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Preview: A big weekend in the EFL!

19 December 2019

The festive fixtures are finally upon us! Here's what's coming up between Friday 20 and Monday 23 December across the divisions...

It all begins on Friday evening under the lights at The Riverside, as 20th-placed Middlesbrough take on 22nd-placed Stoke City in what could prove to be a crucial clash come the end of the campaign. Boro have won each of their last two home league games and will be looking to win three in a row for the first time since April, while Stoke have lost four of their last five away league games and will be looking to end that run.

On Saturday, there's a big battle at the top as Fulham host Leeds United. Leeds are unbeaten in their last 11 league games (W8 D3) – they last had a longer such run in the second tier of English football between October 2010 - January 2011, but Fulham will be hoping they have the firepower to stop them. Since his debut for Fulham in February 2018, Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 39 league goals (inc. play-offs), 27 more than any other player at the club.

Monday evening sees one of the division's form teams in Blackburn Rovers host Wigan Athletic. Blackburn are unbeaten in their last six league games (W5 D1), this after losing five of the previous eight (W1 D2 L5), while no Championship side in 2019/20 is currently enduring a longer winless run than Wigan (10 games).


In Sky Bet League One, league leaders Wycombe Wanderers face a trip to Oxford United, in what is set to be a cracker. Last time out at MK Dons, Oxford suffered a defeat in league competition for the first time in 12 games. The U’s are now looking to avoid losing back-to-back league matches for the first time since August. 

Meanwhile, two fellow promotion hopefuls in Bristol Rovers and Peterborough United will go head-to-head on Saturday. Since a 3-2 victory over Peterborough back in February 2007, Bristol Rovers are currently winless in their last 10 league meetings with the Posh, but will certainly be hopeful of turning that around here.

Towards the bottom of the table, Southend United face a trip to Bolton Wanderers, against whom their only previous away league win came back in April 1994. Bolton boss Keith Hill has only lost one of his last seven league games against Southend (W3 D3), a 1-2 defeat to Phil Brown’s side in January 2017.

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There's an early kick-off on the way in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday, as Grimsby Town host Scunthorpe United. Five of the last seven EFL encounters between Grimsby and Scunthorpe have ended level - will this one go the same way?

Elsewhere, leaders Swindon Town are up against sixth-placed Forest Green Rovers, looking to pull further clear at the top. Swindon have won seven consecutive league games last going on a longer such run in the EFL between December 2011 - February 2012 (a run of 10), a season in which they achieved promotion.

At the foot of the table going into the weekend are Morecambe, who take on 12-placed Newport County. The hosts will be hoping to take advantage of their visitors' lack of form; Newport are on a six-game winless streak in the league (D2 L4), last going longer without a victory in the EFL between January-March 2018 (a run of seven).

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