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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

24 January 2014

Blackburn Rovers v Derby County

Blackburn Rovers are undefeated against Derby County in their past six encounters, and the pair meet in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.

Blackburn were comprehensively beaten 4-1 at Nottingham Forest last time out, but have lost just once in seven at Ewood Park. Gary Bowyer's men are eighth, four points outside the Play-Offs.

Fourth-placed Derby beat Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 seven days ago, recovering from back-to-back defeats before that. Despite being the division's top scorers, they are 10 points off the top and five points adrift of automatic promotion.

Blackpool v Doncaster Rovers

Blackpool begin life after Paul Ince with a home match against Doncaster Rovers.

The Tangerines haven't won in the Sky Bet Championship since 30th November, and that run of eight defeats and one draw led to the dismissal of Ince on Tuesday. The 14th-placed side last scored five league games ago, that's 385 barren minutes.

Doncaster won 3-0 against Wigan Athletic last weekend, but that wasn't enough to lift them out of the bottom three. They have just one success on the road this season alongside four draws and eight defeats, scoring only eight times in those 13 fixtures.

Ipswich Town v Reading

Ipswich Town and Reading clash at Portman Road in a crucial battle for the Championship Play-Off places.

Mick McCarthy's men are on a two-game losing streak which arrived after an eight-game unbeaten run. The Suffolk side are 10th, five points behind sixth-placed Reading.

Nigel Adkins' men have won their last four battles with Ipswich and come into this fixture having thumped Bolton Wanderers 7-1 last weekend. The Royals, who are in the final Play-Off place, can open up a five-point gap to seventh.

Adam Le Fondre netted a first-half hat-trick for Reading in their 7-1 win against Bolton last weekend

Leicester City v Middlesbrough

In addition to topping the table, Leicester City also lead the way in the home form table, and they face Middlesbrough at the King Power Stadium this weekend.

The Foxes have won six consecutive Championship matches to open up a five-point gap over second-placed Queens Park Rangers. Nigel Pearson's men have the best goal-scoring record on their own patch with 27 strikes in 13, and have gained 32 points out of a possible 39.

Aitor Karanka's Middlesbrough are also on a fine run. Boro have triumphed five times in six unbeaten league games, picking up five clean sheets in that time, to rise from 17th to ninth.

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