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Championship Matchday 18: Three matches to watch out for

Norwich City extended their advantage over Bournemouth at the top of the table to three points after a 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.

The Canaries have experienced an injury crisis this term with as many as ten players sidelined, but they have still managed to preserve their first position in the standings.

They continued their trend of scoring late winners in midweek with Emiliano Buendia bagging the decisive goal in the 77th minute. After a couple of winless games, they have now registered back-to-back victories.

Daniel Farke’s side will be on the road to Blackburn Rovers, but there are also other exciting match-ups to watch out for this weekend. Here are our three picks.

Three games to watch out for in Matchday 18:

Cardiff City (9th) vs Swansea City (4th) – Saturday:

Championship action will resume this weekend with a South Wales derby at the Cardiff City stadium. Cardiff are the in-form team in the league at the moment with four wins on the bounce and they should be high in confidence. On the contrary, Swansea have had a good start to the campaign which sees them fourth, but they have accumulated only seven points from the previous 12. Cardiff will start as the slight favourites for the derby, but their record against Swansea over the past three decades has not been pretty poor with just five wins from 25 meetings in all competitions. The Swans took four points out of them last term and it will be a testing challenge for Neil Harris’ side, who will be aiming to close the four-point gap to the top six.

Derby County (22nd) vs Stoke City (8th) – Saturday:

Derby have remained unbeaten since Wayne Rooney took charge as the interim manager. They have picked up only five points from the previous four games, but there has been an improvement in their defensive record with just two goals conceded. Up next, they are scheduled to host Stoke City, who are 16 points and 14 places above them on the table. Michael O’Neil’s side dropped out of the play-off positions in midweek with a defeat and they will be hoping to reclaim a top-six spot by beating the Rams. The hosts, on the other hand, have the chance to pick up only their third win of the campaign to jump out of the drop zone for the first time this season.

Wycombe Wanderers (23rd) vs Coventry City (19th) – Saturday:

Wycombe have been in the bottom three since the second Matchday of the Championship campaign, but they have another opportunity to jump out of the drop zone this weekend, if the other results go their way. Gareth Ainsworth’s side have failed to make the most of the home advantage and they have registered just one win and six points from eight matches. Still, they should fancy their prospects of ending a seven-match winless streak against Coventry, who have the worst away record in the league this season with just three points from a possible 24. Wycombe have never picked up a point in a league game (five games) against Coventry in history and it remains to be seen whether they can break the wretched record.

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