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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship midweek preview

19 August 2014

We look ahead to the midweek action in the Sky Bet Championship

Tuesday 19th August 2014

Birmingham City v Ipswich Town

The Blues: Picked up their first home win since October on Saturday with a 1-0 victory against Brighton – their first three-pointer in eight league outings. A victory against Ipswich would see them equal their 2013/14 home win tally.

The Tractor Boys: Also have three points, alongside Birmingham, after a loss at Reading on Saturday, which came days after a defeat to Crawley in the Capital One Cup. Jonathan Parr and Paul Anderson could return from injury.

Unbeaten in five: Ipswich haven't lost to Birmingham in five matches, winning three and drawing two. However, they've only won one of their past 14 visits to the Blues in all competitions, stretching back to the late 1980s.

Blackpool v Brentford

The Tangerines: Remain without a point after defeats to Nottingham Forest and Blackburn. Also bowed out of the Cup to League 2 Shrewsbury. Striker Nile Ranger could be handed his debut. They've won once in 12 either side of the summer.

The Bees: Drew with Charlton on the inaugural day of the season but lost 1-0 at Bournemouth at the weekend. They haven't won away in seven league games, stretching back to mid-March.

Double trouble: Brentford did the double over Blackpool when the two sides were last in the same division, during 2006/07. The Bees won 3-1 at Bloomfield Road that season.

Bolton Wanderers v Middlesbrough – 8.00pm kick-off

The Trotters: Picked up their first point of the season with a 2-2 home draw with Nottingham Forest on Saturday - a result boss Dougie Freedman described as “fair” That came after a 3-0 opening-day loss to Watford.

Boro: Dominated in the early stages against Leeds last weekend but eventually fell to a 1-0 defeat at Elland Road. A 2-0 win over Birmingham the weekend before means they sit mid-table with three points.

Please, not again: Bolton took 11 games to register a Sky Bet Championship win last season. It may be early days, but they’ll be hoping to extinguish the possibility of repeating that poor start as quickly as possible.

Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest

The Cherries: Have started the season superbly with two wins from two, against Huddersfield and Brenford, without conceding. Manager Eddie Howe could name an unchanged team for the third successive game.

Forest: Stuart Pearce's men aren't far behind, with a win and a draw to show from their two matches. Defender Michael Mancienne is available again after a one-match suspension. Assistant manager Steve Wigley says the Reds must attack the game against Bournemouth.

Connect four: The head-to-head record between these two currently stands at four wins apiece, alongside four draws.

Cardiff City v Wigan Athletic

The Bluebirds: Sit towards the top end of the division after picking up four points. A win against Huddersfield at the weekend featured a brace from the in-form Kenwyne Jones. New signings Sean Morrison and Anthony Pilkington could make their debuts.

The Latics: Lost at Charlton at the weekend after a 2-2 draw with Reading on the opening day. They have only won one in their last nine in all competitions.

Four on the bounce: Wigan have got the better of Cardiff in the past four meetings and haven't lost to the Bluebirds since 1997, 11 encounters ago.

Charlton Athletic v Derby County

The Addicks: Franck Moussa is pushing for a full league debut after netting a splendid weekend winner against Wigan. That 2-1 victory came after a 1-1 draw with Brentford, leaving the Addicks on four points and unbeaten under Bob Peeters.

The Rams: Also have four points after a win against Rotherham and a goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday. Steve McClaren could mix up his attacking line after that stalemate with the Owls. Derby won both meetings against Charlton last term; 2-0 at The Valley and 3-0 and the iPro.

Six without defeat: Derby are unbeaten in six against Charlton. The Addicks' most recent victory against the Rams came in January of the 2001/02 Premier League season when Chris Bart-Williams scored the only goal in a Tuesday night game.

Leeds United v Brighton and Hove Albion

The Whites: New signing Billy Sharp scored a morale-boosting winner at the weekend against Middlesbrough and that'll spark life into Leeds.

The Seagulls: Have failed to get going under Sami Hyypia with 1-0 defeats to both Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham. They've won two of their past three visits to Elland Road.

Trek: Brighton fans heading to Elland Road have a long journey on their hands but the game is being beamed back to the Amex Stadium as part of a new initiative by The Football League.

Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers

The Canaries: Bounced back from their loss to Wolves on the opening weekend with a 3-0 victory at home to Watford last Saturday - Neil Adams’ first win as Norwich boss and the club’s first triumph in nine.

Rovers: Beat Blackpool 2-1 at the weekend, making it four points from their opening two league games. Suffered a defeat to Scunthorpe United in the First Round of the Capital One Cup, but remain unbeaten in 14 Sky Bet Championship matches.

Stranglehold: Blackburn have the better of the recent head-to-head record against Norwich; they’re unbeaten in their past 10 clashes. Norwich’s last victory in this encounter came in October 1994.

Reading v Huddersfield Town - 8.00pm kick-off

The Royals: Named 12 Academy graduates in their squad for the 1-0 victory over Ipswich Town at the weekend and saw one of them, Jake Taylor, net the winning goal. Drew 2-2 with Wigan Athletic in their first fixture of 2014/15.

The Terriers: Sit bottom of the pile after two defeats from two, with a goal difference of minus six. Mark Lillis remains in caretaker charge after Mark Robins' exit.

Comeback: In 24 Sky Bet Championship matches so far during 2014/15, Reading are the only team to have won a point when losing at half time.

Rotherham United v Watford

The Millers: Ryan Hall scored Rotherham’s first goal back in the second tier as they secured their first Sky Bet Championship win of the season with a 1-0 success over Wolves last weekend. Hall then suffered an injury and is now a doubt for this game.

The Hornets: Watford have scored three and conceded three on their way to three points from two games. They beat Bolton 3-0 and then lost 3-0 at Norwich, and will be without Joel Ekstrand who was sent off at Carrow Road.

Reunited: Rotherham and Watford haven’t faced each other since April 2005, nine and a half years ago. The Hornets won 1-0 at Millmoor in the last meeting.

Sheffield Wednesday v Millwall

The Owls: Four points from two games represents good return for Stuart Gray’s Wednesday. Their 0-0 draw with Derby County on Saturday followed a 3-0 Capital One Cup victory over Notts County.

The Lions: A 2-0 win over Leeds and a 1-0 success at Fulham means that Ian Holloway’s side possess a 100 per cent record. They sit second, behind Bournemouth who have also won twice, and are now unbeaten in 10 Sky Bet Championship games, stretching back to 25th March.

Solid: Wednesday and Millwall are two of the four teams yet to concede a Sky Bet Championship goal in 2014/15. Reading and Bournemouth are the other two.

Wednesday 20th August 2014

Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers - 8.00pm kick-off

The Cottagers: Felix Magath’s men have endured a terrible start to life in the Sky Bet Championship, losing back-to-back games. However, the last time they played Wolves at Craven Cottage they ran out 5-0 winners.

Wolves: Were humbled 1-0 at Rotherham on Saturday after beating Norwich 1-0 on the opening weekend. They haven’t experienced back-to-back league defeats since December 2013.

History favours the hosts: The past 12 games between these two clubs have seen the home team remain unbeaten. The last time the away side won was when Wolves picked up a 1-0 success in the League Cup in 1997.

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