The race for the Premiership – Great weekend for Watford!

So Watford had a pretty good weekend. They didn’t play, but watched Charlton lose at home, Stoke and Bristol City pick up only a point each and West Brom continue to keep an interest in the FA Cup. Maybe we should have more weekends off!

In a week where Championship footballers have hit the headlines for despicable behaviour and every midweek game bar one has a bearing on promotion or relegation issues, this really is the league to watch at the moment


(Graham’s predictions)

Blackpool 2 v 2 Southampton (2-1)
A Vignal penalty and a late Stern John strike rescued a point for The Saints with Blackpool scoring through Southern and Gorkss. Although a point might seem like a decent result for Southampton, that is now ten without a win and only three points above the drop zone. They have played more games than the teams below them.

If Southampton have raised their game under their new manager Nigel Pearson, as often happens, then I fear for them.

Charlton 1 v 2 Preston (2-0)
I love Preston. After getting a draw at Vicarage Road and depressing me hugely, they have gone on to beat Stoke and now Charlton. Bless them. Two goals from Chris Brown either side of a reply from McCarthey saw Preston to victory and Alan Pardew fuming. He has promised to “Ring the changes.”

Coventry City 1 v 0 Norwich City (0-1)
Huge relief for Chris Coleman as Coventry edged towards safety. Jay Tabb scored the only goal after six minutes and Norwich ended the game with nine men after Russell and Doherty were shown two yellow cards.

Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Colchester United (2-0)
Ifil and Watson completed this victory victory for Palace who Neil Warnock says are now safe. That is a remarkable performance by Warnock when you consider where they were when he took over.

Kevin Lisbie scored for Colchester who are well adrift at the bottom now and look to be doomed.

Hull City 2 v 0 Scunthorpe United (1-0)
Goals from Pederson and Turner settled this one sided derby game. Hull move into the play-off places and Scunthorpe drop deeper into trouble.

Leicester City 0 v 0 Bristol City (0-0)
So, I confidently predicted that Leicester would get a point from the temporary leaders. I never really thought they would so I’m delighted with this result!

Having said that, Leicester had 24 attempts on goal in this game and should have won. Bristol City manager Gary Johnson was honest enough to admit after the game that they hadn’t deserved a draw.

Plymouth Argyle 0 v 1 Sheffield United (2-1)
James Beattie gave Sheffield United their first win in eight. Plymouth missed a great opportunity to consolidate their play-off position and fell to 7th place in the table.

Sheffield Wednesday 2 v 1 Queens Park Rangers (1-1)
A Damien Delaney goal put QPR ahead and must have caused huge concerns for the Wednesday faithful. Wednesday were playing so poorly that manager Brian Laws made two changes before half time.

They worked because a Kavanagh goal and a Deon Burton penalty saw the Owls keep in touch with the teams above them.

Stoke City 1 v 1 Burnley (1-1)
Lafferty put Burnley ahead after three minutes and from there on in it was a ‘Backs to the wall’ job for the visitors. They managed to hang on until the last minute before conceding a penalty which Liam Lawrence managed to keep his nerve to convert.

Four results correct with two being absolutely right. Not bad! In fact, for me, remarkable.

League Table

1 Bristol City 37 66
2 Stoke 37 63
3 Watford 36 62
4 West Brom 35 61
5 Charlton 37 56
6 Hull 36 56
7 Plymouth 37 55
8 Ipswich 36 53
9 Crystal Palace 37 53
10 Burnley 37 52
11 Wolverhampton 35 51
12 Blackpool 37 47
13 Norwich 37 46
14 Cardiff 35 45
15 QPR 37 45
16 Sheff Utd 36 44
17 Preston 37 43
18 Coventry 36 43
19 Barnsley 36 43
20 Southampton 37 42
21 Leicester 37 41
22 Sheff Wed 35 39
23 Scunthorpe 36 35
24 Colchester 36 32

Midweek Games


Barnsley (19) v Ipswich (8)
Important game for both teams. After their FA Cup heroics Barnsley need to get back to league action, and quickly. They are only four points off the drop zone and a defeat here would leave them in real trouble.

Ipswich need a win to keep up their slightly fading play-off hopes. It is their away form that has let them down.

Grahams prediction: 2-1

Bristol City (1) v Watford (3)
Crucial game. Six-pointer. Come on you ‘orns! Didn’t expect a sensible preview did you?

Grahams prediction: 0-3

Burnley (10) v Charlton (5)
Charlton need to bounce back from their defeat at home to Preston and Burnley need a win if they are to retain any hope of a play-off place.

A draw would be no good to either of them.

Grahams prediction: 1-1

Colchester (24) v Sheffield Wednesday (22)
Crucial game at the other end of the table. It might already be too late for Colchester but a win here could spark a revival. Wednesday need to build on Saturday’s victory and a win here would put enormous pressure on the likes of Leicester, Southampton and Barnsley just above them.

Grahams prediction: 0-1

Norwich (13) v Stoke (2)
Norwich manager Glen Roeder was not happy with his team on Saturday and will be looking for a better performance against promotion chasing Stoke. They will be without Russell and Doherty who will be suspended.

Tony Pulis will be looking for Stoke’s fortunes to turn after a couple of defeats and failure to beat Burnley on Saturday.

Grahams prediction: 1-1

Preston (17) v Wolves (11)
Preston are gradually heading to safety and Wolves are gradually heading to mid-table obscurity. Alan Irvine is increasing his popularity with the Preston fans whilst Mick McCarthy may well be a ‘dead man walking’ at Wolves.

Grahams prediction: 1-0

Scunthorpe (23) v Plymouth (7)
Another crucial game. Scunthorpe are desperate for points to fight for survival and Plymouth are desperate to get back in the play-offs.

Grahams prediction: 0-2

Sheffield United (16) v Coventry (18)
Neither side are totally safe from relegation but wins for them both on Saturday will have eased the pressure. A point each here and they could both maybe start to breathe easier.

Grahams prediction: 1-1

Southampton (20) v Leicester (21)
If Bristol City against the Glory Hornets is a six-pointer then this one is worth at least that.The loser here could well be going down.

Southampton will have been rocked by the news that their star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips and starlet Nathan Dyer are nothing more than drunken petty thieves. It just goes from bad to worse for The Saints and I don’t see it getting any better.

Grahams prediction: 0-1

QPR (15) v Blackpool (12)
Mid-table battle. Probably the only game in the Championship this week that is not desperately important for at least one of the teams.

Grahams prediction: 2-1


Cardiff (14) v Hull (6)
Cardiff are now ‘concentrating on the Cup’ whilst Hull have a real chance of making the play-offs. Those two facts may just be enough to see Hull take this one.

Grahams prediction: 0-1

West Brom (4) v Crystal Palace (9)
West Brom have the distraction of the Cup, but are looking good in the league. Palace have an outside chance of the play-offs but will just be pleased to have rescued their season from where it was.

Grahams prediction: 2-0

I’ll be back on Friday to tell you about Watford’s famous win ๐Ÿ™‚

Graham writes at Views of a fan

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