In a shortened Saturday fixture list due to Championship sides’ involvement in the FA Cup fifth round, Southampton returned to the top, Reading moved up to third and Forest finally hit form. Here, TheHardTackle picks a Team of the Week for Round 32 of the NPower Championship. ————— . GK ai??i?? Adam Federici (Reading) Once again, Reading keeper Adam Federici was at his best as The Royals triumphed 1-0 over Burnley. The Australian stopper superbly marshalled his defence to a fourth successive clean sheet. Federici was mostly tested from range as Burnley struggled to make clear cut chances, but when Claretsai??i?? striker Charlie Austin did break clear in the box, Federici brilliantly snuffed out the danger to save with his right foot. RB ai??i?? Kieran Trippier (Burnley) Despite ending up on the losing side at Reading, Burnley right-back Kieran Tripper produced a fine performance. The full-back, who made his move from Manchester City permanent during the January transfer window, came […]

With NPower Championship sides still involved in the FA Cup and things hotting up in the league, there promises to be plenty of excitement over the next week. Here, TheHardTackleAi??takes a look at 10 things you should be looking out for:- ———– 1. Portsmouth set for administration Once again, Portsmouth football club are in the midst of financial problems. After being issued with a winding-up petition by the HM Revenue and Customs on 3rd January, Pompeyai??i??s bank accounts have been frozen until they are due at the Royal Courts of Justice on February 20th. With no access to the bank accounts, the club is financially crippled and have recently been unable to pay players and staff their wages. On Monday, Portsmouth Chief Executive David Lampitt confirmed that the South Coast club have ai???made an application for an administration orderai???, a decision which would allow access to the bank accounts again. (Portsmouth became the second British club that day to seek […]

The cold snap continued to play havoc with the weekend NPower Championship fixtures as three games were postponed and one was abandoned 37 minutes in. But, with a full fixture list on Tuesday evening, there was plenty of action to enjoy. Here, TheHardTackle assess the goings on and picks a Team of the Week for Round 30 and 31. ————— . GK ai??i?? Adam Federici (Reading) Reading picked up 6 points from two games in four days, thanks to no small part played by goalkeeper Adam Federici. In the 2-0 home game against Coventry City on Saturday, the Australian stopper made no fewer than three fantastic saves, most notably when he dived the wrong way but managed to stick out his left arm to brilliantly divert Sky Bluesai??i?? striker Alex Nimelyai??i??s shot over the bar. On Tuesday evening, Federici kept another clean sheet as the Royals bagged an impressive 1-0 away win at Derby County to consolidate their place in […]

It is a busy week ahead in the second tier of English football, with plenty of games to look forward to. Here, TheHardTackleAi??takes a look at 10 things to look out for in the next 7 days of NPower Championship action: ———– 1. 24 games over four days With almost two-thirds of the season gone, we are starting to reach the business end of the campaign. From now on in, the fixtures will come thick and fast with teams desperately fighting to avoid relegation or keep alive their dreams of promotion to the Premier League. This week sees a taste of what is in store as Saturdayai??i??s round of fixtures is quickly followed by a midweek set on Tuesday. With 24 games in four days, there promises to be lots of entertainment, goals and talking points. With six points on offer for all sides and the table extremely close, there could be a completely different complexion on the Championship table […]

With most of the country covered in snow, two games were postponed this weekend, but there was still enough NPower Championship action to enjoy. Here, TheHardTackle assess the weekend’s goings on and picks a Team of Round 29. ————— GK ai??i?? Jason Steele (Middlesbrough) Middlesbrough keeper Jason Steele produced some fine saves as Boro drew 0-0 at home to Crystal Palace. In snowy conditions, Steele saved well from Jermaine Easter, before tipping a Chris Martin shot around the post. The second half saw the keeper deny the Palace front two again, whilst he also pulled off a splendid stop to deny Wilfried Zaha. Both teams have failed to win in the league this year, with Boro dropping to sixth, whilst Palace remain mid-table. RB ai??i?? Adam Smith (Leeds United) Adam Smith impressed on his Leeds United debut as the Whites won 3-0 at Bristol City. The twenty-year old signed on-loan from Tottenham Hotspur on deadline day and immediately took his […]

[From The Archives] The rivalry between Millwall and West Ham United is one of the oldest and most venomous football rivalries in the world. TheHardTackle tries to look into what makes the fans hate each other so much and also analyses the prospect of the two clubs being in the same league.

As the NPower Championship returns this weekend after making way for the FA Cup fourth round, TheHardTackle takes a look at 10 things you should be looking out for in the next 7 days of NPower Championship action.

Another weekend of NPower Championship football sees fixtures from the past, players joining and leaving the division and a couple of six-pointers. TheHardTackle takes a look at 10 things you should be looking out for in the next 7 days of NPower Championship action: ———– 1. A retro Premier League fixture list When reading this weekai??i??s NPower Championship fixture list, you would be forgiven for thinking you have gone back in time and are perusing the Premier League schedule. This is due to the fact that out of 12 matches on offer this weekend, five of them pit a former Premier League team against a side that they met in the top division. At St Andrews, Birmingham City entertain Watford, whilst still in the Midlands, bottom side Coventry City play host to Middlesbrough. Over in Yorkshire, former Premier League giants Leeds United play Ipswich Town at Elland Road, whilst struggling Nottingham Forest travel to East London to face West Ham […]