Predictions

Fiery Friday

It might be the Easter weekend but there are four tasty looking clashes on what could be a fiery Friday across the Sky Bet Football League.

 

All four clashes are epic six pointers at this stage of the season so expect a fiery start to Easter.

 

Can Newcastle and Plymouth secure promotion from their divisions and will the relegation picture become clearer?

 

Newcastle United vs Leeds United  – Championship (7:45pm KO)

 

Newcastle are targeting an instant return to the Premier League whilst Leeds are targeting a comfortable play off spot.

 

Rafa Benitez will be hoping that St James Park is a fortress after suffering several wobbles at home to play off battling teams, so far this season. The fact that any of his English sides haven’t hosted Leeds at home makes this a stern test for the man himself.

 

Leeds are probably quaking in their boots at this trip but have the best first goal scorer of the match in Chris Woods. The Toon Army have however opened the scoring in their matches on 29 occasions making this an equally matched contest.

 

The Magpies have dominated this fixture in the last nine league meetings with just one defeat to their name. This will count for little with so much at stake and both are coming in off the back of differing results at the weekend.

 

Sheffield Wednesday stunned Benitez’s side at Hillsborough on Saturday whilst Leeds dispatched Preston North End in style.

 

At this stage of the season, a draw here will be a relief to both.

 

Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Leeds United

Result: Newcastle United 1-1 Leeds United

 

Swindon vs AFC Wimbledon – League One (3:00pm KO)

 

Swindon are fighting for their lives in the League One relegation zone.

 

The Robins are currently on a three match unbeaten run and hoping to bolster their survival chances here. They however face a strong Wimbledon side looking to consolidate their first season in the third tier.

 

There has only been 14 meetings between these two sides with the Dons edging it 5-4 in victories. This suggests that it could be an edgy affair with local bragging rights at stake.

 

Their last meeting at Kingsmeadow in October saw Lyle Taylor have a penalty saved in a goalless draw. Six months on, there is so much more at stake for the hosts than the visitors so reckon a slim win will do here.

 

Prediction: Swindon 1-0 AFC Wimbledon

Result: Swindon 0-0 AFC Wimbledon

 

Hartlepool United vs Carlisle United – League Two (3:00pm KO)

 

Both sides need the points here for different reasons. Hartlepool are looking to avoid relegation to non league whilst Carlisle are clinging onto a play off spot.

 

The Pools have only a single point from their last four games leaving them just a win above the dreaded drop zone.

 

Their Cumbrian visitors are also in dire form with just one win from their last four matches. Since Charlie Wyke’s departure, Carlisle have dropped like a stone, registering just 13 points to leave them in danger of losing a play off spot.

 

With this being a huge six pointer as far as both sides are concerned, expect to see goals at Victoria Park from both sides. Carlisle have Jason Kennedy and Jabo Ibehre back so they should just edge a thriller.

 

Prediction: Hartlepool United 2-3 Carlisle United

Result: Hartlepool United 1-1 Carlisle United

 

Portsmouth vs Plymouth Argyle – League Two (2:30pm KO)

 

This Dockyard derby is huge with automatic promotion up for grabs.

 

A win for Plymouth and anything less for Luton Town in their match will send the Argyles up to Sky Bet League One.

 

One thing definitely guaranteed is a goalfest with there being no one sided score at Fratton Park since 1989.

 

The recent meetings here have belonged to Portsmouth, who have three wins from their last five clashes. There have been 13 goals across those five fixtures so definitely should be entertaining.

 

Pompey’s key player is Kai Naismith, who has been involved in five of their last eight goals.

 

Plymouth however have a danger man at set pieces. Sonny Bradley has six headed goals which is a joint high in League Two so watch out for him when Argyle get opportunities from free kicks or corners.

 

Sharing the Easter eggs here won’t harm either side’s promotion chances so expect a tasty match. Plymouth can afford to wait till Easter Monday before securing their ticket up to the third tier.

 

Prediction: Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth Argyle

Result: Portsmouth 1-1 Plymouth Argyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

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