Easter Monday EFL

With this being Easter weekend, the EFL have thrown in a round of Easter Monday matches.

With the run in now well underway, which Sky Bet Championship, League One and Two games are must watch?



Interestingly, there are a trio of six pointer matches taking place on this Easter Monday, so let take a look at each match.

Preston North End vs Derby County (12:45pm)


Just two points separate these sides entering this match with Preston knowing that victory will see them leapfrog Derby into fifth ahead of the 3pm fixtures.

History however favours Derby who are unbeaten in nine and will have Tom Huddlestone back from suspension here.

Derby manager, Gary Rowett is also yet to lose to a side under Alex Neil whilst Preston have lost their last three league matches on a Monday.

Both sides suffered 4-1 defeats on Good Friday so both Rowett and Neil will expect a reaction here from their sides.

Derby need to quickly put that loss behind them otherwise they could experience a repeat of 2014-15, when they blew a play off spot by having a sloppy run in.

Preston meanwhile have lost two of their last three at home but have drawn blank just once here since a 0-0 draw with Bolton in mid November.

The Lilywhites can also beat their total from past two seasons of 62 points with a win.

Prediction wise, I can see a tight result because Preston got two in form players at home so will be a threat.

I can see Preston giving everything here but my gut says an away victory.

Prediction: Preston North End 1-2 Derby County

Result: Preston North End 0-1 Derby County


Bristol City vs Brentford

Bristol City are currently sat outside the play offs on goal difference, and know that victory plus other results in their favour could send them fifth.

Brentford meanwhile sit seven points behind their hosts so need a win to potentially revive their play off hopes.

Brentford are unbeaten in nine of last ten against the Robins and won on last three trips here, so have omens in their favour.

Add in the Bees’ away pattern of WLWLWL… for past nine games then a victory is surely needed here to keep that run going, having lost their last away trip at Millwall.

Either way this is a must win for both teams and I fancy Brentford to win here given that they tend to perform better once the run in starts.

Prediction: Bristol City 0-1 Brentford

Result: Bristol City 0-1 Brentford


Sheffield United vs Cardiff City (7:45pm)

With Wolverhampton Wanderers not in action till Tuesday, Cardiff head to Bramall Lane needing a win to realistically keep their title hopes alive.

Sheffield United meanwhile are one of six teams fighting for the last two play off spots.

United have not won their last five home clashes with the Bluebirds, but have won six of last eight league matches in all competitions to be played on a Monday.

In term of goals, both teams tend to score more in second half so expect a tight first half with the action coming after half time.

Both sides also average similar in attack, making this very close to call.

Per Game Average Sheffield United (home) Cardiff City (away)
Shots 12.37 12.56
Shots on Target 4.21 3.72
Goals 1.53 1.28

Despite averaging more shots, Cardiff seem to drop it when comes to clinical finishing because the Blades just have the edge where it matters ultimately.

If that happens again, I can see a home win and the play off battle becoming more unpredictable.

Prediction: Sheffield United 1-0 Cardiff City

Result: Sheffield United 1-1 Cardiff City


League One

Scunthorpe United vs Plymouth Argyle

Can Ivan Toney make it four goals in last five matches for Scunthorpe?

Both sides occupy the last two play off spots in League One on 60 points each.

With Peterborough, Charlton and Portsmouth lurking in the wings, victory here could be defining for both sides as far as their play off hopes go.

Scunthorpe’s form has been woeful with no wins in last nine (D6 L3), whilst Plymouth have overcome a early season relegation battle to now have two defeat in last 19 league games. 

Head to head wise, Scunthorpe have won five of last six and lead 10-3 on aggregate. 

Form however is bound to have shaken confidence in The Iron but on loan striker, Ivan Toney is in form, having netted in three of last four matches. 

Argyle meanwhile are just blossoming as they set about a second consecutive promotion now that they have hit their stride. 

I therefore can see a competitive match with a score draw. 

Prediction: Scunthorpe United 1-1 Plymouth Argyle

Result: Scunthorpe United p-p Plymouth Argyle


League Two

In League Two, there are two stand out matches which could be pivotal in the title and play off races, so rather than preview one, let have a look at both games. 

Accrington Stanley vs Notts County

After a home draw with Wycombe Wanderers on Good Friday, Notts County go to leaders Accrington Stanley needing a win as they fight for automatic promotion. 

Currently four points off Wycombe who host relegation threatened Grimsby, the visitors know that a loss here coupled with Wycombe win will virtually condemn them to the play off lottery.

Accrington however will be looking for three points as they go for the title against Luton Town. 

If a fan of fate, the omens seem to be lining up in favour of the home side, who are unbeaten against the Magpies in seven and beat them in last three games at home. 

As good as Notts County are, perhaps their fantastic FA Cup run is showing now in terms of fatigue so am backing Accrington here.

Prediction: Accrington Stanley 2-0 Notts County

Result: Accrington Stanley 1-0  Notts County


Carlisle United vs Lincoln City

Lincoln City occupy the final play off spot and four points ahead of Carlisle United, who were in last season’s play offs. 

It has been a long 12 years since these teams met at Brunton Park, when Carlisle won 1-0 on that day so expect an interesting match here.

Carlisle are unbeaten in last seven at home whilst Lincoln are without an away win in their last seven.

Lincoln also has poor form when it comes to playing on a Monday, losing their last four games on that day of week. 

The Cumbrians have scored twenty goals at home whilst the Imps have 15 away from Sincil Bank, so can see a tight game here.

In end, can see both teams taking a point apiece.

Prediction: Carlisle United 1-1 Lincoln City

Result; Carlisle United 0-1 Lincoln City

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