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Preview - Sky Bet Championship Matchday 9

21 September 2018

After a set of entertaining midweek matches, there’s even more reason to look forward to a full programme of Sky Bet Championship fixtures this weekend…

Flying Rangers

After a sticky start to this season, losing their opening four games, Queens Park Rangers have completely flipped their fortunes, claiming three maximum point hauls and one draw in their last four matches in the division.

Steve McClaren’s side, now in 16th, will look to continue this resurgence as they welcome Norwich City to Loftus Road, who like QPR are experiencing an upturn in form.

Goals are to be expected from this fixture too, in their last four meetings, the ball has hit the back of the net on 14 occasions — this fixture is live on Sky Sports on Saturday evening to ensure you don’t miss a kick.

We meet again

Blackburn Rovers face a tricky away trip to an opponent they haven’t faced at this level in some time… they’re at the bet365 Stadium to play Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

This will be the first time these sides have met in English football’s second tier since 1990, having spent four seasons with each other in the Premier League.

Despite this, the Potters were relegated from the top flight in May, at the same time as Rovers were promoted from Sky Bet League One. Stoke are unbeaten in the last seven league matches against Blackburn, having won six of those, however, Rovers will look to end this run by repeating their 4-1 victory over the Potters in the FA Cup over three and a half years ago.

Monk returns

Birmingham City manager, Garry Monk, faces former side Leeds United on Saturday with the two clubs’ fortunes being polar opposites at the moment.

The Blues sit 20th in the division and are still without a win after six draws and two losses, and have the worst attacking record in the division with five goals. While Leeds, now managed by Marcelo Bielsa, are top of the league, the only unbeaten side in the Championship and have found the net on 18 occasions — only West Bromwich Albion have scored more.

Around the grounds

This weekend’s action kicks-off with Bristol City’s trip to Wigan Athletic under the Friday night lights live on Sky Sports. Both teams have won two of the last four meetings, but Bristol City have scored 12 in their last five matches and will want to bounce back from their loss to West Brom on Tuesday.

On the back of this result, the Baggies will visit Millwall for the first time in more than 14 years this weekend, a place where they have failed to win since 1987. Sheffield Wednesday will also face Aston Villa, a fixture which boasted a six-goal thriller last February.

Middlesbrough and Brentford will look to gain ground on the top spot against Swansea City and Derby County respectively, whilst Reading welcome Hull City in a clash at the opposite end of the table.

Friday 21 September

Wigan Athletic v Bristol City (7:45pm – live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 22 September (Kick-off 3pm unless stated)

Aston Villa v Sheffield Wednesday

Derby County v Brentford

Ipswich Town v Bolton Wanderers

Leeds United v Birmingham City

Middlesbrough v Swansea City

Nottingham Forest v Rotherham United

Reading v Hull City

Sheffield United v Preston North End

Stoke City v Blackburn Rovers

West Bromwich Albion v Millwall

QPR v Norwich City (5:30pm – live on Sky Sports)

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