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Preview: Sky Bet Championship - Matchday 12

5 October 2018

Three televised fixtures on Sky Sports sandwich a dramatic script of Saturday afternoon action. Here’s our preview…

Shuffling the pack

The bumper weekend begins with a lunchtime clash between two top-six contenders, league leaders Leeds United and Brentford, the latter without a victory in five matches in all competitions.

The Bees, who are sixth with 17 points, are also winless on their travels in the Sky Bet Championship but have a decent record in West Yorkshire. They have picked up five points from their last five visits to Elland Road.

While Marcelo Bielsa's side haven't sustained the blistering form with which they started the season, they returned to top spot in midweek with a win at Hull City. They have two wins in their last six games and have beaten the Bees’ in their previous two visits.

It could be all change at the top of the table by the end of the weekend, with one point separating the Sky Bet Championship’s top four. It’s all to play for, and this tasty affair is live on Sky Sports.

Into the Lions’ Den

Aston Villa, now without a permanent manager after relieving Steve Bruce of his role on Wednesday, have recorded just one win in their last 10 matches in all competitions.

Recent history isn't on their side at The Den either, they have returned defeated from their last six trips – their most recent away win came back in 1975. Throw in the fact that all except one of the Lions’ points this campaign have come on home soil and it doesn't look promising for them.

However, Neil Harris’ side have managed just one win this season, losing seven of their last nine league matches and sliding into the relegation zone.

Both Villa and Millwall salvaged draws in injury time during the week, but can either of them end their poor run of form on Saturday?

Around the grounds

There’s another exciting encounter to enjoy at teatime, as Bolton Wanderers host Blackburn Rovers live on Sky Sports. The Trotters have proven to be stubborn hosts for Rovers, defeating their visitors in their last six meetings at the University of Bolton Stadium.

No side has picked up more points in their last five than Norwich City. They will host Stoke City for the first time in the Sky Bet Championship in 10 years on the back of six wins from their last eight in all competitions, the other two games ending in draws.

Third-placed Sheffield United have also climbed the table, winning their last three and they host struggling Hull City on Saturday. Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion are the other teams who could go top on Saturday, and they host Nottingham Forest and Reading respectively.

Winless Ipswich Town will search for their first three points at Swansea City since 1982. The weekend concludes with a Sunday spectacular on Sky Sports Red Button, as Sheffield Wednesday visit Bristol City, who won this match 4-0 in March. 

Saturday 6th October (Kick-off 3pm unless stated)
Leeds United v Brentford (Kick-off 12:30pm – live on Sky Sports)
Birmingham City v Rotherham United
Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest
Millwall v Aston Villa
Norwich City v Stoke City
Preston North End v Wigan Athletic
Queens Park Rangers v Derby County
Sheffield United v Hull City
Swansea City v Ipswich Town
West Bromwich Albion v Reading
Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers (Kick-off 5:30pm – live on Sky Sports)

Sunday 7th October
Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday (Kick-off 1:30pm – live on Sky Sports Red Button)

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