EFL WATCH: FOUR GAMES YOU SIMPLY MUST SEE THIS WEEKEND
THE CHAMPIONSHIP – Millwall vs Blackburn Rovers (6th March – KO 3pm)
Gary Rowett has done a pretty good job at Millwall, carrying on from where Neil Harris left off. The former Stoke City manager has them sitting in a comfortable position in 10th, and his side are currently in some good form. Having only lost one in their last eleven league games, Millwall are looking hard to beat and their strong defence has held them in good stead against some of the better teams in the league. Rowett will be looking to his back three to keep up their good form and extend the Lions good run of form.
While Millwall are in good form, Blackburn Rovers are not. No wins in seven sees Rovers sit in 15th and with six of those being defeats, Tony Mowbray will want his side to start finding the back of the net with consistency again to turn around this poor form. Blackburn tend to dominate possession but a lack of attempts on target possibly highlights where it has been going wrong for Mowbray and co in recent weeks. If Adam Armstrong can get back into form, then Rovers chances of a top half finish will look more likely than they do right now.
Two sides on the opposite side of the form spectrum, both looking to establish themselves in the top half, this could lead to an interesting game at the Den.
LEAGUE ONE – Burton Albion vs Peterborough United (6th March – KO 3pm)
Since Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink’s appointment, Burton Albion have been a completely different team compared to the side that languished bottom of the table under Jake Buxton. Some strong recruitment has led to an upturn in form that has the Brewers in 18th place, and while they are not clear of the relegation zone, they are certainly in the driving seat when it comes to survival when compared to the other sides in that battle. Three wins in a row mean that the Dutchman’s side come into this game full of confidence and ready to prove why they belong in League One.
The league leaders Peterborough look almost unstoppable as of late, unbeaten in six and looking strong in both areas of the pitch. It seems Darren Ferguson has found his best team and they look ready to establish themselves as the clear front runners for promotion to the Championship. Christy Pym has proven himself to be one of the best goalkeepers in the league and Jonson Clarke-Harris is the top goal scorer in the league with a superb 21 goals.
Despite Burton being in 18th, this by no means will be an easy game for Peterborough, who will want to keep the good times rolling at the top of the league.
LEAGUE TWO – Bradford City vs Bolton Wanderers (6th March – KO 3pm)
The arrival of joint managers Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars has seen a superb uptake in form, as Bradford City have gone from bottom half fodder to a team challenging for the play-off places. Only one league defeat since they became caretaker managers, the duo seems to have found the right system to lead this Bradford team to greater things. Currently on a five game winning streak, the likes of Elliot Watt and Charles Vernam will need to keep their form up if they want to end up in the play-offs.
Bolton are one of the most exciting teams in the division right now, and look likely to at least be in the play-offs by the end of the season. Ian Evatt’s style of play has seemingly now clicked with his side, and he has started to reap the benefits of the strong recruitment drive that Bolton have had in both the summer and January windows. Four clean sheets in a row has helped Ricardo Santos earn a new contract, which is sure to be great news for both him and the fans.
Two of the most in-form team in the league face off on Saturday, this is sure to be a fantastic game and a real indicator of who may find themselves in the play-offs come the end of the season.
WILDCARD – Bristol City vs QPR (6th March – KO 3pm)
Nigel Pearson has helped things improve at a Bristol City side that looked in free fall after a terrible run of form which saw the end of Dean Holden’s time at the club. Two wins against Middlesbrough and Swansea is an impressive feat and shows that Pearson has already gone some way to restoring the confidence of the players after such a tough run. A late defeat to Bournemouth shows that there is much more work to be done, and Pearson’s side will be looking to bounce back at home to QPR.
After winning four in a row, QPR have faced a slight blip as of late with no wins in their last three. They were perhaps a little unlucky against an in-form Barnsley team as they had a similar number of shots both on and off target but there is a reason as to why Barnsley are chasing the play-offs and Mark Warburton’s side are not. The arrival of Charlie Austin has added some quality to the QPR frontline and having a goalkeeper like Seny Dieng is bound to help when the R’s face pressure.
If Bristol City want to make some sort of play-off charge, they must start putting wins together whereas QPR will be looking to get back to the form that had them clear of any relegation threat.