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Five games to look out for this weekend

8 April 2021

The EFL action resumes on Friday evening, with the respective battles for promotion and against relegation heating up across the three divisions.

Here are just a handful of the key fixtures on the way...

1. Watford v Reading

The Friday night football sees second-placed Watford take on sixth-placed Reading, in what is an important clash for both sides in their respective hunts for promotion to the Premier League. Victory for Watford could see them move 12 points clear of the Play-Off places, while Reading could jump up to fourth with a win. Reading are looking to record their first Football League double over Watford since the 2004/05 season, but Watford have won each of their last six home league games, last having a longer such run back in October 1985 (7).

2. Derby County v Norwich City

Championship leaders Norwich will be hoping this will be the weekend they secure promotion back to the top-flight, as they travel to 18th-placed Derby County. In order to do so, they'll need to record a win at Pride Park while hoping Brentford and Swansea City drop points in their fixtures at Preston North End and Millwall respectively. Norwich are unbeaten in their last 12 league games, the longest current unbeaten run in the division, while Derby have won just one of their last nine league games. 

3. Lincoln City v Blackpool

In League One, there's a crucial clash between to promotion hopefuls in Lincoln City and Blackpool to look forward to. These two sit sixth and fifth in the standings respectively ahead of kick-off, and will be looking to consolidate their places in the Play-Offs with games running out. Blackpool are certainly in the better form, and are unbeaten in their last 13 league games, while the hosts have only won one of their last nine league games.

4. Northampton Town v Bristol Rovers 

At the other end of the League One table, only three points will do for both Northampton Town and Bristol Rovers as they prepare to go head-to-head. Northampton are two points and two places above their opponents, who currently sit inside the relegation zone, making this one a vital match. Bristol Rovers won 6-0 in their last visit to Northampton in October 2017 and will no doubt be hoping for a repeat result here, though Town have won four of their last five home league games.

5. Cambridge United v Exeter City

Last, but certainly not least, League Two leaders Cambridge United are in action against Play-Off-chasing Exeter City on Saturday afternoon, in what promises to be an entertaining meeting. The U's are seven points clear of those Play-Off spots, while eighth-placed Exeter will be looking to get back into them with victory in this one. Cambridge have won more points than any other League Two side since the turn of the year (40), but know that Exeter have kept a clean sheet in both of their last two league encounters, and would do the league double over them with a win here.

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