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Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County and Wrexham: Weekend Previews

Wrexham’s biggest rivals include one of their biggest admirers, it would seem, after Notts County manager Luke Williams let the cat out of the bag.

Williams may be in charge of the club that stand between Wrexham and a return to the Football League, but that has not stopped the Magpies boss from showering the Dragons with praise – maybe in the hope the shower will turn cold for the leaders at Bromley on Saturday.

The battle for the National League title is the tightest and most exciting in UK football at present with just a single point between the clubs heading into the weekend, although Wrexham do have a game in hand.

“Wrexham are just incredible,” says Williams.

“If you look at the points they now have and the victories they have strung together, they are just amazing.

“So, if we want to be spoken about in the same sentence as them, then we have to keep winning as well.”

Wrexham won’t find it easy going at Bromley, who are back in 10th place, but held Notts County to a 1-1 draw just a fortnight ago – a result that titled the title race significantly in Wrexham’s favour.

Notts County themselves have a tough assignment, away at Barnet who are right in the play-off mix in fifth place.

Whichever way you look at it, it seems to be the great battle for promotion is going to hinge on the clash between Wrexham and Notts County on Easter Monday at The Racecourse Ground.

Notts County must think so as they are currently flogging hospitality seats at their own club lounge with a giant screen and a menu of crispy chicken goujons, with a choice of sauces – BBQ, curry, sweet chilli – for £6.50.

By Easter Monday, things may be looking different for both Cardiff City and Swansea City in the Championship.

They are scheduled to meet in a derby clash on April 1, but the clubs seem to be heading in different directions at present.

Cardiff are scrapping for points – and getting some – and will hope to gather more at fellow strugglers Rotherham on Saturday.

A win for Sabri Lamouchi’s Bluebirds would lift them above Rotherham and further away from the bottom three.

Swansea, however, seem to be in freefall, and if they can’t get anything out of their Sunday clash at home to hot-and-cold Bristol City, then they might find themselves just a single point above Cardiff come Sunday night.

If Cardiff were to then take revenge for recent derby defeats on April Fool’s Day, then the Swans joke almost writes itself.

Swans head coach Russell Martin, though , believes he saw improvement in his side’s 2-1 defeat at Millwall in midweek and says of his players, “I’ve said to them, ‘if you play like that on Sunday at home, with that attitude and mentality, the crowd will be right behind you’.”

Most of the Newport County crowd are still right behind their team, who are struggling for victories but grinding out draws as they seek to guarantee survival in League Two.

County are away at Tranmere Rovers, who lay in mid-table but lost 2-0 at Gillingham last time out and were previously held 1-1 at home to Hartlepool.

County have drawn three on the bounce, and haven’t won in five, but assistant manager Joe Dunne would probably take another hard-earned point and says: “We are in a situation where we have 10 games to go and nothing is done yet, nothing is decided.

“As a management team we are still focused on getting a job done. Players need to understand that.

“We want to win and don’t like drawing, but sometimes points are valuable and we will take all we can get.”

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