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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 45 preview

29 April 2016

The battle for automatic promotion at the top of the Sky Bet Championship could not be closer ahead of Matchday 45 with the top three only separated by goal difference.

Middlesbrough, currently second, have the opportunity to put pressure on both Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion by beating Birmingham City in Friday night's live televised fixture on Sky Sports.

Aitor Karanka's men will hit the summit if they can avoid defeat, but they could find themselves in third come the end of the weekend if their rivals win their respective matches on Bank Holiday Monday. Both of those games are also live on Sky Sports.

Here are the full list of fixtures taking place in the Sky Bet Championship on Matchday 45. All are 3pm kick-offs unless otherwise stated:

Friday 29th April 2016

Birmingham City v Middlesbrough (7.45pm - live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 30th April 2016

Bolton Wanderers v Hull City (12.30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Brentford v Fulham
Bristol City v Huddersfield Town
Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons
Leeds United v Charlton Athletic
Nottingham Forest v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Reading v Preston North End
Rotherham United v Blackburn Rovers
Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff City

Monday 2nd May 2016

Brighton & Hove Albion v Derby County (2.30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Burnley v Queens Park Rangers (4.45pm - live on Sky Sports)

Dependent on results beforehand, three points against QPR on Monday could seal promotion for Sean Dyche's Burnley. Brighton, currently third, entertain Derby County at the Amex Stadium just a few hours before the Clarets' clash.

Read more: Three teams, two matches, one goal – the Sky Bet Championship promotion race

Derby are guaranteed a Play-Off place, as are Hull who travel to already-relegated Bolton Wanderers for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.

Sheffield Wednesday will tie up the one remaining position if they can avoid defeat against Cardiff City at Hillsborough. The Bluebirds are the only side who can still deprive them of a top-six finish.

Read more: Race for the Play-Offs – Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff City

The relegation places have already been confirmed with Milton Keynes Dons, Charlton Athletic and Bolton to play Sky Bet League 1 football next season.

Ups and downs: The state of play in the Sky Bet Football League

MK Dons travel to Portman Road to play Ipswich Town, while Charlton meet Leeds United at Elland Road. 

Rotherham United, unbeaten in 11 games, lock horns with Blackburn Rovers who on Thursday announced that manager Paul Lambert will leave his position at the end of the season.

Elsewhere, Brentford play Fulham, Bristol City welcome Huddersfield Town to Ashton Gate and Nottingham Forest face Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Preston North End and Reading meet at Deepdale with both teams without a win in their last five fixtures.

Match Official Appointments

The match official appointments for all of the weekend's Football League fixtures have been announced.

Don't miss it!

We'll be providing goal updates from all the weekend's Sky Bet Championship matches on Twitter, via @SkyBetChamp.

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