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Matchday 27: Sky Bet Championship preview

There are some mouth-watering games around the grounds this weekend!

11 January 2019

The Sky Bet Championship returns this weekend with a host of fantastic fixtures which could have an impact at both ends of the table.

Here's what's coming up in matchday 27...

Blockbuster at Elland Road

The action begins with a huge game on Friday evening between two promotion hopefuls in Leeds United and Derby County. The home side will be looking to bounce back after two straight league defeats, and have the added incentive of knowing victory here would extend their lead at the top, at least temporarily. For Derby, three points in Yorkshire could see them open up a wider gap to rivals Nottingham Forest in seventh.

Albion to leapfrog Canaries? 

Another top-of-the-table affair sees West Bromwich Albion host Norwich City, in a game which promises to be an absolute cracker. These two sides have scored 102  league goals between them already this season and show no signs of slowing down. Just three points separate them going into Saturday's game, but who will come out on top?

Six-pointer at Portman Road

There's a big battle at the bottom on Saturday afternoon, as Rotherham United make the long trip to Ipswich Town for a game which could prove crucial come the end of the season. The Millers secured a confidence-boosting win over Preston North End last time and will be looking to build on that, while Paul Lambert's Ipswich are without a win in four league games, and could do with turning the tide.

Jones' Potters reign begins

This weekend will also see new Stoke City manager Nathan Jones take charge of the Potters for the first time, with a tricky trip to Brentford the first of his hurdles. The 45-year-old earned a reputation for creating a fantastic brand of football at Luton Town, who are flying high in Sky Bet League One, and he'll hope to hit the ground running here, with Stoke able to potentially move within five points of the Play-Offs.

Hull's fine form to continue?

Hull City will be looking to make it six league wins in a row when they face Sheffield Wednesday this weekend. The Tigers are the form team in the Championship, having steered away from relegation trouble and into mid-table in recent weeks, but face a Wednesday side unbeaten in their last four, making for an intriguing match. 

Around the grounds

Elsewhere this weekend, midlands sides Aston Villa and Birmingham will both be looking to get back to winning ways after back-to-back draws; they face Wigan and Middlesbrough respectively. Queens Park Rangers remain well-placed for a Play-Off push and will be hoping for another three points, but face a tough trip to Sheffield United, who have big ambitions of their own. Meanwhile, Preston host Swansea City, Bolton head to Bristol City and Nottingham Forest travel to Reading. In Saturday's late kick-off, Blackburn Rovers travel to in-form Millwall.

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