Derby County and Brentford are both in with a chance of reaching the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs come May.And they meet at the iPro Stadium this Saturday lunchtime in a game live on Sky Sports.
The two sides enjoyed a solid Easter period to collect four points from their two quick-fire fixtures, and the winner this weekend will take a significant stride towards landing a top-six spot come 2nd May.
Derby drew 2-2 with Watford on Good Friday before downing Wigan Athletic 2-0 at the DW Stadium on Monday, while Brentford thrashed Fulham 4-1 and staged a late comeback to draw 2-2 with Nottingham Forest.
It was yet another late show from Mark Warburton’s resilient Bees, who netted four of their six goals over the long weekend in the last 10 minutes of games. In fact, Brentford have become from behind nine times to earn points in their 41 matches this season, and have netted 25 of their 70 goals in the final 15 minutes of those - 35 per cent of their overall haul.
The state of play
Now the promotion-chasing pair face off this weekend with a chance of gaining vital ground in the race for a Play-Off place.
Just one point separates Derby (71) in fifth and seventh-placed Brentford (70) ahead of their meeting. Steve McClaren’s men are yet to drop out of the prized Play-Off places since September, and boosted their chances of remaining there with that win over Wigan, which was their first triumph in eight attempts.
Brentford have entered the Play-Off places on four occasions this season, and will do so again with victory against the Rams. Their form going into the game is stronger than Derby’s, with three wins, three draws and just two defeats from their previous eight outings.
The other contenders
Sandwiched between Saturday’s opponents in sixth (71 points) are Wolverhampton Wanderers, who also enjoyed a strong Easter, picking up maximum points from their two games.
Those wins came over Nottingham Forest and, dramatically, against Leeds United, as Dave Edwards netted late on to help them see off Leeds United 4-3.
Kenny Jackett’s men travel to local rivals Birmingham City this weekend, and are sure to face a fiery reception as the Blues aim to end Wolves’ four-game winning streak.
Ipswich Town are also still in the mix for the Play-Offs, and they host the relegated Blackpool at Portman Road. The Tractor Boys have suffered a disappointing week, firstly throwing away a lead to table-toppers Bournemouth, before losing 2-1 at Huddersfield Town.
Follow the Derby County versus Brentford goal action and the rest of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship games via @SkyBetChamp on Twitter.