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Can Villa edge closer to a potential date at Wembley? Get Championship tips

Ben Darvill 20 Apr 2019

Tammy Abraham (credit:Foto Olimpik/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Can Aston Villa continue their superb run and edge closer to the playoffs, and will Swansea keep their slim promotion hopes alive with a win over already relegated Ipswich? Read on for our best bets for the games in the Championship this week. 

Aston Villa vs Millwall (Monday, 13:00 BST)

Aston Villa come into this one looking to keep hold of their playoff spot in the league, with the side in supreme form of late. 43 games have resulted in 19 wins, 15 draws and nine defeats, while they have smashed a very impressive 79 goals, conceding 58 times. At this stage of the season, the 72 points they have picked up means they sit in fifth in the league, and they are six points clear of Bristol in seventh with only a handful of games left to come. Their last game saw Villa easily beat Bolton on the road in a 2-0 victory as Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham netted in the second-half to consign their opponents to their 27th loss of the season. Visitors Millwall arrive sitting in 21st in the league, with relegation still a real possibility for the struggling side. 42 games have resulted in 10 wins, 13 draws and 19 defeats, with the side only three points clear of Rotherham in 22nd and the final relegation spot. Their last game ended in a vital point against Brentford as they increased their lead over the relegation zone and, with only four games of the season left for the side, that was a massive point. 

In this one, we think Villa will clinch another big win. 10 victories at home have come along with eight draws and three defeats, while Millwall arrive with just three wins on the road, while they have drawn five times and lost 13 games in this time which is where a lot of their relegation woes have come from. Regarding recent form, Villa have been outstanding, winning their last nine games in a row, while Millwall have only won once in their last five, although they have only lost once in this time. Despite their fairly steady form, we think the away side will fall foul of a Villa outfit that look like they are peaking at the perfect time for the playoffs. With this in mind, we are going to back Villa to win with a one goal handicap, with the side looking very strong over their last cluster of games. 

Ipswich vs Swansea (Monday, 15:00 BST)

This season did not ever look like it was going to be Ipswich’s, with the side consigned to League One rather a long time ago. Four wins in 43 games is an abysmal total, while they have drawn 16 times and lost 23, with their form simply not good enough. The 33 goals they have scored have not come close to making up for the 72 they have conceded, while, with the 28 points they have picked up, they are a massive 15 shy of Millwall in 21st and safety, with their fate already decided long before the final weekend. Their last match ended in a convincing 4-0 loss to Preston as they fell foul of a first-half brace from Callum Robertson and a second-half double from Lukas Nmecha as they failed to make any of the 10 shots on target they had count. Swansea meanwhile arrive with hopes of a playoff place very slim, but still alive. 42 games have ended in 17 wins, eight draws and 17 defeats, while they have netted 59 goals and conceded 57 times, which has helped them onto 59 points. Their tally means they currently sit eight short of Middlesbrough in sixth and, with four games of the Welsh side’s season to go, they can technically take a playoff spot by winning all of their games and finishing on 72 points, but they would need huge favours from those around them and for Middlesbrough to have a torrid last few weeks. Their fighting spirit is not something that should be questioned though, as they displayed it superbly with a thrilling 4-3 win over Rotherham in their last match as they outlasted their opponents in a gripping encounter. That victory was enough to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they will be desperate to keep this going with another win on Monday.

This season, Ipswich have only been able to win two of their 21 home games, with the side in awful form. 11 draws and eight losses have come alongside this, while their last victory at home came back on January 12. Indeed, a single win in their last 16 has come alongside eight defeats and, with relegation already secured, they look like they already have both eyes firmly set on next season. Swansea meanwhile have not been a side superbly good on the road, winning five, drawing four and losing 12, but they know that dropping points is not good enough against an already relegated side when they are in need of a win to keep their promotion hopes alive. However, while they have four wins in their last five, all of their victories have been at home, while their last seven away games have ended in defeat. With this in mind, we are not confident backing either side to win this one, so we are instead backing a stalemate in this one, with Ipswich seeing this as the end result in 16 of their games this season, while Swansea have seen the same in eight matches this year. 

Reading vs West Brom (Monday, 15:00 BST)

Reading come into this one looking to secure their place in the Championship for next season, with the side slowly edging closer to safety. 45 points have come from 10 wins, 15 draws and 18 defeats, while they have scored 48 and conceded 64 times along the way. They currently boast an impressive three game unbeaten run with the side beating Brentford and drawing with Norwich and Bristol City. This run has helped the side open up a five point gap over Rotherham in 22nd, and they are now surely only a few points away from survival. West Brom come into this one in very good form and they are looking to finish as high up the table as they possibly can this year. 22 wins, 10 draws and 11 losses sees the Baggies onto 76 points, with the side 10 clear of Bristol City in seventh, while they are six points short of Sheffield United in second. Their last game was one that saw the Baggies beat Hull 3-2 in a thrilling match, thus keeping their slim hopes of an automatic promotion spot alive. 

Despite being in relegation trouble this season, Reading have been fairly good at home, winning eight in front of their own fans, drawing four and losing nine times along the way. West Brom have also impressed, with their away form strong and seeing them win 11, draw three and lose seven times. Reading’s recent run has seen the side unbeaten in their last three, but they come up against a West Brom side that are looking to continue their march up the table. The Baggies can currently be backed at odds of 6/5 with BetVictor to win outright and, despite the fact West Brom have lost their last two away games, we think they will defeat an up and down Reading side as they take their automatic promotion push down to the wire. 

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