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Match Previews

EFL: Five things to look out for this weekend

31 March 2017

All three divisions back in action, potential movements among the league, and a piece of silverware up for grabs.

They're just a few of the stories to look out for in the EFL this weekend. We've picked out five...

The Championship is back!

Saturday 18th March, 2017 - it seems like forever ago!

The 24 Sky Bet Championship clubs have had an international break, but they're back and ready to resume the push for promotion, the top-six tussle, and the scrap for survival.

Round-up: Click here to read about some stand-out performances on the international stage

Two games are live on Sky Sports:

Friday 31st March - 7.45pm: Derby County v Queens Park Rangers - Gary Rowett's Pride Park return
Saturday 1st April - 5.30pm: Reading v Leeds United - potential Play-Off preview

Missing us?

Don't worry, we're back on Friday! 😘

— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) March 27, 2017

Home form and hotshots

Stevenage currently sit fourth in Sky Bet League Two after a phenomenal run of form which has garnered 29 points from their last 12 fixtures.

Seven games have been played at the Lamex in 2017; Darren Sarll's men have won them all. And they're back on home soil this weekend, where they welcome Barnet.

And while Matty Godden's goals have inspired Stevenage, the Bees have their very own hotshot in John Akinde.

Barnet had gone seven games without a win, but two goals in three minutes from the target man last week brought that run to an end, and brought the EFL's highest scorer of 2016 level with John Marquis at the top of this season's League Two scoring charts.

Ups and downs

There are a few key fixtures in the Sky Bet Championship and Sky Bet League Two this weekend which could see our first promotion/relegation movement of the 2016/17 campaign.

Rotherham United will go down if they fail to beat Fulham, although other results could send them down regardless of their efforts at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Should the Millers drop, they may not be the only South Yorkshire club saying hello to Sky Bet League One on Saturday evening.

Doncaster Rovers could seal promotion from League Two to book an immediate return, but they need things to go their way. And you can see all the permutations by clicking the link below.

EFL State of Play: Click here for the matchday permutations

Eleven and counting

Tuesday night produced two 2-0 home wins. One in Sky Bet League One, one in Sky Bet League Two. One for Sheffield United, one for Accrington Stanley. Those results extended the unbeaten runs of both clubs to 11 matches.

The Blades are out of action this weekend but, for Accrington, they travel to promotion-chasing Plymouth Argyle in a bid to extend their purple patch. 

The form guide reads won six, drawn five, and the midweek success over Cambridge United brought Accrington within seven points of the Play-Off places. Shay McCartan has enjoyed a fine spell of form too, hitting nine goals in his last 11 outings for Stanley.

With players returning, it's given John Coleman something to think about ahead of the Home Park visit.

“I have some big decisions to make – how do I change a team which played so well on Tuesday?” the boss told the club website. “There are players pushing for a start but it will be difficult.”

Checkatrade Trophy Final

This weekend sees Coventry City and Oxford United take a break from Sky Bet League One action, instead turning their focus to Wembley Stadium, where they will go head-to-head for the Checkatrade Trophy.

Checkatrade Trophy: Click here for news surrounding the 2017 Final

More than 70,000 fans will arrive in the capital for Sunday's showpiece, where the U's will look to avenge last season's 3-2 Trophy final defeat to Barnsley.

They go in to the game on the back of a 5-1 midweek win against Bury, while the Sky Blues - despite sitting bottom of the league - have won their last two, and hold a perfect record in the competition.

The Checkatrade Trophy Final gets under way at 2:30pm, and will be screened live on Sky Sports.

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