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    Joe Jones
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    Twitter: twitter JoeJones1862

    Championship Preview Part 2: Who will win Second City Derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City?

    Part 2 of the Football Manics Championship gameweek 31 looks at six fixtures including the Second City Derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City.

    Nottingham Forest vs. Hull City

    Forest's form continues to be shaky, the win over Wolves undone by losses to Preston and Fulham, and at the City Ground, they are on the verge of a fifth consecutive defeat.

    Not that Hull are much better, mind -  winless in their last nine league games and a yield of just 11 from a possible 99 points in their last 33 away league games.

    These two met just two weeks ago in the FA Cup, the Tigers winning on that day, but this time round I see the points being shared.

    Score prediction: 1-1

    Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Queens Park Rangers

    Wolves have got back to winning ways following their blip and go into this game on the back of two wins in a row, while their clean sheet tally continues to increase - 17 so far this season.

    The Hoops are experiencing an upturn in form of their own, however, having won three of their last five league games, as many as they'd won in their previous 19 combined.

    Given Wolves have been prone to the odd shock result here and there, it's plausible for QPR to get something from this game, but I think the earlier blip has galvanised the league leaders and they'll win this.

    Score prediction: 2-0

    Middlesbrough vs. Reading

    Boro's promotion hopes continue to slip away, going into this game ninth in the table and six points adrift of the top six, while their form continues to be wavy, with three defeats from their last six, but on the plus side, Rudy Gestede is able to play after a three-game ban for his red card against Norwich was overturned by the FA.

    Reading aren't in much better shape, mind, also boasting just one win from their last 10, and they have already lost one more league match this season (14) than they did in the entirety of Jaap Stam's first season in charge last year (13).

    An interesting match-up here at the Riverside Stadium, but I think Tony Pulis's side will be better drilled than the Royals and so I tip them to win.

    Score prediction: 3-1

    Bristol City vs. Sunderland

    The Robins remain in playoff contention but they're hanging into the top six by a thread, given their poor run of form that has seen them lose four and win just one of their last six games.

    And then there's Sunderland, who appear in real risk of suffering back to back relegations, because despite getting the odd win here and there, they're still losing too many games, and go to Ashton Gate having lost four of their last five.

    I think it'll be too big an ask for a Black Cats side totally drained of confidence, especially given how poor they were against Birmingham and Ipswich, so for me it's a home win.

    Score prediction: 2-0

    Ipswich Town vs. Burton Albion

    Ipswich sit 12th in the table and their form is bang average too, boasting two wins, three defeats and a draw from their last six, in addition to missing several important players like Tristan Nydam, Dean Gerken and possibly David McGoldrick.

    Burton aren't in good nick at all, however, with their one step forward (the win at Sheffield Wednesday) followed up by four steps backward (losing their last four league games, shipping three in all of those except for at Fulham, where they conceded six).

    Put simply, the Brewers are unlikely to survive in the Championship this season and I can see Ipswich getting a routine win at Portman Road.

    Score prediction: 3-1

    Aston Villa vs. Birmingham City

    The best until last, the Second City derby. And with both sides in great form, this looks like it could be a corker.

    Villa are looking for their seventh successive Championship win and look poised to enter the automatic promotion slots as the season enters its final third.

    In addition, Villa are unbeaten in their last 11 league derbies against Birmingham, who in turn have not scored in any of their past four trips to Villa Park in all competitions.

    However, the Blues have pulled themselves clear of the bottom three in recent weeks thanks to four wins from their last six, and with derby games we know the book goes out of the window.

    With the game being played at Villa Park, however, I still think the hosts will have more than enough to win and claim bragging rights.

    Score prediction: 2-1

    To check out part 1 of our Championship gameweek 31 preview, click here.

    Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.

     




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