Tommy Mc previews four matches in the Championship on Saturday and his bets are headed by Derby to beat Fulham and include Middlesbrough, Notts Forest and Charlton.
Fulham v Derby
Derby retained top spot on Tuesday night when they beat Charlton 2-0 at the iPro Stadium. The Rams had this one wrapped up early doors as they scored their goals in the 9th and 17th minute leaving Charlton with a mountain to climb.
Fulham had a tough night at Molineux on Tuesday night when they were beaten 3-0 by Wolves. The Cottagers have got drawn back into the relegation scrap in recent weeks and are now only five points from the relegation zone.
These are worrying times for Kit Symons as his Fulham side have failed to win any of their last six games where they have lost four and conceded 11 goals in the process as well as only scoring four. Relegation is starting to look like a very real prospect for Fulham unless they start to turn things around which I think they will find extremely difficult against the Rampant Rams on Saturday. Derby are starting to look like Champions as they have opened a two point lead at the top of the Championship with a run of form that has them unbeaten in seven games where they have won five an drawn two. Steve Mc Clare has his team fully focused on the job in hand and with his strikers on fire and his midfielders chipping in with goals as well they are proving a hard team to stop. I fully expect the Rams to come away with all three points from the Cottage.
Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough remained in pursuit of Derby on Tuesday night when they beat Bolton 1-0 at the Riverside. Boro have emerged out of the chasing pack in recent weeks to challenge Derby and have opened up a three point gap over third placed Ipswich.
Sheffield Wednesday picked up a good three points on Tuesday night when they beat lowly Millwall 3-1 at the Den. This was the Owls first win in eight games since they beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 on the 10th of January.
Sheffield Wednesday's season looks to be fizzling out into mid-table safety as they are 12 points clear of the relegation places and 16 points off the play-off spots so realistically I don't see either happening. They can be a decent side on their day however I think Boro will be too strong for them. Despite Boro's shock defeat to Leeds last Saturday they have been in fine form of late winning six out of their last eight games which has them up there challenging for the title. Aitor Karanka's team are also now out of the FA Cup and can fully focus on the league for the remaining 13 games as they try to gain promotion to the Premier League. I think Boro will be well up for this game and will want to prove a point to their manager, who was very critical of his team’s performance even though they beat Bolton on Tuesday night and they will also want to keep the pressure on Derby.
Reading v Nottingham Forest
Forest remained unbeaten in the month of February on Wednesday night when they beat promotion rivals Bournemouth 2-1 at the City Ground. Forest have taken 13 points from the last 15 available to them.
Reading were on the wrong end of a 3-0 score line on Tuesday night when they lost to Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium. Reading have now lost three out of their last four games and are still flirting a little with relegation.
The decent run that Reading were on at the end of January has hit the skids in recent weeks and maybe the positive effect that new manager Steve Clark had on the side is starting to wear thin. They have also only scored one goal in their last four matches and conceded six which will be a concern as they could end up back in the relegation scrap yet. Forest have been on a fine run lately winning four out of their five games and are starting to look more like the side they were at the start of the season. They are 12 points off 6th placed Watford and have given themselves an outside chance of gate crashing the play-off party. The win against Bournemouth during the week will have their confidence high and I would expect them to leave the Madejski with all three points as Reading look vulnerable after their loss to Huddersfield.
Charlton v Huddersfield
Charlton were beaten 2-0 by table toppers Derby on Tuesday night at the iPro Stadium. The Addick's give themselves an uphill battle in this game after conceding two early goals and despite playing well in the second half they never really looked like taking anything from this game.
Huddersfield put in a fine display on Tuesday night when they beat Reading 3-0 at the John Smith's Stadium. The Terriers have only lost once in their last five games and have taken themselves into mid-table safety.
Huddersfield have won two and drawn two of their last five games including a good draw with high flying Bournemouth and two impressive victories over Reading and Millwall. Chris Powell has got his team playing well and he will be determined not to lose when he returns to his old stomping ground on Saturday. Charlton are also playing well at the minute and before Tuesday's game they had secured back to back 3-0 wins against Wigan and Brentford. They are slowly but surely pulling themselves away from the relegation places and have now opened up an eight point cushion between themselves and third bottom Millwall. There is only three points separating these sides in the league and I feel both teams are evenly matched so I think this will be a close game and they are hard to separate so a draw looks to be the best option in this one.