The Championship season will resume this weekend following the international break, with a number of derby fixtures set to highlight the action.
It will be a West Midlands derby that will get the weekend up and running on Friday night with promotion-chasing West Brom, who lost for the first time this season against Stoke before the international break, set to take on neighbours Birmingham at The Hawthorns.
West London rivals Fulham and Queens Park Rangers will then lock horns on Saturday afternoon, with both sides looking to consolidate their place in the top six, while out of form Swansea and Cardiff will meet in Sunday’s South Wales derby.
West London Rivals Set for Top-Six Clash
Fulham were the dominant force in the Championship over the opening weeks of the season, taking 13 points from their first five games, but Marco Silva’s side have since won just twice in six matches to slip out of the automatic promotion positions.
QPR are now just a place below Fulham in the standings and they will make the short trip to Craven Cottage buoyed by back-to-back wins over Birmingham and Preston, while they have already triumphed twice on the road this season.
Recent history suggests Fulham should take the spoils on Saturday, as they have won each of their last three meetings with QPR, but Rangers’ most recent victory over their rivals was at Craven Cottage in October 2016.
Mark Warburton’s side have also only lost one of their last three visits to Fulham and could prove the value option against the Cottagers on Saturday, with the double chance of a QPR win or the draw representing good value at 29/20.
Royals to Maintain Upward Curve
Reading were hitting form prior to the international break, with four wins in five lifting them into mid-table following a sticky start to the campaign.
The Royals also have an impressive recent home record, losing just one of their last 12 Championship matches at the Madejski, a run that dates back to February.
Saturday’s opponents Barnsley pipped Reading to a playoff place last season, but things have not been going as well for the Tykes so far this term, as they are without a win in nine and currently sit bottom of the Championship form table.
Couple that with Reading having avoided defeat in each of the last eight meetings between the two sides, and a home win on Saturday at 23/20 looks a good option.
Swans to Add to McCarthy’s Misery
Sunday’s South Wales derby between Swansea and Cardiff at the Liberty Stadium will pit two out-of-form sides against each other.
Swansea have only won once in seven Championship matches, but they have at least proved hard to beat during that time, losing just twice, while they are unbeaten in each of their last three fixtures on home soil.
Cardiff can only dream of such luxuries, as the Bluebirds have lost five matches on the spin, ramping up the pressure on boss Mick McCarthy.
City have also won just once in five meetings with Swansea, with Sunday’s hosts appearing the obvious choice at 29/20 to take all three points.
*All odds correct at time of writing.