Tommy Mc looks at four matches in the Championship on Saturday 21st February, with his bets being Wolves, Ipswich, Cardiff and a draw in the Watford v Norwich game.
Wolves v Rotherham
Wolves were on the wrong end of a 2-0 score line last Saturday, when inform Norwich beat them at Carrow Road. This was always going to be a tough game for Wanderers however in spite of this result they are still only five points off the play-off places.
Rotherham were involved in a six goal thriller on Tuesday night at the New York Stadium when they drew 3-3 with Derby. The Millers were leading 3-1 in the second half before Tom Ince scored his second on 60 minutes and Darren Bent got the equaliser with seven minutes remaining.
Rotherham missed out on a vital three points on Tuesday night which would have given them a bit more breathing space in their relegation battle as they remain just four points clear of the drop zone. The Millers are fighting for their lives down there however I think they will struggle to take anything away from Molineux against a Wolves team who will be determined not to lose any more ground in their play-off pursuit.
Wolves have lost only one of their last five home games and in their previous game before Saturday they had hammered Huddersfield 4-1 at the John Smith's Stadium as well as recording victories against promotion rivals Blackburn, Watford and Brentford in recent weeks.
Kenny Jackett will have his men fired up for this one against one of the weaker sides in the Championship and I fully expect Wanderers to win here and keep the pressure on the top six.
Ipswich v Reading
Ipswich made it back to back wins last Saturday when they defeated Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage. These six points have put the Tractor boys right back into the automatic promotion race as they are only three points off leaders Middlesbrough.
Reading were beaten 1-0 at the Madejski by second bottom Wigan on Tuesday night. This was a bad result for the Royals who are still flirting with relegation as they are only seven points clear of the bottom three.
This was Reading’s second home defeat in a week as Leeds had beaten them 2-0 the previous Tuesday. Sandwiched in between these games was a 2-1 win over Derby last Saturday in the FA Cup which has set up a quarter final tie against Bradford and this cup run could take Reading's focus off the task in hand which is reaching mid-table safety.
Ipswich on the other hand have only one goal in mind which is promotion to the Premier League and this is evident from the way they have responded in their last two games after a sticky patch which had seen them take just one point from the previous nine available. A win in this game could take Ipswich joint top depending on other results and I think they will not slip up at Portman Road in a game that is very winnable for them.
I really can't see Reading causing Ipswich many problems in this one.
Huddersfield v Cardiff
Cardiff made it three games unbeaten on Tuesday night when they drew 1-1 with Blackburn at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Bluebirds have steadied the ship somewhat in recent weeks with three draws after a run of three consecutive defeats.
Huddersfield picked up a good point last Saturday when they drew 1-1 with Bournemouth at the Goldsand's Stadium. The Terriers found themselves 1-0 down after 16 minutes however they managed to keep it that way until the 65th minute when they scored their equaliser.
Huddersfield have been inconsistent in their last six games where they have drawn one, won two and lost three and they can be a hard team to predict especially as they are not completely out of the relegation scrap yet. The draw against Bournemouth would have given them a lift however I do think they will struggle against a Cardiff side who have looked to be getting better in recent weeks.
Cardiff were unlucky not to beat Blackburn as Rovers equalised in the 90th minute and before their last three games they faced promotion chasing Derby, Middlesbrough and Norwich, with the latter two games away from home and only lost by one goal. I feel that the Bluebirds have turned a corner in recent weeks and I think they will fancy themselves against a Huddersfield side who can be vulnerable and who are just a point above them in the Championship table.
Cardiff are worth taking a chance on at a good price.
Watford v Norwich
Watford were involved in a highly entertaining match last Saturday when they beat Bolton 4-3 at the Macron Stadium. The Hornets came back from 2-1 down to go 3-2 up and then went 3-3 before Troy Deeney got the winner in the 90th minute.
Norwich made it three wins in a row last Saturday when they beat Wolves 2-0 at Carrow Road. The Canaries are unbeaten in four, taking ten points from a possible twelve available and have also moved into the play-off places.
Watford have won five out of their last six games which has given them a four point cushion in the play-off places and also taken them to within four points of leaders Middlesbrough. The Hornets have been on a fine run and along with Norwich are one of the form teams in the Championship.
The Canaries have lost only once in their last seven games and have come from the lower end of the division to 6th place just three points behind 5th placed Watford. This is the match of the day in the Championship and with both teams scoring for fun at the minute it should be highly entertaining.
Both of these sides are evenly matched and I would find it very hard to separate them on current form so I feel the draw is the best bet in this one as a point would be satisfactory for both camps.