The Championship relegation battle has been warming up for a couple of weeks now, and this weekend sees the biggest game of the season so far for two clubs involved.
Derby County host Barnsley on Saturday, and while a loss wouldn’t mean the end of their survival push, it would certainly put a huge dent in it. We seem to be in a position where three clubs will be relegated out of four, unless something dramatic happens to either Hull or Birmingham between now and the end of the season.
Reading are currently outside of the relegation zone, and with a small new manager bounce from Paul Ince, they have maintained their position ahead of the chasing pack, making them the biggest price of these four to go down, and the only team not currently odds on.
At one point, the only team that looked capable of climbing out was Derby, but they’ve lost their last three games whereas Barnsley have come to life, and won three of their last four. As for Peterborough, they’ve done nothing other than sink to the foot of the table, and really don’t look capable of staying up, as the betting suggests.
Derby Host Barnsley on Saturday
Games don’t come any bigger. A win for Barnsley would take them to four wins from their last five, and really put them back in the race for survival, while Derby have slipped over the past couple of weeks, losing three straight games, and desperately need a quick turnaround.
It is fair to say, this game at the weekend is the biggest of the season for both teams.
Both are in desperate need of the points, but it is Barnsley who come in with momentum. January signings Domingos Quina and Amine Bassi have brought the Barnsley attack to life, finally installing some pace and creativity into the team that has been missing for many months.
They look far more likely to win games now than they did earlier in the season, is that enough to get them out or will it be too little too late?
As for Derby, this game is all about character. With so much happening on and off the field this season, Derby deserve an enormous amount of credit for getting to the position they are in right now. Do they have any more left to give? The Rams need one more push from their players, coming into this huge game on the back of three defeats.
You can talk about those at the top, aiming for the Premier League, but this weekend, the story at the bottom could be just as big if either of these two make a statement and take three points.