Championship predictions – Watford, Bristol City and Ipswich to march on towards the Premier League (Or, your guess is as good as mine!)

“You’re writing a review of the championship games every Monday, so why don’t you do a preview of the games on Fridays?” Ahmed said to me.

“No problem, I’ll start this week,” I said.

“Yes,” Ahmed continued, “Just do a preview and make some predictions”

That’s where I hit a big problem. As I said in this week’s review, the fact is that every team in the Championship can beat every other one. My track record of predictions has been pretty poor on this site so far, and the prospect of predicting games in this league could completely destroy any vestige of reputation I am clinging on to so desperately.

Mystic Meg21st placed Preston sum it up for me really. Last week I was depressed and devastated by the fact that my beloved Watford could only draw with them. In midweek, Preston go and beat the leaders Stoke, and all of a sudden I’m optimistic again and thinking what a great performance we put in last week!

Anyway, here we go with a look at all this weekend’s matches:

Barnsley (16) .v. Sheffield Wednesday (22)
Full on Yorkshire derby. It might not be United against City, or Arsenal against Tottenham, but these Yorkshire folk are hardy types, and this one will be full of passion.

Since their fabulous win at Anfield, Barnsley have suffered something of a hangover (literally as well, I’d imagine) by losing at Norwich and drawing at home to QPR.

Wednesday are still in the drop zone but they have Ben Sahar on loan from Chelsea and won their last game at home to Cardiff.

Grahams prediction: 1-1

Bristol City (2) .v. Hull City (8)
Bristol City are many people’s surprise team of the season, and everyone, including me, thought they would fade away. But with only 12 games left, here they are, still in an automatic promotion place.

Having just announced the biggest sponsorship deal in the clubs history, with DAS, and winning their last game at Colchester, Bristol City are on a high.

Hull won at West Brom in midweek, and they are only just outside the play-off places. They may not be the youngest team in the league as they include Dean Windass, Henrik Pederson and Jay Jay Okocha, combined age of 379, but they are going pretty well.

Graham’s prediction: 2-1

Aidy BoothroydBurnley (9) .v. Watford (3)
Not too difficult to predict this one, how can the glory Hornets lose?

Burnley were going well before this game and were only two points outside of the play-off places. They will include former Watford centre-half Clark Carlisle in their ranks, and Andy Cole should be back from ‘injury’. I hope the travelling Watford fans have come up with a few songs to sing to Andy about his apparent ‘domestic issues’.

Watford have spent the week bonding and training in hot and sunny Dubai. What better preparation could they have for a windy day in early March in Lancashire?

Graham’s prediction: 0-5

Cardiff City (13) .v. Leicester City (20)
Cardiff have reached the quarter-final of the FA Cup for the first time in over seventy years and are only one step away from a Wembley semi-final. Unfortunately for them, their league form has slipped away a little and last week’s defeat at Sheffield Wednesday has left them some way off the play-offs.

Ian Holloway hasn’t been able to produce a miracle at Leicester and they are still in a relegation dog fight. Lee Hendrie has signed for them on loan.

I hope Leicester can get something out of the game then Holloway can talk about taking girls home for coffee etc. He is a star.

Graham’s prediction: 1-0

Teddy SheringhamColchester United (23) .v. Wolverhampton Wanderers (10)
Colchester are deep in trouble and not even 40 year-old Teddy Sheringham looks able to save them.

Wolves may be without keeper Wayne Hennessey who was concussed in their last game. They have taken just eleven points from their last thirteen games and the worst possible news arrived for manager Mick McCarthy this week. The Chief Executive and Board have said that he has their full support. That’ll be him looking for work soon then.

Graham’s prediction: 1-1

Norwich City (12) .v. Blackpool (14)
Glen Roeder has rescued Norwich’s season. He has taken them to a comfortable mid-table position after taking over with them deep in trouble. Their form has stalled a little of late, but Roeder is being promised money to spend in the Summer and they might be contenders next season.

Blackpool have over achieved after their play-off promotion last year. Everyone, OK, I expected them to struggle, but they are going pretty well.

Another oldie is going well for them. 35 year-old Paul Dickov has scored five goals in five appearances for them during his loan spell.

Graham’s prediction: 2-1

Preston (21) .v. Crystal Palace (11)
Preston are still deep in relegation trouble but an incredibly lucky draw at Watford last week and a great win over Stoke have made their position look a little healthier.

Palace had a fantastic run when Neil Warnock took over, but they too have stalled a little and haven’t won in their last four. I can imagine Warnock’s team talk now, “Come on chaps, please try and do a little better. It would make me so happy.”

Graham’s prediction: 1-2

Scunthorpe United (24) .v. Coventry City (18)
Two struggling teams in a relegation six pointer. Scunthorpe are in danger of getting cut adrift at the bottom after only one win in the last eleven. They must win this one to have a realistic hope of staying up.

Coventry have won one and lost one under new manager Chris Coleman, and I think he will guide them to safety. Defeat here, and I might have to re-think.

Graham’s prediction: 0-2

Scott SinclairSheffield United (17) .v. Charlton (6)
Sheffield United have had a poor season so far, but now that Robson has gone and Blackwell has taken over maybe things will get better. No, I don’t think so either.

Charlton were going well but conceded five goals at Blackpool in their last run out. They have taken the talented teenager Scott Sinclair on loan from Chelsea, and he might assist their promotion push.

Graham’s prediction: 0-2

Southampton (19).v. Ipswich Town (7)
Southampton are in freefall. They are suffering what the tabloid press would most definitely call a crisis. With dispirited players, angry fans and boardroom goings-on, caretaker managers John Gorman and Jason Dodd have an impossible job. I would guess they are telling their players to perform badly, because if anyone else thinks they’re good the board will probably sell them.

Ipswich are great at home. They’ve only lost one. Who was that against? Oh yes, it was Watford. Away from home though, they are a different proposition. They have only won twice on their travels all season.

Still, I fancy they’ll only have to turn up tomorrow to make that three.

Graham’s prediction: 0-3

Tony MowbrayWest Bromwich Albion (4) .v. Plymouth Argyle (5)
What a crucial game this is. West Brom were hot favourites for this league, and for a while they lived up to the billing. Three league games in a row without winning have just caused the Baggies fans to slow down their boing, boinging a little.

Plymouth were nobody’s favourites for this league, but a win tomorrow would put them level on points with West Brom. Of course, a draw would leave them both well adrift of Watford.

Graham’s prediction: 1-1

Queens Park Rangers (15) .v. Stoke City (1)
QPR looked like going down earlier in the season, but with Bernie Ecclestone and his cronies moving in, they have become one of the richest clubs in England. They’ll be OK this year, and then you just watch them next season.

Stoke were flying high until coming unstuck at Preston in midweek. Tony Pullis has been named Championship manager of the month for February, which invariably leads to defeat in the next game. That is a proven fact so I know my prediction will be right on this one.

Graham’s prediction: 2-1

I’ll be back on Monday to take your plaudits for my amazing predictions. Yeh, right.

Graham writes at Views Of A Fan.

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