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Match Previews

Sky Bet EFL: Matchday preview

28 April 2017

Friday, Saturday, Sunday - there's plenty going on in the EFL this weekend!

While two divisions are still taking shape ahead of next weekend, another comes to a head this Sunday. Here's our preview...

Win or bust for Wigan Athletic

The penultimate weekend of the season sees Wigan Athletic travel to Reading, where anything less than victory will see the club return to Sky Bet League One.

It won't be easy – the Royals need just one point to secure their place in the Play-Offs, and have the second best home record after league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion.

However, the Latics can look back on recent results for a good omen. They've won on their last three visits to the Madejski Stadium.

State of Play: Click here for the latest EFL permutations

Putting on the pressure

Newcastle United and Leeds United are still chasing targets with the end of the season approaching, but time is running out.

The Magpies are hoping for a Brighton slip-up if they are to still lift the title, and they visit Cardiff City on Friday night. Three points will leave the Seagulls needing a win on Saturday to claim the crown.

As for Leeds, they are three points outside of the Play-Offs, and three points are almost a must if they are to keep pace with the top six ahead of the final day.

Around the grounds

Blackburn Rovers host Aston Villa and could be relegated if they fail to win. Birmingham City take on Huddersfield Town, and Nottingham Forest visit QPR in the other key clashes towards the bottom of the table.

In the Play-Off race, Sheffield Wednesday to go to Ipswich Town where a win would secure a top-six finish, and Fulham host Brentford in a west London derby as they look to fend off Leeds in seventh.

Leaders Brighton welcome Bristol City to the Amex aiming to clinch the title.
Table: Click here to see the Sky Bet Championship table

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 45 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Friday 28th April 2017

Cardiff City v Newcastle United (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 29th April 2017

Barnsley v Burton Albion
Birmingham City v Huddersfield Town
Blackburn Rovers v Aston Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion v Bristol City (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Derby County v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Fulham v Brentford
Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday
Leeds United v Norwich City
Preston North End v Rotherham United
Queens Park Rangers v Nottingham Forest
Reading v Wigan Athletic

Social media: Follow @SkyBetChamp on Twitter for goal updates

Hundred up for Sheffield United?

Chris Wilder led Northampton Town to promotion last year with 99 points, and he can go one better this year when Sheffield United finish their memorable campaign at home to Chesterfield.

Last week, the Blades hit a 50th goal away from home this season – the best in the EFL – and Billy Sharp reached a personal milestone of 200 career goals in the win at MK Dons.

Now, the 100-point landmark is on the horizon. Three points, and a 17th match unbeaten, will secure the century.

Three-horse race for sixth

It's advantage Millwall in the race for the final Play-Off place, but they have Southend United and Rochdale breathing down their necks.

Millwall travel to Bristol Rovers, where a win will secure sixth. Anything less, and Southend United will leapfrog them if they can better the Lions' result when they host Bury.

Should neither side win, then it's over to Rochdale. Three points against Bradford City is a must, and then Keith Hill and his men will have to hope for the best.

Around the grounds

Bolton Wanderers and Fleetwood Town are battling it out for automatic promotion, and a point for the Trotters at home to Peterborough United in a match that is live on Sky Sports should be enough.

Fleetwood host Port Vale, who can't afford to lose, else they will be relegated to Sky Bet League Two.

Gillingham are one place and one point above the drop, and visit an out-of-form Northampton Town knowing three points will preserve their status in the division.

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

Sky Bet League One: Matchday 46 fixtures (12pm kick-off)

Sunday 30th April 2017
AFC Wimbledon v Oldham Athletic
Bolton Wanderers v Peterborough United (Live on Sky Sports)
Bristol Rovers v Millwall
Charlton Athletic v Swindon Town
Fleetwood Town v Port Vale
Northampton Town v Gillingham
Oxford United v Shrewsbury Town
Rochdale v Bradford City
Scunthorpe United v Coventry City
Sheffield United v Chesterfield
Southend United v Bury
Walsall v Milton Keynes Dons

Social media: Follow @SkyBetLeagueOne on Twitter for goal updates

Play-Offs booked

The race for the Sky Bet League Two Play-Offs is being contested by numerous teams, but Luton Town can officially confirm their place with a point away at Accrington Stanley, who need to win to realistically keep their top-seven hopes alive.

The Hatters' vastly superior goal difference means they are virtually guaranteed a place in the Play-Offs, and it's for that reason why three points for Exeter City at Doncaster Rovers should see them book a spot, too.

As for those giving chase, it's anyone's guess, but the two teams in sixth and seventh – Blackpool and Stevenage – are both away from home. 

Title race rolls on

As mentioned, table-topping Doncaster take on Exeter, looking to end a three-game winless run and potentially secure the Sky Bet League Two title.

Plymouth Argyle are giving chase and host Crewe Alexandra, knowing three points would take the title race to the last day.

And don't forget Portsmouth, who have made ground on the top two in recent weeks. Three points against Mansfield Town, and a slip-up from those above them, will see Pompey perhaps having a say next weekend.

Around the grounds

Carlisle United host Newport County in a game which is crucial at either end of the table. The Cumbrians are just a point outside the Play-Offs, while Newport climbed out of the relegation zone last weekend to sit two points above the drop.

The Exiles will be keeping a close eye on Cheltenham Town versus Hartlepool United, where a point will secure the Robins' survival, and defeat will bring them right back into the thick of things ahead of the final day next weekend.

As for the other Play-Off chasers, Cambridge United host Crawley Town, while Wycombe Wanderers and Colchester United go on their travels, taking on Leyton Orient and Morecambe respectively.

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

Sky Bet League Two: Matchday 45 fixtures (3pm kick-off)

Saturday 29th April 2017

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

Social media: Follow @SkyBetLeagueTwo on Twitter for goal updates

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

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