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Championship - Football: Pressure mounts in promotion chase

It's a massive weekend in the EFL and the battle to join Fulham in the Premier League next season hots up in the Championship.

While the likes of Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town still harbour hopes of leapfrogging Bournemouth into the second automatic promotion places, there's a host of teams looking to sneak into the playoff places.

All on the line at Ewood Park

The clash between Blackburn Rovers and Bournemouth is arguably the pick of the games in the Championship on Saturday.

As mentioned, the Cherries find themselves in second place in the standings and a win up in Lancashire would see Scott Parker's side take a massive step closer to securing automatic promotion.

A 4-1 win for Blackburn over local rivals Preston last time out has kept Rovers' hopes of a playoff place alive for the moment.

Boss Tony Mowbray has spoken of his future at Blackburn and his doubts on whether he will be in the dugout of the next season.

It could still be a fairytale end to the season for a club that were relegated from the Premier League back in 2012.

A Rovers win on home soil is 15/8, with Bournemouth at 6/4 to claim the spoils. The draw is currently available at 23/10.

Terriers in with a sniff

Sat three points behind Bournemouth going into the weekend, Huddersfield Town will be making sure they do all they can to keep the pressure on the Cherries.

Manager Carlos Corberan has worked wonders since leaving his apprenticeship under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United and making the short trip across West Yorkshire to Huddersfield.

Back-to-back wins over Middlesbrough and Barnsley have ensured the Terriers are guaranteed at least a playoff place this season.

Corberan will know from his time at Leeds how tough the Championship playoffs can be and he'll be determined to see his side avoid the drama and beat Bournemouth to second.

Saturday's opponents Coventry City just could not quite keep the pace in the race for the playoffs but it has still been a positive season for the Sky Blues and one they can build on for next term.

Huddersfield are 21/10 to win in the West Midlands, while Coventry are 7/5 to claim all three points. A stalemate is currently at 11/5.

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In-form Forest welcome Swans

Level with Huddersfield, Steve Cooper's Nottingham Forest likewise have Bournemouth in their sights as they welcome Swansea to the City Ground.

Forest are the only side in the Championship to have won all of their last three games, having overcome West Brom, Peterborough and Fulham.

Cooper will have been delighted with the Forest defence of late as they didn't concede a single goal in that three-match winning streak.

It confirmed why Forest's defence is the best in the Championship with no side conceding fewer than Nottingham's 37 after 43 games.

As for Swansea, they will be looking to spoil the party for former manager Cooper, who almost took the club to the Premier League, only to fall short in the playoff final against Brentford.

The Swans have become stalemate specialists in recent weeks, with four draws on the bounce going into Saturday's game.

A fifth draw in a row is 10/3, with a Forest win at 11/20 and Swansea at 19/4 to cause an upset in Nottinghamshire.

Boro in the mix

Chris Wilder's experience will be put to the test once again as playoff chasing Middlesbrough host Stoke City at the Riverside on Saturday.

A much-needed win over Cardiff last time out means Boro are just two points behind Sheffield United, ahead of the Blades’ trip to Queens Park Rangers on Friday night.

The victory over the Bluebirds put to an end a five-match winless run that has threatened to derail Boro’s season and now the pressure is on for the arrival of Stoke.

The Potters have only pride to play for as they sit down in 12th place in the table but the Staffordshire outfit are in form after back-to-back wins over Blackburn and QPR.

A third win on the bounce for Stoke is 4/5, with Boro at 4/5 and the draw 14/5.

Can the Lions claw their way in?

Along with fifth-place Luton Town, Millwall have been one of the surprise packages in the Championship this season.

Few would have expected the Lions to be in the mix for the playoffs with two games of the season remaining but here they are.

Millwall have arguably the most favourable fixture of the all the playoff-chasing sides this weekend as they host a Peterborough side that have already been condemned down to League One.

Level with Blackburn and just three points off the playoffs before the next round of fixtures, Millwall are 9/20 to win, 7/2 to draw and 6/1 to lose against Peterborough on Saturday.

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