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Preview: the weekend's action

20 February 2020

The EFL action continues this weekend, with fixtures taking place across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two!

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League leaders West Bromwich Albion head to Ashton Gate at the weekend to take on Bristol City who, like West Brom, have aspirations of reaching the Premier League this season. 

The Robins have won their last two home league games against the Baggies, so this could prove to be a test of character for Slaven Bilic’s side, but head into this game winning their last two league away games in the Sky Bet Championship. 

Two promotion candidates in Brentford and Blackburn Rovers meet on Saturday afternoon; a win for the hosts could see them leapfrog Fulham into third place before they get the ball rolling in their game against Derby County. 

Only one of the previous 14 league meetings between the sides has finished level at Griffin Park. 

Tony Mowbray’s side are unbeaten in their last three away games, picking up as many points (seven) in those three games as they had in their previous nine trips on the road. 

At the foot of the table, Barnsley, who surprised everybody last time out with a stunning 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage, return to home comforts as they welcome Middlesbrough to Oakwell. 

The Tykes are winless in their last five matches against the Boro in all competitions, while Jonathan Woodgate’s side are looking to record a league double over Barnsley for the first time since the 2011/12 season. 

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Rotherham United sit level on level points with Coventry City on 57 points, but have a better goal difference than the Sky Blues as it stands. The Millers head to the Wham Stadium hoping to strengthen their grip on top spot with three points against John Coleman’s Accrington Stanley. 

Paul Warne’s men have only suffered one defeat in their six previous visits to Accrington, but Stanley are in a run of form themselves having won three games on the bounce in league action. 

The aforementioned Coventry are also in action at the weekend; they head to the North West to take on Rochdale. Mark Robins’ side have won four of their last five league games in Sky Bet League One. 

The Sky Blues are on a 10-game unbeaten run in league action, last enjoying a longer run without defeat between October and November 2015. 

Fleetwood Town and Portsmouth are the two form teams in the division at the moment, with both teams winning four out of their last five games in the league. 

The Cod Army have beaten the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Peterborough United and Wycombe Wanderers in recent weeks, and will be looking to claim another scalp. 

Portsmouth will be on high after reaching the Final of the Leasing.com Trophy for the second time in as many years. Kenny Jackett’s side have won six of their last seven League One fixtures, keeping five clean sheets during that run. 

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After missing last weekend’s game against Scunthorpe United due to postponement, Swindon Town will be feeling revitalised and ready to kick on in Sky Bet League Two. 

The league leaders welcome Ian Holloway’s Grimsby Town to the County Ground, looking to complete a league double over the Mariners for the first time since the 2003/04 season. 

But Holloway’s side are a different kettle of fish these days, having collected 15 points since his arrival at Blundell Park back in January. 

Exeter City crashed out of the Leasing.com Trophy in midweek, losing to League One Portsmouth in the Semi-Final at Fratton Park. Matt Taylor would have been delighted with his side’s performance, despite the final result, and will bellowing for a similar performance against Northampton Town on Saturday. 

The Grecians have won their last three league games in a row, last winning four successive matches in September 2017. 

Elsehwhere, Crewe Alexandra host Macclesfield Town in a Cheshire derby at Gresty Road. The Railwaymen have won four of their last five league games and currently sit third in the League Two standings. 

Dave Artell’s men have been in red-hot form on home soil, having won six on the bounce - they haven’t won seven successive games at home in the league since October 1992. 

Macclesfield picked up a priceless point in midweek against promotion candidates Plymouth Argyle, as they continue their fight against relegation. The Silkmen have lost just one of their last eight games against Crewe, a 3-0 loss back in September 2018.

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