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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Leeds can get back on track in playoff race

Blackburn may take points at Wolves

Chris Wood notches for Leeds against Nottingham Forest
1 of 1

Kick-offs 3pm Saturday 

Burton v Leeds
Leeds dropped out of the Sky Bet Championship playoff places for the first time since November with a 1-0 loss at home to Wolves on Easter Monday but they can get their promotion challenge back on track by defeating relegation-threatened Burton at the Pirelli Stadium.

Despite being out of the top six with three games left, Leeds's fate is still in their hands.

Promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham cross swords in south Yorkshire on the final weekend of the 46-game season, so Leeds know three wins will be enough to guarantee a top-six finish.

Beating Burton, who are four points above the drop zone, will not be easy but Leeds look value to get the job done.

Taking one point from two games over Easter was far from ideal but Leeds's great strength has been to ensure that bad runs do not continue for very long.

Not since August have they gone more than two games without a victory and their mental strength will stand them in good stead against a Burton side who are scrapping for every point.

One of Burton's unsung heroes in recent weeks has been on-loan Leeds midfielder Luke Murphy, who has started each of the Brewers' last seven matches.

Burton boss Nigel Clough has emphasised Murphy's increasing importance to the side but the player will not be available to face his parent club.

While Burton are weaker in the engine room, Leeds should be stronger with midfielder Ronaldo Vieira fully recovered from the illness which ruled him out of the two Easter fixtures.

Leeds have won three of their four away matches against the bottom six and another success looks likely.

2pts 53-35 188Bet

Wolves v Blackburn
Some teams are better than others at staying focused when there is no promotion or relegation left to play for but it may be worth anticipating a dip in performance from mid-table Wolves for their clash at home to struggling Blackburn.

Wolves had lost two games in succession before producing a much-improved performance to win 1-0 at playoff chasing Leeds on Monday.

They relished the occasion of playing in front of a noisy crowd at Elland Road but may find it more difficult to motivate themselves at Molineux, where many of the supporters may not be too fussed about the outcome.

There have been suggestions that some fans would find a defeat easier to take because it would increase the relegation pressure on regional rivals Birmingham.

The players will not be thinking the same way but a lack of atmosphere could help Blackburn, who are fighting tooth and nail for survival.

Rovers collected four points over Easter - digging out a hard-fought 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest and coming from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Bristol City - but they remain a point inside the bottom three.

They have looked a better side since Tony Mowbray was appointed manager two months ago and will view the Wolves game as a great opportunity to get out of the drop zone.

Blackburn draw no bet
2pts 6-4 general

Wigan v Cardiff
Mid-table Cardiff demonstrated a professional attitude to win 1-0 at home to lowly Nottingham Forest on Monday and can pick up another three points at second bottom Wigan.

The Bluebirds have known for some time they will be playing second-tier football next season but their passionate manager Neil Warnock has not allowed them to slacken off.

Cardiff have lost just three of their last 13 games and look overpriced to topple the lowly Latics, who have lost five of their last seven.

1pt 5-2 bet365

Stevenage v Mansfield
Ten clubs are still engaged in the battle for Sky Bet League Two playoff places, including fifth-placed Stevenage and 12th-placed Mansfield, who lock horns at the Lamex Stadium.

Stevenage have been in the top seven since the end of February but have had a wobble - taking one point from three - and are without injured top scorer Matt Godden.

Mansfield took four points from playoff-chasing rivals over Easter - winning 1-0 at Wycombe and drawing 1-1 at home to Luton - and look the likelier winners in Hertfordshire.

1pt 17-10 Hills

Not since August have they gone more than two games without a victory and their mental strength will stand them in good stead
E.W. Terms
Sky bet