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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 23 preview

23 December 2016

The Matchday 23 action is split across two days of festive football, with three Sky Bet Championship games live on Sky Sports.

It all begins with Brentford and Cardiff City taking to the field at 1pm on Boxing Day, with nine more fixtures following later in the day.

Eight of those nine will enter the fray at 3pm, when we could see a reshuffle within the Play-Off positions. Third-placed Reading host Norwich City, Huddersfield welcome Nottingham Forest to the John Smith’s Stadium, and Leeds United travel to Deepdale to face former manager Simon Grayson’s Preston North End.

On Boxing Day evening, the Sky Sports cameras will be at the home of the leaders. Newcastle United face sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday and can make it a four-point gap at the top before Brighton are in action the following day.

A Sky Sports double-header follows on Tuesday and it kicks off at 12:30pm. The opening match comes from the AMEX Stadium, where Chris Hughton’s Brighton host QPR in front of a sell-out crowd. That’s followed by Gianfranco Zola’s Birmingham City facing the in-form Derby County.

Sky Bet Championship Matchday 23 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)
Monday 26th December 2016

Brentford v Cardiff City (1pm)
Aston Villa v Burton Albion
Barnsley v Blackburn Rovers   
Huddersfield Town v Nottingham Forest
Ipswich Town v Fulham
Preston North End v Leeds United       
Reading v Norwich City   
Rotherham United v Wigan Athletic       
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Bristol City   
Newcastle United v Sheffield Wednesday (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday 27th December 2016

Brighton & Hove Albion v Queens Park Rangers (12:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Derby County v Birmingham City (3pm - live on Sky Sports)

Referees: Click here to see the match officials on duty

Five facts

1. Fulham have been relatively free-scoring of late, netting 13 times in their last four outings. But Boxing Day opponents Ipswich Town are a side they tend to struggle for goals against. The Cottagers have only scored five in the last eight fixtures against the Tractor Boys.

2. The fixture between Rotherham and Wigan will be the 25th league meeting between the pair. The Latics have won 13 to Rotherham’s six, including their last three visits to the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

3. Molineux hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Bristol City over the years. In fact, it’s been 85 years since they last visited Wolves and left with all three points - a 1-0 triumph in March 1931.

4. Brighton and QPR clash for the 75th time in a league fixture when they meet live on Sky Sports on Tuesday. Brighton hold the slight advantage with 29 wins to QPR’s 28. The Seagulls take their fine form into the match as well as the knowledge that they have only suffered defeat at home to the Rs once in their last six.

5. You can expect goals in the Midlands on Tuesday afternoon - Derby County and Birmingham City haven’t played out a scoreless draw since March 1977 and the last eight matches between the sides have produced 30 goals.

From the dugout

Social media

Preparing for Boxing Day. We will need all of our ambition and determination to get a positive performance.

— Garry Monk (@GarryMonk) December 22, 2016


Villa Park looking glorious in the sunshine today.

There's just no place like home.

— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) December 22, 2016

#XmasStats: The highest, lowest and most common positions achieved after Christmas in the @SkyBetChamp 🎄⚽️


— EFL (@EFL) December 22, 2016

We're training hard to be more competitive as we fight for another three important points at Ipswich.

— Slavisa Jokanovic (@Jokanovic) December 22, 2016

It’s @NUFC at the top of the @SkyBetChamp tree this Christmas! ⚪️⚫️

Here’s the full Christmas table. 🎄

— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) December 22, 2016
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