put them back in with a good chance of holding onto their playoff place after a poor recent run. Another win will all but seem them secure in the top six, but they face a difficult game here. They have some injuries ahead of this game but should have enough depth to cope.

This looks like being a close run thing, but on current form Bury look the more likely winners.

Bury 1 – 0 Charlton Athletic

WestHam.png West Ham United - Leicester City Leicester.png

West Ham have been in good form in recent weeks but it’s a tight call as to whether they make the playoffs. If they continue winning games it looks likely they can do it as some of the team above them have been playing poorly. They come into this game fully fit and will be confident of winning this.

Another defeat for Leicester midweek means their chances of survival look slimmer with every game. There’s still no sign of the manager and he must surely be just days from being booted out on his ar.... ear at this rate. With some players missing coming into this game it looks a big ask to get anything.

There looks to be only one team in it and I simply can’t see the Hammers doing anything but knock a hatful past sorry Leicester.

West Ham United 3 - 0 Leicester City

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is people that keep offering me exactly chairman value for top players and then sending angry messages asking why i've rejected the offer....

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 38 – Midweek Games – 29-2-12

PNE.png Preston North End - Watford Watford-1.png

Preston managed to get a rare win at the weekend but it will make no difference to them at this stage of the season. They come into this game with several players missing so I’d expect the manager to give some of his unhappy players a run out here.

Watford also have nothing to play for and have been just trundling along picking up points. Win or lose won’t make much difference to them and with several players missing I think they will also play squad players here.

Our first game today is a bit of a non-entity. With nothing to play for for either side it looks likely to be bore draw.

Preston North End 1 – 1 Watford

Blackburn Rovers - Coventry City

A weekend draw for Blackburn did little to hurt them and will mean there’s no chance of them finishing in the top ten. They have a cup win to show for the season but little else after a disappointing campaign overall. It looks like several reserves will get the nod here in this final game.

Coventry’s season is also now all but over but they look like finishing in style. Three back to back wins have moved them into respectable position and gives them something to build on for next season. They also have some unhappy players in the side who may get some game time here.

Coventry look a better proposition than Blackburn in truth and I’d expect them to win this.

Blackburn Rovers 0 – 2 Coventry City

Doncaster.png Doncaster Rovers - Burnley Burnley.png

This looks like our first interesting game of the day. Doncaster will be desperate to win this and they need to make sure they do if they are to have any chance of staying up. Two defeats in a row has meant they have dropped back to 19th place, though they aren’t quite dead and buried yet. They do have some injuries ahead of this match but will have to cope.

Burnley also need to win this game but for reasons that couldn’t be more different. Victory here could go a long way to ensuring they grab that second place and automatic promotion and they will be disappointed to have dropped points at the weekend. They also have some injuries but their first choice eleven looks intact and it looks like it will be a strong side the manager puts out.

This is arguably the biggest game of the day, but I expect Burnley to steal the headlines here. I think they are too strong for a poor Rovers side in average form.

Doncaster Rovers 1 – 3 Burnley

Birmingham City - West Bromwich Albion

Birmingham are another team with nothing to play for other than as a chance to play some unhappy players, of which they have a few.

West Brom can relax now, they can’t climb into he automatic spots and they can’t drop out of the playoffs. With several layers injured the manager is likely to give some of his reserves a run out and hope his best 11 are most fit for the playoff lottery.

West Brom look the most likely winners here, but if both sides play reserve teams anything could happen.

Birmingham City 1 - 2 West Bromwich Albion

Plymouth.png Plymouth Argyle - Reading Reading.png

Back to back defeats look to have all but ruined Plymouths chances of making the playoffs. They looked odds on at one point but will almost certainly have to wait until next season now. That said, they have a better goal difference than the others ahead of them so if they can win and other results go their way they still have a chance. They have just one player missing coming into this game so it should be a strong side playing.

Reading looked like they had done enough to stay up after some spirited performances in recent weeks. They picked up a valuable point at the weekend against far stronger opposition and probably had expected that result would be enough to see them safe. Unfortunately a freak result elsewhere saw them drop back into the drop zone and another tough game here could be one too many. They are however fully fit and will make a real game of this.

There’s no question that Plymouth are the stronger side, however their form has been patchy. Reading have been playing out of their skins lately but are up against it here. However, I think Reading may just pull off a surprise and they are my tip to stay up.

Plymouth Argyle 1 – 2 Reading

Forest.png Nottingham Forest - Blackpool Blackpool.png

Forests poor run has continued and more points dropped at the weekend means it’s the playoffs for them. It seems likely the manager will play a reserve side here and save his big guns for the playoffs.

A win at the weekend made little difference to Blackpool as they contemplate another average season. With several players missing for this game this will be a chance for them to give the reserves a run out.

I’d expect both sides to play B-teams here, but with Forests reserve side being virtually on par with Blackpool’s first team I think the home side will win this.

Nottingham Forest 3 – 1 Blackpool

Norwich.png Norwich City - Derby County Derby.png

Norwich have suffered back to back defeats since sending most of the players on an early holiday. Not that the manager will care much, he’s on holiday too….

Despite possessing the strongest of the sides currently battling relegation, Derby look to be all but down now. Unless they can knock at least 6 clear goals past Norwich it looks to be all over for them. They have players missing ahead of this game as well so avoiding the drop seems a big ask.

It’s entirely possible that Derby can win this game, but staying up seems unlikely in the extreme.

Norwich City 1 – 1 Derby County

QPR.png Queens Park Rangers - Bury Bury.png

A win for QPR at the weekend has put them back into to pole position for second place as things stand. This looks like being a tough game but they go into the match fully fit and will probably consider themselves slight favorites.

Bury have found some good form at the right time and might just be able to sneak that last playoff spot if they can win here. This looks like a hard game and with several players missing they will have to get the tactics right and play well to get something out of this.

The two sides look like they will be very evenly matched, though Bury have some key players missing. The advantage will be with QPR who are fully fit, but with both sides also playing well this looks like a tight affair. I will take Bury to just sneak it though.

Queens Park Rangers 0 – 1 Bury

Charlton.png Charlton Athletic - West Ham United WestHam.png

Charlton’s playoff hopes are hinged on a good performance here. They must win this as it seems likely the teams below them will do and it would be a massive disappointment after being in the top few all season to miss out at the end. The side looks fully fit ahead of this game however so it’s in their hands.

West Ham suffered a shock result at the weekend and will feel very harshly done by. If they can win this game however they may very well take Charlton’s spot in the playoffs. With the side fully fit they stand a good chance.

The winner of this looks likely to claim that last spot. West Ham have a better side and have been in better form, and they look the most likely winners to me. Good luck to both though.

Charlton Athletic 1 – 2 West Ham United

Cardiff City - Leicester City

Cardiff are another side with nothing to play for, though it looks like they hold the power of relegation in their hands. With a host of unhappy players though it remains to be seen if the manager will play his strongest side and give the teams in the drop zone a fighting chance or play reserves and possibly hand the game to Forest.

Leicester were very lucky to win against West Ham at the weekend. They have been unmanaged for nearly a month and had several unfit players, but somehow managed to beat a stronger side and climb out of the drop zone. A win here will see them safe and the rumour is that the manager is now back in town to give them another boost.

This match could go either way with both sides possessing strong players. Cardiff have been in better form however and I fancy them to take this.

Cardiff City 1 – 0 Leicester City

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is my fibre optic broadband giving my an alleged “40mb” that is actually 0.2mb….

Note 2: Hopefully you've enjoyed these previews as much as i haven't enjoyed doing them. If so, plus make a small donation to shortfatbaldman.com/donations-con and keep me in whiskey this christmas. Thankyou....

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

The Playoffs Semi Final - 2-3-12

Well here we go again as the lottery known as the playoffs comes to town again. With all of the teams involved finishing within 6 points of each other none should be considered overwhelming favorites, though one or two of the teams look much stronger on paper than the others.

Burnley.png Burnley - Charlton Athletic Charlton.png

Burnley spent some time in second place towards the end of the season and may have felt they had done enough to grab that automatic spot. Poor performances in their last two games cost them that however and it remains to be seen if those performances cost them even more dearly. They possess a strong side that looks to have a good balance throughout and with only minor injuries to squad players they should be able to field a strong lineup here. Burley look well equipped at this level and could probably do a decent job should they go up. Some tweaks to a few key areas will probably be enough to establish them as a mid table premier side, though I don’t see them pushing into the top ten for a long time.

Charlton were another of the surprise packages this season. They spent virtually the full season in the top six and a large part of it in second. At one point they looked a shoe-in for that second spot but a disastrous run of form meant they went on to take just nineteen points from a possible 57. Two wins in their last three games rescued their season, and in fairness, it’s no less than the manager and his side probably deserve for their hard work against teams that were stronger. The side looks to be in good condition with only minor injuries, but they do seem to be missing their main creative outlet Jeremy Menez who has been with them all season. It’s unknown at this point if the player will be re-joining for the playoffs after spending the entire campaign with Charlton. Regardless, I do feel the manager will have to do some dealing after this season whether they go up or not. They have some decent potential in the side but not the rating to be considered a top side. Should they go up I feel they will struggle badly unless the manager is able to bring in more talented players, but I wish them luck all the same.

On paper, Burnley are clearly the stronger side. They have the more talented players and with a bigger squad they also have more options. In contrast Charlton’s side seems ill-equipped at this level especially with Menez missing, but the manager has spent a full season confounding stronger teams and it would be remiss of me to write them off. I think Burnley will have enough about them however to finish Charlton’s season here, but it looks like it will be a tight game and Charlton could well spring a surprise.

Burnley 2 – 1 Charlton Athletic

Forest.png Nottingham Forest - West Bromwich Albion WestBrom.png

Forest were my early season tip to finish top, but they never got going in the early part of the season and by the time they did start to put a run together Norwich had all but crossed the finish line already. Without doubt they boast the strongest side in the league, and in Iniesta have a player who is head and shoulders above all else at this level. Forest’s biggest area of concern looks to be their central midfield where they look a bit light but they’ve got round this by playing Iniesta in his favored position just behind the strikers and that has paid dividends as he’s since weighed in with 20 goals for the side. Coming into this game they do have some players missing and this could impact how they line up. Should they go back up they look fairly well set up for the top flight and with a few key signings could be a realistic top ten side. Forest however have been their own worst enemy this season with their inconsistency costing them a lot of points, they can’t afford any more mistakes now though.

West Brom played quite well for most of the season but dropped points in little bundles here and there and this ultimately cost them. They could have claimed that second spot for themselves but points dropped to Charlton, Norwich and Forest and QPR in consecutive games cost them dearly, and, it has to be said, casts doubt on whether they can compete when it comes to the big games. The team have relied on midfield playmaker Luka Modric for inspiration this season in much the same vein Forest have relied on Iniesta, and they look weak in other areas. Should the side go up I would expect them to struggle without considerable strengthening. Belkevitz is another manager that has done a very good job with limited resources, but they will however have a several key players missing ahead of this game and it looks a tough task for them.

Between the managers, Belkevitz looks to have done the better job with a weaker side. However you simply can’t take anything away from Big Mo and his side looks unbeatable on their day. He has assembled a very good side at this level and they are dangerous even when not playing well with several match winners in the starting eleven. On balance Forest should be considered clear favorites for this game and though West Brom could still spring a tactical surprise they face a very difficult task with several players missing against what was already a far stronger side.

Nottingham Forest 2 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Division 2 previews and predictions

npowerchampionship.jpg

The play off final - 04/03/2012

Nottingham Forest vs Charlton Athletic

Nottingham Forest has a superb second half to the regular season finishing the campaign in 4th position and just three points shy of the automatic promotion places. They have lost just once in their last 13 competitive games and looking at the two sides on paper it's Big Mo's men who will start the game as favourites.

Charlton will be looking to cap off a wonderful season with a second successive promotion tonight. Not many pundits gave Chris Hoggs men a chance with them heavily tipped to head in the opposite direction back to division three but the momentum has carried them through and despite not having the strongest of squads they have every chance of reaching the promise land.

stat attack - Nottingham Forest scored 71 goals in the regular season the joint highest with West Brom in the division

Steve025 predicts - Nottingham Forest 3 vs 2 Charlton Athletic

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEWS FOR d1 & d2

mark-hughes_1546703c.jpg

SMH's Views may offend.

Fixtures Turn 2 (Wed 21 Mar 2012)

Division 1

Queens Park Rangers - LIVERPOOL - 1-2 A sneaky away win for the Pool .

Huddersfield Town - Leeds United -2-2 a score draw with both teams attacking to the max.

Norwich City - Bristol City -0-3 I feel Norwich will struggle unless they bring in a new striker to replace Bullot.

Bolton Wanderers - Arsenal -1-2 Bolton to struggle again with the now defunct 3-5-2.

Manchester City - Milton Keynes Dons -2-3 High scoring game with Mk dons boss tactically outdoing the city boss.

Sheffield United - Wolverhampton Wanderers -0-1 Wolves to be more adventurous against lesser opposition than first game.

Manchester United - Middlesbrough -2-1 SOP to pish on Jooles parade with the old 3-5-2 back in the mix.

Everton - Tottenham Hotspur -0-1 Spurs to edge the game with there 4-2-4 tactics.

Fulham - Chelsea -1-3 Chelsea to ditch the long ball tactics and win at a canter.

Newcastle United - Nottingham Forest -2-1 More woe for Mo as he tries to find his feet back in the big pond.

Division 2

Birmingham City - Burnley -0-2-Burnley to keep up the winning ways

Plymouth Argyle - Carlisle United -1-3 Plymouth to struggle with Carlisles tactics

West Ham United - Blackburn Rovers -2-2 A high scoring draw between two of teh heavyweights

Cardiff City - Swansea City -0-1 A low scoring welsh derby

Charlton Athletic - Sunderland -1-3 Sunderland to out muscle Charlton

Bury - West Bromwich Albion -1-0 Bury to get off the mark in a close encounter

Wigan Athletic - Watford 3-0 Wigan to win at a canter

Blackpool - Coventry City -0-2 Coventry to lead early and defend there lead

Preston North End - Rochdale -2-2 High score draw with a late equalizer from the Dale

Doncaster Rovers - Stoke City -0-4 Stoke to show there class here

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEWS FOR D3 & D4

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SMH's Views may offend.

Fixtures Turn 2 (Wed 21 Mar 2012)

Division 3

Stockport County - Crystal Palace -1-3 Another struggle for Stockport to get to grips with the new division.

Aston Villa - Reading -2-0 Villa to start showing they are a big fish in a small pond.

Millwall - Walsall -3-0 An easy win for Millwall on the road to Auto Promotion.

Portsmouth - Sheffield Wednesday -2-1 Wednesday to get brought back down to earth with an easy win for play off favourites Portsmouth.

Peterborough United - Aldershot Town -0-3 Another woeful display from relegation favourutes Peterborough.

Exeter City - Barnsley - 0-0 A bore draw leaving Exeter still looking for tehre first goal of the season.

Leicester City - Ipswich Town -2-1 Two big hitters here both should make play offs, Leicester to win by a late goal.

Hartlepool United - Derby County 0-2 Derby to get first points on the board after being related from D2 versus Hartlepool who got promoted from D4

Yeovil Town - Hull City 2-2 Two great tactician to battle out a high score draw.

Oldham Athletic - Notts County -3-1 I fancy Oldham to record the first win of season over newly promoted County.

Division 4

Wycombe Wanderers - Shorpe United -1-1 Another Draw for Pulpit Boy.

Tranmere Rovers - Rotherham United -3-0 Tranmere to make light work of Rotherham as usual.

Northampton Town - Bristol Rovers -2-0 Northampton to beat last seasons wooden spooners.

Shrewsbury Town - Colchester United -3-0 Colchester to stay rooted to the bottom.

Brighton and Hove Albion - Brentford -2-0 Both clubs are missing players through suspensions/injuries but Relegated Brighton to win.

Leyton Orient - AFC Bournemouth -2-0 Leyton to pile the pressure on Bournemouth.

Southampton - Swindon Town -3-1 Southampton to cruise to the 3 points.

Burton Albion - Accrington Stanley -0-1 Stanley to win this by the odd goal in a dull game.

Southend United - Gillingham -2-0 Southend to keep the Gills winless.

Chesterfield - Dagenham & Redbridge -2-2 Teams are even so a score draw looks on the cards.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

DIVISION 1 PREVIEWS

mark-hughes_1546703c.jpg

SMH's Views may offend.

SMH's Previews -Turn 3:

Division 1

Huddersfield Town 2 - 0 Queens Park Rangers

-Huddersfield are yet to lose against QPR and with injuries to Bareto & Ibson & suspension of EL HAMDAOUI,I think QPR will struggle here with there threadbare squad.Huddersfield to record first win of season.

Norwich City 1- 2 LIVERPOOL

-Norwich peformed better in the 3-2 defeat at Bristol but will not be looking forward to playing Liverpool for the first time while the New manager is still putting together his new squad.Liverpool have been average so far but have ground out 2 from 2, I can see the same scenario happening here.

Bolton Wanderers 1 - 3 Leeds United

-Early table toppers Leeds have played well in there first 2 games showing that goalscoring doesnt look like it will be a problem for them them this season and I think that will continue away at Bolton who hare in decent for and have Bent scoring goals but the Leeds boss has won 3 of the 4 head to heads and seem to have the upper hand.

Manchester City 3- 0 Bristol City

-Man City got beat 8-2 from Bristol in December bet fired back a 3-0 win in the home game in February.Both teams have made changes with Mesi & Dempsey the notables who may make there mark on this game.Home win for me here!

Sheffield United 1 -1 Arsenal

-Arsenal have a good squad and look like they could be a contender under new management but I have a feeling that Sheffield United will sneak a draw here as they have done in first two games of season.

Manchester United 0- 0 Milton Keynes Dons

-Man United have starte the campaign with a new formation and 2x 1-0 wins but I think Mr.Kloss will get Mk Dons a draw here as he has done in 3 of the past 4 meetings, I will go for a no-score draw as Mk havent found the net yet.

Everton 1- 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

-This game has draw written all over it with 4 of the 6 games head to head ending all square.Everton hit a goalstreak in the last game but I see this as a low scoring draw.

Fulham 1- 3 Middlesbrough

-Fulham have have yet to beat Boro in 7046 In 5 attempts and there home head to head form is 2 defeats and 1-8 against goal ratio in them 2 games so it will be a tough one for Fulham against the Crafty Canadian.Easy 3 points for Boro.

Newcastle United 4 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur

-Newcastle will win this as Spurs formation 'looks dated and so last season'.The Toon have won 2 from 2 at home against Spurs and I see no reason for that to change here.

Chelsea 1- 1 Nottingham Forest

-I tipped Chelsea to win last turn and that was a bad move, I have heard they may be a demonstration before the game about the direction Chelsea are taking the club in with these long ball tactics.Forest will be happy to take a point while Chelseas's guard are down.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

DIVISION 2 PREVIEWS

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SMH's Views may offend.

SMH's Previews -Turn 3:

x-Factor Premier wannabees

Division 2 Previews.

Plymouth Argyle 2 -3 Birmingham City

-both teams will be looking to get first point,away team to edge it

West Ham United 0- 1 Burnley

-Two teams with 6 points and Premier ambitions.Burnley to edge it by odd goal in the MOTD 2.

Cardiff City 2 - 3 Carlisle United

-This game looks hard to call as both teams have good squads,newly promoted Carlisle to sneak this in an exciting game.

Charlton Athletic 2 - 1 Blackburn Rovers

-2 games head to head have both went to home team,I see no reason for a change.

Bury 2 - 0 Swansea City

-Swansea have yet to get a ponit from Bury in 2 head to heads with a 1-6 goal average.Will Huntelaar make the difference?

Wigan Athletic 3 - 2 Sunderland

-This is the match of the day in the divison,Two big teams who are scoring for fun,How did Sunderland get relegated with that side?

Blackpool 2 - 1 West Bromwich Albion

-Blackpool didn't have the greatest season last time around but took 4 from 6 from West Brom,I think they will edge this.

Preston North End 1 - 0 Watford

-Preston have a great looking squad but these teams are closely matched,One goal will win this game.

Doncaster Rovers 1 - 1 Coventry City

- Coventry are the higher rated side and I tink they will make the play offs but I think Donny will get a draw with home advantage.

Rochdale 1 - 3 Stoke City

-Stoke are much higher on ratings here and should get the win.Rochdale won 2-0 last season in Shield in only ever game between the sides so there is hope.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

DIVISION 3 PREVIEW

Aston Villa 3 - 1 Stockport County - A tough start to the season for Stockport doesn't get any easier with a trip to face Will Trafford's men at Villa Park, and with Aston Villa playing on the back of a win, i expect another victory for his side.

Millwall 1 - 0 Crystal Palace - A great fixture in store here with both sides having a perfect start to the season, it could will be a tight game with little chances, but Millwall's Diego Castro will go into this game full of confidence and could well be the difference between the two sides.

Portsmouth 2 - 0 Reading - Both teams going into this game have endured opposite starts to the campaign and Jack Simpson will feel this is a good opportunity for his side to continue their fine start to the season.

Peterborough United 0 - 2 Walsall - Tony Harman has found his side endure a difficult start this term but will feel this is a great game for his side to kick on and really start their season but im sure Daniel Hart will be having exactly the same thoughts.

Exeter City 3 - 2 Sheffield Wednesday - With Exeter picking up all three points Wednesday evening, David Crawford will be willing his lads to push on and pick up another home win.

Leicester City 1 - 0 Aldershot Town - Aldershot are sitting at the top of the table and will go into this game full of confidence, however Leicester will not be giving them an easy game and i sense Aldershot could well be knocked off the top.

Hartlepool United 2 - 2 Barnsley - Both sides will want to win this game and it could well end up a draw with Steven Pienaar providing the inspiration for Barnsley.

Yeovil Town 0 - 2 Ipswich Town - While Ivica Olic has been pulling the strings so far for Yeovil Town, i feel this could this could be the chance for Ipswich to pick up their first win of the season.

Oldham Athletic 2 - 1 Derby County - Oldham will go into this game with focuesing on heaping more pressure onto Derby County who have yet to pick up a point and even though i predict a tight game, I think Oldman will steal the points.

Hull City 1 - 1 Notts County - With Hull City yet to pick up a all three points this season, they will see this fixture as a chance to kick on and also remain unbeaten, tight game, could well end up a draw.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

DIVISION 4 PREVIEW

Tranmere Rovers 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers - Been a rocky start for Tranmere this season and it doesn't get any easier as they host Shehan's Wycombe. Can't see a lot between the two sides at present and I expect the scoreline after 90 mins to reflect that

Northampton Town 2-0 Shorpe United - With both sides experiencing defeat in there last outing both managers will be looking bounce back but I think Northampton just have a little more in the locker and will just edge this one

Shrewsbury Town 0-3 Rotherham United - Following a great win at Prenton Park last turn it's hard to see anything other than back to back wins for The Millers

Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 Bristol Rovers - Brighton will be looking to make amends for slipping up at home on Wednesday night as they welcome Bristol Rovers to The AMEX Stadium. Tough one to call but I fancy Mark Preston's men snatching the points

Leyton Orient 1-0 Colchester United - Leyton Orient have started the season the stronger of the two sides and look the bookies favourites for this one but Infernito's men have only picked up 1 point so far so will come here with a determination to get a share of the spoils. Close game but I think Orient will edge it

Southampton 2-0 Brentford - Brentford head to St Mary's Stadium in good early season form picking up 4 points from 6 but The Saints sit top of the table and will be hoping Abdellaoue and Camara can continue there impressive goal scoring form to maintain there 100% record

Burton Albion 3-1 AFC Bournemouth - Both sides have endured very different starts to there season thus far with Bournemouth the only side in Div 4 yet to pick up any points whilst Burton are unbeaten with 4 points from 6 and will be looking to pile the pressure on Cherries boss Josh Harman

Southend United 3-1 Swindon Town - Neither side have had the start they would have hoped for and both come off the back of a loss so no doubt this will be a good old fashioned dog fight but I think Southend have that extra bit of quality that could make the difference

Chesterfield 2-0 Accrington Stanley - The Spireites have had a great start to the campaign picking up maximum points so far whilst it's been the opposite for Stanley. 1 point so far and coming off the back of a heavy defeat away at Burton. Hard to see anything other than 3 points for Chesterfield

Gillingham 2-1 Dagenham & Redbridge - Mid table clash here at Priestfield with the home side coming of the back of a good away win at Southend which should give them the confidence to kick on here and get there season moving

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

DIVISION 1 PREVIEWS

mark-hughes_1546703c.jpg

SMH's Views may offend.

SMH's Previews -Turn 4:

Division 1

Nottingham Forest 2 - 1 Huddersfield Town

-Forest will be hoping to take the 3 points in the first ever game between the sides,Huddersfield got off the mark with a win last time out over QPR but things will be harder here.

Queens Park Rangers 1- 2 Norwich City

-Norwich won both meetings between the sides last season in division 2 and with new signing Berbatov in I can see them continuing the trend here.

LIVERPOOL 2- 2 Bolton Wanderers

-Liverpool have never lost a game to Bolton but if they perform like they did last time out against Norwich,Bolton will be laughing all the way to the 3 points.

Leeds United 1- 3 Manchester City

-Both teams have made decent starts with Leeds unbeaten with 7 points from 9,City are not far behind with 6 from 9.Tough game to call but City have won the last 2 games between the sides so that makes them my favourites to win here.Messi to score his 1st goal.

Bristol City 1- 0 Sheffield United

-Bristol City seem to have the edge over Sheffield with 2 wins from 2 head to head,with Sheffields poor start I see no reason for that to change.Demspey to get the winning goal.

Arsenal 2- 4 Manchester United

-Arsenals new manager will be hoping to do what no Arsenal manager has done before and beat Man United.The 5 games head to head have produced 4 wins and a draw in Man Uniteds favour.With Man United yet to let a goal in I can see them taking the 3 points here easily.

Milton Keynes Dons 2 - 2 Everton

-Everton won the last game between the sides 7-3 but that was there only win in 5 head to heads,Mk dons have started poor but I think they will have enough to sneak a draw.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2- 1 Fulham

-2 decent tacticians matching up here, 8th and 6th best managers in ranking which is a good stat.The game is close to call but with the last 4 games going to the home side I will have to call Wolves.

Middlesbrough 2 - 2 Newcastle United

-Boro have stuttered a bit, picking up just 4 from 9 points so far,Newcastle are looking down on them with 6 from 9.Jooles has yet to beat Newcastle in 4 attempts [3 draws & Newcastle win] so I think I will call a draw here .

Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 2 Chelsea

-With both teams pointless is this an early season Relegation clash?I predict Chelsea to still be pointless after this game ,Spurs have won 3 and drew the other game between the sides head to head and that makes them a Good Bet here to get off the mark.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

The Championship

NpowerChampionship.jpg

Turn 4 – Midweek Games – 28-3-12

Stoke.png Stoke City - Plymouth Argyle Plymouth.png

Stoke have got off to fairly good start to life in the second tier of the league and find themselves in sixth place. Stoke look to have one or two standout players in the side but lack quality in all areas as a result. They come into this game in good shape and have no players missing.

It’s been a bad start for Plymouth who have yet to record a win so far. Plymouth have a fairly balanced squad with quality throughout but lack the big match winners that Stoke have. With several players missing ahead of this game it could be a big ask for them in this game.

Stoke look to have a big advantage over Plymouth here and I’d expect them to keep their good start up.

Stoke City 2 – 0 Plymouth Argyle

Birmingham-1.png Birmingham City - West Ham United WestHam.png

Birmingham are another side that have hit the ground and fallen over. The side looks better one than last season and the manager has made some good buys but it looks like a few of them may take a little while to reach their potential. Even so the Birmingham squad looks decent and I would expect them to come good sooner than later.

West Ham have are another team that has been busy in the preseason and the manager has recruited extensively to make the side his. They have plenty of depth and some good players in the squad so it’s no surprise they have got off to a solid start and are currently third. They have some key players missing ahead of this game however and this will give The Brummies a boost.

Despite home advantage, I would still expect a superior Hammers side to win this.

Birmingham City 1 – 2 West Ham United

Burnley - Cardiff City

Burnley have started the season well and look like they will go close again this season. One or two shrewd buys by the manager in key areas could pay dividends here and I’d expect them to continue their good form. They do however have some injuries coming into this game.

It’s been an indifferent start by Cardiff so far and looking at their squad I feel a little worried for them. The squad lacks real quality at this level and they might well find things difficult. They are injury free ahead of this game however.

For me Burnley will win this at a canter unless the Cardiff manager can pull something out of the hat.

Burnley 3 – 1 Cardiff City

Carlisle.png Carlisle United - Charlton Athletic Charlton.png

Despite the massive amount of depth Carlisle boast they have been poor so far this season and the manager must shoulder the blame for this. It’s a very talented squad but so far some poor management has meant they have struggled and they need to get their act together soon. Carlisle have some key players missing ahead of this game but should just about have enough depth to cover this.

Charlton will be hoping they can go one better than last season and so far they have been in good form. A couple of players came in towards the end of last season and this should help their push up the table. They have only minor injuries ahead of this game.

Carlisle look the stronger on paper but have been in poor form. A draw seems most likely.

Carlisle United 2 – 2 Charlton Athletic

Blackburn Rovers - Bury

It’s been a poor start again for Blackburn and they really can’t afford another season like the last one. They have a number of ageing players in their back line and it looks likely they will suffer further in the near future without some personal changes. They have no players missing coming into this game however.

Bury have also gotten off to a tough start so far and find themselves mid table. They still look a little weak compared to other teams at this level but they have a good manager so it should balance out. Without significant investment however I can’t see them really pushing for the top spots.

Blackburn have a clear advantage in their starting line-up, but with both sides playing poorly it seems a draw is most likely.

Blackburn Rovers 1 – 1 Bury

Swansea-2.png Swansea City - Wigan Athletic Wigan.png

Swansea have gotten off to a good start after an initial blip and have now won two games in a row. The manager has made several smart signings since the end of last season and with the potential in the side they look like they will only get stronger as the season goes on, though at this point I see them as a top half team rather than one that will challenge for promotion. They have only minor injuries ahead of this game.

Wigan have made only minor changes from last season and while they have a strong squad already some of their players have been out of form recently. They have a strong youth squad but it seems unlikely any of these players are at a stage to break into the first team just yet. They have no injuries coming into this game.

This looks like an interesting match as two sides devoted to the youth development side of the game clash. Both sides have been in similar form but Wigan look to have a stronger side at this point and I’d have to go with them to win this one.

Swansea City 1 - 2Wigan Athletic

Sunderland.png Sunderland - Blackpool Blackpool.png

As expected Sunderland have gotten off to a good start with three wins from three and sit top of the table. The side is an extremely strong one at this level and it’s still a bit of a mystery as to how they ended up being relegated in the first place. They do have several key players missing ahead of this game but have more than enough depth to cover this.

Blackpool have not brought in any new first team players since last season and the manager is hoping his current squad will mature and push for first team spots. It’s a decent squad but lacks quality depth past the first team and they may struggle if key players are injured. They also have key players missing ahead of this game.

On paper Sunderland look far stronger than their opponents today and I can’t see past them for this one.

Sunderland 2 - 0 Blackpool

WestBrom.png West Bromwich Albion - Preston North End PNE.png

The Baggies have gotten off to a very poor start so far this season with three defeats in three. They are currently in last place and just don’t seem to have got their heads in the game at any point so far this season. The manager has done a solid job with the resources at his disposal, but could this be the season Modric makes a move in order to benefit the side in other key areas... They do however look fully fit and with the quality in the squad I don’t see them being bottom for long.

Preston as usual have been very busy in the transfer market. While they lack out and out quality at this level right now it’s fairly obvious they are a side that will get stronger as the season goes on. They have however struggled so far with three defeats. They are currently clear of injuries and come into this game with a full squad to choose from.

Both of these sides are yet to record even a single point so far this season, but West Brom look stronger on paper and may just sneak this. My gut feeling is a draw however.

West Bromwich Albion 1 – 1 Preston North End

Watford - Doncaster Rovers

Watford have endured a tough start to the season so far but do at least have some points on the board. It is however the same team as last season with no first team additions and it seems unlikely they will have enough to really push for the top spots. The side is fully fit coming into this game.

Rovers have fared slightly better than their opponents here. They do however look weaker on paper and will need to strengthen to avoid a season in the bottom half of the table. The addition of Ralf in midfield gives them more quality but they need more of the same in reality. They are fully fit ahead of this game.

Watford look to have an advantage in players here, though both teams could struggle in the long term without some additions.

Watford 2 - 1 Doncaster Rovers

Coventry.png Coventry City – Rochdale Rochdale.png

Coventry have gotten off to a good start this season with three wins from three. They could well be one of the teams battling for promotion this season. The squad is a solid one and while they lack out and out top players in key areas they do have a lot of potential in the side and should improve as the season goes on. They look fully fit ahead of this game.

Rochdale have had an indifferent start to the season so far but are picking up points. The side looks desperately short of quality at this level however and without some additions in key areas could find this is a difficult season. They have secured some good loan players but need more of the same, and while they have a solid youth setup, it seems unlikely any of these players will be first teamers anytime soon. They have only minor injuries ahead of this game and should be able to field their best eleven for the match.

Looking at the sides it seems clear Coventry have a big advantage here. I just can’t see Rochdale getting anything out of this game.

Coventry City 3 - 0 Rochdale

Note: As I’m limited to 15 images for 20 teams some have missed out on having their logo displayed... It’s unfortunate, but so is my lack of hair.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

DIVISION 3 PREVIEWS

0,,10428~8846838,00.jpg

Notts County - Aston Villa

Both sides will be looking to bounce straight back after defeats saturday evening and Will Trafford will be fully aware of the 6 point gap between his side and the top. Jonny Eller will be looking for Olivier Giroud to improve on his 2 goals so far this campaign and fire his side to victory.

Notts County 2 - 2 Aston Villa

Stockport County - Millwall

Craig braidwood will be looking for his lads to maintain their 100% start to the season with a win over mid-table Stockport. Stockport County took all 3 points saturday with an impressive away over Aston Villa with Nicklas Bendtner getting a brace and and will not be short of confidence going into this game.

Stockport County 1 - 3 Millwall

Crystal Palace - Portsmouth

Jack Simpson saw his side cruise to a home victory last game and will want more of the same from his side and his top scorer Bafetimbi Gomis, whilst Crystal Palace endured a very different evening and will want no repeat of the 3-0 defeat to Millwall. Franck Beria will be missing for this game and Palace could well struggle with the loss.

Crystal Palace 2 - 0 Portsmouth

Reading - Peterborough United

With both sides suffering heavy defeats last game and sitting at the bottom of the table, this is set to be a great fixture, with neither side wanting to lose. Reading will be looking towards Yakubu to provide the goals for this game while Daniel Hart wil be asking the same from his number 9 Romelu Lukaku.

Reading 1 - 1 Peterborough United

Walsall - Exeter City

Walsall manager Tony Harman will looking for his side to string together a good run of results and will asking for more of the same from his skipper Bobby Zamora who has started the campaign well with 2 goals in 3. Exeter also come off the back of a good win and David Crawford will want his lads to maintain pressure on top of the table Millwall.

Walsall 2 - 2 Exeter City

Sheffield Wednesday - Leicester City

Leicester are still chasing their first win of the season and with the players they have, will see this game as a more than winnable fixture. Sheffield Wednesday will be glad to be back at Hillsborough after losing on their travels saturday evening and will want to put it right in front of the home crowd.

Aldershot Town - Hartlepool United

After a great start to the season, Aldershot are still unbeaten and will be looking to maintain that record with a home win wednesday night, with Mario Ballotelli surely providing the spark. Hartlepool are sitting just outside the play-offs and will be looking towards last years young player of the season to attack the shots defence.

Aldershot Town 3 - 1 Hartlepool United

Barnsley - Yeovil Town

Yeovil Town have had an impressive start to the season, sitting just outside the automatic promotion places and will not want any slip ups when theytravel to Barnsley who will be looking to beat anyone visitng Oakwell this season, and with Steven Pienaar continueing to terror defenses, they will looking to win this game.

Barnsley 2 - 2 Yeovil Town

Ipswich Town - Oldham Athletic

Both sides are chasing thier first 3 points of the campiagn and will be going all out for the win in what promises to be a great game. The tractor boys fans will be worried that their front 2, Erding and Neymar have yet to score a goal between them and will be looking for a good performance off the duo at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town 3 - 0 Oldham Athletic

Derby County - Hull City

Daniel Ratcliffe will want his side to break into those highly sought after play-off spots and Derby will be looking to climb the table after picking up their first win of the term saturday evening. Luc Casnos will go into this game with great confidence after bagging a brace in the last game.

Derby County 2 - 0 Hull City

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