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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 18 preview

25 November 2016

Barnsley and Nottingham Forest get the EFL weekend started under the Friday night lights at Oakwell.

The Sky Sports cameras will remain in Yorkshire throughout Matchday 18, with Rotherham hosting Leeds on Saturday evening, and Huddersfield welcoming Wigan on Monday night.

The other nine games on Saturday afternoon include Newcastle's home fixture with Blackburn. The Magpies have opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship thanks to eight straight wins, and their opponents sit in the bottom three despite a victory last time out.

Elsewhere, second-placed Brighton – 11 unbeaten – host Fulham, and Reading entertain Bristol City on the back of four successive victories.

Ian Holloway got off to the perfect start with QPR last week, and he takes his new charges to Ipswich, while two more relatively new appointments face off at Villa Park – undefeated Steve Bruce going head-to-head with Neil Warnock and his Cardiff side.

Sky Bet Championship Matchday 18 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Friday 25th November 2016

Barnsley v Nottingham Forest (7:45pm – live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 26th November 2016

Aston Villa v Cardiff City
Brentford v Birmingham City
Brighton & Hove Albion v Fulham
Derby County v Norwich City
Ipswich Town v Queens Park Rangers
Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers
Preston North End v Burton Albion
Reading v Bristol City
Rotherham United v Leeds United (5:30pm – live on Sky Sports)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday

Monday 28th November 2016

Huddersfield Town v Wigan Athletic (7:45pm – live on Sky Sports)

Referees: Click here to see the match officials on duty

Five facts

1. The last time Cardiff City found the net against Aston Villa was 28th December 1974. The four games before that, they failed to score, and they've failed to hit the net in the four games since.

2. Leeds are without an EFL victory over Yorkshire foes Rotherham since 1982, failing to overcome the Millers in the last seven. The Whites did knock their rivals out of the FA Cup last year, however.

3. Reading have won the last five fixtures against Bristol City, scoring 11 goals along the way. The Robins have failed to net in the last three of those clashes.

4. Preston North End and Burton Albion clash for the first time in EFL history on Matchday 18. The Lilywhites are six points clear of the Brewers, who are still seeking a first second-tier away win.

5. Expect the net to bulge when Norwich City visit Derby County this weekend – the last seven fixtures between the sides have produced a combined 24 goals.

From the dugout

Social media

🎥 We take you behind the scenes to see Ian Holloway's involvement in the #QPR#MannequinChallenge:

— QPR FC (@QPRFC) November 25, 2016

First words: Check out the initial thoughts of Colin Calderwood after joining Villa as our new assistant manager. 🎥👍😄

— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) November 23, 2016

#TBT - As it's Thanksgiving, we've delved into to the archives to find this strike from American Jovan Kirovski ⚽️🇺🇸

— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) November 24, 2016

.@888sport has promised to ban tangerine from @pnefc for good if they get 1,000 votes to ditch it. Vote now:

— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) November 24, 2016

We will sign off on this historical day at the @DWStadium with an evening shot of the Dave Whelan statue. Thank you for your support!

— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) November 24, 2016

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