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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

25 October 2013

Barnsley v Sheffield Wednesday

Saturday's early kick-off sees Barnsley take on South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The two clubs currently find themselves in the relegation zone but three points for either would be enough to lift them out of the bottom three, prior to the 3pm kick-offs.

The Tykes were 3-2 victors against Middlesbrough last time out, which ended their six-game winless run, while the Owls are yet to triumph, with their seven points all coming from draws.

Blackpool v Blackburn Rovers

Two Lancashire teams meet at Bloomfield Road this weekend as Blackpool host Blackburn Rovers.

The away side haven't overcome the Seasiders since a 2010 Premier League meeting and come into this fixture after successive defeats, to Wigan Athletic and Charlton.

Paul Ince will miss the match against his former club due to his suspension but his assistant Alex Rae will be on hand to take the reins again, a week after watching the Tangerines beat Wigan 1-0 to extend their undefeated run to five.

Bolton Wanderers v Ipswich Town

Bolton Wanderers' form has improved over recent matches and they entertain Ipswich Town.

Dougie Freedman's men failed to win any of their opening 10 games but are riding an undefeated run of four. Only one match has resulted in a win, though.

Ipswich completed the double over Wanderers last season but they've struggled on the road this term, drawing three and losing the other three of their six away games. Their impressive home form - four wins - has been the main contributor to their 12th-place standing.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Watford

In Monday night's live Championship fixture, Watford visit Brighton and Hove Albion.

The two clubs made the Play-Offs last term but have experienced contrasting starts this time around.

Last season's losing Play-Off finalists Watford are seventh and travel south after losing 3-2 to Derby County last time out, while the Seagulls sit 15th having managed just one win in eight.

Burnley v Queens Park Rangers

This weekend's stand-out Sky Bet Championship encounter sees table-toppers Burnley take on unbeaten Queens Park Rangers, who are second.

It's set to be a real humdinger at Turf Moor with a place at the summit of the Championship on offer.

The Clarets currently hold top spot with 29 points after recording two draws and nine wins, six of which have come in their last six outings. The Rs have notched eight wins and three draws, and have a game in-hand over the current leaders.

Charlton Athletic v Wigan Athletic

Sunday's 3pm kick-off sees Charlton Athletic welcome Owen Coyle's Wigan Athletic.

The Addicks have struggled to get going this term but they come into Sunday's match after two draws and a victory in their last three - form that could springboard an upturn in fortunes.

Wigan lost at Blackpool last time out in the league and, on Thursday, drew with Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.

Derby County v Birmingham City

Steve McClaren's free-scoring Derby County take on Birmingham City.

Since the former England manager was appointed at Pride Park three games ago the Rams have netted 10 goals on their way to collecting seven points, and they lie eighth.

Birmingham are struggling down in 20th and have lost two on the spin prior to this weekend's outing. They are also one of the division's worst travellers, with five of their six away games ending in defeat.

Huddersfield Town v Leeds United

There's another early kick-off on Saturday and it comes at the John Smith's Stadium, where Huddersfield Town's West Yorkshire rivals Leeds United are the visitors.

The Terriers have the upper hand when it comes to the historical record - they have 28 victories compared to Leeds' 23 - but Mark Robins' side come into the 12:30pm start without a win in five.

Ninth-place Leeds thumped Birmingham City 4-0 last time out and that result may have signalled a change in form, after Brian McDermott's lost four of their five previous matches.

Leicester City v Bournemouth

Leicester City are unbeaten at the King Power Stadium in eight games in all competitions and host Eddie Howe's Bournemouth.

The Foxes will be aiming for their seventh successive home win when the Cherries come to town and it's a result they will be confident of achieving having lost just once in seven.

Bournemouth are 10th and certainly won't be brushed aside effortlessly. They proved that at Nottingham Forest last time out when they grabbed a last-gasp equaliser to leave the City Ground with a valuable point.

Bournemouth's players and fans celebrate their late equaliser at Nottingham Forest last weekend

Middlesbrough v Doncaster Rovers

The first Football League game of the weekend takes place on Friday at 7:45pm, when Middlesbrough and Doncaster Rovers lock horns at the Riverside live on Sky Sports.

Boro have endured a relatively poor start to the campaign, with just two wins, and they dismissed Tony Mowbray on Monday after a 3-2 loss to Barnsley.

His successor is yet to be found but Mark Venus will be in charge for the televised fixture against Paul Dickov's Rovers, who are level on points with Boro but sit one place lower, in 17th.

Reading v Millwall

Reading have moved into the Play-Off places and now face Millwall at the Madejski Stadium.

The Royals ran out 4-1 winners against Doncaster Rovers last Saturday and the three points gained proved to be enough for them to rise to sixth, while Millwall continue to stutter in the lower echelons of the division.

The Lions are winless in three but their three games prior to that all yielded three points. Their form on the road will need to improve - they have just one win away from The Den so far this term.

Yeovil Town v Nottingham Forest

Yeovil Town and Nottingham Forest will renew acquaintances this weekend when they go head-to-head at Huish Park.

Although the pair haven't clashed since 2008, they've had some tasty battles in recent years, most notably during the 2006/07 League 1 season when Yeovil advanced to the Play-Off Final after a 5-4 semi-final aggregate success against Forest.

They now meet in the Championship, sitting at either end of the table. Yeovil are rock bottom with just one win, and only one point gained at home, while the City Ground outfit are fourth and undefeated in seven.

Arron Davies celebrates scoring for Yeovil in their dramatic 5-4 Play-Off semi-final aggregate success against Nottingham Forest in 2007

Click here for all the weekend's action

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