With just four matches remaining, it is do or die time for many Championship teams. Cardiff City seemed to implode against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend and the Bluebirds have now dropped out of the automatic promotion places.
Meanwhile, five points separates eight teams in the playoff hunt – it is going to be an explosive end to the 17/18 campaign. The onus is now on the likes of Sheffield United, Brentford and Middlesbrough to force their way into the playoff spots.
Unfortunately for Tony Pulis’ side, I’m going with a disappointing result for Boro on home soil; playoff-chasing Bristol City could do a number on the north east outfit. Have a read of our weekend’s top tips below…
MIDDLESBROUGH vs BRISTOL CITY
Boro should be challenging for automatic promotion and fans will be bitterly disappointed if Pulis’ side miss out on the playoffs.
The Riverside Stadium faithful have needed to be patient this season and they may be rewarded in the coming weeks. An early goal for the home side will settle a few nerves – but this one will not be straightforward by any means.
The Robins went through a mid-season blip but Lee Johnson’s men are still in with a decent chance of finishing in the top six. Bristol City got back to winning ways last time out and a positive result here will cement their playoff chances.
22/25 is a good price considering how solid they were in the early stages of the campaign.
TIP: Bristol City to win OR draw @ 22/25
NORWICH CITY vs CARDIFF CITY
It has been a season to forget for Norwich City. The Canaries are 13th in the table; some way below the playoff battle but well above the relegation fight.
Inconsistencies have hindered Daniel Farke’s side in recent months but scoring goals has at least come naturally since the turn of the year. Norwich have now scored in six of their previous seven Championship games.
Neil Warnock’s side hit the self-destruct button against Wolves last Friday, missing not one but two penalties in injury-time. Cardiff have been in the mix for most of the campaign – the Bluebirds only have themselves to blame if they miss out on promotion.
That encounter last weekend was a one-off; Cardiff will be looking to bounce back at Carrow Road and the 5/6 for both teams to score is very tempting indeed.
TIP: Both teams to score @ 5/6
NOTTINGHAM FOREST vs IPSWICH TOWN
This one means more to Forest than it does to Ipswich. The hosts are still looking over their shoulder at the relegation battle below and three points here will cement their status as a second-tier club.
Forest have a decent record against Ipswich and the home fans will fancy their chances on Saturday afternoon. The City Ground will be rocking if Forest fulfil their potential.
Manager-less Ipswich are in holiday mode. With Mick McCarthy now out of Portman Road, the Tractor Boys will be focusing on next season and their search for a new manager.
Will the visitors give 100% at the City Ground? Potentially. Either way, the 10/13 available for a Forest win is too good to turn down given the uncertainty surrounding Ipswich.
TIP: Nottingham Forest to win @ 10/13
FULHAM vs BRENTFORD
Fulham are the Championship’s in-form side and it would take a brave man to back against the Cottagers in their bid to secure automatic promotion.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have been simply sublime in recent months, dropping just six points in their previous 16 Championship fixtures. 13/20 is still a very good price for a home win here.
Meanwhile, Brentford are still in the mix to secure a playoff spot but the Bees could do with a positive result here to maintain momentum. Opting for the visitors in this contest would be foolish but in football, you never know.
Brentford have the quality to push Fulham close and they could surprise us; I don’t believe that they will though.
TIP: Fulham to win @ 13/20
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*