David Prutton's EFL predictions: Brighton to clinch Championship title

David Prutton

As we enter the business end of a scintillating EFL season, David Prutton offers his Championship, League One and League Two predictions.

Another action-packed weekend of EFL action gets underway at Carrow Road, where Brighton can clinch the Championship title with victory over Norwich, live on Sky Sports.

The race for the play-offs then takes centre-stage, with Leeds, Huddersfield, Fulham, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday all in action on Saturday, before focus switches to Villa Park on Sunday for the Second City derby - Aston Villa v Birmingham.

Newcastle then have the chance, results permitting, to follow in Brighton's footsteps by sealing promotion to the Premier League with victory over Preston, while the race for promotion for Leagues One and Two continues to enthral.

It promises to be an intriguing weekend in the EFL, here's who EFL expert Prutton is predicting to win...

Norwich v Brighton - Championship, Friday, 7.45pm, Sky Sports 1 HD

Live EFL

This is a great game for Brighton after the Easter weekend ended in such fantastic fashion, with the Seagulls sealing promotion. Norwich, meanwhile, are a mixed bag and the last few weeks has come to typify their campaign - one week they're great the next they're not so great. Understandably, all eyes will be on Brighton and whether they can clinch the title with a victory. Having coped with the pressure at the weekend, I fancy them to get the job done at Carrow Road.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 1-2, Glenn Murray first scorer (35/1 with Sky Bet)

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Wigan Athletic

Brentford v QPR, Championship, Saturday, 3pm

Similarly, QPR have been up and down this season, pulling impressive runs together in patches without the consistency needed to challenge further up the division. They are good enough to give anyone a game though.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and Brentford

Brentford have been fantastic recently and while I see this game being tight I've got to go for the hosts.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 2-1, Romaine Sawyers first scorer (35/1 with Sky Bet)

Burton v Leeds, Championship, Saturday, 3pm

Leeds' falling out of the play-offs just goes to show how quickly things can change in this crazy division.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers

Burton will give Leeds a real, good test but things are straight forward for Garry Monk's men - they have to all of their remaining games, it's as simple as that! And I think Monk will get a good reaction from his players when he needs it most.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 0-1, Chris Wood first scorer (17/1 with Sky Bet)

Huddersfield v Fulham, Championship, Saturday, 3pm

This is a huge game in the race for the play-offs, especially after Huddersfield's disappointment at Derby. They were controlling the game at Pride Park before they surrendered all three points.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Aston Villa

From what we saw at Fulham at Aston Villa, Chris Martin's absence didn't seem to affect them and they were superb. With that in mind, I see Fulham earning a point against a Huddersfield side suffering from inconsistency.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 1-1, Sone Aluko first scorer (35/1 with Sky Bet)

Nottingham Forest v Reading, Championship, Saturday, 3pm

Forest are a lot closer to the bottom than we thought they would be at this stage of the season, especially following Mark Warburton's appointment.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Rotherham United

Reading reacted really well to getting thumped at Norwich, shooting up into third with victory over Villa and Rotherham. But as we saw when Huddersfield were dismantled, the City Ground is a tough place to go and Forest are capable of springing a surprise.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 1-1, Yann Kermorgant first scorer (25/1 with Sky Bet)

Sheffield Wednesday v Derby, Championship, Saturday, 3pm

A few weeks ago and I'd have tipped this to be a draw but this looks like a Wednesday win now. They were good value against QPR whereas Derby, despite having a fair bit of the ball against Huddersfield, a massive deflection helped them get a point.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday

With Gary Rowett looking towards next season, this game players the chance to audition for their part in his team going forward. But Wednesday have got more to play for at this moment in time.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 2-0, Fernando Forestieri first scorer (22/1 with Sky Bet)

Aston Villa v Birmingham, Championship, Sunday, 12pm

Birmingham have pulled off quite a coup bringing in Harry Redknapp so late into the season. The appointment of Gianfranco Zola has obviously been a disaster and he's fallen on his sword, which I found strange considering there's just a few games left.

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Harry Redknapp thinks keeping Birmingham in the Championship is going to be a harder challenge than he first expected

Redknapp and Steve Cotterill will be barking instructions the Birmingham players and that will have an influence. Steve Bruce's thoughts will be on next season but he will know how important the derby is. With the way the teams are set up at this moment I see things ending level, with Redknapp getting a reaction out of the Blues.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 2-2, Scott Hogan first scorer (70/1 with Sky Bet)

Newcastle v Preston - Championship, Monday, 7.45pm, Sky Sports 1 HD

Huddersfield's lapse at Derby has given Newcastle some breathing space but I see it giving them a kick up the backside to finish the job off.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Norwich City

Preston may have lost to Norwich but they've impressed this season and it'll be interesting to see whether they add to their squad next year and try to push for the play-offs. Having said that though, I see Newcastle pulling their fingers out and potentially securing promotion.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 2-1, Matt Ritchie first scorer (25/1 with Sky Bet)

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Port Vale v Bolton - League One, Saturday, 3pm

Bolton have had some funny results - losing to Scunthorpe and Oldham and drawing with Bury - but with Fleetwood right on their coattails they've got to get back to winning ways.

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Highlights of Bolton's 0-0 draw against Swindon in Sky Bet League One

Automatic promotion should have been done and dusted but things are still in their hands, they just need to get over the line, which I expect they will.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 0-1, Gary Madine first scorer (20/1 with Sky Bet)

Stevenage v Mansfield - League Two, Saturday, 3pm

Stevenage are well and truly in the play-off picture and looking to consolidate their position.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League Two match between Carlisle United and Stevenage

Mansfield have an outside chance to creeping into the mix despite currently being in 12th, with victory enough to see them to within a point of Boro. The emphasis is on Stevenage and I see them strengthening their grip of a top-six position.

PRUTTON PREDICTS: 2-0, Steven Schumacher first scorer (100/1 with Sky Bet)

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