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Weekend preview: the key fixtures

11 March 2021

Following a midweek fixture list which really shook things up as far as divisional standings are concerned, it's time to look ahead to the weekend, with plenty more in store across the EFL!


AFC Bournemouth v Barnsley

It's seventh against sixth on Saturday afternoon, as AFC Bournemouth welcome Barnsley to the Vitality Stadium, for what looks set to be a fantastic match. The Cherries are hot on the Tykes' tail and are two points behind their rivals from South Yorkshire heading into the weekend, something they will be desperate to overturn. That win would see them regain a Play-Off place, meanwhile a victory for Valérien Ismaël's side could see them leapfrog Reading, depending on their result against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. 

Cardiff City v Watford

Two other sides with promotion ambitions will meet in south Wales on Saturday, when Play-Off-chasing Cardiff City host Watford, who are second in the table at the time of writing. Cardiff weren't at their best when drawing at Huddersfield Town last time out but remain unbeaten under Mick McCarthy, while Watford have won six of their last seven league matches, making this a great fixture in prospect. 

Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich (Sunday)

Sunday brings another important clash, and this one has implications at both ends of the table. Sheffield Wednesday sit 23rd in the standings and will be hoping the sides around them drop points on Saturday as their battle to avoid the drop continues. Darren Moore's men face a table-topping Norwich City outfit that have won each of their last seven league games, and it's the visitors who will be favourites going into the match.


Blackpool v Fleetwood Town

There's a Fylde Coast derby to look forward to this weekend, when Fleetwood Town make the short journey to take on neighbours Blackpool. Just two points and three places separate these two ahead of kick-off, with both sides coming into the game on the back of some positive recent form. While they sit 11th and 14th respectively, things remain as close as always in Sky Bet League One, making this a vital clash.

Bristol Rovers v AFC Wimbledon

Two sides in and around the relegation places meet on Saturday, when 23rd-placed AFC Wimbledon head to 19th-placed Bristol Rovers. The hosts will be full of confidence following a massive midweek win over Accrington Stanley and will be hoping to pull further clear of the bottom four here, while AFC Wimbledon are without a win in four after suffering a narrow defeat to a resurgent Burton Albion last time out. Who will come out on top?

Hull City v Oxford United

Hull City moved back to the summit in midweek with a big win at fellow promotion hopefuls Peterborough United, and their next test is a home match against Play-Off-chasing Oxford United, who will be buoyed by their derby-day victory at Swindon Town. Hull have won four in a row in Sky Bet League One, while the visitors will be looking to make it back-to-back away wins. Three points for either side could prove crucial.


Exeter City v Cheltenham Town

Exeter City sit eighth in the table going into their meeting with table-topping Cheltenham Town, but just six points separate the sides following the midweek action, meaning it's all to play for in the race for promotion. Exeter won on the road on Tuesday night, with Matt Jay scoring his fourth goal in two games, while Cheltenham will be hoping their defeat at Mansfield Town was just a blip.

Morecambe v Newport County

Morecambe and Newport County are firmly in the promotion race too, and sit fifth and sixth in the standings respectively going into the weekend. Morecambe salvaged a point in the 94th minute of their midweek trip to Forest Green, one which will have felt more like three, while Newport left it even later to pick up a win at home to in-form Bradford City. This one looks set to be a cracker.

Grimsby Town v Colchester United (5:30pm)

Saturday's late kick-off pits bottom-of-the-table Grimsby Town against 20th-placed Colchester United, two sides in need of a win. Grimsby looked set to take three points from their midweek clash with Carlisle, only for an injury-time equaliser to deny them a win, while Colchester's 3-0 defeat at Harrogate Town was their fourth in five league games. This could well prove an important match come the end of the campaign.

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