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Match Previews

Preview: Matchday 38

15 March 2018

The EFL has plenty on offer this weekend, with encounters on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We preview it all here…

Yorkshire derby

Two sides in need of three points to get themselves out of respective poor runs of form, meet on Saturday afternoon.

Leeds United have won just one Sky Bet Championship fixture in their last 13 outings, while their opponents Sheffield Wednesday haven’t tasted victory since the middle of February.

A derby clash might be just what is required in order to return to triumphant ways — will something give at Elland Road?

Seven up

Cardiff City are having no such trouble in racking up the wins, having taken maximum points from seven straight Championship matches.

Continuing on that theme, a 3-1 success at Brentford on Tuesday night opened up a seven-point gap to Aston Villa in third, after the Villans were beaten on home turf by Queens Park Rangers.

Neil Warnock’s men may be flying but the games get no easier, with Derby County — a team firmly in play-off contention — next up in the chase for consecutive victory number eight, in a Sunday lunchtime kick-off on Sky Sports.

Around the grounds

Saturday gets under way with two games that precede the 3pm fixtures, with Fulham hosting Queens Park Rangers at 12:30pm, half an hour before in-form Millwall visit Barnsley.

Table-topping Wolverhampton Wanderers have a home encounter against Burton Albion, whose current predicament sees them three points adrift of safety.

A recent upturn in fortunes for Hull City has lifted the Tigers to 17th in the table, and they have the chance to notch a third successive victory when they take on Garry Monk’s Birmingham at St. Andrew’s.

Saturday concludes when Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa face off at the Macron. A close affair back in September was eventually settled by a Jonathan Kodjia penalty just before the break.

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 38 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Saturday 17th March

Barnsley v Millwall (1pm)
Birmingham City v Hull City
Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Brentford v Middlesbrough
Bristol City v Ipswich Town
Fulham v Queens Park Rangers (12:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Leeds United v Sheffield Wednesday
Norwich City v Reading
Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest
Sunderland v Preston North End
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Burton Albion

Sunday 18th March

Derby County v Cardiff City (12:00pm - live on Sky Sports)

APPOINTMENTS: Match officials on weekend duty

Posh push

Three wins on the spin, tied in with a seven-game unbeaten streak, have lifted Peterborough United into League One’s top six.

A stoppage-time Jack Marriott strike saw them edge out bottom club Bury during the week and now they have managerless Oxford United in their sights.

The form of the U’s isn’t so positive, having picked up just one point from a possible 15 of late, a run of results which has seen them slide to 17th, just four points clear of the bottom four.

Cameras at the Keepmoat

Monday night brings with it action from the Keepmoat Stadium, where Doncaster Rovers entertain Bradford City.

Neither club has had much to shout about in recent times, with a Rovers win in February the only victory the two have managed to muster from their last respective six games.

This though is, of course, an all-Yorkshire encounter, and bragging rights are sure to provide an incentive for both to end that barren run.

Around the grounds

Fifth welcomes third at Glanford Park, where Scunthorpe United face a Shrewsbury Town side who are striving to climb back into the top two.

Speaking of which, that leads us on nicely to Blackburn Rovers. Tony Mowbray’s men have a five-point lead over Wigan Athletic at present, and make the trip south to take on Gillingham. The Latics are involved in the FA Cup, so it’s a perfect opportunity for Rovers to put the pressure on.

Will Rochdale continue their mini-revival? Seven points from nine have given Keith Hill and his team hope of survival and with AFC Wimbledon to come at the Crown Oil Arena, Dale will be targeting victory once more.

Staying in the relegation zone, 22nd-placed Milton Keynes Dons, who achieved their first win under Dan Micciche on Tuesday night, host bottom of the table Bury.

Sky Bet League One: Matchday 38 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Saturday 17th March

Blackpool v Southend United
Charlton Athletic v Fleetwood Town
Gillingham v Blackburn Rovers
Milton Keynes Dons v Bury
Northampton Town v Rotherham United
Oldham Athletic v Portsmouth
Oxford United v Peterborough United
Plymouth Argyle v Bristol Rovers
Rochdale v AFC Wimbledon
Scunthorpe United v Shrewsbury Town

Monday 19th March

Doncaster Rovers v Bradford City (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)

APPOINTMENTS: Match officials on weekend duty

New leaders

There’s a fresh face at the top of the League Two tree — Accrington Stanley. It’s one thing getting to the summit though, and John Coleman will want to make sure his players remain there.

They’ve a home fixture against Forest Green Rovers to come and, the visitors aren’t in bad shape; winning three out of their last six matches.

Any slip-up from Stanley however, and Luton Town will be ready to capitalise, with the Hatters travelling to Newport County.

Life under Brown begins

New Swindon Town manager Phil Brown gets his first taste of life at the helm, when the Robins make the journey to Cambridge United.

It’s Brown’s first role since leaving Southend United earlier on in the campaign, and he takes over a Town team that sit in ninth position but very much in the play-off mix.

United have drawn their last two clashes 1-1, in meetings with Luton Town and Wycombe Wanderers respectively.

Around the grounds

Like in the Championship, two early matches kick things off on Matchday 38 in League Two, when Lincoln City take on Grimsby Town at Sincil Bank, and Notts County welcome Mansfield Town to Meadow Lane.

The aforementioned Wycombe will want to get their promotion push back on track, after three games without a win — they’re at lowly Barnet.

Play-Off occupants Exeter City and Coventry City both were held at home on Tuesday. The two now have away fixtures to contend with, at Morecambe and Crewe Alexandra respectively.

Carlisle United’s four-game winning run was brought to a halt in a draw with Exeter, but they have an opportunity to get three more points when Crawley Town come to Brunton Park.

Sky Bet League Two: Matchday 38 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Saturday 17th March

Accrington Stanley v Forest Green Rovers
Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers
Cambridge United v Swindon Town
Carlisle United v Crawley Town
Cheltenham Town v Chesterfield
Colchester United v Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra v Coventry City
Lincoln City v Grimsby Town (1pm)
Morecambe v Exeter City
Newport County v Luton Town
Notts County v Mansfield Town (1pm)
Port Vale v Stevenage

APPOINTMENTS: Match officials on weekend duty

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