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Championship 2019/20: Three games to watch out for in Matchday 41

The Championship heads into Matchday 41 tonight with Charlton Athletic hosting Millwall at The Valley. Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion continue to occupy the top two positions, but their advantage has been reduced since the restart. Brentford, who are third on the table, are within five points of the Baggies, who are, in turn, one point adrift of Leeds.

Three matches to watch out for in Matchday 41:

Brentford vs Wigan Athletic: Brentford and Wigan Athletic have been the in-form teams since the season resumption with three victories on the bounce. The Bees have reduced their deficit to the second automatic spot from 11 points to just five in the space of those games and they have the opportunity to close the gap to the Baggies to just two points, given the west Midlands outfit play 24 hours after them. Wigan, on the other hand, have been in sublime touch with six wins from the previous seven matches, but they are now in a genuine relegation battle. The Latics are currently seven points ahead of the drop zone, but their decision to fall into administration has meant that they will face a 12-point deduction. As a result, they are effectively bottom of the standings with a six-point gap to safety. With six games to play, it remains to be seen whether the Latics can beat the drop.

Stoke City vs Barnsley: Stoke and Barnsley face-off in a relegation six-pointer at the Bet365 Stadium. The Potters have picked up just one point since the restart and that has dropped them into the bottom three. On the other hand, Barnsley have remained in the relegation places since mid-September, but they have closed the gap to safety with two wins and one draw from the previous three matches. While Stoke are one point adrift of 21st-placed Middlesbrough, Barnsley are only a couple of points behind them. The reverse fixture at Oakwell saw Stoke secure a convincing 4-2 victory, but the upcoming contest should be closely fought. Michael O’Neill’s side are the better team on paper, but Barnsley currently have the momentum on their hands and will be aiming to pile more misery on them to boost their survival prospects.

Luton Town vs Reading: Luton Town are unbeaten in six-straight games where they have picked up four draws and two wins. The club made the surprise decision to re-appoint Nathan Jones’ as their manager in May and that has definitely spurred the team ahead in the push for safety. Luton were somewhat lucky with their 1-1 draw at Leeds in midweek where the hosts squandered clear-cut chances on goal, but the result should give them plenty of confidence. The Bedfordshire outfit are currently bottom of the table with a four-point gap to safety, but their poor goal difference of -27 does not help their cause. Hence, they will require an additional point over the 21st-placed team to preserve their Championship status and must make the most of their remaining four home games. Luton have drawn their previous two matches at Kenilworth Road, but the upcoming contest is potentially a must-win for them.

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