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Preview: this weekend's big games

25 February 2021


Derby County v Nottingham Forest

It is the East Midlands Derby on Friday evening  as Wayne Rooney’s Derby County take on Chris Hughton’s Nottingham Forest at Pride Park.

Both Clubs have won four of their last six fixtures, a huge improvement having spent much of the campaign occupying places in and around the relegation zone.

The Rams were 2-0 winners in midweek with goals from George Edmundson and Martyn Waghorn enough to see off Huddersfield Town on home soil.

Forest were also midweek winners, recording a 1-0 victory on the road against Rotherham United. 

Friday night’s game between the two sides is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, kicking off at 7:45pm. 

AFC Bournemouth v Watford

It’s the battle of the two former Premier League sides on Saturday lunchtime as Watford travel to the Vitality Stadium to take on AFC Bournemouth.

Both teams are on the hunt and are looking to return to the top-flight at the first time of asking, but both are looking to secure that via different routes.

The Cherries have appointed Jonathan Woodgate until the end of the season, with the task of getting the side into the Play-Offs, though plenty could still change.

Meanwhile, the Hornets are level on points with second-placed Brentford and will certainly have automatic promotion in their sights.

Saturday’s game between the two sides is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, kicking off at 12:30pm.

Wycombe Wanderers v Norwich City 

You will have to wait until Sunday to see league leaders Norwich City in action, as they travel to Adams Park to take on Wycombe Wanderers.

After four games without a win in all competitions, the Canaries are now on a run of four wins and have opened up a seven-point gap at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Wycombe, on the other hand, got back to winning ways in midweek, showcasing their spirit as they managed to see out a 1-0 victory with 10 men against promotion hopefuls, Reading.

That game, like the two games above, will take place live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, kicking off at 12:00pm.



AFC Wimbledon v Hull City 

Hull City have dropped out of the automatic promotion places in recent weeks and were handed another blow to their chances of going up without needing the Play-Offs.

Ipswich Town left the KCOM Stadium as 1-0 winners on Tuesday evening, with James Norwood’s 15th-minute strike being enough for all three points on the night.

February has been a month to forget for Grant McCann’s side, who have only won once in six league fixtures so far.

AFC Wimbledon, on the other hand, picked up their first win under new manager Mark Robinson, with a dramatic 89th-minute winner over Gillingham.

The Dons sit a point above the drop zone with 18 games of the season left to play and, with results like that, they could keep their noses above the water this season.

Peterborough United v Wigan Athletic

Darren Ferguson and his Peterborough United men have been fantastic in February, and reached the summit of Sky Bet League One on Tuesday night with another three points.

With Lincoln City only managing a draw against Swindon Town, the Posh kicked off half an hour later than their opposition and would have more than likely been aware that the Imps were 2-1 down at the break.

Subsequently, Peterborough’s second-half performance was unrivalled, and with a minute after the restart, Sammie Szmodics opened the scoring before goals from Jonson Clarke-Harris and Jack Taylor wrapped up a 3-0 win at Home Park against Plymouth Argyle.

Wigan Athletic took a huge step towards safety after a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers in midweek.

A 95th-minute winner from Scott Wootton at the Memorial Stadium secured a massive three points for the Latics, who are now just a point behind AFC Wimbledon in 20th spot.

Plymouth Argyle v Lincoln City

Plymouth Argyle were beaten comfortably by new league leaders Peterborough in midweek but are still in with an outside of securing a Play-Off place.

That 3-0 loss to the Posh was Ryan Lowe’s side first in League One action in 2021 and it is no surprise that they are just seven points from Play-Off football.

Lincoln City, meanwhile, could only manage a 2-2 draw in midweek, on home soil against Swindon Town.

18-year-old Morgan Rogers was the saviour for the Imps, as his goal before the hour-mark secured them a point to keep them just a point behind Peterborough.

Everything is setting itself up nicely for that 1 May fixture between the Posh and the Imps at the Weston Homes Stadium.


Port Vale v Cambridge United 

League leaders Cambridge United were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline in midweek, with fellow title-chasers Cheltenham Town leaving the Abbey Stadium with all three points.

They travel to Vale Park, looking to right that wrong and get their campaign heading in the right direction after only one win in their last four league outings.

The Valiants played out a goalless draw with Stevenage on Tuesday night and are currently 10 points above the drop zone.

With 16 games left of their season, they will be keen to ensure that they wrap up their place in Sky Bet League Two as soon as possible. 

Scunthorpe United v Cheltenham Town 

Scunthorpe United have put their early season worries about relegation behind them in recent weeks and are now nine points above the drop zone.

A winning run of four games came to an end in midweek as Bolton Wanderers record a 2-0 win on home soil against the Iron.

Title-chasers Cheltenham are the visitors to Glanford Park at the weekend, looking for three points which could take them top of the table, depending on results elsewhere.

After suffering a 2-0 defeat to Bradford City last weekend, they got back on the horse with a huge 1-0 victory over league leaders Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium last time out.

The Robins sit two points off top spot but have two games in hand over the U’s above them.

Forest Green Rovers v Colchester United 

Second-placed Forest Green Rovers were on the end of a surprise result on Wednesday night, as they were beaten 3-1 by then-bottom of the table Southend United.

A Goal of the Season contender from Nathan Ferguson was the highlight in that game, as the midfielder took on an outrageous strike from 40 yards out, finding the top left-hand corner of Lewis Thomas’ goal. 

Colchester United travel to the New Lawn at the weekend, seven points above the drop zone as it stands, and do so without a manager, as Steve Ball was given his marching orders earlier on in the week.

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