20th of February, 6/1 Saturday Accumulator
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Have a read of my research below:
Norwich v Rotherham (Norwich win)
· When Emiliano Buendia is in the team, Norwich are comfortably the best side in the Championship, in my opinion. It’s no coincidence that recent dropped points against Middlesbrough, Millwall and Swansea aligned with the Argentine being shown a red card then serving a two-game ban.
· Since his return he’s scored two, assisted two and Norwich have won both games to move four points clear at the top of the table.
· Daniel Farke also has the option to recall striker Jordan Hugil to the starting line-up. The summer signing from West Ham had scored three in three before picking up an injury in the FA Cup defeat to Barnsley.
· Rotherham, by contrast, come into this game on the back of successive defeats that leave them just a point above the relegation zone.
· Paul Warne’s men are scrapping for their lives and recent wins against Preston and Derby have shown that they’re up for the fight. However, their record of just one point from a possible 27 against the league’s current top 7 sides and one win from 15 against top half teams show that it’ll be the games against teams in and around them that will define which division they’ll be playing in next season.
· It’s also worth noting that neither of these sides draw many games either, in fact only bottom club Wycombe have lost more Championship games this season than Rotherham and no team has won more than Norwich.
Huddersfield v Swansea (Swansea DNB)
· If any side looks capable of matching Norwich City at the moment then it would have to be Swansea. They are unbeaten in their last nine league games – a run consisting of seven wins and two draws. They are yet to lose a league game in 2020, a run fuelled by their strong defence.
· Swansea are currently third in the Sky Bet Championship. They sit five points off the top spot, but with two games in hand to top-placed Norwich City. They are on a particularly strong run away from home having won four of their last five games in the league.
· Their clean sheet in the win over Nottingham Forest in midweek was their 16th of the season. They boast the best defensive record in the whole of the football league and have proven themselves extremely hard to beat.
· Huddersfield meanwhile have yet to win a league game in 2021, the only side in the Championship who haven’t managed to do so and are slowly but surely being dragged towards the relegation zone. They currently 19th, just 5 points above the bottom 3.
· Many pundits and terrier fans have suggested that Huddersfield have actually gone backwards since the appointment of Carlos Corberan in the summer. They like the playing style he implements but quite simply don’t have the squad capable of being successful.
· The anger from fans is more directed at the owners rather than the manager and his reluctance to invest in what is quite clearly a mediocre squad.
· The formbook speaks for itself and with the Swans at close to full strength I can’t see how they don’t get a result in West Yorkshire this afternoon.
Peterborough v AFC Wimbledon (P’Boro win)
· High-flying Peterborough will be looking to make it 4 league wins succession this afternoon as they host relegation threatened AFC Wimbledon.
· Posh currently sit 3rd in League One, just a point behind table-toppers Lincoln City and could go top with a victory today should other results go their way.
· Jonson Clarke-Harris will lead the Posh attack once more and will be seeking to get on the scoresheet for the fifth successive match. The 26 year-old’s two goals in the 3-1 win at Gillingham on Tuesday took his tally for the season in all competitions to 19 goals, the most prolific of his career.
· They can boast the second best form in the entirety of League One across the last 8 games having picked up 19 points. Only Oxford United can boast a superior one having accumulated 21 points.
· For Wimbledon meanwhile Mark Robinson was handed the manager’s job on a permanent basis following Glyn Hodges decision to step down as manager at the end of January.
· No doubt the Wombles are still struggling and despite winning at Wigan last weekend it remains the case they have lost 8 of their last 11 games going in to today.
· Boro look to be at near enough full strength with Callum Reilly the only reported injury with a hamstring strain. Shane McLoughlin is in contention to return at Peterborough after putting a knee injury behind him.
· Given the respective form of the two sides and just the gulf in quality between the playing squads I expect Posh to extend their winning run to 4 against Wimbledon this afternoon.
Fulham v Sheffield United (Fulham DNB)
· I have thought for some time now that Fulham are desperately unlucky to find themselves in the relegation zone and have been thoroughly impressed by their performances, particularly in recent weeks.
· Fulham have only lost one of their last six in the Premier League during a strong run of form, and they recorded an impressive 2-0 victory at Everton on Sunday courtesy of a double from January arrival Josh Maja.
· Parker seems to have found his best team in recent weeks and it is beginning to pay dividends. The pace and trickiness of the likes of Josh Maja, Ademola Lookman and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is causing the opposition all sorts of problems and I am convinced they have the necessary quality to play their ways out of trouble.
· Performances have also improved for the Blades but they don’ possess the same quality that Fulham do and despite something of a mini revival look set for relegation this season.
· They will make the trip to West London without the services of Sander Berge, Jack Robinson, John Fleck, John Egan and Jack O’Connell who are all ruled out.
· The Blades can be a tricky team to put away so I can see them making it difficult for Fulham but I expect the hosts to have that extra bit of quality, particularly in attacking areas to secure the 3 points this evening.
Sporting Lisbon v Portimonense (Sporting win)
· Now off to Portugal where Sporting will be looking to extend their sizeable lead at the top of Liga Nos as they host 12th placed Portimonense this evening.
· They come in to tonight on the back of winning 7 successive games and really do look unstoppable at the moment. They have picked up 51 points from a possible 57 at this stage which is a remarkable show of consistency.
· They are now favourites to lift the title, something they haven’t done since 2002. Bruno Fernandes has been replaced by Pedro Goncalves who looks to be the next big thing coming from the never ending line of talent coming out of Sporting Lisbon.
· He has 14 goals in just 17 league appearances this season and will be fit to start once more tonight. Most impressive of all though is all 14 of those goals have been scored from open play.
· Sporting in-fact look to be at full strength this evening with no reported injury doubts other than that of Luiz Phellype who has been out long-term.
· The visitors won’t fancy their chances of visiting Lisbon tonight and coming away with a result. They have lost 15 of the last 20 games when away from home and no place in Portugal is harder to visit at the moment than the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
· They also make the trip without two key midfielders. Both Pedro Sa and Lucas Fernandes miss out this evening through injury.
· Sporting are a winning machine at the moment and I just can’t see that winning run coming to an end this evening.