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Preview: Sky Bet Championship – Matchday 5

24 August 2018

Three days' worth of Sky Bet Championship action are on the way, and we take a look at the weekend fixtures here...

Friday night football

After a manic midweek, the Championship action continues under the lights on Friday night, with a clash between two sides who are in good form at this early stage of the season.

Middlesbrough have racked up three straight wins since drawing their season opener and are now second on goal difference, amassing 10 points from a possible 12 while conceding just two goals in the process.

That defence will be tested by the division’s top scorers, West Bromwich Albion, who put seven goals past QPR last weekend. Jay Rodriguez has four goals for the Baggies, while the likes of Matty Phillips, Harvey Barnes and Dwight Gayle are men in form too.

This could be a cracker of a contest, and it’s one you can watch live on Sky Sports.

Home comforts

Blackburn Rovers haven’t lost a league game at home since mid-September in 2017, but that record was nearly undone on Wednesday night when they trailed 2-0 against Reading with 25 minutes played.

Skipper Charlie Mulgrew stepped up though, quite literally, by converting two second-half penalties to extend their Ewood Park form and their unbeaten start to the Championship campaign.

This weekend, they welcome another of the division’s unbeaten sides — Brentford. The Bees were just moments away from joining the leading pack until conceding a last-gasp leveller at Villa Park in midweek, but have lost their last three matches against Rovers.

Around the grounds

Leeds United top the table and take their unbeaten run to Norwich City, who got their first win of the season by beating Preston North End at Carrow Road on Wednesday night.

Four more unbeaten sides are all at home — Bolton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest welcome Sheffield United, Reading and Birmingham City respectively, while Swansea City welcome Bristol City to Liberty Stadium.

Queens Park Rangers are yet to earn a point and face an in-form Wigan Athletic at Loftus Road, Ipswich Town go to Sheffield Wednesday in search of a first win, and Stoke City are still to obtain maximum points — they host Hull City at Bet365 Stadium.

Friday 24 August

Middlesbrough v West Bromwich Albion (7:45PM – live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 25 August (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Aston Villa v Reading
Blackburn Rovers v Brentford
Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield United
Derby County v Preston North End
Norwich City v Leeds United
Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City (5:30PM – live on Sky Sports)
Queens Park Rangers v Wigan Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday v Ipswich Town
Stoke City v Hull City
Swansea City v Bristol City

Sunday 26 August

Rotherham United v Millwall (12:30PM – live on Sky Sports)

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