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Sky Bet Championship Preview: Matchday 41

3 July 2020

Games are coming thick and fast in the Sky Bet Championship, as we follow on from the midweek action with another blockbuster weekend of football.

Derby County have been more than impressive since the division’s restart, carding three victories out of three - two of which have come against Play-Off rivals Millwall and Preston North End. 

Phillip Cocu’s side welcome rivals Nottingham Forest to Pride Park in Saturday’s early game, looking to move into the highly sought-after sixth position in the table.

Forest have also strengthened their Play-Off credentials, sitting in fourth spot on 67 points. A 1-0 win over another top-six rival, Bristol City, on Wednesday night, continued to show that a strong finish from Sabri Lamouchi’s side could serve them well in the Semi-Finals, should they get there. 

League leaders Leeds United had a minor hiccup in the midweek fixtures, only managing to pick up a point against relegation candidates Luton Town at Elland Road on Tuesday evening. 

The Whites travel to Lancashire to take on Blackburn Rovers who, despite starting positively in the first game after the restart with a 3-1 win over Bristol City, have lost their last two games to Wigan Athletic and Barnsley respectively. 

With second-placed West Bromwich Albion not in action until Sunday, this game gives Marcelo Bielsa’s side the perfect opportunity to put pressure on the Baggies with a win.

Cardiff City are unbeaten since the restart, picking up seven points out of a possible nine, including two important wins against Leeds United and Preston North End respectively. 

It has a been restart to forget for Lee Johnson’s side, who have lost all three games and now find themselves in 12th position and six points off of that final Play-Off spot.

With seven teams in with a shout of that final spot, a win for either side could prove to be a season-defining moment. 

The relegation zone is not a place where any team wants to be, and Barnsley have clearly benefitted from the break in play and have hit the ground running since the restart. 

With two victories out of three and the other fixture resulting in a draw, the Tykes have pulled themselves to within two points of Championship safety. 

Barnsley head to the Potteries to face Stoke who have slipped towards the drop zone in recent weeks, only picking up one point. A win for the Tykes would see them leapfrog the Potters while three points for the hosts could see them jump up to 19th, depending on results elsewhere. 

The last game of the weekend comes at The Hawthorns between promotion-chasing West Brom and relegation-threatened Hull City. 

After an impressive 3-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday last time out, Slaven Bilic’s side ramped up the pressure on Leeds United once again and sit just one point behind the league leaders. 

The Tigers secured their first win since New Year's Day with a 2-1 victory over fellow relegation strugglers Middlesbrough at the KCOM Stadium on Thursday night. 

A stunning free-kick from Herbie Kane saw him grab his second goal for the club in the matter of two games, and Mallik Wilks netted a hughly important 92nd minute winner for Grant McCann's side. 


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