Black Friday was followed by sack Sunday. As we entered the final month of the calender year a further four managers were relieved of their duties, this followed the three that took place last week. Three of the four weekend casualties were Championship bosses and there former sides will feature prominently in this special midweek preview looking at four of the games in the coming days.
Sheffield Wednesday v Leicester City
Just one win all season under Dave Jones from their opening seventeen games was always going to be difficult to come back from and as predicted in Friday’s preview Wednesday parted company with Jones following a defeat away at Blackpool on Saturday. To add further woe they host the new league leaders Leicester at Hillsborough who have won five of their last six in the league. The Foxes have taken over where Burnley left off over the opening few months and are now the team to chase scoring goals for fun with their lethal partnership of Vardy and Nugent. With fifteen league goals between them already they look unstoppable. Whoever takes over at Wednesday has got to get the side scoring more goals with just eighteen scored so far this term, but that will be the least of their worries as this games key man Jamie Vardy will look to continue where he left off after a brace against Millwall last time out.
Score prediction: Leicester win 2-0
Brighton v Barnsley
After a miracle against the odds survival last season the sacking of David Flitcroft at Barnsley leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. However, if the Tykes had any real ambition to mount another survival Flitcroft’s departure had to come sooner rather than later to get a new man in. An identical points tally to Wednesday, however the team are in a much more sorry state of affairs. A mini rival at the end of October and start of November in a four game unbeaten run extended Flitcroft’s tenure for a few more weeks. Brighton had a slow start to the season by their recent standards, but now unbeaten in six and a few points off of the play offs has made Oscar Garcia a happy man. With the return of Andrea Orlandi from a three month injury lay off as he made a cameo appearance last time out against Bournemouth, Brighton can look to try and make it a happy festive period on the south coast. Ashley Barnes has been in fine form in recent weeks and his wonder strike against Bournemouth showed his confidence. He is this games key man.
Score prediction: Brighton win 3-1
Leeds United v Wigan Athletic
Pressure had slowly been building on Owen Coyle as his brand of football failed to excite the Lactics fans and after a tough loss in the Europa league followed up by a crushing 3-1 defeat at home to Derby the Scotsman’s tenure at the club was over after just six months in the role. Leeds have been playing some sensational football throughout November with Ross McCormack firing in the goals. A blip last time out against Blackburn saw United drop out of the top six in their first defeat in five. Under Brian McDermott Elland Road has returned to it’s former fortress winning each of their last four at home. Wigan’s current league position of 14th is not a real reflection of the strength of their squad and the correct appointment will see them climb the table with ease. Callum McManaman has struggled thus far this term, failing to reach the heights he set in the Premier League last season. His skill and delivery can threaten any side at this level and he is this games key man.
Score prediction: 1-1 draw
Burnley v Watford
Neither of these sides has come away with a win from any of their last four games so the obvious prediction would be a draw, but these sides do have a fondness to score goals. Watford’s free flowing fast paced football has deserted them throughout November with just one point to their name and two goals from their four games, conceding nine in the process. Meanwhile Burnley have lacked that rub of the green of late, most recently on Saturday when a questionable penalty was given to their opponents Huddersfield which ended up separating the two sides at the Galpharm. Young Lion Danny Ings has continued to find the back of the net despite his side’s recent struggles with him 2nd in the goal charts on eleven league goals one behind Ross McCormack. Ings has scored eight more league goals than he did in the whole of last season and he is already being linked with a move to a Premier League club. He is this games key man.
Score prediction: Burnley win 3-0
Other fixtures with predictions
7.45 kick off unless stated
Birmingham 2 Doncaster 1
Ipswich 0 Blackburn 1
Millwall 1 Notts Forest 2
QPR 2 Bournemouth 0
Yeovil 0 Blackpool 1
Bolton 1 Huddersfield 1 (8:00)
Reading 2 Charlton 0 (8:00)
Derby 2 Middlesbrough 1