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Sky Bet Championship - Matchday 16 preview

2 November 2018

With just four points separating the top six teams in the Sky Bet Championship, it’s set to be another intriguing round of games as we enter Matchday 16. 

Can Blues make it five in a row at Derby?

The most eye catching of this weekend’s fixtures is perhaps at Pride Park. The Rams are back on home soil for the first time since their victory over Sheffield United. Since then, they have accumulated four more points on the road from games against West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough. 

They welcome a Birmingham side who are currently on the longest unbeaten run of any team in England. Garry Monk’s Blues are looking for their fifth consecutive win, which would take them above Frank Lampard's side in the table. 

The Blues record at Pride Park is poor though and they have only come out on top once in their last 10 visits. With Derby this season only having lost once in their last 12 games, it should all make for an intriguing meeting on Saturday. 


Can Forest blunt the Blades? 

Sky Bet Championship leaders Sheffield United travel to the City ground on Saturday hoping to get only their second league victory in 12 visits to Forest. 

Forest have enjoyed themselves at home this season and their defeat against Norwich City on home soil was only their second loss in 12 games at the City Ground. 

The leaders will hope to continue their successful start to the season with star striker and last week’s hat-trick hero, Billy Sharp, only one goal behind Brentford’s Neal Maupay on 10 goals this campaign. 


London Derby on the cards

Millwall travel to Brentford on Saturday hoping to improve upon their recent record in this London Derby. 

The Lions have not won a game on the road in any of their last eight fixtures between the two sides, while eight of the last 12 meetings have ended in draws. 

Thomas Frank’s Brentford side go in to this one on the back of three straight defeats and without a win in the last eight league games. Millwall will hope to take advantage, with their striker Lee Gregory in the goals, having netted four times in his last six games. 


Pulis returns to Stoke City

After managing Stoke City for 333 games in two spells at the club, the now Middlesbrough manager takes his side back to the Potters hoping to heap more misery on his former employers – a game that’s live on Sky Sports Football on Saturday evening. 

Pulis has a good record as a manager against the Potters – he’s unbeaten in his last 13 matches against them and will be hopeful Boro can continue that form as they look to continue their promotion push. 

Stoke meanwhile enjoyed a backs to the wall victory at Bristol City last time out, but it's at home that Gary Rowett’s men need to improve, having already lost three times at home this season. 


Fortress DW

Wigan are still unbeaten at home this season and have lost just once in their last 21 home games as they welcome Leeds United to the DW Stadium on Sunday.

When Luke Ayling hasn’t played - and he will miss this weekend’s game through injury - the visitors haven’t picked up a win on their travels since the 2016-17 season.

The game is live on Sky Sports Football on Sunday at 1.30pm. 


Around the grounds

Norwich City face a tough trip to Sheffield Wednesday, where the Owls haven’t lost at home to the visitors for 16 years, the last defeat a 1-0 win for the Canaries in 2001.

Friday night’s game, live on Sky Sports, sees Aston Villa welcome a struggling Bolton Wanderers to Villa Park on Friday night. With the visitors picking up just a single point from their last five games, Villa will look to get back to winning ways themselves having lost their last two at Norwich and QPR. 

Steve McClaren’s QPR side travel to Ewood Park on Saturday, a ground they haven’t won at in their last seven visits. But the R’s are in a rich vein of form and have only dropped two points from a possible last 15.  

Elsewhere, Swansea will hope to improve their recent poor away from at Rotherham United. It’s the first league meeting between the two sides for 11 years and despite having won their last two games, the Swans haven’t scored away from home in the last four league games. 


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