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Championship Review 15th March 2021

Championship Review March 15th 2021

The Championship is well known around the globe as the best secondary division in football and as time goes on, it’s really hard to argue against that. This past weekend was another example of just how exciting it can be with relegation battles being fought and promotion races heating up.

NOTE: Rotherham vs Coventry was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Ivan Toney

Blackburn 0-1 Brentford

Brentford’s pursuit of Premier League football continues to pick up momentum after they beat Blackburn Rovers on Friday.

The man of the moment Ivan Toney scored from the penalty spot with ten minutes gone in what proved to be the only goal of the evening.

Things won’t get easier for Blackburn this week as they tackle Bristol City and Norwich. On the flip side, Brentford have an East Midlands double-header against Derby and Nottingham Forest.

Luton 0-1 Swansea

Swansea City turned up the heat on the top two with a narrow but important win against Luton Town. Conor Hourihane scoring in the 3rd minute wouldn’t have been a popular choice amongst the bookies but in the end, it was the only goal required for the visitors to beat the Hatters. Winnable fixtures against Coventry and Preston await Luton whereas Swansea will play Bournemouth and then, in their biggest game of the season so far, rivals Cardiff.

QPR 0-1 Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town’s survival push received a huge boost in the form of an away day success over Queens Park Rangers. Juninho Bacuna was the hero of the day after his goal broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half. Millwall and Reading will serve as tough opposition for this QPR side but Huddersfield won’t fear anyone heading into their midweek clash against Sheffield Wednesday.

Derby 0-1 Millwall

Derby County’s dismal season continues to stall after they were beaten at home by Millwall. Shaun Hutchinson scored on the stroke of half time to hand the Lions all three points at Pride Park. Derby have their hands full this week against Brentford and Stoke with the same being true for Millwall who play QPR and Middlesbrough.

Birmingham 0-3 Bristol City

The Nigel Pearson effect is in full swing after Bristol City tore through Birmingham City in an impressive 3-0 win.

Kasey Palmer made it 1-0 not long before half time with the misery compilers, and the route to over 2.5 goals, coming from Antoine Semenyo and Callum O’Dowda.

It’s another tough slate for the Blues this week as they prepare to face Reading and Watford. Bristol City, though, should feel confident heading into battle against Blackburn and Rotherham.

Middlesbrough 3-0 Stoke

Middlesbrough refuse to give up on a top six spot after a strong outing against Stoke City.

Grant Hall, Paddy McNair and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing scored the goals on a day where Middlesbrough never really seemed to be in any danger.

Boro won’t be fearing games against Preston and Milwall this week, and Stoke will probably feel the same way with Cardiff and Derby ahead.

Nottingham Forest 1-1 Reading

In a result that certainly would’ve been favoured by the hosts, Nottingham Forest and Reading played out a 1-1 draw in the East Midlands.

A fortunate own goal from Tom Holmes handed Forest the advantage but Reading just kept on coming, and the Royals made their pressure count with Yakou Meite’s late equaliser.

From home to away, Forest will take on Norwich and Brentford in a brutal schedule between now and the weekend. Reading, on the other hand, will be favoured to beat Birmingham and QPR.

Bournemouth 2-3 Barnsley

The unbelievable rise of Barnsley’s promotion surge goes on after a dramatic 3-2 win against Bournemouth this weekend.

Back and forth is the best way to describe what happened in this turbulent yet thrilling encounter. Michal Helik made it 1-0 but Bournemouth hit right back to take the lead thanks to Arnaut Danjuma and Dominic Solanke. Then, in the second half, Barnsley dug deep with Dominik Frieser and Carlton Morris winning the day for Barnsley as their momentum grows even further.

The Cherries have to regroup for a mammoth week where they’ll host Swansea in the league and Southampton in an FA Cup quarter-final. Barnsley, meanwhile, have a realistic chance of claiming six points from their next two against Wycombe and Sheffield Wednesday.

Cardiff 1-2 Watford

Watford just about held onto their automatic promotion spot with a solid win over Cardiff City.

Bookmakers would’ve been sweating when an own goal allowed the Bluebirds to go 1-0 up, but it lasted less than two minutes with Nathaniel Chalobah netting a phenomenal goal to level things up. Then, in the depths of injury time, it was Adam Masina who stole the win for the Hornets.

Stoke is a winnable fixture for Cardiff but the real headline is the derby against Swansea on Saturday night. Watford, though, will be happy to see Rotherham and Birmingham on the schedule this week.

Wycombe 1-0 Preston

The underdog story of Wycombe Wanderers took another interesting turn on Saturday as they beat Preston North End 1-0.

Ryan Tafazolli scored in the first half and from there, Preston just couldn’t find a way back into the game.

Wycombe’s ambitious great escape attempt will now see them tackle Barnsley and Coventry, whereas Preston’s lethargic season goes on when they play Middlesbrough and Luton.

Pukki

Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Norwich

Champions-elect Norwich City moved a step closer to the title with another away win, this time against Sheffield Wednesday.

Jordan Rhodes repaid the faith in those who bet on an Owls win to make it 1-0 after just seven minutes. Alas, this is Norwich we’re talking about here, and they refused to go down without a fight as Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell completed a second half comeback to keep them well clear at the top of the table as promotion looms large.

Two Yorkshire wars lie ahead for Wednesday when they play Huddersfield and Barnsley, with Norwich being tasked with two more winnable games against Nottingham Forest and Blackburn.

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