The end-of-season run-in
After the international weeks, all championship clubs now turn their attention to the end-of-season run-in. Which clubs do you bank on maintaining momentum in a bid to win the promotion? The clubs – Norwich have registered 10 wins (including the latest victory in Middlesbrough) and suffered just 1 league defeat since the turn of this year.
Sheffield Wednesday snuffed out Stoke City on Jack Butland’s return from international football, defending stoutly as they held the 10-match unbeaten Sheffield Wednesday to a goalless draw in their Championship. Butland pulled out some excellent performance and continue to find the same sort of form in his last few games, but the Stoke’s attacker Bojan couldn’t help his side find a way past Steve Bruce’s stubborn outfit.
Derby’s Frank Lampard made an inauspicious re-start to his Championship adventure after an international week.
Mason Mount returned and scored a goal to give the home side 6-1 win over Rotherham.
Elsewhere, Leeds United made a winning comeback in 2-tier league as midfielder Pablo Hernandez and defender Luke Ayling both scored in the space of thirteen second-half minutes in a 3-2 success over Millwall.
Leeds got their defensive rock Pontus Jansson back from recovery on time to play Millwall. Bielsa’s side can capitalise the advantage of Sheffield United’s slip and return to top two.
Jayden Stockley from Preston North End pulled one back for the away side in Madejski Stadium, but Reading held on, while Aston Villa saw off Blackburn Rovers in the Championship’s other game.
Villa boss Dean Smith named an unchanged eleven and extend their winning run. Tammy Abraham and Tyrone Mings scored each goal in either half. This win in Villa Park is their fifth wins in last five since Jack Grealish back to starting lineup.
Earlier on Friday, Birmingham City failed to negotiate a tricky trip to the Hawthorns thanks to second-half goals from Dwight Gayle, Jake Livermore and Jay Rodriguez’ penalty in a 3-2 victory.
Paul Lambert from Ipswich faces an uphill battle to get a good run in the last 7 run-ins after losing 2-0. They are now 13 point away from safety.
The Lancashire-based Bolton Wanderers stunned the mid-table QPR for only their fourth away victory this season, and second this year, while Nottingham Forest emphatically bounced back from a draw to crush Swansea City 2-1.
Wigan Athletic ended their game with Brentford in a goalless stalemate.
The scoreline for the Bristol City included a hat trick for Andreas Weimann as their long-term absentee Korey Smith is returned to Lee Johnson’s side.
A trip north on Tuesday kicks off a hectic week from next match day for Bristol City because they will begin life of hovering the play-off zone. A run of just one point from their past five league games has left Pulis’s men, now 1 point adrift of Derby in 6th, scrambling just to protect their chance in the promotion push.
Swansea will host Brentford in another match on Tuesday after their defeat in Nottingham.