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Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 19 preview

The Sky Bet Championship is back again with a full round of fixtures split over the next two nights

27 November 2018

All 24 teams feature, with the action kicking off under the lights on Tuesday evening. Six fixtures take place tonight before another six encounters on Wednesday evening. 


Can PNE extend their run against high flying Boro?


Not only are they unbeaten in their last 12 meetings with Middlesbrough, but Preston North End go in to tonight’s game on a run that has seen them avoid defeat in their last eight matches. 


They will fancy their chances tonight against Boro after a convincing 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. But with 11 clean sheets, the visitors have kept more than any other team in English league football this season and could conceivably go top of the table with a win at Deepdale. 


Fortress Elland Road – can Reading cause a shock at Leeds? 


Leeds have lost only once in their last 13 league matches at Elland Road and are unbeaten at home since September. After their 2-0 victory against Bristol City, they sit just three points behind the leaders. 


By contrast, Reading have only won once away from home in their last 17 league matches on the road and haven’t found the net in the last two away from home. The Royals are in desperate need of the points too, as they sit outside the relegation places on just goal difference. 


Flying Canaries to extend their run at the top? 


Having scored four goals in their last three matches, Norwich City face a trip to the north east to face Hull City, with their striker Teemu Pukki in supreme form, scoring three in his last four games. 


Hull meanwhile are fighting for their lives in the bottom three with just two points from their last seven games. If they can get something from tonight’s encounter against the Canaries, it will stop the visitors from winning seven in a row for the first time since January 2010 when they won eight consecutive matches. 


Can the Blades sharpen their form to get back in contention at the top? 


Sheffield United head to Griffin Park tonight winless in their last three Sky Bet Championship away games and have taken just one point from their last three league visits to Griffin Park. 

But they face a Brentford side who despite featuring the league’s top scorer are in a poor run of form themselves and have lost five of the last six, winning just one game in their last 11 matches. 

They will rely heavily on set pieces causing issues for the visitors as the Bees are the side who have scored most goals in the division from corners. 


Around the grounds


Rotherham United fought back to earn themselves a point against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United at the weekend. It was an encouraging performance from the Millers but they will be keen to turn their recent performances in to wins, with seven draws from their last nine games. 


They face a QPR side who have enjoyed a major change of fortune of late and since losing their first four league games of the season, only Norwich have won more points in the Championship than QPR. 


Finally on Tuesday evening, Bolton Wanderers travel to Sheffield Wednesday looking to overturn their current run of poor form that sees them winless in their eight games.


Wednesday 28 November 


Rowett faces the Rams in the Potteries

Gary Rowett and his Stoke City side host Derby County on Wednesday night – the first time the Potters manager has faced his old club since he left them at the end of last season. 


Derby have done well on the road this season and hold the league record for winning the most points (13) from losing positions. 


Despite being unbeaten in their last five matches, Stoke have only managed to win one of those games and still sit in 13th place, eight points behind the visitors. 


Midlands clash at Villa Park


In-form Aston Villa face Nottingham Forest at Villa Park in arguably the game of the midweek matches. 


Villa sit just three points behind Forest in 7th place and the home side have won their last three consecutive games, but Forest are in a rich vein of form themselves with three wins from their last five games. A run that includes three straight clean sheets which has proven essential to their recent resurgence. 


Baggies to bag more goals at Swansea? 


With 29 goals, West Bromwich Albion have scored more second half league goals this season than Swansea City have netted in total with 20. It’s a statistic that showcases why the Swans are currently off the pace in the Sky Bet Championship, in 10th place. 

After a four-match winless run, West Brom have bounced back to form with consecutive victories, netting six goals in the process and they are just three points outside the automatic promotion places. 


Around the grounds

Elsewhere on Wednesday evening, Birmingham face a tricky trip to the Den to face Millwall where they haven’t lost consecutive matches at this level of league competition since 1996. 

The Lions have found the back of the net in 16 of their last 17 Sky Bet Championship games at home. 

Wigan face Blackburn Rovers in another Sky Bet Championship Lancashire derby. They will be hoping to fare better than they did at the weekend (losing 4-1 to Preston), but they haven’t won at the DW Stadium in their last nine league visits. 

Ipswich Town are still rooted to the bottom of the table as they welcome Bristol City to Portman Road. 

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