Championship Action to Return With a Bang

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Sheffield United are looking to dent Coventry City's play-off claims while leaders Bournemouth are not in action until Sunday when they take on seemingly doomed Derby County.

Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic

The Championship returns this weekend following the recent international break with all 24 teams set to be in action.

Round 18 will get underway on Friday night when playoff chasing Queens Park Rangers and Luton Town meet at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, while there will be 10 matches taking place on Saturday before the weekend is rounded off with bottom-of-the-table Derby County’s clash with league leaders AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.

Blades Looking to Kickstart Season

Sheffield United were being touted as one of the promotion favourites at the start of the season, but the Blades are currently languishing in the bottom half of the standings after winning just one of their last five games.

Slavisa Jokanovic’s side will be hoping to improve on that record when they welcome a Coventry City side to Bramall Lane on Saturday lunchtime that are riding high in the playoff places.

City have certainly caught the eye so far this season, but most of their good work has been done on their own patch, as they boast the best home record in the division, with only eight of their 30 points having been accumulated on their travels.

The Sky Blues did win their last away fixture at Hull City, but that was their first success on the road since August and there could be more away-day blues for Mark Robins’ side on Saturday, with the Sheff United win available at 1/1.

Boro Seeking New Manager Bounce

Middlesbrough will have a new manager in charge when they welcome Millwall to the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, with former Sheff United boss Chris Wilder having succeeded Neil Warnock in the dugout.

Wilder takes over a Boro side that are without a win in three games, but they have managed to triumph in three of their last four on home soil, with Sheff United, Barnsley and Peterborough United having all left Teesside empty handed over recent weeks.

Millwall were beaten 1-0 at Huddersfield Town in their last away fixture and they have failed to win on any of their last five visits to Middlesbrough, going down 3-0 on their most recent trip to the Riverside in December 2020.

Saturday’s result may not be quite that emphatic, but Boro, buoyed by their new manager in the dugout, look good value at 11/10 to collect all three points.

Cherries to Taste Sweet Victory Once Again

AFC Bournemouth will head into the weekend sitting two points clear at the top of the standings and having lost just one of their 17 Championship matches to date this term.

That sole defeat was on home soil against Preston North End at the start of November, but they bounced back from that loss by claiming an emphatic 4-0 victory over Swansea City last time out.

The Cherries have taken 20 points from a possible 24 on the road this season and they are priced at 4/5 to secure another maximum return from their trip to bottom club Derby County on Sunday.

Wayne Rooney’s Derby have just been hit with a nine-point deduction for breaching EFL rules, which is on top of the 12 points they lost earlier in the season – with the Rams now sitting a whopping 18 points adrift of safety.

Derby have also failed to win any of their last seven Championship matches and it could be another difficult afternoon for Rooney and co this weekend.

*All odds correct at time of writing

A fountain of knowledge on football, Tom offers a particular in-depth expertise in EFL and European leagues.

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