* The unofficial "Official" Tuesday Night Championship Match day Thread. Reviews. Predictions. Line ups *

r00fie1

Well-known member
Tonight sees some important games in the Championship: as I looked through the table and the fixtures, its frightening how close to the red zone we could drop, if it all goes against us tonight. We could end up in a similar position to that which saw the sacking of Johnathan Woodgate! OK its early days, but its a worry that we are already looking behind us rather than up the table!

Here`s the table and tonights fixtures:

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Screenshot 2021-09-14 at 07-43-45 Championship 2021 2022 Table, Results, Fixtures - (Football ...png


Blackburn Rovers v Hull

The task facing Hull City as the Tigers look to end winless run at Blackburn Rovers


The Tigers face Rovers at Ewood Park this evening looking for just a fourth win in 29 visits


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Di'Shon Bernard in action for Hull City (Image: Mike Jones/News Images)

Hull City will look to win for the first time since the opening day of the season, when they travel to Blackburn Rovers this evening.

City’s last success came in Lancashire in early August which, after three defeats and two draws, feels like a long time ago, particularly with an international break thrown in for good measure.

Much has been made of City’s five-game goal drought with Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Swansea seeing them extend their blanks to more than seven-and-a-half hours.


Will it end tonight?

It’s no secret that City have looked pretty tepid up front against Swansea City in what turned out to be a fifth straight league game without scoring.

In failing to break the deadlock in South Wales, McCann’s men have now gone more than seven-and-a-half hours without celebrating a goal since the win at Preston North End and that’s something that simply must change if they are to break their winless run at Ewood Park and start to move up the table they topped on day one.

McCann’s men showed at Deepdale that when they click, there’s every reason to be positive about finding the net, and while there have been some poor displays since the opening day up front, it’s fair to say there’s been a shortage of luck thrown in for good measure.


The Tigers’ recent record against Rovers doesn’t make for great reading, particularly the four straight defeats without scoring dating back to 2016 – there’s a theme developing here, isn’t there?


An early goal at Ewood would settle City and you can imagine the confidence would come roaring back.



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Keane Lewis-Potter #11 of Hull City during the game at Swansea (Image: Mike Jones/News Images)

Points on the board

I remember Mark Warburton would refer the media back to the ‘fine lines’ phrase, much to the annoyance of my media colleagues and supporters alike during his time at Nottingham Forest, but he’s exactly right.

Should City claim three points this evening then the points secured against Bournemouth and Swansea City look very good – unbeaten with five points from those three games looks like a very palatable return.

However, lose in Lancashire and suddenly two points from the nine available looks less than positive, and on such margins are fates decided.

We’re still so, so early into the new season and it’s far too early to be getting too concerned, even if the result goes against City.

This has been a difficult start and in the six games so far, you’d have to say that only the performance against Derby fell below the standard.

City have been in games, they’ve worked tirelessly and have at key moments, lacked that bit of quality needed when it matters.

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Grant McCann and Greg Docherty at the final whistle at Swansea

Defensive solidity

As you’ve probably read over the last few days, the manager was fairly prickly in his press conference immediately after the final whistle at Swansea, and aside from the comments about the lack of goals, one which caught my attention was when he referred to his central defenders.

According to McCann, Jacob Greaves and Di’Shon Bernard have been written off in some quarters, but having been thrown together for that daunting trip to Fulham, the pair have done exceptionally well.

There were two lapses in concentration – and a foul on Greaves – in the first third at Craven Cottage, before the pair acquitted themselves very well against the quality of Aleksander Mitrovic.

And against a good quality Cherries attack the pair were accomplished again and so too at Swansea.

Defensively, City were good last season but my concern coming into the Championship would be their ability to defend as a unit and tough it out when they needed to, unlike the relegation season.

So far and for the most part in games, they’ve done just fine and in particularly, Bernard and Greaves looks a promising partnership, I’d just like to see them look to play a forward pass more often instead of taking the safe route of going across or back.


The return of George

We were expecting to see Glorious George back for the visit of Sheffield United on Saturday with Rovers coming a little too soon.

McCann intimated on Saturday that City’s influential playmaker could in fact make a surprise return at Ewood Park and what a boost that would be both for the squad and those supporters travelling across the border.

City have badly missed his energy, his creativity and quality from set-pieces, so having him back in the fold will be huge.

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Richie Smallwood #6 of Hull City waves to the travelling supporters after his side beat Preston North End 1-4

Changes afoot?


After a tough afternoon largely spent chasing shadows in South Wales at the weekend, it would not be a surprise to see McCann make a change or two.

Tom Huddlestone could be given a rest as he continues his way back to full match fitness after more than a year out, meaning club captain Richie Smallwood brought back in to face his former club, while Tyler Smith could well get the nod up front after a jaded display from the returning Josh Magennis.

Mallik Wilks is another who struggled at the weekend, himself out for six weeks and with Ryan Longman coming off the bench impressively, he may well fancy his chances of a start.

Randell Williams and Andy Cannon were both left out of City’s matchday squad in Swansea and would expect to be involved at Ewood.

One area not up for discussion at this stage is in between the posts, where after a couple of rocky moments prior to the international break, Matt Ingram delivered a terrific display to keep his side on terms – the arrival of Nathan Baxter clearly having a positive impact in pushing up his levels.

Predicted starting XI: Ingram, Elder, Greaves, Bernard, Coyle, Smallwood, Docherty, Moncur, Wilks, Lewis-Potter, T Smith.

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Rovers View

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Rovers are back in action this evening as Tony Mowbray's men aim to return to winning ways when Hull City head across the Pennines for Sky Bet Championship game number seven of 2021-22.

Having suffered late heartbreak at Ewood Park in the 2-2 draw with Luton Town a few days ago, Rovers will be hoping fortunes change in their favour on home turf for the visit of City.

Although Hull won on their last trip to Lancashire when they beat Preston North End 4-1 at Deepdale, they've not scored in the league since and have failed to find a way past Queens Park Rangers, Derby County, Fulham and AFC Bournemouth. They currently occupy 20th place in the league table with five points.

Mowbray remains without a number of key players for the encounter against the Tigers, with Scott Wharton, Joe Rankin-Costello, Jan Paul van Hecke, Bradley Johnson and Bradley Dack all definitely out of action.

Although Tayo Edun is edging closer to full fitness, the clash against Grant McCann's visitors is likely to come too soon for a debut for the former Fulham and Lincoln City man.

Hayden Carter is back in contention again though having served a one-game suspension at the weekend following his sending off at Middlesbrough before the international break.

As for Hull, Alfie Jones is a major doubt having missed the last three games with a thigh issue. George Honeyman is yet to feature this season and is expected to remain out of action for tonight's contest.

Richie Smallwood appeared 87 times for Rovers during a three-year stay at Ewood Park, but is likely to continue on the bench for the visitors tonight.

A favourite with the Rovers faithful, Smallwood scored three times for the club, which included a stunning winner at Fleetwood Town in our 2017-18 League One promotion-winning campaign.

Rovers have a fine recent record against Hull and have earned victory in each of the last four meetings without conceding a goal. The last clash came back in February 2020 as Rovers recorded a convincing 3-0 win at Ewood Park thanks to goals from Darragh Lenihan, Adam Armstrong and Dominic Samuel.

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Blades v Preston


Preview: Sheffield United vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups


Sheffield United will look to build on their opening Championship victory when they return to action on Tuesday, welcoming Preston North End to Bramall Lane.
After a slow start to the new season, the Blades thrashed Peterborough United 6-2 at home on Saturday, while the visitors arrive on the back of a goalless draw away at Bristol City.



Match preview

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic on September 11, 2021
© Reuters
Sheffield United had a difficult start to the campaign following their relegation from the Premier League, as they headed into a new era under the management of Slavisa Jokanovic.

They began with a home clash against Birmingham City, and were handed a 1-0 defeat, before they came out of a trip to Swansea with a point following a goalless draw.

The Blades then fell to a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of West Bromwich Albion, and a late Levi Colwill goal saw them lose 2-1 at home to Huddersfield Town before they drew 0-0 with Luton in the final game prior to the recent international break.

In need of a reaction upon their return to Championship football, having recorded just two points and one goal from five outings, Jokanovic's men produced on Saturday, as they picked up a dominant 6-2 home victory over Peterborough.

Exciting prospect Iliman Ndiaye opened the scoring, and a Jack Marriott equaliser saw them head into half time level, but the Blades came out firing with John Fleck and Ben Osborn establishing a two-goal lead before Morgan Gibbs-White added a fourth and Osborn and Ndiaye each hit their second goals.

The South Yorkshire outfit will now be desperate to build on that with what would be another crucial victory on Tuesday, as they look to build consistency and climb the Chamionship table.
Frankie McAvoy in charge of Preston North End in April 2021
© Reuters
They take on a Preston North End side who had a similarly difficult start to the Championship season, having lost their opening three games.

The visitors bounced back from that start with a 1-0 home win over Peterborough United, as defender Patrick Bauer netted the only goal of the game, before they made it back-to-back victories by defeating Swansea City 3-1 on home turf, with Sepp van den Berg, Emil Riis Jakobsen and Ben Whiteman getting on the scoresheet after Joel Piroe had put the visitors ahead.

Frankie McAvoy's side made the trip to take on Bristol City on Saturday, with the hopes of recording a third straight league win, but neither side were able to break the deadlock as the game finished goalless.

Having quickly climbed from the foot of the table to 13th spot, the Deepdale will look to continue their upturn in form with what would be an impressive result on Tuesday, when they make the trip to Yorkshire.

Sheffield United Championship form:

  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Sheffield United form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Preston North End Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Preston North End form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D



Team News​

Sheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye celebrates scoring their first goal with Morgan Gibbs-White on September 11, 2021
© Reuters
Sheffield United remain without a long list of players, with goalkeeper Robin Olsen expected to continue quarantining after featuring for Sweden during the international break, while the likes of centre-back Ben Davies, midfielder Sander Berge and attackers David McGoldrick and Lys Mousset are all out of action.

After Saturday's strong showing, Jokanovic could deploy an unchanged starting XI, with Iliman Ndiaye set to make his second start for the club after his brace, despite coming off with cramp.
Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Morgan Gibbs-White impressed on his debut, and he should again line up in the midfield with John Fleck and Oliver Norwood, forcing Conor Hourihane to wait for his first start after arriving on loan from Aston Villa.

Experienced centre-back Chris Basham will be hoping to break back into the side, and he may be brought into the back four after Jack Robinson made a costly error for Peterborough's equaliser on Saturday.

Preston took an unchanged side into Saturday's clash with Bristol City, and McEvoy could again deploy the same starting XI, with Ben Whiteman and Ryan Ledson pairing up in the engine room.

After a clean sheet last time out, Jordan Story, Patrick Bauer and Andrew Hughes should again form a back three in front of goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, who rejoined for his second loan spell from Leicester City.

Emil Riis Jakobsen will continue to lead the line, having hit his second league goal of the season in their victory over Swansea City.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Baldock, Basham, Egan, Norrington-Davies; Fleck, Norwood; Osborn, Gibbs-White, Ndiaye; Sharp

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Storey, Bauer, Hughes; Van Den Berg, Ledson, Whiteman, Earl; Johnson; Jakobsen, Maguire



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Royals v Posh

Match Previews

Reading v Posh | Match Preview

A look ahead to Tuesday night’s fixture at Reading.

Reading's Select Car Leasing Stadium
Michael Zemanek/Shutterstock Reading's Select Car Leasing Stadium

Posh are back in Sky Bet Championship action tonight (Tuesday) at Reading (8.00pm).

Peterborough United return to Sky Bet Championship action this evening (8.00pm) with a trip to The Select Car Leasing Stadium to face Reading with Darren Ferguson’s men looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 6-2 defeat at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United.

The Royals were involved in a six-goal thriller, a 3-3 draw against Queens Park Rangers in their last fixture and have conceded more goals in the Championship than anyone ese so far this season. However, they enjoyed an excellent season last term and will be a threat with Jon Swift in fine form – the playmaker bagged a hat-trick at the weekend.

TEAM NEWS
Posh are without the services of skipper Mark Beevers (hamstring) and striker Ricky-Jade Jones (knee) but are hopeful that experienced defender Nathan Thompson will be available for selection after missing Saturday’s game.

The Royals have nine senior players currently sidelined with Brazilian goalkeeper Rafel joining the absentee list after breaking his hand in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with QPR. Also missing are top forwards Yakou Meite and Lucas Joao who both out long-term, while Tom McIntyre and Femi Azeez are not expected back until later in the year.

Transfer window signings Danny Drinkwater and Scott Dann are lacking match fitness, while Andy Rinomhota missed the QPR game with an ankle problem.

FROM THE GAFFER

“I am glad there is a fixture so soon after Saturday if I am honest, but we know that we need to put in a much better performance. My job since Saturday has been to analyse what went on, to pick the players back up and make it as easy as I can for them to understand the formation I want to play and how I want us to play on Reading’s big pitch. They can then just go on the field and do their jobs.”

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Tangerines v Terriers


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Preview: Huddersfield Town (H)​


Blackpool will be looking to make it back-to-back league wins for the first time this season in Tuesday night's match with Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers visit Bloomfield Road for a 7:45pm kick-off on Tuesday, with the Seasiders in buoyant mood following Saturday's impressive win over Fulham.

That win took Neil Critchley's side out of the relegation zone and up to 19th place heading into matchday seven of the Sky Bet Championship season, with the side looking to build on recent impressive performances.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, have started the season in impressive form, winning three of their opening six league matches, including a 4-0 thrashing of Reading at the end of August.

Carlos Corberan's side suffered a narrow defeat at Stoke City at the weekend, and will be looking to get back to winning ways themselves on Tuesday evening.

The Manager: Carlos Corberan

38-year-old Carlos Corberan has been in charge at the John Smith’s Stadium since being installed as Head Coach in July 2020. Plucked from Leeds United where he worked as assistant to Marcelo Bielsa, Corberan guided the Terriers to safety in his first season, finishing in 20th place last time out.

As well as his coaching experience at Leeds United with both the youth team and first-team, the Spaniard has also managed in Cyprus at Ermis and Doxa. He was also part of the Valencia B team as a player, but failed to make a senior appearance for the side.

The Key Man: Josh Koroma
Signed from Leyton Orient in 2019, 22-year-old Josh Koroma has become a key component of Huddersfield’s side. The forward has played all eight of the Terriers matches so far this season, scoring a decisive goal in their 2-1 victory at Sheffield United back in August. The 22-year-old has also spent time on loan at Rotherham United.

Our Last Three Meetings:
• 02/05/15 – Blackpool A Huddersfield Town A
• 18/10/14 – Huddersfield Town 4 Blackpool 2
• 22/03/14 – Blackpool 1 Huddersfield Town 0

Who Comes Out On Top?
Out of 87 meetings between Blackpool and Huddersfield, the Seasiders come out on top with 34 victories compared to Huddersfield's 30. There have been 23 draws between the two sides, the first in February 1911 in a 2-2 stalemate.

We've Met Before:
Ollie Turton could make a return to Bloomfield Road on Tuesday, three months after his transfer to Huddersfield Town. The right-back made 165 appearances for Blackpool across a four year period.

The Referee: Thomas Brammall
The man in the middle for the match is Thomas Brammall, who's last match in charge of the Seasiders was in March 2021 in a 1-1 home draw with AFC Wimbledon.


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Baggies v "Wayne Rooney`s" Rams


Wayne Rooney knows how to solve Derby County's big problem​

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney (Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Wayne Rooney's side are on a four-match winless streak in all competitions and their sole victory of the season in the Championship came on August 18, a 1-0 win at Hull City.

Friday night's 2-0 defeat to Birmingham City, a game in which Lee Bowyer's side did not have to do too much to earn their win, leaves the Rams in 16th place with six points from as many games.

A relegation battle looks on once again, almost directly as a result of the club's continued battle with the English Football League (EFL) and the restrictions imposed on the club throughout the summer transfer window.

If that is all sorted soon, then free agents can be signed, and hopefully, Rooney will be able to operate more freely in the January market.

Suspension and fitness worries meant Derby had to go with Lee Buchanan at left-back and Sam Baldock up front because of Kamil Jozwiak's absence at Blues.

Never has Colin Kazim-Richards's absence been more keenly felt than at St Andrew's, with Baldock putting in a shift up front but unable to physically outmatch Harlee Dean or Marc Roberts.

Jozwiak should be back for West Bromwich Albion, and if he can match his performance level for Poland against England then Derby can look forward to his return.

One thing that looked evident from the away end at Blues and on the television was Derby's insistence on playing out from the back.

It worked a couple of times, and it's nice on the eye, but without an outlet up front or players showing for the ball, it comes back straight away.

Derby miss a big centre-forward, someone like Chris Martin who can make the ball stick and bring others into play.

Possession for possession's sake does not help anyone, and it is good to see Rooney acknowledge that as he looks to imprint an identity on his side.

"We need to recognise moments where we can play in behind because I didn’t feel we were playing in the channels where I thought there was a lot of space," Rooney said.

They are just missing that focal point, a player who can play with his back-to-goal and take the pressure off Derby's defenders.

That appears to be the missing link, and Kazim-Richards cannot return soon enough.


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QPR v Bournemouth.

Warburton`s Reaction from the draw against Reading.

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QPR pulled off a stunning comeback to draw 3-3 at Reading on Saturday afternoon.

Despite taking the lead through a deflected Dom Ball effort, the R’s found themselves 3-1 down courtesy of a John Swift hat-trick.

However, with just 11 minutes remaining substitute Andre Gray netted on his debut to reduce the deficit before Stefan Johansen slid home an injury time leveller in front of more than 2,000 ecstatic R’s fans.

Following the game, QPR boss Mark Warburton shared his thoughts on the key talking points.


Overall reaction to the game

“I was delighted with the character of the squad and the attitude shown, as well as the impact of the players from the bench – Albert Adomah, George Thomas and Andre Gray who of course got one of the goals – but we have to recognise that we dominated large parts of the game and we need to be more ruthless in the final third.

“It was a great reaction from us after falling 3-1 down though, and right at the death we actually had a chance to win it 4-3.

“I say this full of respect for Reading but I feel we have dropped two points today – but if that’s a bad day for us, then we are in good shape.”


Defensive issues

“Collectively we needed to do our jobs better – get out to the ball, track your runners, these are basic things but we must remember players are human. We can always improve by showing the videos, and we do improve.

Unbeaten in 8 games in all competitions

“We showed in the second half of last season what we are capable of by going on a really good run and the boys deserve enormous credit for that. To then carry that on with a bit more expectation, again they deserve enormous praise.

“But this is a tough league and if you don’t turn up and don’t prepare well, then you will get hurt. So far, we have shown good character and good quality but the games are coming thick and fast now.”


The backing of the fans

“The key thing for me is the fans, they are the barometer for how we are doing. If we can fill the home stadium and have away support like we’ve had today – sold out in the away end and sold out for Bournemouth on Tuesday too – then it suggests they are enjoying watching QPR. That’s a key point for us.”


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Match Preview

Courtesy of Flashscores:


Still unbeaten in this Championship campaign, Bournemouth ended a three-game winless run in all competitions with a dominant 3-0 win over Barnsley last weekend.

That victory now makes it their joint-best start to a league campaign after six matches (12 points) in the past 11 years, as they look to justify their billing as one of the favourites to get promoted.

Clearly eager to avoid another promotion playoff for the right reasons, the ‘Cherries’ have been impressive starters this season, managing a clean sheet at HT in their last five league games. Bournemouth are also yet to concede first this league season, a fate which they’ve also avoided in seven of their last nine Championship home matches.

A stoppage-time equaliser completed Queens Park Rangers’ comeback 3-3 draw with Reading last round, maintaining their own unbeaten start to the Championship season (W3, D3). Encouragingly for QPR historians, both of the Rs’ previous two Championship promotion seasons also saw them unbeaten at this point of the season.

The draw at Reading stopped QPR’s Championship winning streak away from home at five, but they’ve netted the match opener in six of their last seven Championship road trips. QPR have also scored nine goals in their three away league games, meaning that they’ve already tallied 36% of their away goals from the entire last campaign!

Players to watch: Dominic Solanke has scored three of Bournemouth’s last five Championship home goals, both times scoring their second goal. Meanwhile, QPR’s star turn could come from Chris Willock, who has netted both of his Championship goals on the road this season.

Hot stat: The home side of the day has won seven of the last ten competitive H2Hs.
 
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r00fie1

Well-known member
Baggies ready....

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Albion v Derby County match preview​


Derby preview

The Baggies are back at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night, hosting Derby County in their seventh Sky Bet Championship game of the 2021/22 campaign (ko 8pm).

Albion were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw in B71 at the weekend by Millwall, with Dan Ballard cancelling out Kyle Bartley’s first goal of the season.

Although Valérien Ismaël’s men were unable to secure a fifth successive league victory on Saturday, the point did extend the club’s unbeaten run at the start of the season to six matches.

Visitors Derby have taken six points from their first six games, but lost their most recent fixture 2-0 at Birmingham City on Friday night.


Opposition
The Rams sit 16th in the Sky Bet Championship table ahead of their midweek trip to The Hawthorns, having collected six points from their opening set of games.

Wayne Rooney’s side have won one, drawn three and lost two so far in the league this season, with their solitary victory coming at the home of newly-promoted Hull City back in mid-August.

Derby almost lost their Championship status last term, escaping relegation to the third tier on the final day of the campaign by picking up a point at home to Sheffield Wednesday who went down to League One as a result of that draw.

England and Manchester United record goalscorer Rooney announced his retirement from playing in January 2021 in order to focus on his managerial role at Pride Park, having acted as interim boss since the end of November 2020.

It’s been a difficult start to life in the dugout for the 35-year-old, but Rooney will take plenty of confidence from helping steer Derby away from the drop last season as he sets his sights on a much calmer campaign this time around.

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[Time to go...?]

Classic match

Albion came from behind to secure three Championship points against the Rams at The Hawthorns in February, 2010.

Chris Porter gave Derby the lead after the break but Brunty bagged a 10-minute brace to put the Baggies ahead, before Simon Cox wrapped up the win late on.

Did you know?

Just two of the last 10 meetings between the Albion and Derby have ended level.

The Baggies have won three of those 10 matches, with the Rams coming out on top in half of them.

Both teams have scored in seven of the ten games.
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Albion by how many tonight?

I go 3-0 Baggies(y)
 

r00fie1

Well-known member
One point off 22nd place in a 24 place table is not good.
A win tomorrow night is a must.

If Forest lose then Hughton will have the umbilical chord cut - but who comes in after him and takes on his players?
More importantly: will he get a better tune out of them?
Unlikely.

Our gaffa is in a very similar boat.

Its going to be a nail biter.
 
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