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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 25 preview

31 December 2015

The first Sky Bet Championship games of 2016 take place this weekend, with a full schedule spread across two days.

Middlesbrough sit top of the table at New Year - six points and three places better off than their standing at the end of 2014 - and face second-placed Derby County on Saturday.

Here are all the Sky Bet Championship Matchday 25 fixtures (all games kick-off at 3pm unless stated):

Friday 1st January

Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers (live on Sky Sports)
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City (5.15pm - live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 2nd January

Birmingham City v Brentford
Bolton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town
Burnley v Ipswich Town
Cardiff City v Blackburn Rovers
Charlton Athletic v Nottingham Forest
Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday
Leeds United v Milton Keynes Dons
Middlesbrough v Derby County
Preston North End v Rotherham United
Reading v Bristol City

The New Year games kick-off on Friday, when Brighton & Hove Albion host Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Amex Stadium.

Having gone unbeaten in 21 games this season, Brighton lost their second in three matches on Tuesday, falling 1-0 at home to Ipswich Town. Wolves, meanwhile, have recorded back-to-back victories over Reading and Charlton Athletic recently.

At 5.15pm, live on Sky Sports, Queens Park Rangers play third-placed Hull City. It’s been a tough start to life at Loftus Road for manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who is still winless at the helm of the London club with four draws and a defeat to his name.

On Saturday, the top two go head-to-head, with Middlesbrough and Derby County locking horns at the Riverside Stadium.

Fifth-placed Burnley picked up just their second win in nine Sky Bet Championship games midweek and now face Ipswich Town at Turf Moor, the side who sit just one place and three points behind them.

Brentford enjoyed a strong Christmas period - taking seven points from their most recent three games - and they visit St Andrew’s and Birmingham City on Saturday, with the pair locked on 36 points apiece in the race for the Play-Off positions.

Bolton Wanderers remain rooted to the bottom, but provided a gutsy display to beat Blackburn Rovers last time out, and welcome Huddersfield to the Macron Stadium this time around.

Elsewhere, There’s a manager making his dugout debut as Slavisa Jokanovic takes charge of Fulham for the first time, against Sheffield Wednesday.

Read more: Fulham target 'right direction' after appointing Slavisa Jokanovic

Match official appointments

The match official appointments for Football League fixtures over the festive period were announced earlier this week.

Click here to see the match officials on duty in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend

Don't miss it!

Follow coverage of all the first Sky Bet Championship games of 2016 this weekend, via our divisional Twitter feed - @SkyBetChamp.

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