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Preview: This weekend in the EFL

17 December 2020

Following a midweek schedule which brought goals, comebacks and plenty of drama, another weekend of EFL action is just around the corner!


Norwich City v Cardiff City

The lunchtime kick-off on Saturday comes from the home of league leaders, Norwich City, as they welcome Cardiff City to Carrow Road.

Teemu Pukki’s second-half penalty ensured that Daniel Farke’s side picked up the maximum points on offer when they travelled to travelled to Reading in midweek.

That result ensured a fourth win on the bounce in league action for the Canaries.

Neil Harris’ Cardiff City side bounced back from their derby-day defeat to Swansea City with a dramatic 3-2 win over Birmingham City on Wednesday night.

After initially taking the lead through Robert Glatzel, the Blues hit back with two goals of their own to take go out in front just before the hour mark.

Despite Glatzel missing from the spot, the Bluebirds have Harry Wilson and captain Sean Morrison to thank for the three points, as they popped up with crucial goals in the closing stages of the affair.

Brentford v Reading

It was the tale of two penalties in midweek action as Brentford picked up a draw on the road against third place Watford.

Troy Deeney and Ivan Toney were the two strikers on hand to dispatch the penalties, the latter netting to make sure the Bees made it 12 games unbeaten in league action.

Reading are the visitors to the new Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon; a team who, like Thomas Frank's side, also find themselves in this season’s race for the Play-Offs.

As mentioned, they tasted defeat on Wednesday night to a difficult Norwich City outfit but a win at the weekend could see them head to the table and land in third spot, depending on results elsewhere.

Rotherham United v Derby County

Wayne Rooney’s Derby County made it six games without a loss in midweek, and picked up three precious points at Pride Park as they look to clamber out of the relegation zone.

Two goals before half-time, one from Colin Kazim-Richards and another from Kamil Jozwiak meant that the Rams moved level on points with rivals Nottingham Forest on 16 points.

Rotherham United are, like Derby County, on 16 points, so this game could be ‘a relegation six-pointer’ as the old cliché goes.

Paul Warne has certainly been through the usual ups and downs which come with football management, and has been down here with the Millers once before.

He will be hoping that his side can dig deep and rack up some points, as we move closer to the second half of the season.


Accrington Stanley v Blackpool

It’s certainly been a season to remember so far for John Coleman and Accrington Stanley, with Stanley sitting just one point outside the Play-Off places.

Coleman was recently recognised for his outstanding achievements so far this season, picking up the Manager of the Month award for November.

Blackpool were victorious in their midweek fixture against league-leaders Hull City, with CJ Hamilton netting a 93rd minute winner, despite going behind to the Tigers.

A win for the Seasiders, depending on results elsewhere could see them move to within a point of the Play-Off places.

Burton Albion v Doncaster Rovers

Jake Buxton always knew that his debut season in management would be a difficult one, and it has proved to be so far as the Brewers find themselves bottom of League One with only one win in their last five games, that coming in a 4-2 win over Charlton Athletic.

The visitors to the Pirelli Stadium this weekend are Doncaster Rovers, who have been superb of late, winning four of their last five games in league action.

A 2-1 win over Swindon Town in the week, with a double from full-back Reece James, showed that they pose a goal threat in all areas of the squad.

Darren Moore’s side currently occupy that final Play-Off spot, and are only two points off second, which Portsmouth have a tight grip on currently.


Bolton Wanderers v Tranmere Rovers

Both Bolton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers would expect to be higher up in the League Two standings than they currently are, but all is not lost for both sides and with just four points between Tranmere in 15th place to Cambridge United in 6th, it’s an incredibly tight affair for those vying for the Play-Off spots.

The Trotters picked up three points in midweek with a win over Cheltenham Town, however Keith Hill’s Tranmere were put to the sword by Exeter City at the weekend.

Forest Green Rovers v Carlisle United

It's fourth v second at The New Lawn on Saturday as Forest Green Rovers take on Carlisle United.

The Cumbrians have been in fantastic form over their last five games, winning four, including their most recent fixture against Mansfield Town.

Forest Green have equally been impressive and are unbeaten in their last five, Mark Cooper will be keen to add another three points on the board which could see his team move back into the automatic promotion places.

Grimsby Town v Scunthorpe United

It’s derby day at Blundell Park as Scunthorpe United make the 33-mile journey from Glanford Park to visit old foes Grimsby Town.

The Iron will be out for revenge as they were beaten 2-0 on home soil at the end of last season.

Both teams are in the bottom half of the table, the Mariners will be desperate for a win having picked up only one point in their last five games.

Meanwhile Scunthorpe have won three of their last five games in Sky Bet League Two.

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