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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

24 October 2014

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

Friday 24th October 2014

Fulham v Charlton Athletic – 7.45pm kick-off - live on Sky Sports

The Cottagers (22nd – 11 points): Came from behind three times to earn a 3-3 draw at Rotherham in midweek, and have revived their form of late having lost just once in their last five. Victory this weekend could be enough to move them out of the relegation zone for the first time since August.

The Addicks (7th – 22 points): Bounced back from their first defeat of the season last weekend by beating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 on Tuesday night. They've won only once on the road this season, but have also lost just once, drawing the other four.

Goalfest: The last three meetings between these sides have produced a total of 11 goals, with Fulham running out 4-0 winners in their last clash, in the FA Cup.

Saturday 25th October 2014

Millwall v Cardiff City – 12.15pm kick-off - live on Sky Sports

The Lions (18th – 14 points): Are now without a win in eight following their stalemate with Wigan during the week, which was also their third draw on the bounce. Their home form this season reads two wins, two draws and two defeats, scoring eight and conceding eight.

The Bluebirds (10th – 19 points): Beat Ipswich 3-1 on Tuesday to maintain their 100 per cent record under new manager Russell Slade. Despite having one of the strongest home records in the division, they are yet to win on their travels this term, drawing four and losing two of their away games.

Birmingham City v Bournemouth

The Blues (21st – 11 points): Lost 1-0 to Blackburn last time out to make it back-to-back defeats in the league. Remain managerless having parted company with Lee Clark on Monday. They've won once in 24 at home, conceding in all of their last 11 outings at St Andrews.

The Cherries (8th – 21 points): Recorded their third win on the bounce with a 3-0 triumph over Reading in last round of fixtures. Striker Callum Wilson is Bournemouth’s in-form man having netted four times over those three victories, taking his tally to nine for the season in all competitions.

Bolton Wanderers v Brentford

The Trotters (23rd – 8 points): Failed to back up their victory over Birmingham last weekend, losing 2-1 to Charlton at The Valley in midweek. Only Blackpool have scored fewer goals than Bolton in the league this season, with Neil Lennon’s men possessing the worst goal difference in the division.

The Bees (12th – 19 points): Recorded up their second consecutive 0-0 draw in midweek after contesting a stalemate with Sheffield Wednesday at Griffin Park. Despite their mid-table standing, Brentford sit just three points outside the Play-Off places having lost just once at home in the league this season.

Reunited: This will be the first time Bolton and Brentford have met for more than 19 years, since the Trotters prevailed 4-2 on aggregate over two legs in the League Cup in 1995.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Rotherham United

The Seagulls (20th – 12 points): Drew 1-1 with Huddersfield on Tuesday to make it nine games without a league win. They have not tasted victory for over two months in the Championship, since they beat Bolton at the Amex Stadium in August. They will be without winger Kazenga LuaLua after he was sent off in midweek.

The Millers (14th – 16 points): Threw away the lead three times to only take a point at home to Fulham in their last fixture, squandering the opportunity to record successive victories for the first time this season. Jonson Clarke-Harris and Alex Revell are the in-form men, having bagged two goals each in their last two matches. 

Derby County v Wigan Athletic

The Rams (1st – 26 points): A late Chris Martin penalty against bottom-of-the-table Blackpool gave them a 1-0 win in midweek, lifting them to the summit of the Sky Bet Championship for the first time this term. They are now unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions, and haven’t conceded in over a month, more than 10 hours of football, which equals a Rams club record set in 1912.

The Latics (19th – 12 points): Drew 0-0 for the fourth time in seven matches, against Millwall, in the week, and have now failed to win any of their last eight. They hold the joint-worst away record in the league, having picked up just two points on their travels. They could welcome back key duo Emyr Huws and Don Cowie this weekend, following recent injury troubles.

Contrasting fortunes: These sides both reached the Championship Play-Offs last season, but Derby could sit a hefty 17 points above Wigan in the table going into November, providing they win on Saturday.

Ipswich Town v Huddersfield Town

The Tractor Boys (9th – 20 points): Lost for the first time in eight matches on Tuesday evening, falling 3-1 away to Cardiff after initially taking lead. Despite their strong form of late, failure to win this weekend would see Ipswich reach a month without a victory. Striker Daryl Murphy was on hand to score yet again in South Wales, notching his seventh goal of the season.

The Terriers (16th – 16 points): Stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-1 draw against Brighton in their latest fixture, as they continue to build momentum under boss Chris Powell. They have no fresh injury concerns for the weekend, and could move to within a point of their ninth-placed opponents with a victory. 

Terrier-ble record: Huddersfield have not won any of their last five visits to Portman Road, losing four times and conceding 14 goals in the process.

Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Whites (15th – 16 points): Held high-flying Norwich to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday, but are without a win in any of their last five games as manager Darko Milanic continues his search for a maiden victory. Souleymane Doukara is Leeds' top-scorer this campaign, after adding his fifth goal of the season against the Canaries.

Wolves (4th – 23 points):  Recovered from their four-game winless streak to beat challengers Middlesbrough 2-0 in the week - a result that moved them back into the Play-Off places. They've drawn their last four away from home, but a second victory of the season on their travels could see them in the automatic promotion places at the close of the weekend.

All bark, no bite: Wolves have won just one of their last nine league visits to Elland Road, where they edged a 1-0 victory back in September 2006.

Middlesbrough v Watford

Boro (3rd – 23 points): Their midweek defeat to Wolves ended a seven-game unbeaten run - their best string of results under manager Aitor Karanka. They remain above Saturday’s opponents only on goal difference, but could make an immediate return to the automatic promotion places with a victory. 

The Hornets (2nd – 25 points): The 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest on Tuesday extended their unbeaten league run to seven games, but they surrendered the lead of the Championship having twice thrown away the lead. Victory over Middlesbrough could return them to the summit however, should Derby fail to beat Wigan.

Tied up: These sides have met 34 times throughout their history, and are locked together with 14 wins each.

Nottingham Forest v Blackburn Rovers

Forest (6th – 22 points): That draw with Watford stretched Forest's concerning run to six games without a victory. In a mixed week that also saw them lose their unbeaten league record, Forest could go back to within a point of the top of the league with a win over Blackburn.

Rovers (11th – 19 points): Won 1-0 against managerless Birmingham City on Tuesday, and have finally discovered some consistency in the league. Unbeaten in three, Rovers could sit level with sides in the Play-Off places with a victory at the City Ground.

Reading v Blackpool

The Royals (17th – 15 points): Their latest defeat in the week came at the hands of Bournemouth, to make it three losses on the bounce. Reading conceded three in each of those games, scoring just one of their own. Their last win came well over a month ago, when they edged out Millwall 3-2 at the Madejski Stadium.

The Tangerines (24th – 6 points): Conceded a late penalty to suffer their ninth loss of the season away at Derby on Tuesday, as they remain rooted to the bottom of the table. Are close to signing Belgian midfielder Jonathan Legear, who has been training with the club for the last fortnight, but he will not make the trip south this Saturday.

Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich City

The Owls (13th – 18 points): Drew for the third time in four games in a stalemate at Brentford on Tuesday, and haven’t tasted victory for over a month. That said, Saturday’s match is one of three home games coming up in the next four rounds of fixtures for Wednesday - an ideal chance to claw back some ground on the Play-Off chasing pack.

The Canaries (5th – 22 points): Their 1-1 draw at home to Leeds last time out made it four games without a win. They were sitting pretty at the top of the Sky Bet Championship just a few games ago but have slipped after that run. They've scored just twice in their last four games.

Battle of the birds: And a rather one sided battle it has been – the Canaries have failed to record a victory against the Owls in nine attempts, losing a staggering eight times on the bounce in that period.

All games are 3.00pm kick-offs unless stated.

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