Kicking off the weekend action on Friday is West Brom v Sheffield Wednesday. I hope for EPL Talk Community member fsquid‘s sake that Wednesday pull a result West Brom will want all three points to keep themselves in the thick of the playoff race.
On Saturday Birmingham host Southampton, whose play-off hopes have been dealt a blow with the news that left-back and free-kick specialist Gareth Bale is out for two weeks with a slight calf muscle tear. Sunderland will look to maintain or extend their lead when they host 18th place QPR. QPR have won three straight to pull themselves out of relegation danger.
Second place Derby travel to Ipswich with hopes of improving on their fantastic away record. Derby have twelve wins on their travels this season while Ipswich have only won 11 times at home. It has the makings of a good match as Ipswich’s offence has come to life in recent matches scoring 5 against both Hull and Barnsley in recent weeks while putting up three goals against Plymouth.
Early season leaders Cardiff have falled out of the playoff picture but visitors Stoke would be right in the thick of it with a win on Saturday. Stoke, who currently sit seventh, have won three in a row and a fourth consecutive win would really put pressure on the other clubs in the playoff positions.
The massive relegation battle this weekend sees Leeds host Burnley with Southend hosts Barnsely. Southend could vault out of the relegation spots with a win. Hull could also find themselves in trouble if they lose and both Leeds and Southend win this weekend.
The scheduled games are as follows:
West Brom v Sheff Wed
Birmingham v Southampton
Cardiff v Stoke
Coventry v Preston
Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton
Hull v Colchester
Ipswich v Derby
Leeds v Burnley
Leicester v Norwich
Luton v Plymouth
Southend v Barnsley
Sunderland v QPR