Two games worth following this weekend: the first is between two rivals for playoff berths, the second features a team staring relegation in the face against a club who has one final – but slim – chance of winning automatic promotion but could guarantee home advantage in the playoffs with a victory.
Huddersfield v Fulham
With only two wins in their last six, it looks as if the wheels have come off the Terriers’ campaign to reach the Premier League, but they’ve only lost four home games this season. Half of those defeats have been against other teams in the mix for promotion, so this is a really good test for both teams.
Despite have the toughest run in, Fulham have been impressive recently with four wins in their last six. They’ve also got a good record against the teams above them, having only lost three of their eight contests against those sides.
Bonus fact: Huddersfield haven’t beaten Fulham in a home league game since September 1993 and have lost two of the last four meetings in Yorkshire.
Nottingham Forest v Reading
Two wins since the start of March – or to put it another way, one win since Mark Warburton took over – confirms my suspicions that the problems at the City Ground were inherent before he took over. Fortunately for Forest, this is a home game and they’ve not been too bad against the promotion contenders – something that Reading should remember considering their brittle away defensive record. Only Norwich and Rotherham have conceded more goals on their travels this season and Jaap Stam’s side have only kept two clean sheets in away games since the start of the year.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are a few goals in this game – five of the last six meetings between the clubs at the City Ground have seen three or more goals but Reading have only won three of their last ten visits. This one os going to come down to desire: Forest’s to stay in the Championship and Reading’s to escape it.
That’s all for this week, if anything dramatic happens I’ll update this post tomorrow evening.
Huddersfield reduced their chances of automatic promotion to practically none after losing 4-1 at home to Fulham – despite taking an early lead. If Newcastle beat Preston on Monday, they’re up.
At the bottom, Wigan will have to win both of their remaining games to stand any chance of reaching safety but that will be irrelevant if Birmingham earn a point against Aston Villa tomorrow. Blackburn also need to win their remaining games, but will have to score at least nine clear goals in order to overturn a significant disadvantage regarding goal difference.