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Match Previews

Preview: EFL Good Friday

29 March 2018

Three days of entertainment lie in wait, as the EFL sees a full schedule of fixtures played out, over Thursday, Good Friday and Saturday. Here’s the preview…

Millwall momentum

In their last Sky Bet Championship fixture, Neil Harris’ Lions equalled a club record, by defeating Barnsley, to pick up a sixth successive away league win.

Millwall are unbeaten since New Years Day, and have picked up eight wins and five draws in that time. The fine run of form has seen them rise to tenth in the standings — just four points off a Play-Off place.

Back on home ground this Friday, Millwall host Nottingham Forest, in the first clash of the latest round of Championship matches.

An Oakwell return for Johnson

Lee Johnson heads back to Barnsley this weekend, looking for three points that potentially could lift Bristol City into a Play-Off spot.

The Robins are a point and place outside of the top six but, with Middlesbrough and Derby County both not taking to the field until later on Good Friday, City have the chance to rise to fifth for at least a short while.

Barnsley haven’t won since the end of February, and are floating above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Around the grounds

Much like Johnson’s Robins, Cardiff City can take advantage of playing earlier than their rivals — with the Bluebirds facing Burton Albion before leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers travel to Middlesbrough.

That clash at the Riverside Stadium is just one of three Championship match-ups live on Sky Sports over Friday and Saturday, with Derby’s encounter against Sunderland and Steve Bruce’s Hull City reunion also in front of the cameras.

Paul Clement begins life at Reading with a home fixture, as Queens Park Rangers visit the Madejski Stadium.

As well as Hull’s Saturday meeting with the Villans, there’s one more fixture that day. It comes from St. Andrew’s, in a clash that pits Birmingham City against Ipswich Town.

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

Friday 30th March


Millwall v Nottingham Forest (1pm)
Barnsley v Bristol City
Brentford v Sheffield United
Cardiff City v Burton Albion
Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers
Norwich City v Fulham
Sheffield Wednesday v Preston North End
Middlesbrough v Wolverhampton Wanderers (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Reading v Queens Park Rangers (5:30pm)
Derby County v Sunderland (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 31st March


Birmingham City v Ipswich Town
Hull City v Aston Villa (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)

APPOINTMENTS: Match officials on duty


Life after Alexander

Following the departure of Graham Alexander, Scunthorpe United have placed Nick Daws in interim charge at Glanford Park.

His first task will be to get the Iron back to winning ways and, to do that, they’ll have to get past an Oxford United side which got off to a losing start under new head coach Karl Robinson at Portsmouth.

A late strike from Josh Morris settled the reverse fixture back in August, and a similar result on this occasion would prove vital in keeping Scunthorpe in the Play-Off positions.

Around the grounds

Then, it’s into Friday’s action, with nine games in the offing. One of these involves Fleetwood Town, who’ve started to come into some form of late, travelling south to AFC Wimbledon.

The AESSEAL New York Stadium sees two of the division’s Play-Off occupants do battle, with fourth-placed Rotherham United welcoming a Peterborough United side that sit sixth.

Like in the Championship, the action is concluded on Saturday and, in this instance, by Walsall and Portsmouth, in a 3pm meeting at The Banks's Stadium.

Round-up: What happened in the Thursday night action?

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

Thursday 29th March

Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Bradford City
Gillingham 1-2 Milton Keynes Dons

Friday 30th March


Oxford United v Scunthorpe United (12:45pm - live on Sky Sports)
Wigan Athletic v Oldham Athletic (1pm)
AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town
Blackpool v Doncaster Rovers
Bristol Rovers v Bury
Northampton Town v Charlton Athletic
Plymouth Argyle v Southend United
Rochdale v Shrewsbury Town
Rotherham United v Peterborough United


Saturday 31st March


Walsall v Portsmouth

APPOINTMENTS: Match officials on duty



F
ourth hosts third

Meadow Lane is the setting for Notts County’s crucial fixture against Wycombe Wanderers, with little to choose between the two at present.

The Magpies are four points adrift of the Chairboys currently and, given the time remaining in the season, Kevin Nolan’s team will be targeting victory to reduce that gap.

On the flip side of that, Wanderers could put some distance between themselves and County should they emerge triumphant. All to play for…

Coventry to climb?

Four wins in five have gone a long way to strengthening Coventry City’s promotion aspirations; moving them back into the Play-Offs and up to sixth.

There’s the possibility of more upwards movement too and, taking into consideration the strong patch of form they’re in, the Sky Blues would seem set to pounce at Newport County, if either Exeter City or Notts County above them drop points.

Newport have only lost one of their last six, but turning draws into victories has been somewhat of a problem, with three points registered only once in that streak.

Around the grounds

Back on top of the table after a routine dispatching of Barnet, Luton Town go into this Friday’s away clash at Colchester United buoyant but, Accrington Stanley could rise above the Hatters once more — they’re at Mansfield Town.

The aforementioned Grecians, fresh from back-to-back successes, head to Lincoln City looking to complete a treble of recent victories.

Could Chesterfield haul themselves out of League Two’s relegation zone? Well, a win for them at Port Vale and a Grimsby Town loss would see that become a reality.

Two sides who’ve each not picked up a victory since February lock horns at the Cambs Glass Stadium. Both Cambridge United and Crawley Town will feel this is the opportunity to kickstart things once more…

Sky Bet League Two: Fixtures (all 3pm kick-off)

Friday 30th March

Barnet v Crewe Alexandra
Cambridge United v Crawley Town
Cheltenham Town v Carlisle United
Colchester United v Luton Town
Grimsby Town v Stevenage
Lincoln City v Exeter City
Mansfield Town v Accrington Stanley
Newport County AFC v Coventry City
Notts County v Wycombe Wanderers
Port Vale v Chesterfield
Swindon Town v Morecambe
Yeovil Town v Forest Green Rovers

APPOINTMENTS: Match officials on duty


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