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EFL matchday preview: April 27-28

25 April 2019

We're all set for what could be a pivotal weekend, with a host of huge fixtures to look forward to in the coming days.

Here's a look at some of the key games on the way...

Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers

After missing out on three points against Stoke City on Easter Monday, Norwich City need just one point from their game against Blackburn Rovers to secure promotion to the Premier League.

Canaries striker Teemu Pukki netted in that 2-2 draw with the Potters last time out, and has 28 goals in the Championship this season.

Rovers haven’t won away at Norwich in a league game since August 1999 under Brian Kidd, drawing four and losing one since then.

Sheffield United v Ipswich Town

Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United are also on the brink of promotion, and a win against Ipswich Town would put immense pressure on Leeds United, who don’t play until the Sunday.

Already relegated Ipswich Town are the visitors to Bramall Lane on Saturday, and the Blades will be hoping to make it five wins in their last seven home games against the Tractor Boys.

Paul Lambert’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 17 league matches - the longest current run in the Championship.

Bristol City v Derby County 

Lee Johnson’s Bristol City have dropped out of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off places in recent weeks to this weekend’s opponents, Derby County.

The Robins are only a point off though, and could return to sixth position with three points, and will hope that Middlesbrough fail to win against Reading.

Derby’s Harry Wilson ensures the Rams returned to sixth spot with two very late goals against Queens Park Rangers last time out.

West Bromwich Albion v Rotherham United 

The Baggies have secured their place within the Play-Offs places in recent weeks, and caretaker manager James Shan will be hoping to finish off the season in style with a couple of wins.

Rotherham United are the visitors to the Hawthorns on Saturday, as they continue their fight to avoid the dreaded drop zone.

But the Millers have only picked up one win in their last 47 Championship away matches, drawing 11 and losing 35.

Middlesbrough v Reading

Boro were replaced in the Play-Off spots on Easter Monday as Harry Wilson’s late double returned Frank Lampard’s Derby into sixth spot.

Reading are the visitors to the Riverside in Saturday, and Tony Pulis will be looking to lead his side side to a fifth consecutive victory over the Royals.

The visitors have never lost three consecutive away league visits to Middlesbrough, but have lost the last two, by two goals to one.

Millwall v Stoke City

The relegation battle continues, and three points for Millwall would all but seal their safety in the the Sky Bet Championship for the 2018/19 season.

They are three points ahead of Rotherham United and also have a game in hand over their rivals.

Meanwhile, Stoke City halted Norwich City’s promotion train at the bet365 Stadium last time out; goals from Ashley Williams and Tom Edwards earned them a 2-2 draw.

Burton Albion v Luton Town

Luton Town missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Sky Bet League One table to five points with a 2-2 draw with AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

A last-minute equaliser from the Dons’ Steve Seddon was a real hammer blow, but that shouldn’t alter their desire to secure automatic promotion.

Burton Albion are the hosts at the weekend, looking to get back to winning ways, after their 3-2 to loss to Southend United last time out.

Barnsley v Blackpool 

Daniel Stendel’s Barnsley are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that they secure automatic promotion come the end of the season.

But with Portsmouth only two points behind them, and with a game in hand, it certainly adds to the drama in Sky Bet League One.

The Tykes entertain Blackpool, who were 2-1 victors on derby day against Fleetwood Town last time out. The Tangerines find themselves ninth in the league standings. 

Sunderland v Portsmouth

One of the biggest games throughout the EFL comes at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland take on Portsmouth.

The Black Cats will be looking for revenge after their Checkatrade Trophy Final defeat to Kenny Jackett’s side.

However, Sunderland are without a win in their last eight games against Portsmouth in all competitions, last tasting victory in January 2008.

Scunthorpe United v Bradford City

The Iron have slipped into the relegation zone in recent weeks, last time out losing 4-0 to promotion hopefuls Charlton Athletic.

Scunthorpe have only won one of their last 12 league games, and are winless in League One since a 4-1 win over Southend back in March.

Bradford City have had their relegation to Sky Bet League Two confirmed, but will be hoping to bring Scunthorpe down with them by denying them three points.

AFC Wimbledon v Wycombe Wanderers

Wally Downes’ side produced a remarkable 2-2 draw against league leaders Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night, handing them another point in the race for survival.

Wycombe Wanderers are the visitors on Saturday and, in the last 10 games between the two sides, the Dons have only lost once.

Wycombe will be hoping that they can win their first-ever EFL game at Kingsmeadow; they have drawn three and lost one of their last four visits.

Accrington Stanley v Plymouth Argyle

Accrington Stanley gained three valuable points on Tuesday nigh, securing a 2-1 victory over Play-Off chasers Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Three points over fellow relegation candidates Plymouth Argyle will seal their safety in Sky Bet League One.

The Green Army, however, are winless in their last seven games - a win on Saturday would be welcome relief for Derek Adams’ side.

Tranmere Rovers v Bury

Saturday could be a day of celebration for Bury, as three points alongside a loss for Mansfield Town or MK Dons could see them promoted to Sky Bet League One.

The Shakers were 3-1 winners on Easter Monday against Northampton Town, capitalising on results elsewhere.

Tranmere Rovers also occupy a space in the League Two Play-Off places, and three points here could see them go above Forest Green Rovers, depending on their result at Crewe Alexandra.

Colchester United v MK Dons

Colchester United sit just outside of the Play-Off places in eighth position, and entertain fourth-placed MK Dons at the weekend.

The U’s have won just one of their last 11 league games against MK Dons, although one of those did come in this season’s reverse fixture.

The Dons have won five of their last seven away games on League Two, averaging two goals per game in this time.

Mansfield Town v Stevenage

The Stags are clinging onto the last automatic promotion place in Sky Bet League Two, but MK Dons are hot on their tails.

David Flitcroft’s side are unbeaten in their last four league games against Stevenage, winning three and drawing one.

Meanwhile, Stevenage are unbeaten in their last four games, also winning three and drawing one in League Two.

Notts County v Grimsby Town

Notts County are currently bottom of the table with two games to go, but are only two points off safety.

Since winning back-to-back home games in October, the Magpies have only won two of their last 16 home games in League Two.

Grimsby Town are the visitors to Meadow Lane at the weekend, hoping to complete a league double over Notts County for the time since 2005/06.

Northampton Town v Yeovil Town

Yeovil Town currently occupy the last relegation place in Sky Bet League Two, but only on goal difference to Notts County below them.

The Grecians have never beaten Northampton in the fourth tier of English football, failing in seven previous attempts.

The Cobblers have only lost one of their six home EFL meetings with Yeovil, that defeat coming back in August 2007.

Port Vale v Macclesfield Town

The Valiants confirmed their place in Sky Bet League Two for another season with a point against MK Dons in Easter Monday.

They welcome Macclesfield Town to Vale Park on Saturday, looking to make it three home wins out of three against the Silkmen.

Sol Campbell’s men have won just once in their last eight away league games, drawing two and losing five - conceding 16 goals in this time.

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