Shan stays in place for Baggies

West Brom have confirmed that Jimmy Shan will remain in place as caretaker head coach for the remainder of their Championship promotion push.

Shan took charge of the Baggies just over a month ago following the sacking of Darren Moore and has guided Albion to four wins out of six after taking the helm.

And his efforts have been rewarded by being handed the reins for the final four games of the Championship season and the play-off matches which are almost certain to follow.

Albion are currently in fourth place in the table and are nine points clear of seventh-placed Middlesbrough with just four games to play.

Technical director Luke Dowling told the club's official website: "Jimmy has fully earned this opportunity to take us through to the end of the campaign.

"He has earned the support and confidence of the players and he has the backing of everyone to push on now and take us forward with momentum.

"Jimmy has impressed everyone with the way he has tackled the challenge. He is confident in his abilities and he has convinced us all that our best prospects for promotion lie with him overseeing the first team."

Next up for the Baggies is a visit from Hull City on Friday, with the hosts priced at 5/6 to win the game and 15/2 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline, with a 1-1 draw available at 6/1.

The meeting of the two sides at the KCOM Stadium earlier this season finished 1-0 to the Tigers, with Fraizer Campbell scoring the only goal of the game.

View all Soccer betting

McClaren axed by ailing R’s

Queens Park Rangers have sacked head coach Steve McClaren after winning just one of their last 15 games in the Championship to tumble down the standings.

The former England boss took charge at Loftus Road in May of last year, agreeing a two-year contract to success Ian Holloway in the R's hotseat.

However, things have not gone as planned for the Londoners, who were in contention for a potential play-off place at the turn of the year.

Since then then have dropped way down to 17th place, although they are eight points clear of the relegation places with seven games left to play this season.

Director of football Les Ferdinand told the club's official website: "Steve has worked incredibly hard during his time with us.

"But, as we start to make plans for next year, we feel this change is necessary now – rather than wait until the end of the season, or risk having to make such a decision early in the new campaign."

Assistant coach John Eustace will take charge of Rangers while the search for a new manager gets under way and his first task will be to get his players ready for a trip to Carrow Road on Saturday to take on current table-toppers Norwich City.

The Canaries are five points clear of the chasing pack, having won their last seven league games.

Earlier this season the meeting of the two sides at Loftus Road ended 1-0 to the visitors, with Teemu Pukki netting the only goal of the games 19 minutes from time.

Norwich are 4/9 to win the game on Saturday and are 13/2 to do so by a 2-0 margin, with City 5/4 to keep a clean sheet.

View all Soccer betting

Farke fires Canaries warning

Head coach Daniel Farke has told his Norwich City team not to take anything for granted as the Championship promotion campaign enters its final crucial few weeks.

The Canaries opened up a four-point gap at the top of the standings by securing a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Rotherham United on Saturday, with City having now reeled off six consecutive league victories.

Their promotion hopes were also helped by closest challengers Leeds United losing 1-0 at home to Sheffield United, who took over in second place above their Yorkshire rivals.

However, Farke was eager to ensure that his players remain fully focused on the task in hands, with the Canaries hoping to return to the Premier League after three seasons in the second tier.

The German told the East Anglian Daily Times: "Of course we know the situation now. Not just to Sheffield United and Leeds United, but to improve the gap to West Brom and Middlesbrough.

"More or less we have a big chance to finish in the top four, but we know we are in the fight for automatic promotion.

"Some tough games still to come. In the Championship the momentum can swing quickly. We know we are in a brilliant position, but we know the hard work is still ahead."

Norwich are currently priced at 1/12 to earn promotion this season, while they are 8/15 to claim the Championship title.

Their next assignment is a tough one, as they head to the Riverside on Saturday 30th March to take on a Middlesbrough side who are battling to secure a top-six finish and a place in the play-offs.

View all Soccer betting

Potter urges Swans to believe

Swansea City boss Graham Potter is hoping his side can spring a major shock in their 'one-off' clash with Manchester City in the sixth round of the FA Cup.

The Swans play host to the reigning Premier League champions at teatime on Saturday, with Potter well aware of the gulf in class which exists between the two teams.

However, he is hoping to see his players rise to the occasion at the Liberty Stadium, with the hosts currently down in 15th place in the Championship standings.

Potter said: "Clearly they are the best team in the UK, they are one of the best teams in the world. So we face a huge challenge, a brilliant challenge for the players, because you get to test yourself against the best.

"In a one-off match anything can happen and we will try to manufacture something from that. We have a chance to get to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is exciting.

"You have to go into the game thinking you can win, otherwise there is no point.

"You respect how good the opposition are and the odds are stacked against us, but it's a one-off game – you have to believe you can win."

Last season the Citizens won 4-0 in the Premier League meeting of the two sides in South Wales, while the encounter at the Etihad Stadium finished 5-0 to the hosts.

The men from Manchester are 1/8 to win the game on Saturday in normal time and are 11/2 to do so by a 3-0 scoreline.

Meanwhile the Citizens can be backed at 4/5 to lift the FA Cup this season and win the trophy for the sixth time in their history.

View all Soccer betting

Adkins praises Bowen’s approach

Hull City manager Nigel Adkins has praised rising star Jarrod Bowen for having the right attitude needed to back up his undoubted talent.

Forward Bowen, who started his career as a youngster with Hereford United, has scored 18 goals for the Tigers this season, helping City recover from a poor start to lie within touching distance of a possible play-off place.

And Adkins is delighted to see Bowen getting the rewards for the hard work and application which his boss sees in training every day.

Adkins told the club's official website: "We have a good culture at the club where everyone works hard and Jarrod works hard – he has got talent and ability.

"Hard work beats talent if talent does not work hard, but he works hard and keeps improving on his game. Jarrod has the right attitude and that is what we want.

"He's backed up what he scored last season and is now close to 20 goals, which means he is a young man who's not just a one-season wonder.

"He said it the other day that he didn't want to be seen that way, so he's backed it up this season with a run of goals."

Next up for the Tigers is a Saturday afternoon trip to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest, who claimed a 2-0 victory at the KCOM Stadium earlier on in the season.

Hull can be backed at 23/10 to win on Saturday, with the draw priced at 9/4, while the home side are 8/1 to edge a 2-1 victory.

View all Soccer betting

Roberts drools over Whites’ win

Tyler Roberts claimed Leeds' promotion bid is back on track after producing one of their best displays of the season in Friday's 4-0 win against West Brom.

Marcelo Bielsa's men put their promotion rivals to the sword at a sold out Elland Road as Pablo Hernandez's 16th-second opener, a brace from Patrick Bamford and a late effort from Ezgjan Alioski fired the Whites back to the top of the table.

However, it was Roberts who picked up the man-of-the-match award after an all-action display, in which he provided two assists against his former club.

Norwich and Sheffield United could go back above them over the weekend, but Roberts is confident that Leeds will be in the automatic promotion places at the end of the season if they can keep producing Friday night's performance.

"I think for this season, the team performance is up there," said Roberts on LUTV.

"After the loss [at QPR] on Tuesday it just showed the character that the team has got, along with the fight that we have.

"Our main objective was to set the pace from the start of the game and it definitely showed, by going up one nil up that early."

Roberts added: "It all came together and it showed with the result, it had a little bit of extra spice being against my own team and to get a good performance against my old team was pleasing to show how much I have come on and how much Leeds have improved me.

"We have a bit of relaxation over the weekend now, hopefully results go our way, but if we keep doing, what we keep doing, it won't matter about other results."

The fight for automatic promotion is now looking like a three-horse race with Leeds 4/11 to be promoted, while Norwich are priced at 3/10 and Sheffield United are 1/2.

View all Soccer betting

Lampard rues loss of King

Derby County will be without loanee Andy King for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury sustained in the 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest.

Thirty-year-old Wales international midfielder King joined the Rams right at the end of the January transfer window and made four appearances before seeing his campaign ended early by an injury which may require surgery.

County manager Frank Lampard told his club's official website: "We don't know the specifics yet, but the injury will take him to the end of the season.

"As we look at it now, we will miss him. He will go back there to work on his rehab and maybe speak to a surgeon on whether he needs surgery or not.

"We are a little up in the air at the moment, but it is a significant enough injury to rule him out.

"It adds to the injury list, particularly in midfield where we had injected a lot this season in terms of energy and quality.

"Some players who were here already that have done well – Tom Lawrence, Craig Bryson – and others who have come in – Mason Mount and Andy."

Having won only one of their last five Championship games, the Rams stand one place and two points outside the play-off places.

Their next games comes on Saturday when they head to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa, who have also suffered a loss of form in recent times – having not won in five league outings.

Derby can be backed at 12/5 to defeat the Villans, with a 1-1 draw priced at 11/2 and a 2-2 final scoreline 12/1.

View all Soccer betting

Bielsa maintains Whites belief

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has urged his side to continue to believe in their attacking qualities, following three losses in their last seven Championship games.

Despite the slight misfire, the Whites can move back to the top of the table with a win at home to West Bromwich Albion on Friday evening, with Bielsa telling his players to stick to the methods which have worked well for much of the campaign to date.

He told reporters at his pre-match briefing: "You can't train efficiency (in front of goal), but you can train the capacity to create chances to score.

"For me the fact that the team always deserves to score has huge value. I am happy when we score goals, because we deserve to score goals.

"And I don't make any conclusion when there is no correlation between the number of chances and the goals, or when it's the opposite."

Bielsa is hoping for a big reaction to the 1-0 reverse at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday evening, when United drew a blank for the first time in nine league games.

Their meeting with the Baggies at The Hawthorns in November of last year ended in a comprehensive 4-1 victory for the hosts, with Pablo Hernandez netting a last-minute consolation for Leeds.

That victory made it four in a row for Albion against the Whites, who are 5/4 to win the game on Friday evening and 8/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Leeds can be backed at 8/15 to secure promotion this season.

View all Soccer betting

Smith welcomes Grealish return

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has hailed Jack Grealish as the 'best player' in the Championship, as the forward prepares to make his return from a shin injury.

The 23-year-old has been sidelined since the 2-2 Championship draw at West Brom in early December, but is set to be in contention to feature against Derby County at Villa Park this weekend.

And, with his side having only won one of their last 11 games in all competitions, Smith is clearly delighted to have a fit-again Grealish back among his options.

He told his club's official website: "It gives everybody a boost. Results-wise, we've not been as good without him.

"I believe Jack is the best player in the league and any team that loses that kind of quality would suffer. We've suffered a bit, so we're looking forward to having him back.

"He's trained well and has worked really hard to get himself into contention. He's pushing for a starting spot on Saturday."

Grealish was involved earlier this season when Villa claimed a 3-0 victory at Derby, with John McGinn, Tammy Abraham and Conor Hourihane their goalscorers.

On-loan Chelsea striker Abraham has scored 20 goals in the Championship so far this season, but has only found the net once in his last five games.

He can be backed at 1/1 to score at any time against Derby on Saturday afternoon, with Villa 11/10 to win the game and 15/2 to do so by a 2-1 final scoreline.

View all Soccer betting

Lampard rebuffs curse talk

Frank Lampard has dismissed talk of February being a curse for Derby County as he looks for his side to jump back into the play-off places.

The Rams boss has been frustrated of late as a run of one win in four matches so far this month has resulted in them dropping into seventh place below an in-form Bristol City outfit.

The poor results are a stark reminder of last season when an eight-match winless run, which started in February, almost cost Derby a top-six finish and in 2017 a run of seven games without a win resulted in them sliding down to 11th place at the end of the season.

Lampard was not at the helm then and he is confident that the current crop of players will return to winning ways soon, starting with Wednesday's visit of struggling Millwall to Pride Park.

Lampard, who is set to be without Mason Mount and Tom Lawrence for the game against the Lions, said: "I don't like the talk, I don't like the idea of any month being a curse.

"The more you look at it the more you give yourself a feeling it'll happen again. I don't entertain it.

"I entertain we have 15 games left, whatever month or day it is, and we have to tackle them head on and have a positive mindset.

"I have no thoughts or opinion on months or whatever, I'll banish talk of that for now."

Lampard is looking forward to facing Millwall as he looks for his players to bounce back from Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup fifth-round defeat at Brighton.

He added: "The clarity is good, we didn't want to get knocked out but we have to accept it. We can focus on the job in hand.

"We're out of the play-off spots but to a degree it's in our hands because it's about how we tackle these 15 games."

Derby, who are 11/2 to be promoted this season, are 21/20 to beat Millwall and jump back into the play-off places, while the visitors are 3/1 to come out on top and the draw is 5/2.

View all Soccer betting