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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

17 October 2014

We look ahead to the weekend action in the Sky Bet Championship.

Friday 17th October 2014

Rotherham United v Leeds United - 7:45pm kick-off – live on Sky Sports

The Millers (17th - 12 points): Held leaders Norwich to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road a fortnight ago, and have won just once in eight matches in all competitions. On-loan striker Luciano Becchio is expected to be out until the New Year after he suffered an ankle injury.

The Whites (14th - 15 points): Drew 1-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday last time out, meaning they've picked up just two points from their last nine available. New manager Darko Milanic is still searching for his first win since taking over at Elland Road last month.

Reunited: This will be the first time in almost 10 years that these sides have met in the league. Rotherham ran out 1-0 winners before the pair contested a stalemate in the reverse fixture back in the 2004/05 season. 

Saturday 18th October 2014

Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest - 12:15pm kick-off – live on Sky Sports

The Bluebirds (15th - 13 points): Lost 1-0 to struggling Blackpool two weeks ago, despite an upturn in form towards the end of September. New boss Russell Slade has finally been appointed, and this will be his first game in charge of the Welsh club.

Forest (2nd - 21 points): Missed the opportunity to go top of the Sky Bet Championship when they drew 2-2 with Ipswich last time around. Have drawn five of their last six league matches, and will be without key duo Andy Reid and Jack Hobbs until at least Christmas.

Birmingham City v Bolton Wanderers

The Blues (20th - 11 points): Drew with Charlton Athletic in their last fixture, having overcome Millwall 3-1 in the game before that. Their home form continues to hinder their league position - they have won just once at St Andrew’s in their last 23 Championship games.

The Trotters: (24th - 5 points): Fell to a fourth straight league defeat against Bournemouth a fortnight ago that saw them slump to the bottom of the division. Since then, Dougie Freedman has been replaced by former Celtic boss Neil Lennon.

Away day blues: Bolton have the worst away record in the Championship, having lost each and every one of their five trips on the road so far.

Bournemouth v Charlton Athletic

The Cherries (11th - 15 points): Won 2-1 at Bolton in their last outing, which was their fourth win of the season. Striker Yann Kermorgant will serve the first of a three-game ban this weekend, following his red card at the Macron Stadium two weeks ago.

The Addicks (7th - 19 points): Could only manage a point at home to Birmingham in their last fixture, missing the opportunity to break into the Play-Off places. They are now one of only three unbeaten sides in The Football League, alongside Forest and Bristol City.

Home sweet home: Bournemouth have scored in all of their five of their home league matches so far this season.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Middlesbrough

The Seagulls (19th - 11 points): Notched their fourth consecutive draw in the Sky Bet Championship two weeks ago following a 1-1 stalemate with Watford. That means they're now without a win in their last seven league fixtures, and they've lost midfielder Andrew Crofts for the remainder of the season through injury.

Boro (5th - 20 points): Are now unbeaten in their last six league games following a victory against Fulham a fortnight ago. They possess the third strongest away record in the division, having lost just once on the road.

Fulham v Norwich City

The Cottagers (22nd - 7 points): Lost 2-0 to Middlesbrough last time out, after previously winning their first two matches of the campaign. Caretaker manager Kit Symons remains in charge following the dismissal of Felix Magath last month. 

The Canaries (1st - 21 points): Dropped points at home for the fourth time this season in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Rotherham two weeks ago. They retained top spot, though, and boast the strongest away record in the division having won four of their five fixtures on their travels.

Bogey side: Norwich have failed to record a victory in their last 16 meetings with Fulham, stretching back to March 1986. The Cottagers have won 12 of those clashes since the Canaries' last win in this encounter.

Huddersfield Town v Blackpool

The Terriers (18th - 12 points): Contested a stalemate with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in their last outing. It was a point that stretched their unbeaten run to three games – two wins and a draw - and one that signalled Chris Powell's tenure has finally gathered some momentum.

The Tangerines (23rd - 6 points): Bagged their first win of the season at home to Cardiff City two weeks ago to move off the bottom of the division. Despite the victory, they are still the league's least effective side in front of goal, having scored just six times in their opening 11 fixtures.

Strong record: Blackpool have lost just once to Huddersfield in their last eight meetings.

Ipswich Town v Blackburn Rovers

The Tractor Boys (6th - 19 points): Drew 2-2 with Nottingham Forest last time out to stretch their unbeaten run to seven matches. Daryl Murphy scored twice in that game but he, along with Jonny Williams, are likely to miss this fixture after the duo picked up injuries whilst on international duty.

Rovers (12th - 15 points): A stalemate at home to Huddersfield in the last round of fixtures means Blackburn are now without a win in three. They have struggled in their last five visits to Ipswich, not picking up three points there since November 1994. Chris Sutton, Alan Shearer and Tim Sherwood were on target in their last success at Portman Road.

Millwall v Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Lions (16th - 12 points): Recorded a respectable draw away to Derby a fortnight ago having previously suffered two back-to-back defeats. That point was just their second taken from their last 18 available, following a miserable September that brought four defeats.

Wolves (8th - 19 points): Drew 2-2 with Wigan Athletic at Molineux last time around. Having lost to Huddersfield at home prior to that. They've only notched on win in six and have only triumphed once on the road in five.

Away advantage: Four of the last five league meetings between these teams have ended in a win for the travelling side, with each club recording two away victories.

Reading v Derby County

The Royals (13th - 15 points): Fell 3-1 to Brentford two weeks ago, and have seen a dramatic decline in form of late, losing three and drawing two of their last five games in all competitions. They've picked up twice the amount of points at home than on their travels, recording three victories from five at the Madejski.

The Rams (4th - 20 points): Drew 0-0 with Millwall at the iPro Stadium a fortnight ago, and were one of many sides that scuppered the chance to lead the field at the international break. Derby players did perform well for their countries however, with Jamie Ward and Will Hughes getting on the scoresheet for Northern Ireland and the England Under-21's respectively.

Sheffield Wednesday v Watford

The Owls (9th - 17 points): Drew 1-1 with Leeds at Elland Road last time out, and are now without a victory in their last four in all competitions. They have won only once at Hillsborough so far this season, drawing three and losing one of their other home fixtures.

The Hornets (3rd - 21 points): Drew with Brighton last time out to take their undefeated record to five games. They boast the best home record in the division, with their only two defeats this season coming on the road. This game will be Slavisa Jokanovic's first as a manager in English football.

Four in a row? Watford have recorded a 4-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in each of the last three Championship seasons which they have met.

Wigan Athletic v Brentford

The Latics (21st - 10 points): Drew 2-2 at Wolves two weeks ago to earn a point – they are without a victory since August, though. Shaun Maloney and James McLean both had positive international breaks for Scotland and the Republic of Ireland respectively, and the Latics will be hoping they carry their form into the weekend.

The Bees (10th - 17 points): Have performed well so far, notching five wins from their 11 games to sit just four points adrift of top spot. They could move into the Play-Off positions should results go their way this weekend but they have only overcome Wigan just once in the last 11 meetings between the two, with the Latics taking all three points on eight occasions.

Reunion: This will be Uwe Rosler's first game against his old club, after he swapped Brentford for Wigan in December 2013.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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