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Hull to overcome Owls, Derby can sink Wolves in Championship

Lee Gormley | February 25, 2016

The race for Championship promotion really heats up during the start of this weekend with two local derbies, as current leaders Hull City take on fellow Yorkshire side and sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.

Meanwhile, in a Midlands match-up, Derby County will look to keep their hopes of moving up alive in a clash with Wolves on Saturday lunchtime.

Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday

  • Championship
  • Friday, February 26th
  • Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
  • KC Stadium, Hull
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

Hull hoping to extend lead at summit

All eyes are cast towards the KC Stadium on Friday night, as current Championship leaders Hull look to extend their lead at the summit with victory over Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday, having lost just one of their last four meetings.

Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship - Deepdale

Steve Bruce’s Tigers have clawed themselves a point clear of second-placed Burnley in the standings and possess a game in hand, after tasting defeat in just one of their previous outings.

The hosts are therefore 8/5 with Coral to earn a victory to nil in front of their own supporters, though travelling Owls are 4/1 to secure three points, following a run of just a single loss in nine league clashes, which sees them sit in the final play-off position.

Snodgrass praises Tigers’ work ethic

Hull midfielder Robert Snodgrass hailed his side’s gritty performance last time out which saw them earn a narrow 1-0 over Ipswich Town, and believes they are showing encouraging signs in their bid to return to the Premier League.

“You don’t get (to the top of the table) through luck. You need to earn the right,” he stated.

Ipswich Town v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship - Portman Road

“That means coming to places like Ipswich and rolling your sleeves up and battling.

“You need everyone working hard and putting their bodies on the line. You can go through the whole team and lads sitting in the stands and they’re all working hard in training. We’ve just got to keep going and look forward to Friday night.”

Home frontman Abel Hernandez has been in clinical form of late and is 7/2 to maintain his rampant run by opening proceedings here, while visiting Owls poacher Gary Hooper is 9/4 to strike anytime in this crucial Championship encounter.

Wolves v Derby County

  • Championship
  • Saturday, February 27th
  • Kick-off: 12:30 GMT
  • Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

Wolves and Derby clash in early kick-off

Following Friday night’s match-up, another vital Championship clash in the race for Premier League promotion takes place on Saturday morning, as Derby seek to overcome hosts Wolves for a second time this season.

Burnley v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship - Turf Moor

The Rams currently occupy fifth position, while Wolves sit further down in 15th, and are seeking to add to their 4-2 win in the reverse fixture, having also only lost to their opponents once in five previous clashes since 2012.

Kenny Jackett’s home outfit are 12/5 to spring a surprise at Molineux, while the visiting promotion chasers are 13/2 to triumph with both teams getting on the scoresheet.

Jackett calls for improved Saturday showing

Wolves are without a win in seven matches, a hapless run which has seen them drop way off the pace for a play-off spot, and their boss admitted it’s been hard to take but called an improvement this weekend.

“It’s been a rotten run. It’s hard to take. First and foremost, it hurts,” admitted Jackett.

Huddersfield Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship - John Smith's Stadium

“It’s a tough division. We want to make sure this group are as committed as ever and give them the confidence and backing.

“Every player intends to put on a good performance. But they will need all their character and determination on Saturday.”

Adam Le Fondre could be the man to inspire the hosts to an overturn in form and he is 15/8 to net anytime, while his fellow attacker Joe Mason is 6/1 to bag the game’s last goal. Prolific Derby hitman Chris Martin is 5/1 to open the scoring, with experienced frontman Darren Bent 7/4 to dispatch anytime.

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Coral’s top tip: Back Abel Hernandez to score first for Hull City over Sheffield Wednesday at 7/2.

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