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Preview: the weekend's action!

5 March 2020

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Seventh vs third kick off Saturday’s action at Ashton Gate as Bristol City entertain Fulham. The Whites have been in and around the Play-Off spots all season under the stewardship of Scott Parker and were impressive against fellow promotion candidates Preston North End last time out.

The Robins on the other hand have been out of form over their past four Sky Bet Championship games, losing three and drawing one, that point coming in their last game against Millwall at the Den, but Lee Johnson’s side are still only a two points off the final Play-Off spot.

League leaders West Bromwich Albion were shocked by relegation candidates last weekend, losing to 1-0 to Wigan Athletic, but all is not lost for the Baggies as they still sit top of the league standings one point ahead of Leeds United.

Swansea City are set to host Slaven Bilic’s side at the weekend, who also have aspirations of heading back to the Premier League, but have to overturn a four point gap to get into the Play-Off places. The Swans have only won two of their last 10 league games, meaning Steve Cooper needs some rallying performances to finish the season off strongly.

A West Yorkshire derby at Elland Road could prove to be one of the games of the weekend, if previous years are to go by. As mentioned previously Marcelo Bielsa’s men are just a point off top spot and have been impressive this season, as they look to build on their Play-Off Semi-Final defeat against Derby County last season.

The Terriers have put four points between themselves and the relegation zone, and have looked strong under Danny Cowley since his arrival, they will be hoping to make it three wins on the bounce in league action by seeing off their fierce rivals.

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This season has not gone to plan for Paul Lambert and his Ipswich Town side as they find themselves ninth in the Sky Bet League One table ahead of Saturday’s game against Coventry City. The Tractors boys have been struggling of late and have lost their last three league games against Oxford United, Blackpool and Fleetwoodd Town respectively.

However, it has been a season to remember so far for the Sky Blues as they find themselves top of the pile in the league standings. Mark Robins have not tasted defeat since a 2-1 loss to Shrewsbury Town on the 14th of December and look good as we move into the most important part of the season, goals from Matt Godden have been a welcome addition this campaign.

After crashing out of the FA Cup on Monday night against Premier League Arsenal, attention turns back to league action for Kenny Jackett as his Portsmouth side travel north to Peterborough. Pompey have only lost two games in 2020 which has seen them fly up the standings into third position and find themselves only three points behind Rotherham United in that final automatic spot with a game in hand over the Millers.

Peterborough on the other hand have been on a League One rollercoaster this season. They started off on an upward decent in the first half of the season, with goals from Ivan Toney, Mo Eisa and Marcus Maddison lifting them as high as second at one point.

Maddison has since left for Hull City and Sammie Szmodics has stepped into his shoes, the 24-year-old has been impressive and has found himself playing a big role in Darren Ferguson’s pursuit of Championship football.

Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town have been somewhat a surprise package in the league this season, and currently occupy the final Play-Off spot after seeing off Ipswich Town in midweek. The Cod Army are unbeaten in 10 league games, having secured big wins against Portsmouth, Peterborough and Wycombe during that run.

They are set to host rivals Blackpool at the weekend looking to add more points to their end of season total.

The Seasiders appointed Liverpool U23 manager Neil Critchley as their new boss on Monday, hoping that he can sprinkle a bit of magic from his successful time at Anfield.

Blackpool did have aspirations of finishing inside the Play-Off places themselves this season but have struggled, with Critchley’s arrival, the emphasis will be on a big push for promotion next campaign.

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League leaders Swindon Town were 2-0 winners against Scunthorpe United last time out, an Eoin Doyle double enough to get past the Iron that day, the Robins are still three points clear of Crewe Alexandra and also have a game in hand over the Railwaymen, manager Richie Wellens also committed his future to the club, signing a three-year-deal last month.

Forest Green Rovers have slipped out of the race for promotion and are currently in 11th position in the Sky Bet League Two standings, having not won since the 11th of January, manager Mark Cooper will be hoping a result against the best team in the division will provide a springboard to finish the season strongly.

As mentioned, Crewe are second in the standings and have been there or there about for majority of the campaign, however it has not been plain sailing in the past two games, as they have drew 1-1 on each occasion against Morecambe and Exeter City respectively.

Stevenage are the visitors to Gresty Road on Saturday and still sit bottom of the league standings, eight points off safety but do have a game in hand over Macclesfield Town above them.

As mentioned Macclesfield Town are just one place above the relegation zone and have not tasted victory in eight league games, on the other hand Plymouth Argyle are enjoying life under Ryan Lowe and are looking for immediate promotion back to Sky Bet League One.

A change at the helm and a change in mentality came with Lowe’s arrival and sit third in the table with 10 games remaining, the Green Army registered a much needed win last time out against Grimsby, and will be hoping another three points will lift them above Crewe into second place.

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