Home Sports Football Championship Championship Preview – Rafa can help Toon gain tactical draw
Championship Preview – Rafa can help Toon gain tactical draw

Championship Preview – Rafa can help Toon gain tactical draw


The top two in the Championship meet on Tuesday night, as Brighton and Newcastle clash in a massive game at the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls top the table by a point over the Magpies and with in-form Huddersfield looming large in third, the next week could have huge implications on the battle for automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Newcastle (5/7 favourites to win the title) have three away games in a row against fellow promotion hopefuls, with games at Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading.

So it’s imperative they avoid defeat on Tuesday at the start of this tough run and Rafa Benitez will need to work his magic in order to keep their top-flight hopes on track.

The Spaniard is arguably one of the best tacticians in the English game and is certainly capable of masterminding a big result.

The injury absence of leading scorer Dwight Gayle is a major blow for the visitors, but they still have enough quality to cause Brighton (4/6 to win) problems. A draw on Tuesday night would keep both teams in charge of their own destiny and can be backed at 43/20.

Meanwhile, the other two games on Tuesday will have a big impact on matters at the bottom end of the table.

Aston Villa eased their relegation fears with a weekend win and now sit eight points outside the bottom three, as they prepare to face fellow strugglers Bristol City.

Despite the Robins impressive 2-2 draw at Newcastle on Saturday, they have only won once away from home this term since the opening day of the season.

Villa (21/20 to collect the three points) look to have stopped the rot and will know that a midweek win will almost certainly secure their place in the Championship for next season.

Finally, second bottom Blackburn are in desperate need of the points against Derby and a win, coupled with a Bristol City defeat at Villa, could see them move out of the relegation zone.

Rovers have lost just one of their last four games in the league and can build on their weekend draw at Burton, against a Derby team that have not won any of their last five league games.

Blackburn are 21/10 to beat the Rams, who now have nothing to play for having slipped well of the play-off place – 10 points behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.


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Warren Ashurst Warren has been a sports journalist for over 25 years, both written and broadcast. Having worked as a radio commentator, he has a wealth of experience of seeing top-level sport first hand and specialises in football, golf and cricket.