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The race for the Sky Bet Championship title is hotting up!

13 March 2015

This season is proving to be one of the tightest in history at the top of the Sky Bet Championship, and the plot will thicken this weekend when the battle at the summit continues.

After 36 games, the top four teams – AFC Bournemouth, Derby County, Watford and Middlesbrough – are all tied on 66 points, while the other clubs in the top seven aren't far off the pace.

The Cherries are the current table-toppers thanks to their goal difference of 35, which is largely due to their haul of 74 goals – the best of any Football League side in 2014/15.

Eddie Howe's men have won their last two, against Wolves and Fulham, and this weekend host rock-bottom Blackpool, who are a mammoth 17 points from safety.

Then come Derby County. Despite going three games without a win, the Rams remain in the automatic promotion places ahead of their visit to fifth-placed Norwich City, who are firmly in the mix at the summit with 65 points registered to date.

Third-placed Watford have the longest unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship – four games (W3, D1) – and entertain a Reading side they overcame 1-0 in the reverse meeting back in December, despite seeing Gabriele Angella receive his marching orders on the stroke of half-time.  

Middlesbrough's form has been indifferent of late – alternating between defeats and victories over their last five outings – and they are the focus of Saturday's lunchtime kick-off, with their clash against fellow promotion-chasers Ipswich Town (7th) being screened live on Sky Sports.

The travelling team hasn't won this fixture in eight meetings, so Boro will be confident ahead of the Riverside showdown, particularly as they possess the division's second best home form (P18, W11, D4, L3) and Mick McCarthy's men have only managed one victory in their most recent five (L3, D1).

Brentford (6th, 62 points) cannot be ruled out either. They welcome the visit of Cardiff City after a 1-1 draw with Ipswich last time out, which followed a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Huddersfield Town.

Whatever the weekend's results, the battle for the title and promotion is set to go to the wire. We'll have all the goal action covered on the official Sky Bet Championship Twitter feed - @SkyBetChamp – so sit back, and enjoy the ride!

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