Ollie's predictions: Bolton to beat 'nervous' Leeds; wins for Burnley, QPR
Last Updated: 05/03/16 3:06pm
Ian Holloway predicts the big games in the Football League and sees more misery for Leeds United at home to Bolton Wanderers.
Burnley v Blackburn, Saturday 12pm, Sky Sports 1
Form goes straight out of the window in these type of derby games. These two hate each other! I was on duty for the last meeting between them, which Burnley won 1-0, but it was a close game and Tom Lawrence missed a very good chance for Blackburn. This will be another tight match with goals and incidents aplenty.
I'm just siding with Burnley, who are unbeaten in 11 matches. When Sean Dyche's men get on a roll they are hard to stop. They did it two years ago and they're repeating the feat. It will be an Andre Gray day for Blackburn - he'll get the winner.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 8/1)
Leeds v Bolton, Saturday 3pm
I fancy Bolton to get their first away win of the season.
I was alarmed at the Leeds performance at Brighton, where they lost 4-0. They capitulated. On the night there was a huge difference between the standard of each set of players. Leeds didn't close down, they didn't press, they didn't get around people. Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt had a go - they showed the passion required for a Leeds United player but the others weren't at the races. They looked like they didn't have the fight required - that's unusual for a Steve Evans team. That's the first rule he sets out for his teams.
The two centre-backs looked isolated and the full-backs weren't quick enough on the cover. There are problems for Leeds at the back and they're not very lethal up front.
It was strange that Massimo Cellino didn't allow Evans to talk to the press after the match. Why draw extra attention to yourselves? Anybody would be disappointed with that performance, but we all have bad days at the office - people have got to deal with it and not get too emotional.
That's the problem you get when it's been so unstable at the top - it's very difficult to deal with any failure.
Elland Road is a tough place to play for the home players when the fans aren't happy. Leeds have only won one of their last 11 games. It will be a nervous game, played in a nervous atmosphere as the home fans will be expecting to turn Bolton over. They went through a spell of not winning at home earlier this season and it's funny how that can come back to haunt you.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 0-2 (Sky Bet odds 17/2)
Preston v Brighton, Saturday 3pm
Brighton are back. I watched them against Leeds on Monday and although the opposition were terrible, Brighton cantered to victory - they were awesome.
This will be a huge test travelling to Deepdale. Simon Grayson's men have been on a fantastic run and have scored in their last 10 home matches. However, Brighton rarely lose games away from home and can shut them out. Tomer Hemed is back in the goals, looking confident again. His audacious penalty against Leeds showed that. He's good for the winning goal.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 0-1 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Sheffield Wednesday v Rotherham, Saturday 3pm
Hillsborough is a real fortress. Only one team have gone there and won this season - even Arsenal got hammered there in the Capital One Cup. Wednesday have not won in the last three games, which has probably scuppered their automatic promotion hopes, but the play-offs remain on their radar. But they've got to keep winning. Rotherham will be scrapping for their lives for Neil Warnock but Wednesday's class should shine through.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 8/1)
MK Dons v QPR, Saturday 3pm
I was impressed with QPR's win over Birmingham, who are a tricky team to tame on the road. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is really starting to stamp his ideas on the team now - the longer he's there, the better QPR will get. He gives them the stability they need. It's a really good fit.
QPR will expose the weakness at the heart of the MK Dons defence. It's been a tough season for Karl Robinson's men and they are a little bit too close to the drop zone for his liking now. They need to win this game, but I can't see it.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 0-2 (Sky Bet odds 7/1)
Walsall v Barnsley, League 1, Saturday 3pm
Having watched Walsall a few times this season, I just can't go against them despite Barnsley being on a scintillating run. Wigan are starting to creep away from Sean O'Driscoll's men at the top and this looks a game they must bounce back in.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)
Plymouth v Oxford United, League 2, Saturday 3pm
I wouldn't mind heading down to Home Park for this one. Two teams that like to play the right way. It should be a brilliant game between two clubs that look set for promotion. The Green Army will be bouncing for this one - that should make the difference.
Earlier this weekend...
Birmingham v Hull City, Thursday
This is a really tough fixture for Hull, but they'll show their real credentials and put pressure on their promotion rivals with a win. Birmingham are a team that look happier away from home due to their counter-attacking style.
Although Hull drew 0-0 last weekend, that's not a bad result against a good Sheffield Wednesday side.
Steve Bruce's men have the best defensive away record in the division and Birmingham are struggling to score goals at the minute. The Tigers have won seven of their eight wins away without conceding - I can see that happening again.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 0-1
Middlesbrough v Wolves, Friday
Aitor Karanka is starting to feel the pressure at Middlesbrough because everyone wants promotion so badly. I think he'll cope with it as he's a great manager. They are a great club and they'll get back to the Premier League one day. Will it happen this season? It's games like this one that it will be won and lost on.
There's no God-given right to win promotion, especially this season when you're up against teams like Burnley and Hull, who have stabilised after relegation from the Premier League.
The home fans have a vital role to play. If I was a Middlesbrough supporter, I'd be delighted with the progress the club is making. They need to get behind their team. Patience is needed. Stick with your team. They need you. If you look at the home fans at Leicester and West Ham in midweek - they almost sucked the ball into the net. Middlesbrough need to make the Riverside a terrifying place for opposition players to play.
Wolves bagged a much-needed result at home to Derby last weekend. However, you never know which Wolves side will turn up. Home win.
OLLIE PREDICTS: 2-0