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EFL matchday preview: March 29-30

28 March 2019

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

West Bromwich Albion v Birmingham City

A feisty West Midlands derby kicks off this weekend’s action in the EFL as West Bromwich Albion entertain Birmingham City at The Hawthorns.

The last fixture between the two sides came back in September; both teams walked away having scoring a goal apiece and with a share of the points. The sides will be hoping for all three here, as they continue their respective battles in the league table.

Sheffield United v Bristol City

The Blades enjoyed a huge win over Yorkshire rivals Leeds United last time out, and they face another stern test in Lee Johnson’s Bristol City this weekend.

City enjoyed a run of nine wins on the bounce in all competitions, but since then haven’t won in six - three points could see them head back into Play-Off contention.

Middlesbrough v Norwich City

League leaders Norwich City travel to the Riverside looking to make it seven wins in a row in the Sky Bet Championship with a victory over Middlesbrough.

Boro, however, have not enjoyed league action of late, losing their last three games and only scoring two goals. A win is much needed for Tony Pulis’ side, who face pressure from the Play-Off chasers.

Leeds United v Millwall

Leeds United are hot on the heels of Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United and will be hoping that Bristol City will be able to do them a favour at Bramall Lane.

Millwall stand in the way of three point;, they will be looking to get back to winning ways after cruelly missing out on a FA Cup Semi-Final spot, in a penalty shoot-out loss to Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion.

Derby County v Rotherham United

Rotherham United’s fight to keep their head above water continues - they travel to Pride Park to take on Frank Lampard’s Derby County.

If the Rams have any aspirations of finishing inside this season’s Play-Off places then wins need to come thick and fast; they have only won one game in their last six Championship outings.

Reading v Preston North End

The Royals are flying perilously close to the dreaded drop zone, and need a win to put some distance between themselves and that 22nd spot, which Rotherham United currently occupy.

Preston North End have rocketed up the table in recent weeks, winning their last three games, including a priceless win away at Middlesbrough. They sit just one spot outside of this season’s Play-Off places.

Bristol Rovers v Luton Town

After a 4-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers in midweek, Bristol Rovers will be hoping they can get back to winning ways this weekend, but face another tough test against league leaders Luton Town at the Memorial Stadium.

The Hatters have not tasted defeat in Sky Bet League One in their last 26 games, winning 19 and drawing seven.

Barnsley v Coventry City

A last-minute winner from Barnsley’s Jacob Brown last time out meant that the South Yorkshire side kept pace with Luton Town but put a bit of distance between themselves and the chasing Portsmouth and Sunderland.

The Sky Blues have won their last two games on the road, seeing off Peterborough United and Accrington Stanley respectively. Could they be the side to end the Tykes’ 19-league game unbeaten run?

Doncaster Rovers v Walsall

A much-needed three points came on Tuesday night for Grant McCann’s Doncaster Rovers, as they beat Bristol Rovers 4-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Three points for Rovers here will see them complete their first league double over the Saddlers since the 1993/94 campaign, having won the reverse fixture 4-1 back in September.

Walsall fans will not be too worried though, as they have seen their side win on their last five visits to the Keepmoat, scoring two or more goals on each of those occasions.

Scunthorpe United v AFC Wimbledon

Managerless Scunthorpe United welcome Wally Downes’ AFC Wimbledon to Glanford Park at the weekend, in one of Sky Bet League One’s many relegation battles.

The Iron sit in 18th position in the table but have lost their last two league outings against Rochdale and Portsmouth respectively.

The Wombles are three points from safety as things stand with seven games remaining, but have performed well on the road of late, securing 10 points from a possible 12.

Southend United v Shrewsbury Town

Southend United parted company with Chris Powell early on in the week in hope that a fresh start could see them survive relegation from Sky Bet League Two.

They face Shrewsbury Town at Roots Hall on Saturday in arguably one of the biggest games of the weekend.

Both teams will be hoping for an upturn in results as the season creeps closer to its conclusion.

Gillingham v Rochdale

Rochdale took a huge step towards Sky Bet League One safety last time out, with an impressive 3-1 victory over Scunthorpe United at the Crown Oil Arena.

The Gills have been in fine form against the Dale in their last four home league games, having won all four since a 2-1 loss back in September 2012.

Still without a permanent manager, Rochdale have conceded the most goals in the top four tiers of English football, leaking 76 league goals.

Lincoln City v Macclesfield Town

A game which could have consequences at either end of the Sky Bet League Two table, both sides will be seeking three points for very different reasons here.

Lincoln are closing in on promotion and are unbeaten in 16 league games, the longest current run in the division, while Macclesfield know that a win could lift them out of the relegation places.

History isn’t on their side, however – the Silkmen haven’t won at Lincoln in the EFL since February 2001.

Bury v Swindon Town

Second-placed Bury could also take an important step towards promotion to Sky Bet League One with victory over Swindon this weekend.

Like Lincoln, they’re on a fine run of 14 league games without defeat, but Swindon come into this one on the back of a convincing win over Morecambe and still have an outside chance of the Play-Offs. Who will come out on top?

Forest Green Rovers v MK Dons

This will be just the second League Two meeting between these two Clubs, and it’s set to be a cracker.

Just eight points and three places separate the sides ahead of kick-off, with Rovers looking to consolidate a Play-Off spot and MK Dons looking to stay in the automatics.

The latter won their only previous visit to the New Lawn 1-0 in last season’s Carabao Cup – Gboly Ariyibi scoring the winner in extra-time.

Stevenage v Notts County

Having conceding a last-minute equaliser at Macclesfield last time out, Stevenage face another relegation-threatened side in bottom-of-the-table Notts County this weekend.

Stevenage haven’t lost either of their last two home league games against County and will be encouraged by the fact their opponents have conceded the highest number of away goals in League Two this season, but anything can happen at this stage of the campaign.

Yeovil Town v Newport County

Yeovil are toying with trouble at the wrong end of the table and face a vital test against Newport on Saturday.

The Glovers sit two points above the relegation zone, having played a game more than Macclesfield and failed to pick up a single point from their last four league games.

They’ll be hoping for a repeat of September’s reverse fixture though, a remarkable 6-0 victory that conversely remains Newport’s heaviest EFL defeat since 1988. 

Northampton Town v Port Vale

While Port Vale are seven points above Macclesfield under the guidance of Silkmen legend John Askey, they’ll be hoping for three points at Northampton to put any fears of relegation to bed.

The home side have lost just one of their last nine league games and sit comfortably in mid-table, meaning Vale will surely face a tough test.

The Staffordshire side’s away record makes for interesting reading, as they’ve scored and conceded the fewest league goals on the road in League Two this season.

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