‘Title still up for grabs on final day showdown’
Sunday sees the final day of what has been an exhilarating EFL Championship season. The title’s still up for grabs after Brighton’s unexpected loss at home to Bristol City on Saturday night. They face a difficult trip to Aston Villa, where they’ll probably need to win given Newcastle have a winnable home tie with Barnsley. With all four play-off teams now confirmed; the final game will dictate who will play who. At the bottom, Wigan were relegated following defeat at Reading. There’s still three clubs (Blackburn, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham) who could join them, and this will be decided this weekend.
Newcastle United v Barnsley
Two solid wins for The Magpies alongside two unexpected losses for Brighton has put Newcastle firmly back in the race for EFL Championship title. They face mid-table Barnsley knowing Brighton face a tough game at Aston Villa. A win here could therefore see them promoted as champions, so I expect them to go for it in front of a full house of over fifty thousand supporters.
Barnsley have proved themselves a stubborn opponent over the course of the season. Had they not lost three of their best players in the January transfer window they’d probably be challenging for the play-offs. This was a huge loss for them, and whilst they’ve only won one of their last twelve games, they’ve scored in ten of them. Newcastle haven’t had everything their own way at St James’s Park this season where they concede on average just over a goal a game. Whilst I expect them to win this match the real value is in Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals at 2.30 with bet365.
Rotherham United v Derby County
The Millers have endured a woeful season where they’ve been relegated after just five wins, seven draws and a massive thirty-three defeats. They’ve been out of their depth at this level and will hope to find their form in League One next season.
After a decent first half to the season The Rams form tailed off in the New Year. Where before they had been strong defensively they started shipping goals and next season they’ll look to improve on their top ten finish. Since being relegated Rotherham’s form has improved (W1 D2 L1), whereas Derby have struggled since their play-off hopes evaporated (W1 D1 L2). Importantly Rotherham have scored in all of their last five, with Derby conceding in all of their last six. Whilst a home win might be too much to ask for, both sides will play with freedom here, so Both Teams to Score looks good value at 1.94 with Unibet.
Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham
This is a really interesting match-up between the two forms sides over the last six games. Both teams are guaranteed play-off football in a few weeks time, where they’ll be hoping to reach the Premier League.
It’s all about momentum at this time of the season, so I expect both teams to go for it here. Regardless of the result, Fulham will finish in sixth place – meaning they’ll have a home tie in their first play-off match. A Wednesday win here could see them finish in third – meaning they’ll have the advantage of an away tie in their first play-off match, which will of course, be against Fulham. Given their stellar form I’m sure both teams will want to avoid each other in the play-offs, and both teams
will fancy their chances against either Reading or Huddersfield. Either way I’m avoiding the outrights in favour of the goals market. Five of Fulham’s last six have gone over’s with both teams scoring so I like the look of Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals at 1.95 with bet365 and other Green Listed Bookmakers.