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Must Win Games Can Provide The Key To A Winning Weekend

Friday 19th April 2013

We are now in the critical closing stages of the season where every single point is pivotal. The Premier League title race may be all but over but there is still a fierce relegation battle going on at the opposite end of the table. Meanwhile there are only a few games remaining in the three tiers of the Football League as a number of teams jostle for both the automatic promotion and play-off spots, while others look to avoid the dreaded drop.

If you're worried about where your team's going to finish, it may be worth a visit to the BBC's predictor tool, where you can predict the scores for the remaining games across all four divisions to see what the final standings could look like.

This week we are predicting QPR to beat struggling Stoke, Port Vale to edge closer to promotion with a win at home to Northampton, and finally an in-form Peterborough to come away from Derby with all three points. A successful £10 treble bet with BetVictor will win you returns of £166.05!

QPR v Stoke - home win @ 13/10

QPR simply have to win to keep alive their extremely faint hopes of Premier League survival. However, with last weekend's defeat to Everton virtually ending their chances of a miraculous escape, it can be argued that there won't be as much pressure on the players shoulders this Saturday. This will therefore free them up and allow them to focus fully on the game at hand, which could result in a morale-boosting win against a Stoke side woefully out of form.

The Potters have been in freefall since the dawn of 2013 and now find themselves hovering dangerously above the relegation zone. Tony Pulis' men head into the match on the back of three consecutive defeats, with just one point from their last seven games. They have scraped only one victory in 14 matches and haven't won on the road since early December, which remains their only away win all season.

Port Vale v Northampton - home win @ 21/20

High-flying Port Vale look a decent bet at 21/20 to beat Northampton at home on Saturday afternoon. The Vale are likely to miss out on the League Two title but they can boost their chances of automatic promotion with a vital victory this weekend.

The hosts are currently the form side in the division as they head into the game unbeaten in six. Meanwhile Northampton may also be in the hunt for promotion but they have hit a rough patch at the wrong time, having failed to win any of their last four games. Furthermore they have a very poor away record, with just four wins from their 22 games on the road to date, which is the joint second-lowest in the league.

Derby v Peterborough - away win @ 13/5

Peterborough are putting up a phenomenal fight to avoid the dreaded drop having embarked on a 10 match unbeaten run since the start of March. This scorching streak has included against-the-odds wins against Cardiff and Watford and I am backing them to continue their impressive run and come away from Pride Park with another invaluable three points.

One point in three games means Derby's faint hopes of making the play-offs are all but over. They may be in 15th but such is the competitive nature of the Championship that they are now only four points above the relegation zone. If Posh come away with the win then only a solitary point will separate the two teams.

For more weekend football preview's, check out what @SteveClaridge has got to say, this week's football betting tips he's gone for a Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Bristol Rovers treble.

Mick Bates

Mick is a passionate fan of Coventry City and has watched from the sidelines (and had the privilege of seeing the inner workings during an exciting two years in corporate sales there) to see the once mighty Sky Blues fall from the Premier League, then fail to sparkle in the Championship, relegated from League One and wind up in League Two before winning the most important fixture in football competitions - The Checkatrade Trophy final followed by a heart-stopping promotion back to League One.

As well as supporting the Sky Blues, Mick appreciates all levels of football and loves a good book to keep himself entertained as well as a few hours on FIFA or Football Manager as time allows.

He also keeps an eye on all the major English leagues and regularly enjoys a flutter looking for that elusive treble! 

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