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Match Previews

Sky Bet EFL: Easter preview

13 April 2017

We've reached the business end of the season, and the Easter period could be a decisive weekend in the EFL.

Here's our preview of a bumper schedule, which begins in Greater Manchester on Thursday, and ends there the following Tuesday...



Good Friday


League leaders Brighton & Hove Albion visit Wolverhampton Wanderers at 5pm on Saturday evening, looking to maintain their place at the Sky Bet Championship summit.

That game is live on Sky Sports, and will be followed by title rivals Newcastle United's home meeting with Leeds United, at 7:45pm.

TV Games: Click here to see all EFL fixtures on Sky Sports

There are plenty of big games at the other end, too, including Nottingham Forest hosting Blackburn Rovers. Bristol City and Burton Albion are also at home as they bid to pull clear of the bottom three.

Easter Monday

Birmingham City host Burton, and Blackburn take on Bristol City, in an Easter Monday schedule that could have a major say in the scrap for survival.

Brighton welcome Wigan Athletic in a match which could seal the Latics' fate, depending on results over the Easter period.

Play-Off chasers Leeds and Reading are both at home, while Huddersfield Town's visit to Derby County is the division's Sky Sports showing.

Play-Off dates: Click here for the proposed Sky Bet Play-Offs schedule

Around the grounds

Wigan and Barnsley begin the weekend early, facing off at the DW Stadium on Thursday night. The Latics are seven points adrift of safety going into the Easter period.

One of the division's most intriguing storylines is Fulham's chase for the Play-Offs. They face tough tests at Norwich City and at home to Aston Villa, while closest rivals Sheffield Wednesday play Cardiff City and QPR.

Table: Click here to see the Sky Bet Championship table

Sky Bet Championship: Easter fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Thursday 13th April 2017

Wigan Athletic v Barnsley (7:45pm)

Friday 14th April 2017

Brentford v Derby County   
Bristol City v Queens Park Rangers
Burton Albion v Ipswich Town (7:45pm)
Huddersfield Town v Preston North End
Newcastle United v Leeds United (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)
Norwich City v Fulham
Nottingham Forest v Blackburn Rovers
Rotherham United v Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff City
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion (5pm - live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 15th April 2017

Aston Villa v Reading

Monday 17th April 2017

Barnsley v Brentford
Birmingham City v Burton Albion
Blackburn Rovers v Bristol City
Brighton & Hove Albion v Wigan Athletic
Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest
Derby County v Huddersfield Town (5pm - live on Sky Sports)
Fulham v Aston Villa (2:45pm - live on Sky Sports)
Ipswich Town v Newcastle United
Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Preston North End v Norwich City
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday
Reading v Rotherham United

Social media: Follow @SkyBetChamp on Twitter for goal updates




Good Friday

Coventry City and Chesterfield could be relegated from Sky Bet League One, with the Sky Blues needing to beat Charlton Athletic at the Ricoh Arena to have any chance of survival.

The Spireites would need a number of results to go against them if they are to drop, including Bury beating Rochdale, which kicks off the bumper weekend schedule on Thursday evening.

State of play: Click here for the Good Friday permutations

Bolton Wanderers play on Saturday, away at Oldham Athletic, and if they fail to match Sheffield United's result from Friday night, then the Blades will be crowned as champions.

Easter Monday

It's life on the road for many of the division's strugglers post-Easter, with Oldham, Shrewsbury Town, Gillingham, Port Vale and Swindon Town all on their travels.

If Chesterfield avoid the drop on Friday, they'll also need to perform away from home – they go to Scunthorpe United.

Sky Sports are at Bramall Lane on Monday where, if things go according to plan for Chris Wilder, the Blades will be crowned Sky Bet League One champions after taking on Bradford City.

Around the grounds

Bolton, who play on Saturday and Tuesday, could be promoted this weekend. That depends on results involving Fleetwood Town, Bradford and Scunthorpe.

One of Fleetwood's opponents are Millwall, who also host Northampton Town as they aim to maintain their push for the Play-Offs. Southend United give chase with fixtures against Chesterfield and Milton Keynes Dons.

Table: Click here to see the Sky Bet League One table

Sky Bet League One: Easter fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Thursday 13th April 2017

Bury v Rochdale (7:45pm)

Friday 14th April 2017

Bradford City v Oxford United
Chesterfield v Southend United
Coventry City v Charlton Athletic
Gillingham v Bristol Rovers
Millwall v Northampton Town
Milton Keynes Dons v Scunthorpe United
Peterborough United v Fleetwood Town
Port Vale v Sheffield United
Shrewsbury Town v Walsall
Swindon Town v AFC Wimbledon

Saturday 15th April 2017

Oldham Athletic v Bolton Wanderers (12:30pm)

Monday 17th April 2017

AFC Wimbledon v Peterborough United
Bristol Rovers v Oldham Athletic
Charlton Athletic v Gillingham
Fleetwood Town v Millwall
Northampton Town v Shrewsbury Town
Oxford United v Port Vale
Rochdale v Coventry City
Scunthorpe United v Chesterfield
Sheffield United v Bradford City (12:15pm - live on Sky Sports)    
Southend United v Milton Keynes Dons
Walsall v Swindon Town

Tuesday 18th April 2017

Bolton Wanderers v Bury (8pm)

Social media: Follow @SkyBetLeagueOne on Twitter for goal updates




Good Friday

Portsmouth versus Plymouth Argyle is the most eye-catching of the Good Friday fixtures, and the Sky Sports cameras will be at Fratton Park, where the visitors could be promoted if they avoid defeat.

At the opposite end, Leyton Orient could be relegated if they lose at Luton Town, and results in matches involving Cheltenham Town and Hartlepool United go against them.

Elsewhere, Grimsby Town begin life after Marcus Bignot and under Russell Slade – they host Play-Off chasing Cambridge United at Blundell Park.

Easter Monday

Depending on weekend results, Doncaster Rovers could claim the Sky Bet League Two title when they host Blackpool on Easter Monday, but Plymouth host lowly Newport County looking to stay in the hunt.

Portsmouth travel to Notts County seeking to clinch a return to Sky Bet League One, and there are two big games in the Play-Off race – Cambridge United versus Exeter City, and Carlisle United against Stevenage.

In a stand-out fixture at the other end, Orient host 22nd-placed Hartlepool, while Cheltenham Town welcome Grimsby to Whaddon Road as they look to put further distance between themselves and the bottom two.

Around the grounds

Accrington Stanley head into Easter 13 unbeaten, and face Blackpool and Crawley Town looking to extend their fine run of form and maintain their outside hopes of a top-seven finish.

Stevenage have won all eight of their home matches in 2017, and the next test is Morecambe, who are without a win since 25th February; a run of nine matches.

Table: Click here to see the Sky Bet League Two table

Sky Bet League Two: Easter fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Friday 14th April 2017

Blackpool v Accrington Stanley
Colchester United v Doncaster Rovers
Crawley Town v Cheltenham Town
Crewe Alexandra v Notts County
Exeter City v Barnet
Grimsby Town v Cambridge United
Hartlepool United v Carlisle United
Luton Town v Leyton Orient
Newport County v Yeovil Town
Portsmouth v Plymouth Argyle (2:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Stevenage v Morecambe
Wycombe Wanderers v Mansfield Town

Monday 17th April 2017

Accrington Stanley v Crawley Town
Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers
Cambridge United v Exeter City
Carlisle United v Stevenage
Cheltenham Town v Grimsby Town (1pm)
Doncaster Rovers v Blackpool
Leyton Orient v Hartlepool United
Mansfield Town v Luton Town
Morecambe v Colchester United
Notts County v Portsmouth
Plymouth Argyle v Newport County
Yeovil Town v Crewe Alexandra

Social media: Follow @SkyBetLeagueTwo on Twitter for goal updates

Match officials: Click here to see the referees on EFL duty this weekend