Norwich’s promotion back to the Premier League was confirmed at the weekend and the Canaries can wrap up a second Championship title in three years by beating second-placed Watford at Carrow Road on Tuesday.
There is full midweek fixture list to look forward to in the Championship, but the meeting of the top two appears to be main draw, with City looking to wrap up the title, while the Hornets could boost their own automatic promotion hopes.
Title Party Set for Carrow Road
Norwich’s immediate return to the Premier League was sealed before they even kicked a ball on Saturday, as Swansea and Brentford’s failure to win meant they could not be caught in the top-two.
Daniel Farke’s side could, therefore, be forgiven for subsequently losing 3-1 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday evening, but the Canaries are likely to be back on song when Watford visit on Tuesday, as they look to clinch the title with three games to spare.
Watford look well-placed to join Norwich in securing an immediate return to the Premier League, as they sit second in the standings and six points clear of the chasing pack, although Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Luton Town suggests one or two nerves might be creeping in for Xisco Munoz’s side.
The Hornets boast the best home record in the Championship this season, but they have only won seven of their 21 matches on the road – a tally that is bettered by three sides that currently sit in the bottom-half of the standings.
That should give Norwich plenty of confidence and with the Canaries having been unbeaten in 19 home games prior to Saturday’s understandable defeat, it is difficult to look beyond a victory for the Champions-elect at
Cherries to Taste Sweet Victory at The Den
Bournemouth appear to have timed their charge for the play-offs perfectly, as no team has accumulated more points over the last 10 games than the Cherries, while they are currently on a six-game winning streak, scoring at least twice in all of those wins.
After initially struggling when he took over at the start of February, new boss Jonathan Woodgate certainly seems to be getting a tune out of his side, with Bournemouth’s last away defeat in the league coming two months ago.
The Cherries will expect to keep their impressive recent run going when they visit Millwall on Wednesday, with the Lions having very little still to play for heading into the final weeks of the campaign.
Gary Rowett’s side may have still been in the play-off picture had they performed better on home turf, as they have won just six times at The Den all season – with only Preston, Wycombe and Rotherham having triumphed in fewer matches on their own patch.
All the signs are certainly pointing to a Bournemouth victory on Wednesday and the south coast club can be backed at
21/20 to seal a seventh-successive league win.
Birmingham’s Revival to Continue
When Lee Bowyer was appointed Birmingham’s new manager little over a month ago, the general consensus appeared to be that he would be facing an uphill task in keeping the club in the Championship.
However, fast forward just a few weeks and the Blues appear to be almost safe, with Bowyer having collected four wins and just a solitary defeat from his six matches in charge.
Indeed, only Bournemouth have accumulated more Championship points than Birmingham since Bowyer’s arrival and the club from the second city will fancy their chances of adding to that tally when Nottingham Forest visit St Andrew’s on Wednesday.
Like Birmingham, Forest have spent much of the campaign struggling to keep their heads above water, but back-to-back wins at the start of April appear to have got them over the line in terms of safety.
That belief may have been reflected in their last two performances, as they have taken just one point and failed to score in their games against Bristol City and Huddersfield Town.
It would be remiss to suggest fully Forest are “on the beach”, but Birmingham’s form certainly looks the better of the two sides and they can be backed at
31/20 to win Wednesday’s contest.
*All odds correct at time of writing