It’s getting to that stage of the season. The stakes are higher than ever, with Newcastle having one eye above them on table topping Brighton, whilst also looking down, as Huddersfield ready one last push in a bid to pip United to the automatic promotion places.
Newcastle’s 1-1 draw against Leeds on Friday saw Brighton extend their lead at the top to 4 points with 4 to play. Huddersfield also gained on United on a not so Good Friday for the Mags, with their late winner against Preston taking them 8 points behind Newcastle with a game in hand:
Newcastle face Ipswich at 3pm today, but with results elsewhere holding huge significance at this stage, here’s who our rivals will be facing today:
Brighton vs Wigan (3pm)
Chris Hughton’s men have been formidable at home this season and unfortunately for us, play host to second bottom Wigan Athletic today. Whilst the Latics are fighting for their Championship status, Brighton will be equally motivated to not only confirm promotion to the Premier League, but move 3 points closer to a potential title winning campaign.
We will no doubt have one eye on this one, hoping Wigan can do us a huge favour as we take on Ipswich at Portman Road, but I won’t be holding my breath.
Wigan are on a high after a win in their last outing and will put up a fight, but I back Brighton to prevail once again.
Prediction: Brighton 3-1 Wigan
Derby Vs. Huddersfield (5pm – Sky Sports)
If it was a blow to see Brighton have such a ‘winnable’ fixture today, please take hope from Huddersfield’s considerable task in hand. The Terriers travel to Derby County in today’s late kick off, which looks set to be a huge test of their metal in their bid to gain automatic promotion.
Derby may have suffered a 4-0 hammering at Brentford on Friday, but Gary Rowett has won 3 and drawn 1 of his other 4 games in charge of the Rams. His capable side will be looking for a big win to keep their play-off hopes alive and, after their dismal defeat last time out, I fully expect a reaction.
This could bode well for Newcastle, providing a huge test for Huddersfield with potential for added pressure on Wagner’s side should Newcastle gain all 3 points at Ipswich earlier in the day.
Both teams will be gunning for the all important 3 points. I fancy a goalscoring draw, which won’t be enough for Huddersfield should we win at Ipswich.
Prediction: Derby 2-2 Huddersfield
— Goodbrand Stats (@StatsChristian) April 16, 2017
First and foremost, here’s hoping Newcastle get the job done today. Positive results elsewhere would be nothing more than a bonus.
Promotion is in our hands, regardless of Huddersfield’s results, but dropped points for Brighton today wouldn’t go a miss in our bid for the Championship title.