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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

26 September 2014

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

Saturday 27th September 2014

Birmingham City v Fulham

The Blues (20th - 7 points): Drew 2-2 with Norwich last time out to take their winless run to seven games in all competitions. Their last victory came against Brighton at St Andrew’s in mid-August, which was just their second win at home in a year.

The Cottagers (24th - 1 point): Lost 1-0 to Blackburn last Saturday to continue their miserable run – their still without a win in the Sky Bet Championship this season. Caretaker boss Kit Symons held ‘positive’ talks over the managerial vacancy with the owners in the week.

Past glories: This is the first time since January 2001 that the two sides will meet in the Championship, having clashed 16 times in the Premier League since their last second-tier fixture.

Blackburn Rovers v Watford

Rovers (10th - 13 points): Beat struggling Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage in their most recent league outing to make it three wins and three losses in their last six. Strikers Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede are Blackburn’s in-form duo, having scored more than half of their goals so far this season.

The Hornets (4th - 16 points): Drew 1-1 with Bournemouth last week to continue a mixed run of form throughout September. A victory at Ewood Park could see them move into the automatic promotion spaces, should other results go their way. Oscar Garcia is again a doubt to attend the match following a spell in hospital.

Close call: In the 30 league meetings between these sides, Blackburn have edged the head-to-head figures with 11 wins to Watford’s 10, with the other nine ending level.

Blackpool v Norwich City

The Tangerines (23rd - 2 points): Picked up just their second point of the season after a 0-0 draw at Brighton last time out. Have conceded less goals than some sides in the top half of the Sky Bet Championship, having lost by one-goal margins five times in their opening eight fixtures.
The Canaries (2nd - 17 points): Drew 2-2 with Birmingham at Carrow Road last Saturday to extend their unbeaten league run to seven games – their only defeat coming on the first day. They were embarrassingly dumped out of the Capital One Cup in midweek though, by League 2 Shrewsbury Town.
Contrasting fortunes: No side has a better record in the last six matches than Norwich, who have taken 14 points from a possible 18, while Blackpool have taken just two in the same amount of games.

Bolton Wanderers v Derby County

The Trotters (21st - 5 points): Failed to follow up their first win of the season against Rotherham by losing 1-0 away to Wolves last time out. Were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Chelsea in midweek, losing 2-1, but Dougie Freedman’s men gave a good account of themselves at Stamford Bridge.

The Rams (9th - 13 points): Came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Cardiff City at the iPro in their last league outing – their fourth draw from their opening eight games. They then took their undefeated streak to seven games in all competitions when they knocked Reading out of the Capital One Cup in midweek.

Draw specialists: These two have drawn four of their last six matches and despite Derby’s overall strong record against Bolton, the Rams have not got the better of them since March 2002.

Bournemouth v Wigan Athletic

The Cherries (15th - 9 points): Picked up a point by drawing 1-1 away to Watford last weekend, but they're without a victory in their last three at home, losing two of those. Overall, they're winless in six. Were convincing winners in their Capital One Cup tie on Tuesday, triumphing 3-0 at Cardiff.

The Latics (17th - 8 points): Lost 2-1 at home to Ipswich on Monday night, taking their wait for a three-point haul to three matches. They've been unconvincing on the road so far this season, picking up just one point from their four away matches.

Brentford v Leeds United

The Bees (14th - 11 points): Were on the receiving end of a 4-0 thrashing from Middlesbrough in their last league match, a few days after losing 3-0 to Norwich. Their leaky defence have let nine slip in their last three games.

The Whites (12th - 13 points): A 3-0 win at home to Huddersfield last time around means Leeds have taken 10 points from their last 12 available. Appointed new manager Darko Milanic during the week, with the Slovenian  opting to keep caretaker boss Neil Redfearn as part of the first-team set-up.

Cardiff City v Sheffield Wednesday

The Bluebirds (16th - 9 points): Threw away a two-goal lead at Derby County in their last league fixture to draw 2-2 but they've lost three of their last five Championship outings. Russell Slade is the odds-on favourite for the managerial vacancy after he resigned from Leyton Orient.

The Owls (6th - 15 points): Despite their 7-0 thrashing by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, Stuart Gray’s men have had better fortune in the league, winning their last two fixtures. They possess the division’s strongest away record having taken 10 points from a possible 12 on the road.

Battle of the birds: These sides have a tight head-to-head record, with Cardiff winning  25 meetings to Sheffield Wednesday’s 24, and the Bluebirds have won each of the last three.

Charlton Athletic v Middlesbrough

The Addicks (8th - 14 points): Drew 1-1 with Rotherham last weekend to keep their unbeaten league record intact. Their three victories so far have all come at home and they'll jump above their opponents into the Play-Off places with another three points at The Valley on Saturday. 

Boro (5th - 15 points): Thumped Brentford 4-0 last Saturday to record a third consecutive win, and now sit just three points off the top of the table. Were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday after a marathon penalty shoot-out with Liverpool, which ended 14-13 to the Reds.

Buoyant Boro: Middlesbrough have overcome Charlton six times in their last seven meetings, with the Addicks not recording a victory in this match-up since 2006 when they last met in the Premier League.

Huddersfield Town v Millwall

The Terriers (22nd - 5 points): Were convincingly beaten by Leeds United at Elland Road last time around, and have now gone five league games without a victory. Chris Powell’s men are yet to win at the John Smith's Stadium this season, and have scored just twice in front of their home fans.

The Lions (13th - 11 points): Became the third side to take points off Nottingham Forest this season, in a stalemate with the leaders last week. They're searching for their first win of the month, and will have to do so without defender Carlos Edwards after he suffered a serious knee injury in the draw with Forest at The Den.

Ipswich Town v Rotherham United

The Tractor Boys (7th - 14 points): Are the in-form side in the Sky Bet Championship having recorded three wins and a draw in their last four games, with their latest triumph coming against Wigan at the DW Stadium on Monday night. Conor Sammon scored his first goal for nine months in that encounter.

The Millers (19th - 8 points): Held unbeaten Charlton at home last Saturday, but are still searching for their first win in five matches in all competitions. Will be without Paul Taylor and Anthony Wordsworth, who are unable to play against their parent club under the terms of their loan deals.

Nottingham Forest v Brighton & Hove Albion

Forest (1st - 18 points): Drew 0-0 away to Millwall last weekend - the first time they have failed to score a goal all season. Remain unbeaten in the league and gave Tottenham Hotspur an early scare in the League Cup in midweek but eventually lost the game 3-1. Britt Assombalonga has eight goals in eight outings.

The Seagulls (18th - 8 points): Have picked up just two points from a possible 12 in recent fixtures, one of which came in their stalemate with Blackpool last time out. Registered their first win of the month with a 3-0 victory at Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Stroll in the Forest: Brighton have lost just one of their last six visits to the City Ground, with the last defeat coming back in 2006. 

Sunday 28th September 2014

Reading v Wolverhampton Wanderers – 1.15pm
kick-off - live on Sky Sports

The Royals (11th - 13 points): Were brought back down to earth from their four straight wins in all competitions last weekend, losing 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday. Also lost in the Capital One Cup in midweek, to Derby. Three of their four wins this season have come at the Madejski Stadium, where they are averaging two goals a game.  

Wolves (5th - 15 points): Beat Bolton 1-0 at Molineux last Saturday to maintain their 100 per cent home record this season. Victory again this weekend could see them top the division, should Nottingham Forest fail to beat Brighton.

Double trouble: Reading did the double over Wolves last time the two sides were in the same division, with the Royals recording 1-0 and 3-0 victories during the 2008/09 season.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated

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