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Preview: The weekend's action!

14 January 2021

It's time to get ready for the weekend's EFL action once again!

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Blackburn Rovers v Stoke City

Michael O’Neill’s Stoke City side find themselves just one point out the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off places, but have played one more game than Watford, who currently occupy sixth spot.

They will come into this game on Saturday against Blackburn Rovers knowing the result from the Middlesbrough v Birmingham match, which kicks off at 12:30 on Saturday afternoon.

Boro are above the Potters by a point as it stands, so they will be hoping Birmingham do them a favour in the early kick-off.

It has been a mixed bag for Blackburn Rovers lately, having won two, lost two and drawn one in their past five games.

Rovers are still in with a chance of the Play-Off spots, and will be relying on the dangerous partnership of Adam Armstrong and Bradley Dack; the latter netted on his return from injury last time out.


Cardiff City v Norwich City

The league leaders Norwich City are also in action on Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Wales to take on Cardiff City.

Daniel Farke’s side have opened a four-point gap in recent weeks and are looking good to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

An Emi Buendia strike just after the hour mark helped them to three points against Barnsley on home soil in their last Championship fixture.

The Bluebirds have been out of sorts lately, and have lost four of their last five league games, which has seen them plummet to 15th in the table.

One of those defeats included a South Wales derby defeat to Swansea City back in December, and Neil Harris will undoubtedly be looking for more in the coming weeks.


Derby County v Rotherham United 

An old relegation ‘six-pointer’, as Derby County set to welcome Rotherham United to Pride Park.

It has not been the season that Rams supporters would have hoped for, but Wayne Rooney has done the best he can since his appointment as interim manager.

Rotherham, on the other hand, are still alive in this race to avoid relegation, and with three games in hand over those above them, stand a chance of pulling themselves out of the dreaded drop zone.

Three points would certainly help either of the two sides as we press into the second half of the season, with an interesting relegation battle set to play out over the next 23 games!

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Fleetwood Town v Portsmouth 

Fleetwood Town crashed out of the Papa John’s Trophy in midweek after surrendering a two-goal against Hull City.

The Tigers battled back and snatched a Quarter-Final place after former Cod Army man, Lewis Coyle powered his effort home from 25 yards out.

Portsmouth also suffered a similar fate and exited the competition in Round Three, after a somewhat of a demolition job by Peterborough United.

Darren Ferguson’s side ran out 5-1 winners on home soil, however Pompey’s consolation goal from Ellis Harrison was one to savour.

Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth side are three points off second place and have a game in hand over Hull above them.

Three points at the weekend will undoubtedly keep the pressure on the Tigers above them.


Hull City v Blackpool 

It is Hull City who we stick with next; Grant McCann’s side have overcome their three-game without a win hoodoo with a win and a draw in league action.

As mentioned, they staged a dramatic fightback on Tuesday night and were good value for their win in the second half.

With league leaders Lincoln City not in action this weekend, three points against Blackpool will be most welcome.

Blackpool are only five points off that last Play-Off place that is currently occupied by Accrington Stanley;however, John Coleman’s men have three games in hand over a lot of the chasing pack.

The Tangerines have lost their last two games in Sky Bet League One, to Shrewsbury Town and Bristol Rovers respectively.


Rochdale v Wigan Athletic 

Rochdale have not enjoyed life in League One in recent weeks, only winning once in their last five fixtures –that win coincidentally coming against Saturday’s opponents, Wigan Athletic.

That game at the DW Stadium was certainly one to remember and they will be hoping to record another victory like that next time out.

Wigan, on the other hand, have been impressive since that defeat, going three unbeaten in league action, picking up a victory over Burton Albion just before the New Year.

Both teams have three games in hand over Burton Albion, but three points either way could be vital for either of the two sides.

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Barrow v Scunthorpe United 

A bottom-of-the-table clash at Holker Street as Barrow entertain Scunthorpe United.

Barrow have won two of their last five games meanwhile Scunthorpe have only managed to pick up three points in those run of games.

With Stevenage sitting below the two sides in the current standings, neither side will want to be on wrong end of the scoreline come 5 o’clock on Saturday evening.


Leyton Orient v Morecambe 

Ninth v eighth and what a spectacle we have in store for you, as Leyton Orient welcome Morecambe to Brisbane Road.

Both teams have been more than impressive this season and sit just outside the Play-Off places. 

Morecambe in eighth are level with Crawley Town, who occupy that last Play-Off spot, while Orient are just one point off.

The visitors have been brilliant in their last five games, winning four of those, and have two games in hand over their challengers.

Newport County v Salford City 

With league leaders Carlisle United not playing this weekend, Newport County have the chance to reclaim top spot with three points over Salford City.

The Ammies will be no pushovers however and will be in celebratory mood after leaving Glanford Park with a 90th-minute winner courtesy of Ian Henderson.

Manager Richie Wellens will be keen to ensure that his team do not take that result for granted, and could, with a win, break into those top three automatic promotion places.


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