Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship weekend preview

16 January 2015

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


Derby County v Nottingham Forest

Derby County climbed to joint-top of the Sky Bet Championship last week when they beat fellow high-flyers Ipswich Town, and the Rams now trail Bournemouth on goal difference only, as they prepare to welcome rivals Nottingham Forest to the iPro Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

Steve McClaren’s men have been in title-winning form of late, losing just twice in their last 10 league outings, and it’s a run that is a stark contrast to the one visitors Forest are enduring.

Despite leading the division in the early part of the season, Stuart Pearce’s side have won just two of their last 18 in all competitions, and have been beaten in all of their last four.

Pearce has admitted this week that the club's current run has represented his most difficult time in management, but turning the tables on Derby this weekend would give his squad a much-needed boost. A victory for hosts Derby on Saturday would however, see them return to top spot for a few hours at least.

Pride at the Park: Derby have lost just once in their last 12 home games against rivals Forest, with the latest clash on the Rams' turf ending 5-0 in their favour.


Norwich City v Cardiff City

New Norwich City manager Alex Neil will make his Carrow Road bow this weekend in the Sky Bet Championship when his Canaries host Cardiff City.

Neil’s reign at the helm started almost perfectly last weekend when his side handed just a second defeat since October to Bournemouth, in a 2-1 win at Goldsands Stadium, although Jonny Howson was given his marching orders.

Cardiff will complete the 530-mile round journey to East Anglia after a 1-0 home win against Fulham last weekend. The victory was a mere sideshow for the Bluebirds' faithful, though, with the afternoon marking a return to their traditional blue colours after two-and-a-half years in red.

Norwich and Cardiff are six points apart in the league table, but victory could see the former re-enter the Play-Off places, while the latter sit 11th place on 34 points after just three wins from their last 10 showings.

Battle of the birds: Norwich’s 4-2 victory over Cardiff earlier in the campaign  was their first in five meetings with the Welsh club, and they’ve not done the double over them since the 2005/06 season.


Watford v Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic travel to Watford this weekend looking for a fresh start after the dismissal of Bob Peeters. New head coach Guy Luzon was expected to take to the dugout for the first time in The Football League however it was confirmed late on Friday that his work permit won't be issued in time. Instead first-team coach Damian Matthew and goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts will oversee the trip to the Hornets.

Guy Luzon: The story behind Charlton Athletic’s new head coach

Luzon replaced Bob Peeters at the Charlton helm with the Addicks on a run of one win in their most recent 10 Championship games, which has seen them fall 10 points adrift of the Play-Off places having previously been knocking on the door earlier this term.

Like Charlton, Watford have changed managers this season - Slavisa Jokanovic became the Hornets' fourth manager of the season when he was appointed back in October, and he is still adjusting to English football.  Jokanovic has won six of his 14 league games in charge of the club, and they occupy the final Play-Off slot despite losing twice in their last three matches.

Tough act to follow: Charlton have a strong recent record against Watford having not lost in any of their last four meetings with them.


Leaders Bournemouth travel to Rotherham United after losing their first Sky Bet Championship game in 15 outings, but they will be confident ahead of Saturday's clash having recently beat the Millers 5-1 at the New York Stadium in the FA Cup Third Round.

High-flying Ipswich Town are also on the road this weekend, as they look to put right 1-0 losses to Derby and Southampton in the last seven days. They take on a struggling Millwall side who are on a run of four straight defeats in the league, and Ian Holloway’s men were also dumped out of the FA Cup in midweek after a 4-0 defeat to Bradford City.

Brighton & Hove Albion will be looking to make it three consecutive wins for the first time this campaign when they welcome Brentford to the south coast with manager Chris Hughton’s 100 per cent record on the line.

Middlesbrough have triumphed once in four, scoring only three goals in that time, and they take on a Huddersfield Town side on an opposite wave of form, with the Terriers having registered wins against Bolton and Watford of late.

Fulham have lost their last three league games to sit 18th and they face Reading, who are one place above them and unbeaten in three, at Craven Cottage.

Elsewhere, Neil Lennon’s Bolton Wanderers have only lost once in their last 10 games ahead of a trip to Sheffield Wednesday, who are ninth thanks to a three-game winning streak.

The bottom two, Wigan Athletic and Blackpool, both face top-half sides in Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively, while Leeds United, who are just two points above the drop zone, lock horns with the in-form Birmingham City.


Saturday 17th January 2015

Derby County v Nottingham Forest
Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford
Fulham v Reading
Leeds United v Birmingham City
Middlesbrough v Huddersfield Town
Millwall v Ipswich Town
Norwich City v Cardiff City
Rotherham United v Bournemouth
Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton Wanderers
Watford v Charlton Athletic
Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackpool

Advertisement block