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Prutton’s EFL predictions

David Prutton

Football Expert & Columnist

Last Updated: 16/01/20 8:39pm

Who is David Prutton tipping for victory in the Sky Bet EFL this weekend? Find out here...

Fulham vs Middlesbrough, Friday 7.45pm - Live on Sky Sports Football

The door is starting to open for Fulham. West Brom and Leeds are dropping points and now they need to go on a run to really put that pressure on.

This would have been a much easier-looking game a couple of months ago, but Middlesbrough have improved magnificently under Jonathan Woodgate. They will fancy their chances, but I fancy Fulham to sneak it.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Fulham vs M'boro

January 17, 2020, 7:00pm

Live on

QPR vs Leeds, Saturday 12.30pm - Live on Sky Sports Football

It's safe to say QPR were blown away by Brentford last Saturday. It will happen to a few teams for the rest of the season, but it will hurt that much more because it was their fierce rivals inflicting it.

Leeds have stuttered of late and their fans will be starting to worry that they could repeat the slump that saw them falter last season. Draw here for me.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (13/2 with Sky Bet)

QPR vs Leeds

January 18, 2020, 12:00pm

Live on

Huddersfield vs Brentford, Saturday 3pm

Three defeats in four for Huddersfield, all to teams near them in the table, will be of real concern to Danny Cowley. They were so poor at Barnsley last Saturday.

Brentford, meanwhile, were brilliant against QPR. This is the kind of game they simply have to win if they are to catch the top two, but I feel like they might slip up.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)

Millwall vs Reading, Saturday 3pm

Millwall are edging closer to the play-offs and look like they could be real contenders for a top-six spot.

Reading gained a draw in a remarkable game at Nottingham Forest last Saturday. It ended their winning run but it was still a good point for Mark Bowen's side in the circumstances. I think their streak might end on Saturday.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)

Nottingham Forest vs Luton, Sunday 12pm - Live on Sky Sports Football

Nottingham Forest are back in decent nick, but will be gutted they couldn't hold on to victory against Reading last week after scoring themselves so late. Those could be a huge two points come the end of the season.

Luton are struggling. Most clubs in their position would have rolled the dice by now, but they have faith that Graeme Jones is still the right man for them. I don't see them getting anything on Sunday, though.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

N Forest vs Luton

January 19, 2020, 11:30am

Live on

West Brom vs Stoke, Monday 8pm - Live on Sky Sports Football

West Brom will have to sit and watch all their promotion rivals all weekend before playing on Monday night, and that in itself could add a little pressure if that gap squeezes up again. They are without a win in five now.

Stoke are still in the thick of a relegation battle, but at least they are picking up points more consistently under Michael O'Neill. But I doubt they have enough to trouble the Baggies.

Prutton predicts: 3-1 (14/1 with Sky Bet)

W Brom vs Stoke

January 20, 2020, 7:30pm

Live on

Bolton vs Portsmouth, Saturday 3pm

Bolton have dropped off again since Boxing Day, and have lost their last three on the spin - conceding 11 goals in the process. They are playing for pride now this season, and to try and build towards their next campaign in League Two.

Portsmouth are right up in the promotion mix now. A win on Saturday could well see them move into the top six, and the top two are in sight as well. They should claim all three points here.

Prutton predicts: 0-2 (13/2 with Sky Bet)

Grimsby vs Exeter, Saturday 3pm

It's great to see my old friend Ian Holloway back in management! You can already see the passion he has for the job at Grimsby, and his first few results haven't been too bad either.

Exeter are right up there pushing for automatic promotion. Both they and Swindon are starting to pull away from the rest, but that can quickly change. I don't think it will change on Saturday, however. Away win.

Prutton predicts: 1-3 (20/1 with Sky Bet)

Other Championship predictions (All Saturday 3pm kick-offs)

Birmingham vs Cardiff: 0-1 (9/1)

Bristol City vs Barnsley: 2-0 (11/1)

Derby vs Hull: 1-1 (5/1)

Preston vs Charlton: 1-0 (6/1)

Sheffield Wednesday vs Blackburn: 2-0 (7/1)

Swansea vs Wigan: 2-0 (17/2)

New Year, same Super 6!

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11908514/david-pruttons-sky-bet-efl-predictions

Derby County: Championship club charged for breach of spending rules

Derby sold Pride Park to owner Mel Morris and then leased the stadium back

Derby County have been charged by the English Football League for a breach of spending rules and now face a possible points deduction.

The charge relates to losses in the three years up to June 2018, despite the club posting a pre-tax profit of £14.6m in 2017-18 after Pride Park was sold to owner Mel Morris for £80m.

Spending rules allow Championship clubs to lose £39m over a three-year period.

Derby have now been referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission.

It will hear from both the Rams and the EFL, although a date has not been announced.

Derby believe they kept the EFL in the loop with all issues regarding their stadium sale, which the EFL signed off, so are unsure what the issue is.

In March 2019, Birmingham City were deducted nine points by the EFL for a similar charge of breaching profitability and sustainability rules.

The Rams are 17th in the Championship and 10 points above the relegation zone.

Between 1 July, 2017 and 30 June, 2018, Derby recorded a pre-tax profit for the first time in 10 years and in the three years under review by the EFL, the club saw combined pre-tax losses of just over £8m.

While that appears well below the £39m of allowable losses set out in league rules, the sale of their Pride Park home has come under scrutiny.

The Rams have leased back the ground, which was said to have been independently valued at £80m despite it being on the club's books as an asset worth £41m, from a company owned by Morris.

Just months after the stadium arrangement was announced in April, the club signed England all-time record goal scorer Wayne Rooney on a player-coach deal.

The deal for the former Manchester United and Everton forward came after the club made Poland midfielder Krystian Bielik their record signing, bringing him in on a five-year deal from Arsenal in August.

By selling the ground to Morris, the Rams set a trend which has been followed by Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Reading and Birmingham City.

Wednesday were charged with misconduct in December for the sale of Hillsborough, which helped them record a profit of £2.5m in 2017-18.

Analysis

BBC Sports news reporter Laura Scott

The fact it has taken since the summer of 2018 - when Derby made the relevant profit and sustainability submissions - for the EFL to bring these charges shows this case is far from straightforward.

It was telling that Derby acknowledged in their latest accounts that sticking to these rules was a "significant challenge" but they issued a statement last year that indicated they were confident they were within the £39m loss limit.

This will be a huge blow for the club, which has faced criticism over its lucrative deal with bookmaker 32Red to bring Wayne Rooney to the club and then paid players late earlier this month.

Not only could this case result in points deductions but it may harm Mel Morris' ability to secure fresh investment.

This is the latest example of financial turmoil in the EFL, and is the third case of a club being charged with breaking profit and sustainability rules, which were introduced in 2016.

Sheffield Wednesday are still awaiting their disciplinary panel for alleged breaches.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51142719

Derby hit with EFL charge over finances

Derby will fight charge and are adamant they have done nothing wrong

Last Updated: 16/01/20 7:39pm

Derby have been charged by the EFL

Derby have been charged by the EFL

Derby have been charged by the EFL for breaching Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Following a review of the Sky Bet Championship club's profitability and sustainability submissions, league chiefs ruled the Rams were in breach of regulations for the three-year period ending June 30, 2018.

An EFL statement said: "Following a review of Derby County's Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) submissions, the EFL has charged the club for recording losses in excess of the permitted amounts provided for in EFL regulations for the three-year period ending 30 June 2018.

"The club will now be referred to an independent disciplinary commission, which will hear representations from both the EFL and Derby County.

"As these matters are now subject to proceedings, the EFL will be making no further comment at this time."

2:11 Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Derby

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Derby

The charge imposed by the EFL on Derby relates to the purchase of the club's Pride Park Stadium by one of owner Mel Morris' other companies before it was leased back to the football club.

The dispute between Derby and the EFL is based on the value placed on Pride Park. Derby's independent property consultant valued the stadium at £80m, which was the purchase price they used, this allowed Derby to post profits last year of almost £15m

An independent property consultant later employed by the EFL valued the stadium much lower than that £80m figure.

Derby are determined to fight the charge and are adamant they have done nothing wrong.

EFL spending regulations allow Championship clubs to lose £39m over a three-year period.

Derby reported combined pre-tax losses of just over £8m for the period in question, having posted a profit of £14.6m in their latest accounts. Those figures, however, were boosted by the £80m sale of their stadium.

It was a deal which attracted criticism from fellow Championship clubs and is now coming under increased scrutiny.

Last March, Birmingham were deducted nine points by the EFL after a similar charge of breaching profitability and sustainability rules was proven against them.

New Year, same Super 6!

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for the sixth time this season.


This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11910172/derby-charged-by-efl-for-breaching-profitability-and-sustainability-rules

Live on Sky: Fulham vs Middlesbrough

Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm on Friday; kick-off is at 7.45pm

Last Updated: 16/01/20 8:45pm

Fulham face Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday night, live on Sky Sports Football.

Team news

Fulham will be without striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Their leading goalscorer sustained ankle ligament damage in last Saturday's 1-0 win at Hull, and now faces up to three weeks on the sidelines.

Defender Steven Sessegnon remains doubtful with a groin problem he picked up at the end of last month, while midfielder Harrison Reed (calf) will also be assessed. Manager Scott Parker has added goalkeeper Jordan Archer to his roster, with the Scotland international likely to be pushing for a place on the bench as cover for Marek Rodak.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is absent for Fulham

Aleksandar Mitrovic is absent for Fulham

Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate goes into the game without a number of key players through injury. Woodgate confirmed this week that striker Britt Assombalonga suffered a setback in training in his bid to return from an ankle issue that has kept him out since early December.

Woodgate has also revealed defender Daniel Ayala will miss another four weeks with an ankle problem sustained in the New Year's Day win at Preston. Boro are also without three other defenders in Ryan Shotton, Anfernee Dijksteel (both knee) and George Friend (ankle).

Recent form

Fulham have won two of their three games in 2020. They were beaten at home by Reading on New Year's Day in the Championship, but bounced back to beat Aston Villa at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup, then won at Hull last Saturday.

Fulham vs M'boro

January 17, 2020, 7:00pm

Live on

Middlesbrough won at Preston on New Year's Day, then drew at home to Derby last Saturday. Either side of their Championship clash against the Rams they held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw in their FA Cup third-round tie, before losing the replay at the Premier League ground 2-1 on Tuesday night.

What the managers said...

Fulham's Scott Parker: "They grew into the game and gave themselves a fighting chance against a very good side in Spurs.

"They're coming off a very good run, I think they're unbeaten in four or five in the division. Middlesbrough have some athletes in their team, so we'll need to be aware of that. It'll be another tough game for us."

Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate: "It was imperative we started winning games and we did that. It takes time. We weren't far away from getting results, and there were times when we didn't get what we deserved.

"Training hasn't changed at all. Our intensity hasn't changed. Nor has our belief in how we want to do things or how we want to play the game. But we've still got to improve and we can't get complacent. Because if you do you know what happens, and hopefully that won't happen with my team."

Talking point: How Woodgate's plan started coming together

Jonathan Woodgate spoke to Sky Sports about how his plan for Middlesbrough is starting to come to fruition. Read the full interview below.

How Woodgate's plan started coming together

Jonathan Woodgate discusses Middlesbrough's upturn in form, young goalkeeper Aynsley Pears and facing Tottenham and Jose Mourinho.

Latest highlights

1:43 Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull and Fulham

Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull and Fulham

2:11 Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Derby

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Derby

Opta stats

Fulham are winless in their last two home league games against Middlesbrough (D1 L1) since winning 4-3 in April 2015.

Middlesbrough have won none of their last four matches against Fulham in all competitions (D2 L2) since a 2-0 victory in the Championship back in February 2016.

Fulham haven't lost consecutive home Championship games since October 2016.

Win prizes with the new Sky Bet EFL rewards app!

EFL title-sponsors Sky Bet are giving fans a chance to win match tickets, money-can't-buy-experiences and signed goodies - just for supporting their club!

Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher has scored in each of his last two away league games - he had scored only once in his previous 10 away games this season.

Since his debut in February 2018, Fulham's injured striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 35 per cent of the Cottagers' goals in all competitions (41 of 116).

Since losing 4-0 at Leeds in November, Middlesbrough have taken more points than any other Championship side (W5 D2 L1 - 17 points).

Prutton's prediction

The door is starting to open for Fulham. West Brom and Leeds are dropping points and now they need to go on a run to really put that pressure on.

This would have been a much easier-looking game a couple of months ago, but Middlesbrough have improved magnificently under Jonathan Woodgate. They will fancy their chances, but I fancy Fulham to sneak it.

David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

New Year, same Super 6!

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for the sixth time this season.


This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/fulham-vs-mboro/preview/409675

Live on Sky: Fulham vs Middlesbrough

Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm on Friday; kick-off is at 7.45pm

Last Updated: 16/01/20 8:45pm

Fulham face Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday night, live on Sky Sports Football.

Team news

Fulham will be without striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Their leading goalscorer sustained ankle ligament damage in last Saturday's 1-0 win at Hull, and now faces up to three weeks on the sidelines.

Defender Steven Sessegnon remains doubtful with a groin problem he picked up at the end of last month, while midfielder Harrison Reed (calf) will also be assessed. Manager Scott Parker has added goalkeeper Jordan Archer to his roster, with the Scotland international likely to be pushing for a place on the bench as cover for Marek Rodak.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is absent for Fulham

Aleksandar Mitrovic is absent for Fulham

Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate goes into the game without a number of key players through injury. Woodgate confirmed this week that striker Britt Assombalonga suffered a setback in training in his bid to return from an ankle issue that has kept him out since early December.

Woodgate has also revealed defender Daniel Ayala will miss another four weeks with an ankle problem sustained in the New Year's Day win at Preston. Boro are also without three other defenders in Ryan Shotton, Anfernee Dijksteel (both knee) and George Friend (ankle).

Recent form

Fulham have won two of their three games in 2020. They were beaten at home by Reading on New Year's Day in the Championship, but bounced back to beat Aston Villa at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup, then won at Hull last Saturday.

Fulham vs M'boro

January 17, 2020, 7:00pm

Live on

Middlesbrough won at Preston on New Year's Day, then drew at home to Derby last Saturday. Either side of their Championship clash against the Rams they held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw in their FA Cup third-round tie, before losing the replay at the Premier League ground 2-1 on Tuesday night.

What the managers said...

Fulham's Scott Parker: "They grew into the game and gave themselves a fighting chance against a very good side in Spurs.

"They're coming off a very good run, I think they're unbeaten in four or five in the division. Middlesbrough have some athletes in their team, so we'll need to be aware of that. It'll be another tough game for us."

Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate: "It was imperative we started winning games and we did that. It takes time. We weren't far away from getting results, and there were times when we didn't get what we deserved.

"Training hasn't changed at all. Our intensity hasn't changed. Nor has our belief in how we want to do things or how we want to play the game. But we've still got to improve and we can't get complacent. Because if you do you know what happens, and hopefully that won't happen with my team."

Talking point: How Woodgate's plan started coming together

Jonathan Woodgate spoke to Sky Sports about how his plan for Middlesbrough is starting to come to fruition. Read the full interview below.

How Woodgate's plan started coming together

Jonathan Woodgate discusses Middlesbrough's upturn in form, young goalkeeper Aynsley Pears and facing Tottenham and Jose Mourinho.

Latest highlights

1:43 Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull and Fulham

Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull and Fulham

2:11 Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Derby

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Derby

Opta stats

Fulham are winless in their last two home league games against Middlesbrough (D1 L1) since winning 4-3 in April 2015.

Middlesbrough have won none of their last four matches against Fulham in all competitions (D2 L2) since a 2-0 victory in the Championship back in February 2016.

Fulham haven't lost consecutive home Championship games since October 2016.

Win prizes with the new Sky Bet EFL rewards app!

EFL title-sponsors Sky Bet are giving fans a chance to win match tickets, money-can't-buy-experiences and signed goodies - just for supporting their club!

Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher has scored in each of his last two away league games - he had scored only once in his previous 10 away games this season.

Since his debut in February 2018, Fulham's injured striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 35 per cent of the Cottagers' goals in all competitions (41 of 116).

Since losing 4-0 at Leeds in November, Middlesbrough have taken more points than any other Championship side (W5 D2 L1 - 17 points).

Prutton's prediction

The door is starting to open for Fulham. West Brom and Leeds are dropping points and now they need to go on a run to really put that pressure on.

This would have been a much easier-looking game a couple of months ago, but Middlesbrough have improved magnificently under Jonathan Woodgate. They will fancy their chances, but I fancy Fulham to sneak it.

David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

New Year, same Super 6!

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for the sixth time this season.


This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/fulham-vs-mboro/preview/409675