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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship midweek preview

28 January 2014

Barnsley v Blackburn Rovers

Barnsley have propped up the Sky Bet Championship table for almost two months ahead of Blackburn Rovers' visit to Oakwell.

The Tykes enjoyed success last time out in the league, 2-0 at home to Blackpool, but remain bottom. Out of their 20 points this season, 14 have arrived at home. Blackburn are ninth, three points outside the Play-Offs, having drawn against Derby County on Saturday.

Rovers dominate the team's head-to-head record, winning 30 of their 60 meetings. Barnsley have been victorious 11 times, the last of those arriving in January 2000, seven clashes ago.

Birmingham City v Leicester City

Birmingham City and Leicester City come together at St. Andrew's on Tuesday night for their 133rd encounter.

The Blues are not enjoying life in Birmingham this season, with the second-worst home points return in the Sky Bet Championship - they have won only twice in 13 attempts on their own patch. Lee Clarke's side have lost their past two league matches, previously going 10 unbeaten.

A Leicester victory will see them set a new club record of eight successive league wins. Their record-equalling seventh in a row came against Middlesbrough on Saturday. The Foxes are now eight points clear at the top of the table.

Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town

Three points separate South Coast side Bournemouth and Yorkshire club Huddersfield Town, and the two meet on Tuesday night.

Three of Bournemouth's last four Championship outings have produced 1-1 draws, with a 3-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic ensconced between those stalemates. They are 16th, three points behind their 13th-placed opponents.

The Terriers have won and lost twice in their past four, with both defeats arriving on their travels. They last picked up all three points in an away fixture on 3rd December, four matches ago.

Burnley v Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton and Hove Albion have enjoyed plenty of recent success over Burnley, with the two clubs coming together in another battle between a northern club and a South Coast side.

The Seagulls have won their past three meetings, keeping a clean sheet in the most recent two. Earlier this season, they beat the Clarets 2-0 at the Amex Stadium.

Burnley are third on 51 points, unbeaten in four and one point off automatic promotion. Brighton won last time out, 1-0 at Derby County, and now lie eighth, two points adrift of the Play-Offs on 39.

Derby County v Yeovil Town

Derby County followed up that home win over Brighton with a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, and they now host Yeovil Town.

The Rams are fourth, three points behind Burnley. Yeovil are 23rd, five points away from safety. Their last Championship encounter was 10 days ago when they beat Birmingham 2-0.

This will only be the second ever meeting between these sides. The first clash was back in August when Derby won 3-0 at Huish Park.

Doncaster Rovers v Charlton Athletic

One point separates Doncaster Rovers and Charlton Athletic, and they meet at the Keepmoat Stadium in a crucial clash at the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table.

While Charlton were advancing into the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, Rovers drew 1-1 at Blackpool to move up to 20th and put the Addicks into the bottom three.

In the seven encounters between these two clubs, there is yet to be a draw recorded.

Leeds United v Ipswich Town

Leeds United have won three of their past four meetings against Ipswich Town, and welcome the Suffolk side to Elland Road.

In all competitions, Leeds have lost their previous five matches, four of those in the Championship. They haven't lost six in a row in 10 years, when they were defeated in seven successive games.

Ipswich beat Reading 2-0 on Saturday to move from 10th to seventh and two points outside the Play-Offs. The Tractor Boys have the worst record in the division when scoring first, but the best after conceding first.

Middlesbrough v Wigan Athletic

Middlesbrough and Wigan Athletic clash at the Riverside, with both teams enjoying similar spells of form.

Last time out in the league Boro lost 2-0 at Leicester, while Wigan were 3-0 losers against Doncaster. Before that, the two sides had gone six games unbeaten.

Middlesbrough are 10th on 36 points, ahead of Wigan in 11th courtesy of a richer goal difference.

Millwall v Sheffield Wednesday

Another midweek game that has huge implications in the bottom reaches of the Championship table sees Millwall host Sheffield Wednesday.

Millwall are 21st and floating above the relegation zone by a point, but picked up their first win under Ian Holloway at the second attempt last time out, beating Ipswich 1-0. That was a welcome clean sheet for the Lions, who have the leakiest defence in the division having conceded 50 goals.

Wednesday, who made Stuart Gray their permanent manager after reaching the last-16 in the FA Cup on Saturday, are unbeaten in five in the league with wins over Blackpool and Leeds and a hat-trick of draws. They sit 19th, one point ahead of Millwall.

Nottingham Forest v Watford

In-form Nottingham Forest and Watford meet at the City Ground on Thursday night for their 12th match in six seasons.

Billy Davies' Reds were held to a 0-0 draw by Sky Bet League 1 club Preston North End on Friday, and have experienced a further five draws in their past nine in the league. Coupled with four wins, Forest are on the longest unbeaten run in the division and sit fifth.

Watford are 15th. Guiseppe Sannino has revived the Hornets of late, but they still have only a solitary win in 14 league outings. One loss in five makes for better reading, and they were impressive in a 4-2 defeat at Premier League club Manchester City on Saturday.

Troy Deeney celebrates scoring the Hornets' second goal at Mancheter City on Saturday

Queens Park Rangers v Bolton Wanderers

Queens Park Rangers are second and face 18th-placed Bolton Wanderers at Loftus Road.

Three victories in a row, against Doncaster, Ipswich and Huddersfield, has helped the Hoops regain the final automatic promotion place where they trail leaders Leicester by eight points.

Bolton are without a win in four. In their last Championship appearance they were humiliated 7-1 by Reading, but earned a more respectable 1-0 defeat against top-flight Swansea City in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Reading v Blackpool

Reading couldn't support that drubbing of Bolton with another win last weekend as they went down 2-0 at Ipswich. Their next match sees them host out-of-form Blackpool.

The Royals held onto their top-six status despite that loss. The 14th-placed Tangerines drew 1-1 at home to Doncaster Rovers and are now winless in 11 in the league.

Blackpool haven't won against Reading at the Madejski Stadium. Their last away win over the Royals was 13 attempts ago in a 1-0 triumph at Elm Park in April 1980.

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