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Sky Bet Championship: Feb 23-25

22 February 2019

Things are heating up both ends of the Sky Bet Championship table, and there are plenty of huge fixtures to look forward to again this weekend.

Baggies take on the Blades

Just one point separates Sheffield United in second place and West Bromwich Albion in fourth place.

The two sides meet at The Hawthorns at the weekend, with both looking to strengthen their automatic promotion credentials.

The Blades have not beaten the Baggies on away soil since October 2003, when they won 2-0 with goals from Michael Tonge and Ashley Ward.

Meanwhile, Darren Moore’s side are looking to complete a league double over Sheffield United for the first time since the 1998/99 season.

League leaders to extend gap at the top?

It has been a season to remember so far for Norwich City and manager Daniel Farke, with the Canaries currently top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Bristol City are the visitors to Carrow Road on Saturday looking to put distance between themselves and Derby County in the race for that final Play-Off spot, as the Rams dropped points to Millwall in midweek.

The Robins are the only team in the top four tiers with a 100 per cent record in 2019, winning six out of six league matches so far.

The Canaries currently house the league’s top-scorer in Teemu Pukki - the Finn has notched 23 goals this season and is looking to become the first Championship player to score in seven consecutive appearances since Jordan Rhodes back in 2013.

Battle at the bottom

Reading and Rotherham United are currently level on points after 33 games in the Championship, making this a massive clash for both sides.

The Royals sit just outside the relegation zone on goal difference, but a win on Saturday could see the Millers leapfrog their opponents into 21st position.

Home soil has been vital for Reading in recent years, having not lost to Rotherham in their last 16 home games.

Paul Warne’s side have drawn their last four league games, and the last time they drew five in a row came all the way back in March 1998.

East Midlands derby under the lights

An eagerly anticipated East Midlands derby takes centre stage in the last game of the weekend, coming from the City Ground on Monday evening.

Martin O’Neill has steadied the ship at Forest since his arrival back in January; the former Republic of Ireland boss has not faced Derby since the 2007/08 season, winning both respective fixtures 2-0 and 6-0.

Derby missed the chance to get back into the Play-Off places after losing 1-0 against Millwall on Wednesday evening at Pride Park.

As tight as this fixture could be on Monday night, fans will not be wanting a repeat of the last two games, which have seen the teams share the points and score no goals in the process.

Around the grounds

Automatic promotion chasers Leeds United and Middlesbrough are both at home this weekend, welcoming Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers respectively.

Birmingham City entertain Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, and the Blues will be hoping they can make it eight wins in their last 12 home games.

Hull City travel to Brentford and Preston North End are also on the road, heading down south to Millwall.

Dean Smith’s Aston Villa have only taken one point from Stoke City in their last five league games, they head to the bet365 Stadium at the weekend.

Down at the bottom, Wigan Athletic welcome Ipswich Town to the DW Stadium hoping to halt a three-match losing streak against the Tractor Boys.

Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday host Swansea City at Hillsborough.

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