Race is on to reach the Premier League

WITH the Premier League taking a breather for the FA Cup there is likely to be much more attention on the Sky Bet Championship promotion race this weekend with a number of huge matches.

Runaway leaders Wolves are all but up – they are 12 points clear of the chasing pack with 15 matches remaining – but the race is very much on for the second automatic spot.

Just seven points separates second-placed Aston Villa from Bristol City in sixth with Steve Bruce’s side 13-10 favourites with Betfair to finish in one of the two automatic positions.

Villa have won seven in a row, however, face a tough test to make it eight at fifth-placed Fulham. A win for the Cottagers would take them to within four points of Villa and the Londoners are 3-1 to reach the Premier League.

Cardiff host Middlesbrough and Bristol City head to Leeds looking to take advantage of Derby’s 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday.

Wolves, the clear class act of the division, may not have it easy at Preston today as Nuno’s men close on a return to the top flight.

Target is the first aim, then securing the title but they may also be focused on breaking the Championship record which stands at 106 points. Bet365 are 4-1 Wolves surpass that mark.

Barnsley’s aims are less grand and the Tykes have appointed Jose Morais as their new manager as they battle to avoid the drop.

Morais was part of Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff with Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid.

Match in Focus

17:55 TODAY BT2

PAOK Salonika v Chelsea

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • PAOK have won two of their last six Europa League ties
Expert verdict
Chelsea begin their Europa League journey at PAOK and their trip to Greece should prove worthwhile. The Blues have made a promising start under the attack-minded Maurizio Sarri and can outclass their Greek hosts, who were thumped 4-1 at home to Benfica in a Champions League qualifier this term.

 

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