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EFL matchday preview: April 13-14

11 April 2019

Take a look at some of the key games coming up across the divisions with our matchday preview...

Aston Villa v Bristol City

As the season nears its end, Aston Villa and Bristol City find themselves in the all-important Sky Bet Championship Play-Off places.

Villa boss Dean Smith has recently been nominated for the Manager of the Month award for March, which emphasises the fantastic job he has been doing of late.

Bristol City have also been on a sensational run of form over the past few months, recently seeing off West Bromwich Albion at Ashton Gate by three goals to two.

Leeds United v Sheffield Wednesday

After losing 1-0 at Birmingham City last weekend, Leeds United got back to winning ways in midweek with a 2-0 victory over Preston North End at Deepdale.

A brace from striker Patrick Bamford saw the Whites regain second place, overtaking Sheffield United, who could only draw with Birmingham on Wednesday night.

Sheffield Wednesday’s upturn in form has largely been down to manager Steve Bruce, with the Owls sitting only four points and three places outside of the Play-Offs.

Wigan Athletic v Norwich City

League leaders Norwich City don’t play until Sunday afternoon and will know where that they have to do in order to secure the title in the next few weeks.

Canaries manager Daniel Farke joins Smith, Jimmy Shan and Jose Gomes in the March Manager of the Month nominations, once again underlining the impressive job he is doing at Carrow Road.

Wigan Athletic, on the other hand, sit just two points outside of the relegation zone, and with three big points, it could see them move up above QPR should the R’s fail to win against Swansea City.

Derby County v Bolton Wanderers

Frank Lampard’s Derby County are still trying to secure the final Play-Off place; they are three points behind Aston Villa who currently occupy sixth position.

The Rams were defeated 2-0 by Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night with goals from Joe Rothwell and Bradley Dack respectively.

Meanwhile, Bolton Wanderers took another step towards relegation with a 2-0 loss at home to Middlesbrough.

Reading v Brentford

Jose Gomes’ Reading side, alongside Millwall, are just one point outside the drop zone with a handful of games remaining in the Championship.

Brentford have been on somewhat of a revival since Smith’s departure to Aston Villa back in October.

They sit 14th in the table, and Bees fans will be hoping to build on that next season.

Stoke City v Rotherham United

Since his arrival at Stoke City, Nathan Jones has steadied the ship and will be hoping next season will be a better one for himself and the Potters.

It was a night to forget on Tuesday for Stoke, as they were beaten 3-1 by Swansea City, ending the game with nine men.

Rotherham lost 2-1 against Aston Villa on Wednesday at the Asseal New York Stadium, despite initially leading and the Villans being reduced to 10 men.


Charlton Athletic v Luton Town

Charlton Athletic have somewhat flown under the radar in terms of the fight for an automatic promotion place.

The Addicks are fifth and only four points behind Sunderland in second, and have the perfect chance to put themselves to the test against a resolute Luton Town outfit at the weekend.

The Hatters are creeping ever closer to securing the Sky Bet League One title, and  should they avoid defeat on Saturday, they would make it 29 games unbeaten in the league.

Barnsley v Fleetwood Town

Barnsley have recently dropped out of the automatic promotion places with the combination of a defeat to Burton Albion, and Sunderland picking up a point in midweek.

The Tykes will be hoping that the Black Cats and Portsmouth - who are only a place below them - both drop points in their respective games in hand.

Fleetwood’s race for the last Play-Off spot took another dent at the weekend, as they drew 2-2 with Southend United. A win could see them move up to eighth depending on results elsewhere.

Sunderland v Coventry City

A 1-1 draw with Burton in midweek saw Sunderland move up to second place in League One, and with a game in hand, they could become a major player in the race for promotion.

After a penalty shoot-out defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy which left his side bitterly disappointed last month, Jack Ross will be hoping not to return to Wembley again this season.

Coventry City are the visitors to the Stadium of Light at the weekend, hoping to better their draw against Bristol Rovers last time out.

Accrington Stanley v Walsall

Moving down the table and two teams of the 11 teams who are in danger of relegation from League One meet at the Wham Stadium.

Accrington Stanley sit six places but only three points ahead of their counterparts, and will be hoping to put a bit of distance between themselves and mangerless Walsall.

The Saddlers, however, could escape the drop zone with a win, depending on results elsewhere.

Oxford United v AFC Wimbledon

Karl Robinson and his Oxford United side will probably see themselves safe for another season in League One, but will be keen not to take their foot off the gas.

Robinson has been nominated for the Manger of the Month award for March, for his impressive turnaround at the Kassam Stadium of late.

Wally Downes has also been nominated, as he has masterminded Wimbledon’s turn in fortunes, and with five games to go he will be hoping to pull off the ultimate great escape.

Portsmouth v Rochdale 

After their Checkatrade Trophy Final win last month, Portsmouth now have their sights set on that final automatic promotion place.

They will have to hope that Sunderland drop points in the run-in, if that is to happen.

Rochdale sit two points outside the dreaded drop zone, and new manager Brian Barry-Murphy will be hoping to build on their win against Accrington Stanley.


Lincoln City v Cheltenham Town

League leaders Lincoln City know they will be promoted to Sky Bet League One, if they win against Cheltenham at Sincil Bank.

The Imps have been fantastic all season and a win over the Robins at the weekend will strengthen their hold on top spot.

The visitors have kept their heads above water this season, and will hoping to build on their 1-1 draw with Exeter City last time out.

Tranmere Rovers v MK Dons

Two promotion hopefuls meet at Prenton Park on Saturday. Tranmere Rovers still have a chance of going up via the automatic promotion route, meanwhile MK Dons will certainly be hoping that is the way they go up this season.

The Whites boss Micky Mellon has recently been nominated for Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for March, and will be hoping his side can put pressure on the teams above them.

MK Dons will be hoping for three points of their own as they are currently level on points with Mansfield Town in the automatic promotion places.

Northampton Town v Mansfield Town

As mentioned above, the Stags are vying for automatic promotion and with three points could take a step closer to Sky Bet League One.

Four Mansfield players were named in the League Two Team of the Year at the EFL Awards last weekend - emphasising the tremendous job the Stags have done this season.

Northampton Town will be looking to get back to winning ways after a disappointing 2-2 draw by their standards, with Notts County last weekend.

Crewe Alexandra v Notts County

Notts County returned to the bottom of the League Two table in midweek, after Macclesfield Town beat Exeter City by three goals to two.

Along with the Silkmen and Yeovil Town, they are involved in a three-way race for survival.

Crewe Alexandra have made sure they have kept themselves away from the danger zone with some positive results this season, another this weekend would see them climb up one place, depending on Northampton’s result.

Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town

Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield Town produced one of the performances of the season with a 3-2 victory over Play-Off hopefuls Exeter City last time out.

The Silkmen secured the win with a brace from Harry Smith and one from Michael Rose.

The Green Machine are on course to finish in the Play-Off places this season, but will be keen to make sure that is the case. However, Carlisle United and Colchester Town are hot on their tail.

Yeovil Town v Crawley Town

The Glovers slipped into the relegation zone on Tuesday night with Macclesfield’s victory over Exeter.

Yeovil, who now occupy 23rd position, welcome 21st-placed Crawley Town to Hudson Park at the weekend, hoping to drag the Red Devils into the relegation scrap.

Crawley will be looking to take three points back with them to West Sussex though, putting a gap between themselves and the drop zone.

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