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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

29 August 2014

Saturday 30th August

Brighton & Hove Albion v Charlton Athletic

The Seagulls: After starting with two defeats, they've bounced back with two league victories, as well as a 4-2 midweek win against Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup. They've added striker Sam Baldock to their ranks this week, which will give them a further boost.

Nathan Jones exclusive: The Brighton coach talks about last season's Play-Off defeat to Derby and what it's like working for new manager Sami Hyypia.

The Addicks: Life under Bob Peeters has been positive so far for Charlton with two wins and two draws in the Sky Bet Championship. The manager experienced his first defeat as the Addicks boss in midweek, suffering a 1-0 Cup loss at Derby.

Derby County v Ipswich Town

The Rams: Two wins, one draw and one defeat represents a relatively good start for last season's defeated Play-Off Finalists. They thumped Fulham 5-1 last time out in the League at the iPro Stadium.

The Tractor Boys: Won on the opening day but have since slumped to two defeats and a draw. Last weekend they lost the East Anglian derby 1-0. Haven't won in five on the road in all competitions either side of summer.

Eight-goal thriller: This match last season, in October, was Steve McClaren's first as the new Derby manager and it ended 4-4, with the Rams coming back from 4-1 down.

Fulham v Cardiff City

The Cottagers: Have lost their opening four league games in a season for the first time since 1956. Last weekend's hammering by Derby could be the wake-up call they need, having overcome Brentford 1-0 in the Cup on Tuesday. Signed experienced goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly this week. Yes, the one that used to wear tracksuit bottoms for Crystal Palace.

The Bluebirds: Were unbeaten after three games before a 1-0 reverse at Wolves last Saturday. Overcame Port Vale 3-2 in the Cup in midweek and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased with his young side, which he talks about in the latest In the City.

Double: These two teams were relegated from the Premier League last season and it was Cardiff who triumphed in both league meetings. They won 2-1 at Craven Cottage in September before a 3-1 home victory in March.

Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers

The Whites: Managerless after Dave Hockaday was dismissed following a 2-1 defeat to Yorkshire rivals Bradford in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday. They've lost three of four in the Championship, winning the other, and were soundly beaten 4-1 at Watford last Saturday. Neil Redfearn is in caretaker charge.

The Trotters: Bolton have also lost three of four, drawing the other, to sit in the relegation places. They've conceded nine goals - the joint-worst in the division. Will take confidence from the fact they won 5-1 on their last trip to Elland Road.

Level: The head-to-head record between these sides is 23-all with regards to wins, alongside 13 draws.

Middlesbrough v Reading

Boro: Two wins and two defeats leaves them mid-table. They won 2-1 at Bolton in their last away match but haven't won at Reading in three visits. Added Tottenham's Ryan Fredericks to their ranks this week, on a season-long loan.

The Royals: They've lost their past two after four points from their first couple of matches. Were thumped 4-0 at Forest last Saturday but responded by winning 1-0 at Scunthorpe in the Cup in midweek, which pleased boss Nigel Adkins.

Millwall v Blackpool

The Lions: Suffered a 1-0 reverse against Rotherham last weekend, which ended their 12-match undefeated spell either side of summer. They also lost 2-0 at home to Southampton in the Cup in midweek.

The Tangerines: Four defeats in four leaves them alongside Fulham at the foot of the division. They have a fairly good record at Millwall, losing just once away to the Lions in five visits since 1999.

Norwich City v Bournemouth

The Canaries: Lost to Wolves on the opening weekend but have won three on the spin since then, including a 1-0 success at East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town last weekend. Lewis Grabban scored the decisive goal at Portman Road, and now goes up against his former club.

The Cherries: New signing Callum Wilson has stepped into the shoes vacated by Grabban on the south coast with four goals this term. Eddie Howe's men won their first two games of the season but have since lost to Forest and Blackburn.

Rotherham United v Brentford

The Millers: Picked up an impressive 1-0 win at Millwall last Saturday to make it six points from two games. Manager Steve Evans has been relaxing in midweek by taking on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The Bees: Sit one place and one point behind Rotherham in the Sky Bet Championship table, after one win, two draws and a solitary defeat. Lost 1-0 to local rivals Fulham in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

League 1: When these teams met in Sky Bet League 1 last term, Rotherham won this fixture 3-0 and came through 1-0 at Griffin Park. Brentford haven't scored against their weekend opponents for 360 minutes.

Sheffield Wednesday v Nottingham Forest - 12:15pm kick-off - live on Sky Sports

The Owls: Enjoying a blistering start to the 2014/15 season. Stuart Gray's men are unbeaten in four in the Sky Bet Championship and overcame Premier League Burnley in the Capital One Cup Round 2 on Tuesday. Signed Everton striker Hallam Hope on loan this week.

Forest: Also on a great run of form, booking their place in Round 3 of the Cup in midweek to complement their League streak of three wins and one draw. Sit top of the pile and are the division's top scorers with 10 goals.

New boys: Forest's 10 league goals this season have all been scored by new signings; Britt Assombalonga (4), Michael Antonio (3), Matty Fryatt (2) and Chris Burke (1).

Watford v Huddersfield Town

The Hornets: Watford have no new injury concerns ahead of Huddersfield's visit on Saturday, and defender Joel Ekstrand returns from a three-game suspension. Sit second in the table on nine points after three wins and a defeat. Striker Mathias Ranegie joined Millwall on loan earlier this week, but Troy Deeney penned a new four-year deal.

The Terriers: Mark Lillis remains in caretaker charge of Huddersfield, who lost 2-0 to Nottingham Forest in the Cup on Tuesday night. However, they're unbeaten in two in the Sky Bet Championship.

Bad memories: Huddersfield won 4-1 at Vicarage Road on the final day of the 2013/14 campaign. Watford boss Beppe Sannino says his side need to cancel the memory of that defeat.

Wigan Athletic v Birmingham City

The Latics: Picked up their first league win of the season last Saturday with a 1-0 success over Blackpool. Had lost two and drawn one before that making their return four points from the first four games.

The Blues: Two places higher than Wigan with one point more. Lost on the opening day but have since gone three games unbeaten. Lost 3-0 to Sunderland in the Cup in midweek.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers

Wolves: Have the best defence in the Championship after four matches, conceding just once. All their games have ended 1-0 with Kenny Jackett's men on nine points from a possible 12.

Rovers: Beat Bournemouth 3-2 last Saturday to move onto seven points from a possible 12. Boss Gary Bowyer was boosted by the news in earlier this week that Hull City have ended their interest in Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes.

Final push: Blackburn have already shipped four goals in the final 15 minutes of league matches this season, without scoring in the same period.


All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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