Weekend Preview – March 9-11
The glamour match took place today as Birmingham regained top spot in the Championship from Derby by beating their promotion rivals thanks to a goal from striker Rowan Vine. The Blues also took all three points back on October 26th, 2006 courtesy of a late Steven Clemence goal.
Saturday’s fixtures include Barnsley hosting the surging Sunderland side, now tied for third in the table with West Brom. Sunderland are without winger Carlos Edwards because of a shoulder injury, but Dwight Yorke is hopeful of overcoming a hamstring problem. Cardiff look to get their playoff bid back on track against Norwich, relegation-threatened Leeds host Luton. Leeds recently signed Slovakian international central defender Lubomir Michalik from Bolton on a month’s loan.
Another matchup with an eye on the playoff race is Stoke vs Southampton. Both teams are just outside the top six and should one of them take all three it will get them back into the thick of things. I expect a tightly-contested match as both sides have some key personnel missing through injury and suspension.
Saturday’s other fixtures are:
Colchester United v Coventry City
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Hull City v Preston North End
Ipswich Town v Southend United
QPR v Sheffield Wednesday
Sunday’s lone fixture is another major clash as Wolverhampton take West Bromwich Albion. West Brom striker Nathan Ellington will be absent as the Baggies go for a third win over rivals Wolves. Wolves midfielder Darren Potter is available after a one-match ban and striker Stephen Ward is also likely to be passed fit after a knee problem. Wolves could pull off a result as West Brom’s form has dipped in recent weeks. Since being dumped out of the FA Cup by West Brom, Wolves have gone on an unbeaten run with 6 wins and a draw.