Following the international break, the Championship resumed on Saturday afternoon with impressive midweek performer Glenn Whelan starting for Aston Villa but Conor Hourihane was relegated to the bench in their two one victory over Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park which propelled them into a playoff position. Darragh Lenihan started for Blackburn while Derrick Williams was an unused substitute. Richard Keogh captained Derby County who crushed Rotherham United by six goals to one at Pride Park while Alan Judge and Ipswich Town suffered a two nil defeat by visitors Hull City at Portman Road. Rumoured Ireland target Patrick Bamford was in action for Leeds United in their three two success over visitors Millwall for whom Aiden O’Brien was a very late substitute at Elland Road. Callum Robinson returned to the Preston North End starting eleven following his lengthy injury absence and was joined by Sean Maguire in their two one defeat at Reading. Midfielder Alan Browne missed out through injury. John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick started for Sheffield United in their three two home defeat by visitors Bristol City for whom Callum O’Dowda missed out through injury. Loanee Scott Hogan was introduced for the ‘Blades’ at half-time and scored on seventy one minutes. James McClean and his Stoke City colleagues played out a scoreless draw with visitors Sheffield Wednesday for whom Keiren Westwood was on net minding duties at the Bet365 Stadium. Fellow goalkeeper Darren Randolph and his Middlesbrough colleagues went down to a one nil defeat by current leaders Norwich City in the late kick-off at the Riverside Stadium.
League One leaders Luton Town included James Collins in their starting eleven and he scored in their two one victory over Bristol Rovers in the Memorial Grounds while Charlton Athletic loanee Josh Cullen was in action in their one nil victory over visitors Bradford City at The Valley.
The EFL Trophy Final between Portsmouth and Sunderland is set for Wembley Stadium at 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon. ‘Pompey’ striker Ronan Curtis who recently suffered a severe hand injury may be in line for a return to action while Jimmy Dunne and Aiden McGeady are expected to start for the ‘Makems’.