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EFL Weekend Preview

Match Previews: Pick of the bunch

EFL Championship – Friday

Barnsley vs Reading

Two teams that can be proud of their season so far go head-to-head as they fight for a playoff spot, with both sides overperforming this season.

Barnsley have been the surprise team this season and find themselves in a great position to end the season in a playoff spot. They suffered their first loss since the middle of January in the Championship, which ended a run of 12 games unbeaten in the league. It’s a remarkable achievement from a team that are punching well above expectations. For a side that avoided relegation with just one point last season, they deserve all the credit they have earned, but with Reading right on their heels, this should make for an interesting encounter.

Reading are another team similar to Barnsley that many predicted would finish in the lower half of table, but it isn’t to be. They sit two points behind Barnsley in the last playoff spot, but their form has staggered in recent games. No win from their last 3 fixtures, against teams below them in the league, should mean that Barnsley are favourites to pick up the win here. I wouldn’t count Reading out of picking up some points here though, as Barnsley haven’t picked up a win against them since 2014. Huge 3 points to play for, for both sides.

Odds:

Barnsley: 6/5

Draw: 9/4

Reading: 12/5

EFL League One – Friday

Doncaster vs Charlton

An early kickoff on Friday for this one, with both teams still having a lot to play for. Both sides are still in with a chance of playoffs as we head into the final 10 or so games of the league campaign.

Winless in their last 5 games in League One, Doncaster are slipping down the league one game at a time, but they do have games in hand.  1 point currently separates both sides, but form favours the away team in this one. Playoffs are still doable, but they have to start picking up wins quickly with each fixture becoming a must win as every team is fighting for something.

New manager Nigel Adkins earned a point in his first game in charge, but this is a much tougher test. After the departure of Joey Barton, Charlton must stay on track if they are to have any chance of bouncing straight back to the Championship. In current form, no defeats in their last 6 games in the league mean that they will fancy picking up all 3 points and putting pressure on sides in the playoff spots.

Odds:

Doncaster: 17/11

Draw: 11/5

Charlton: 7/4

EFL League Two – Friday

Cheltenham vs Tranmere

Two sides that sit side-by-side in the league, 2nd and 3rd respectively, and the season that either team is having shouldn’t go unnoticed.

In the current standings, both sides are title contenders which is impressive. Michael Duff has done fantastically well for Cheltenham, and his side could potentially go top of the league if results go their way. They’ve picked up some losses in recent fixtures, but they are a team that has bounced back after each setback. This one is massive for both sides, and it could be an important fixture as to where they both end up.

Tranmere were predicted to finish near the bottom of the league, and their season has been impressive. Even if they miss out on automatic promotion, they should be proud of the effort they’ve put in this season, and they shouldn’t be counted out here. No loss in their last 5 in League Two, with teams breathing down their neck, this one is huge. Anything gained here would be a plus.

Odds:

Cheltenham: 1/1

Draw: 23/10