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EFL matchday preview: April 6-7

5 April 2019

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

Norwich City v Queens Park Rangers

League leaders Norwich City kick off the Sky Bet Championship weekend, looking to strengthen their grip on top spot.

Queens Park Rangers are currently managerless after parting company with Steve McLaren earlier on in the month.

Daniel Farke’s side have only lost on of their last 15 league matches against QPR at Carrow Road, last tasting defeat in September 2008.

Birmingham City v Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United returned to second spot in the Championship last weekend, as Sheffield United lost to Bristol City at home and Leeds saw off the threat of Millwall.

In the reverse fixture, Garry Monk’s side were 2-1 winners at Elland Road back in September; they are looking to complete a league double over the Whites for the first time since the 2012/13 season.

Patrick Bamford has failed to find the back of the net in his last three games for Leeds, but the striker has found the net on three occasions on his last three league starts.

Preston North End v Sheffield United

Sheffield United slipped out of the automatic promotion places last time out, as they lost 3-2 to Bristol City at Bramall Lane.

The Blades travel to Preston North End on Saturday looking to complete a league double over the Lilywhites for the first time since the 2011/12 season.

Meanwhile, PNE have only lost one of their last 14 home games, winning six and drawing seven in that run.

Bolton Wanderers v Ipswich Town

The Championship’s two bottom Clubs go head-to-head this weekend, with both sides looking to claim valuable points in the fight against relegation.

Bolton Wanderers are winless in 11 league matches against Ipswich Town, last winning back in the Premier League in April 2002 under Sam Allardyce.

Things do not look much better for Tractor Boys boss Paul Lambert, as he has only won three of his last 39 matches in all competitions.

Rotherham United v Nottingham Forest

Paul Warne’s Millers outfit sit only one point inside the relegation zone, just under Millwall who occupy the last safe spot in the league.

A win on Saturday would come as welcome relief for their league form; it would also end a run of 23 games without a win against Forest, going back to September 1956.

Forest, however, are hot on the tails of Aston Villa in sixth position, lying only three points outside the Play-Offs. This will be the first time Martin O’Neill has travelled to Rotherham United in a league game as a manager since 1995.

Millwall v West Bromwich Albion

As previously mentioned, Millwall sit one point outside of the dreaded drop zone in the Championship, and are in desperate need of three points.

They welcome West Bromwich Albion to the Den at the weekend, the first time the Midland side have been there since April 2004.

WBA have won all three league matches under caretaker manager James Shan, who will be hoping to guide the Baggies to their first away league win against Millwall for the first time since 1987.

Luton Town v Blackpool 

Table-toppers Luton Town entertain Blackpool on Saturday afternoon looking to strengthen their hold on first position.The Hatters have only lost one of their last 15 home games in all competitions against Blackpool.

However, the Tangerines are unbeaten in their previous three games with Luton, drawing 0-0 at Bloomfield Road in the reverse fixture.

Burton Albion v Barnsley 

Barnsley are clinging onto second place in Sky Bet League One, with Sunderland right on their tail after recent results.

The Tykes take on mid-table Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium, hoping to add three more points onto the board.

The Brewers will be well up for this one, as they are looking for three consecutive league victories for the first time since April 2018.

Rochdale v Sunderland

Rochdale appointed Brian Barry-Murphy as their new first-team manager in the week to succeed former boss Keith Hill at the Crown Oil Arena.

The Dale will be hoping for that new manager bounce which could see them escape the dreaded drop zone in League One.

But a tricky Sunderland opposition await them on Saturday, who will looking to complete a league double over the Dale following on from their 4-1 victory back in September.

Bradford City v Doncaster Rovers

With Peterborough United out of action last weekend, Doncaster Rovers took the initiative to extend the gap between the two teams, as the race for that final Play-Off spot continues.

An impressive 3-1 win over Walsall took them five points clear of the Posh, but Darren Ferguson’s side do have a game in hand over Rovers.

They travel to Bradford City at the weekend, the Bantams will be praying for a change in fortunes, having lost their last four games in League One.

AFC Wimbledon v Accrington Stanley

When Wally Downes entered the building, a lot of people had already written off AFC Wimbledon’s chances of surviving in League One.

Fast-forward four months and the Dons are level on points with three other Clubs and things are looking promising.

Who knows what three points over Accrington Stanley at the weekend would do for those chances, with Stanley also in the relegation mix.

Walsall v Oxford United 

The Saddlers were easily dispatched of by Doncaster last time out, and will be hoping that three points over Oxford on Saturday will ease relegation worries.

Dean Keates’ side are unbeaten in their last games against the U’s, with the last three fixtures ending by a 2-1 scoreline.

Karl Robinson’s men are on a three-match winning run in the league, they’ve not won four in a row since August 2017.

MK Dons v Lincoln City

It’s second v first at Stadium:MK this weekend, in a game which could prove crucial in the battle for automatic promotion.

The home side go into this one knowing that a win could close the gap between the sides to just five points, but defeat for MK Dons would leave them looking over their shoulder. It will be a tough task – Lincoln have lost just one of their last 24 league games.

Mansfield Town v Cambridge United

Mansfield got back to winning ways on their last outing and remain in the hunt for automatic promotion.

This weekend sees them face a Cambridge side that produced arguably their best display of the season when beating Bury 3-0 on Tuesday evening. They’ll need something similar here, having only managed one win in 14 visits to Mansfield – a 3-1 victory in October 1998.

Carlisle United v Bury

Carlisle’s form has dropped off in recent weeks, but they still remain just three points outside of the Play-Off places, while back-to-back defeats for third-placed Bury means they’ll be looking to remain above them with a win here.

This fixture has provided plenty of entertainment in the past, with none of the last 17 league meetings between the sides at Brunton Park finishing in a draw. Who will come out on top here?

Macclesfield Town v Morecambe

With games running out, Sol Campbell’s Silkmen are in need of points, and know that victory against Morecambe on home soil could lift them out of the relegation zone.

This will be the first League Two meeting between the sides at Moss Rose since September 2011, and three points for the visitors would go a long way to ensuring they’ll still be playing EFL football next season.

Notts County v Northampton Town

It’s a huge game for 23rd-placed Notts County this weekend, who will be hoping to get out of trouble with a win over mid-table Northampton, who at this stage are unlikely to make the Play-Offs or get sucked into a relegation battle.

The bad news for County is that their last seven league goals have been scored away from home, with Kane Hemmings having a hand in five of those. Coincidently, Hemmings also scored County’s last home league goal back in February.

Swindon Town v Yeovil Town

Swindon looked to have hit form at a good time, with consecutive wins in the league, including a 3-1 victory over high-flying Bury last time out.

With a game in hand on several teams, the Robins are certainly still in with a shout of a Play-Off place, and will fancy their chances against Yeovil side who have lost 11 of their last 13 league games. The Glovers remain above the drop zone on goal difference…

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