Nine months ago, football fans across the country were excited at the prospect of success in the 2017/18 campaign. For some, their hopes and dreams have been fulfilled but others are still fighting for promotion, playoffs and survival.
With just one weekend remaining, it really is do or die time for teams with something to play for. Promotion-chasing Cardiff City are my top tip ahead of Sunday’s fixtures – check out our best bets below…
BRISTOL CITY vs Sheffield United
Little to play for but pride in this contest and Bristol City could emerge victorious in a high-scoring affair.
Lee Johnson’s side were in with a real chance of securing a playoff berth this season but tailed off after an impressive start to the campaign. Despite their struggles so far in 2018, I fancy the Robins to win with both teams scoring at 17/5.
Recent form suggests that Sheffield United will struggle in this one. The Blades have won just one of their previous nine Championship fixtures and most players will be in holiday mode after a gruelling season.
Away from home, Chris Wilder’s side have won once in their last eight games and another disappointing trip beckons for Sheffield United’s travelling fans.
TIP: Bristol City to win and both teams to score @ 17/5
CARDIFF CITY vs Reading
The task for Neil Warnock’s men is simple: win and you’ve booked your place in the Premier League. Cardiff have been in the mix for automatic promotion since August and Welsh fans will be hoping for a comfortable afternoon.
The Bluebirds won’t have everything their own way but a fast start will help Warnock’s side to settle – the 7/10 for Cardiff to take a lead into half-time should be snapped up.
A point will be enough for Reading to secure their second tier status for another year and Paul Clement’s side will be quietly confident of nicking a draw in south Wales.
Discipline could be key; Reading have had two red cards in their previous four Championship games and the Royals cannot afford to go down to 10 men this weekend.
TIP: Cardiff City to win the first half @ 7/10
MILLWALL vs ASTON VILLA
This has all the makings of a classic… not. A disappointing run in April has ended Millwall’s hopes of reaching the playoffs and Neil Harris will have a difficult job motivating his side for this clash.
The Lions will want to end the campaign on a high after their recent woes but an uninspiring affair looks likely. 9/10 for under 2.5 goals is our top tip.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa are guaranteed fourth. Steve Bruce may wring the changes for their trip to The Den – resting players ahead of the playoffs will be a priority.
It looks like Villa will face Middlesbrough in the playoffs and focus will already be on that double header. Backing either side to prevail would be unwise given the uncertainties surrounding the fixture.
TIP: Under 2.5 goals @ 9/10
PRESTON NORTH END vs BURTON ALBION
Three points for Preston could be enough to snatch the fourth and final playoff spot. Derby County are currently two points clear of North End but Alex Neil’s side will be looking to pile the pressure on this weekend.
Preston have the quality to put Burton to the sword and the hosts will want to start quickly; settling any early nerves is crucial.
Incredibly, Burton are the Championship’s form team with three wins on the spin. Rooted to the bottom of the table less than a month ago, Burton are now in with an outside chance of avoiding relegation.
The Brewers will be leaving everything out on the field here and it could be a topsy-turvy affair. 3/4 for both teams to score is a great price in this one…
TIP: Both teams to score @ 3/4
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*