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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

13 February 2015

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


AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town

Bournemouth have the chance to reclaim top spot in the Sky Bet Championship when they host Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

The Cherries’ 2-2 draw with fellow title-chasers Derby County in midweek allowed Middlesbrough to pounce and take top spot, and this is the first weekend since mid-December that Eddie Howe's men approach a weekend without holding the lead of the division.

Their return to the summit could be immediate, though, as they only need a point to overtake Boro, who are in FA Cup action.

Manager Howe will be encouraged by the continuing form of striker Callum Wilson, who bagged his 18th goal of the season in all competitions on Tuesday, and Matt Ritchie, who scored for the ninth time this campaign.

Huddersfield were left disappointed in midweek as they fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Chris Powell’s Terriers are struggling for consistency in 15th, having alternated between victories and defeats over their last six matches, but a win on Saturday could push them into the top half of the table should other results favour them.

Terrorised: Huddersfield kicked-off the 2014/15 season against Bournemouth back in August and were blown away on home turf by the South Coast club, conceding within 26 seconds and eventually losing 4-0.


Leeds United v Millwall

Two teams towards the bottom half of the Sky Bet Championship lock horns at Elland Road as Leeds United welcome Millwall to West Yorkshire.

Despite their lowly positions, both Leeds and Millwall have started picking up positive results over recent weeks.

Neil Redfearn's men have won three of their last four, most recently beating Reading 2-0 in midweek, and that has seen them rise to 17th ahead of this weekend's game.

The Lions remain in the relegation zone, sitting 22nd, but they recorded one of the results of the night on Tuesday by seeing off Birmingham City 1-0 on the road. In the away game before that, they notched a 1-0 victory at Nottingham Forest, so will travel with confidence.

Goals have been a slight issue for Ian Holloway's men on their travels – only Charlton and Rotherham have scored fewer than their tally of 12 – and Leeds don't concede very often at Elland Road, only 13 times in 15 games this term to be precise, which is the division's third-best defensive record on home turf.

Home run: History points towards a home victory as the travelling team has only triumphed once in nine meetings between Millwall and Leeds, and that was the latter as they won 1-0 at The Den in March 2012.

The reverse fixture ended 2-0 to Millwall with goals from Mark Beevers and Shaun Williams easing them to a comfortable three points.


Charlton Athletic v Brentford

Charlton Athletic are now 13 Sky Bet Championship games without a win heading into their clash in the capital with Brentford.

The Addicks' last victory came on 8th November when they overcame Reading 1-0 and, since then, they've suffered seven defeats and notched six draws.

They sat eighth and firmly in the Play-Off mix when they edged past the Royals but now lie 20th, on the cusp of the relegation places with only three points between them and the drop zone.

Brentford, meanwhile, have continued to flourish and remain in the Play-Off hunt, holding sixth place with a two-point cushion over nearest- challengers Norwich City.

That means they could drop out of the Play-Offs on Saturday for the first time since 7th November, but only if the Canaries beat Wolves and they slip up at Charlton.

The Bees' recent run of form reads four wins and two defeats over their last six matches, and they have shared the spoils only four times this term, which is the lowest of any side in the Sky Bet Championship.

Charlton are the division's draw specialists, however, with 15 so far, and one of those came on the opening day of the season against Mark Warburton's side when Tommy Smith struck late on for the Bees to cancel out an Igor Vetokele strike.


Nottingham Forest could make it three wins on the spin under new manager Dougie Freedman this weekend when they travel to lowly Blackpool.

Forest have triumphed in their last two outings, despite not winning in 11 prior to Freedman’s arrival, and the most recent came in a comprehensive 3-0 display against Wigan at the City Ground on Wednesday.

That game was not without its drawbacks, however, as their top scorer Britt Assombalonga picked up a knee injury that required an operation, and could see him miss the remainder of the season.
Blackpool were also involved in midweek action, and they nearly stole a point at home to high-flying Middlesbrough, only to be denied in the 88th minute by a Kike goal.

Ipswich Town travel to Fulham after beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at Portman Road. Fulham, meanwhile, fell to their second defeat in three games, against Bolton Wanderers - that run that has seen them slide back to within five points of the relegation zone going into the weekend.

Watford continued their good form on Tuesday when they overcame Play-Off counterparts Brentford 2-1 at Griffin Park for a fourth win in five - they are Bolton's next opponents.

That result allowed the Hornets to go within five points of the automatic promotion places, while Bolton's victory ended their three-match winless stretch. 

Elsewhere, it's seventh against eighth at Carrow Road, where Norwich City host fellow Play-Off chasers Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Canaries are unbeaten in three, notching two wins in their last two, and another victory could lift them into the top six should they beat Wolves, who they lead by two points, but only if Brentford slip up at Charlton.

Sheffield Wednesday are without a win in five after their defeat to Ipswich, and face a Brighton & Hove Albion side in a similar vein of form.

The Seagulls have won just once in their last five matches, and now sit above the drop zone on goal difference only after Millwall’s win at Birmingham three days ago.


Saturday 14th February 2015

Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
Bolton Wanderers v Watford
AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town
Charlton Athletic v Brentford
Fulham v Ipswich Town
Leeds United v Millwall
Norwich City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Sheffield Wednesday v Brighton & Hove Albion

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