• Nathan Smith

EFL WATCH: FOUR GAMES YOU MUST SEE THIS WEEKEND


THE CHAMPIONSHIP - Watford vs Reading (9th April - KO 7:45pm)


A poor start to the season had many thinking that Watford wouldn't live up to their pre season expectations, but under Xisco Munoz, they look set to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Nine points clear of Brentford, it is be no means set in stone that Watford will be playing in England's top tier next season, but their current seven game unbeaten run is sure to help, and if they can continue that, it will be a comfortable end to the season for the Hornets faithful.


Reading have been one of the Championship's surprise packages this season, returning to the play-off race after a couple seasons of mid-table mediocrity. Veljko Paunovic deserves a lot of credit for his work with this Reading team, as they currently accommodate the last play-off position. With six games to go, Paunovic will be very aware of Bournemouth's game in hand which could take them above the Royals, so at least a point against Watford could end up being vital.


If Watford get going, they have one of the scariest attacks in the league, but Reading will be hoping to catch them on an off day, and take all three points from Vicarage Road.


LEAGUE ONE - Blackpool vs Lincoln City (10th April - KO 3pm)

Another manager that deserves plenty of credit is Neil Critchley, who has taken to his first senior management role very well, and is currently guiding Blackpool into the play-offs. His side are currently on a 13 game unbeaten run, and are coming off the back of two comfortable wins against Swindon Town and Gillingham respectively. Critchley favours a pressing style which is no doubt influenced by his time at Liverpool, and it has helped the likes of Elliot Embleton thrive in League One.


Times have not been so great for Michael Appleton's Lincoln City, as they find themselves battling to stay in the play-offs after spending the majority of the season in and around the top three. Two games in hand will help, but with no wins in five, the Imps need to get back on track fast, or could see themselves drop out the play-offs entirely. Lincoln possess a very talented young team, and if they can perform as they did earlier in the season, Appleton will more than likely be managing a minimum of two play-off games this year.


Both these sides have a chance to be in the Championship next season, and possess the teams to have a very exciting encounter on Saturday.


LEAGUE TWO - Morecambe vs Port Vale (10th April - KO 3pm)


Morecambe are a side that have risen from the depths of League Two to mount a serious promotion charge this season. After years of battling relegation, Derek Adams has built a side that have a good chance of at least making the play-offs this season. A huge win against Cheltenham was not built upon, as the Shrimps fell to Cambridge United by two goals to one, and then were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw against relegation battling Southend United. Only a point off third place Tranmere, Morecambe know that a good run to end the season could see them go up automatically.


After a seemingly average spell at Walsall, Darrell Clarke didn't quite hit the ground running at Port Vale. It took eight games for Clarke to secure his first win with the Valiants, but since then, they have not looked back as they have put together five consecutive wins, making Port Vale one of the most in-form teams in the EFL. With three clean sheets in those five wins, Clarke has found his best defence, and his side have been very efficient when it comes to seeing out games.


Morecambe still have plenty to play for, but they couldn't have asked for a tougher test than an in-form Port Vale side full of confidence, so a win for Adams side could send a big statement to the other promotion chasing sides.


WILDCARD - Huddersfield Town vs Rotherham United (10th April - KO 3pm)


After a five game unbeaten run, which although mostly contained draws, Carlos Corberan's side looked solid at the back, holding the likes Brentford and Cardiff to just a point, and securing a solid 1-0 win away at QPR. This boded well for them as they travelled to Carrow Road to take on Norwich, but it did not go to plan for the Spaniard's team, as they were completely torn apart on their way to a 7-0 defeat. After an embarrassing performance like that, Huddersfield need a strong response or could risk being dragged back into a relegation battle.


Rotherham United could end their run of yoyoing between the Championship and League One, if they can capitalise on their three games in hand. Seven points behind Birmingham, a team Paul Warne's side have four games in hand on, a good run of form could keep the Millers in the Championship. A win against relegation rivals Huddersfield would leave Rotherham five points away from the Terriers, with three games spare and with some more games against fellow bottom half sides to come, this is a must win for Warne's side.


Two sides that could be playing in League One next season, both come into this game under pressure to avoid the drop, which immediately raises the intensity of this match.