Promotion Hopefuls to Do Battle at Craven Cottage

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The Championship returns this weekend and there's a mouth-watering clash to look forward to as two promotion hopefuls meet in London

Aleksandar Mitrovic

There is another full programme of Championship action to look forward to this weekend, with the standout fixture coming from Craven Cottage where promotion hopefuls Fulham and West Brom will do battle.

Both sides have responded well to being relegated from the Premier League last season, with second-place Fulham currently sitting a point and place above the visiting Baggies in the standings.

That match will be the lunchtime kickoff on Saturday, with ten other fixtures from the second tier taking place across the day, culminating in leaders Bournemouth’s trip to Reading, while the weekend will get up and running with Friday’s meeting between Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest at Loftus Road.

We have picked out three tips from the weekend’s fixtures, including our prediction for the big one from Craven Cottage.

Cottagers to Edge Promotion Battle

Fulham have hit top form since the international break, not only because they have won three Championship matches in a row, but also the manner of those victories, as they have scored ten goals and conceded just one.

Marco Silva’s side have also won five of their last six league games at Craven Cottage, while they boast the Championship’s leading marksman in Aleksandar Mitrovic, who took his tally to 15 following his brace against Nottingham Forest last weekend.

West Brom have also impressed this season, although they have struggled on the road of late, losing back-to-back games at Stoke and Swansea.

The Baggies also have a poor recent record against Fulham, failing to win any of the last 11 home or away meetings, with the Cottagers looking well priced at 11/10 to continue that run by claiming all three points this weekend.

Blades to Be Blunted on Home Soil

Sheffield United’s stuttering start to the season has picked up over recent weeks, with Slavisa Jokanovic’s side winning two of their last three games, although their sole defeat during that sequence was in their most recent home fixture against Millwall.

That is one of three home defeats the Blades have suffered already this season, and they will be hosting an in-form Blackpool side at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Only top of the table Bournemouth have collected more points than Blackpool’s total of 14 across the last six games, while the Seasiders have won three of their previous four, including a 3-2 success at Reading in their most recent away fixture.

The formbook suggests Blackpool are an intriguing option at 5/1 to win this match, while the double chance of the draw or an away victory also seems to represent good value at 6/4.

Draw Specialists Derby to Strike Again

Derby’s points deduction may leave them rooted to the bottom of the table, but Wayne Rooney’s side remain hard to beat, as they have not lost any of their previous five Championship games.

The problem for Derby is the last four matches in that run have all ended in draws, while no team has shared the spoils more in the Championship this season than the Rams’ total of eight.

Blackburn ended a four-game winless run at home to Reading last time out, but victories have not been as easy to come by for Tony Mowbray’s side on the road, with Rovers registering just one league win on their travels all season.

However, the Lancashire club have picked up three draws from their seven away fixtures to date, and you can get odds of 47/20 for Saturday’s match at Pride Park to end all square as well.

*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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