Watford wobble among 5 Championship talking points this week
With just two games to go things are coming to the boil nicely in the Championship with the promotion, relegation and playoff pictures all far from resolved.
While second-placed Bournemouth do not play until Monday, Saturday’s action is still set to serve up plenty of drama in what is quickly becoming the most competitive and exciting division in world football.
Here are just five of the talking points going into the big games.
Middlesbrough must take advantage in London
With the Cherries not in action yet, Boro will be aiming to put some pressure on the south coast club with a win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Bournemouth boast a vastly superior goal difference but a victory over a Cottagers side with one win in five would see the Teesiders move above them and into the automatic promotion places.
Currently on a run of three straight wins in the Championship, Boro will be confident of adding a fourth. Can Fulham spoil the party?
Will Watford wobble on their trip to the Seaside?
Two seasons ago the Hornets came agonisingly close to joining the Premier League elite under Gianfranco Zola only to be denied during a nightmare final day of the season and then in the playoff final.
Now top of the pile in the Championship after a run of four straight wins, Watford remain just a point ahead of the two nearest challengers and are entitled to be feeling a little jittery.
Brighton are in terrible form at present but after taking a point off the Hornets at Vicarage Road earlier this season they will fancy their chances of causing a little mischief in front of their own fans.
Ipswich must traverse tricky Forest for playoff spot
Back on course for the fourth and final playoff spot after a haul of seven points from the last nine on offer, it may not be pretty stuff at Portman Road but Mick McCarthy has worked his magic so far this season.
Three points ahead of nearest rivals Wolves and Brentford but with a superior goal difference, a win over Nottingham Forest would put them within touching distance of the post-season party.
Yet Dougie Freedman’s side should not be underestimated, having lost just one of their last four away from the City Ground, with Forest once leading the way in the Championship until a mid-season implosion under Stuart Pearce.
Lions must roar against Rams to stand any hope
Down but definitely not out yet, Rotherham’s points deduction offers some hope to the beleaguered Lions with just two games of the season remaining and the south London team now only a point from safety.
Millwall’s late resurgence under caretaker manager Neil Harris has seen the team win two of their last three at the New Den and they will be optimistic about their chances when Derby visit.
The Rams have gone from automatic promotion favourites to playoff outsiders in the last couple of weeks with Steve McClaren overseeing just one win from their last eight on the road. Where this one goes is anyone’s guess.
Bees may have lost sting at the worst possible time
The Brentford fairytale appears to be in danger of dying a death with the Bees enduring a terrible run of form in recent weeks under Mark Warburton.
Perhaps the manager’s imminent departure has played a part with the London club claiming just a single win, against an abject Fulham, from their last six league outings.
A trip to the Madejski to face a Reading side struggling to come to terms with their FA Cup near-miss and on a run of seven Championship games without a victory should provide the perfect tonic, but then things have not really gone to plan for the Bees of late.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.