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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

2 May 2014

Barnsley v Queens Park Rangers

Relegated Barnsley host Play-Off bound Queens Park Rangers when the final round of Sky Bet Championship fixtures begin on Saturday at 12:15pm.

Barnsley's eight-season spell in the second tier was brought to an end with a 3-1 defeat by Middlesbrough last Saturday. They are 23rd and are battling against Yeovil Town to avoid finishing bottom of the pack.

QPR are guaranteed to finish fourth but are in inconsistent form heading into the Play-Offs. They have won two, drawn two and lost three of their past seven.

Blackburn Rovers v Wigan Athletic

Blackburn Rovers look unlikely to reach the Championship Play-Offs ahead of their home clash with Wigan Athletic.

Gary Bowyer's men are eighth, three points behind sixth-placed Reading. They realistically need the Royals and Brighton and Hove Albion to lose while winning themselves and overturning a seven-goal swing to make the top six.

Wigan have already booked their place in the Play-Offs following a 1-0 win at Birmingham City on Tuesday. They have conceded just 44 times this season - the third-best record in the division.

Blackpool v Charlton Athletic

Blackpool and Charlton Athletic sit side-by-side in the Championship standings going into the final day.

The Tangerines won 2-0 at Wigan last Saturday to move them three points away from danger, however they could yet be relegated. If they lose and Millwall, Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham all win, Blackpool are down.

Charlton are two points better off than their opponents, on 48 and five from safety. Their Championship status was secured on Tuesday with a 3-1 home win over Watford.

Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City

Birmingham City will be relegated to League 1 on Saturday if they lose at Bolton Wanderers.

The Blues are in the final relegation place and one point from safety going into the final day of the season. Lee Clark's men have lost their past five games, but could be safe with a draw should Doncaster Rovers lose at Leicester City.

Bolton's run of one defeat in their past nine has seen them claim 18 points from a possible 27 and move up the standings and away from danger.

Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday

Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday both know they will in the same division for the 2014/15 campaign and the two clubs come together at Portman Road.

Ipswich are 10th, five points adrift of the Play-Offs. Their push for the top six has been ended by a run of one point from three matches. Wednesday are 16th, 10 points above the bottom three, but have won only once in seven.

These two sides have met 42 times before. The Owls have the better record with 17 wins compared to 15 for Ipswich, plus 10 stalemates, including their most recent two.

Leeds United v Derby County

Two draw-shy clubs come together on Saturday as Leeds United host Derby County.

Eight of Leeds' games have ended level this season, the lowest in the division, while Derby have contested nine stalemates, the second fewest alongside Leicester.

The Whites are 15th having won three of their past four outings. Third-placed Derby are finding form at the right time heading into the Play-Offs - they've won five on the bounce and are the Championship's top-scorers.

Leicester City v Doncaster Rovers

Champions Leicester City welcome relegation-threatened Doncaster Rovers to the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes need only a draw to become the 11th team in Football League history to pass the 100-point mark in a season. At home, Leicester have taken 52 points from a possible 66 this season, losing only twice.

Doncaster are one points and one place above the drop but need to win to ensure that they remain in the Championship for next season, regardless of results elsewhere. However, they have the worst away form, taking only 13 points from 22 games on their travels, scoring just 12 times.

Millwall v Bournemouth

Millwall sit directly above Doncaster in the fight for survival and they host Bournemouth at the Den.

Ian Holloway's side are currently seven games unbeaten and that form has lifted them from within the danger zone to two points clear of safety heading into the final matches.

Bournemouth thrashed Nottingham Forest 4-1 last weekend but Eddie Howe's team were powerless to continue their push for the Play-Offs. They are ninth and are guaranteed to finish in their highest ever league position, beating the 12th place in the second tier under Harry Redknapp.

Nottingham Forest v Brighton and Hove Albion

That defeat at Bournemouth also ended Nottingham Forest's hopes of a top-six finish but their opponents this weekend, Brighton and Hove Albion, remain in the fight.

The Seagulls won three and drew four times in an unbeaten April, form that saw Oscar Garcia nominated for the Manager of the Month award. They are one point behind sixth-placed Reading with the same goal difference.

Forest are 11th and four points further back. This will be their last game under caretaker boss Gary Brazil, with Stuart Pearce lined up to take over next season.

Reading v Burnley

Reading remain the team to be caught in the race for the Play-Offs and they host Burnley.

The Royals are above Brighton by a point and one place, thanks to a 3-1 victory at Doncaster last weekend. Burnley are already assured of second and have won their past three.

It's the Berkshire club who have the better record in the head-to-head between these two teams. They've won 19 compared to Burnley's 11, with 10 draws.

Watford v Huddersfield Town

Watford and Huddersfield Town are both in the bottom half of the table ahead of their clash at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets are 13th but could finish in the top 12 should they better Middlesbrough's result. Giuseppe Sannino's men are unbeaten in nine home matches.

Huddersfield's win at Yeovil on Easter Monday remains their only victory in their past 12 outings. They are 17th on 50 points, eight fewer than their total last season.

Yeovil Town v Middlesbrough

Relegated Yeovil Town host mid-table Middlesbrough at Huish Park this weekend.

The Glovers are in a two-way battle with Barnsley to avoid being bottom of the table. They trail the Tykes by two points and have tasted victory only once in 12 outings.

Middlesbrough, in 12th, can only finish in their current position or 13th. They were 3-1 winners over Barnsley last weekend to record a fifth success in seven.

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