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Match Previews

CHAMPIONSHIP: WEEKEND PREVIEW

3 October 2014

Thomas Phillips previews the upcoming Sky Bet Championship action


ON THE BOX

Now unbeaten in all three league outings, Scott Young and Danny Gabbidon will attempt to make it four at Bloomfield Road on Friday night in front of the Sky TV cameras. Cardiff City come in to the game on the back of another impressive away point, this time at Brighton. The Tangerines also picked up an away point last time out away at Middlesbrough, the draw resulting in just their third point of the campaign, as Jose Riga’s Blackpool are still winless after the first ten fixtures.

The Bluebirds and The Seasiders are not the only teams selected for television viewing this weekend. Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday match up in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Elland Road, and with the two teams separated by little more than thirty miles it could prove to be a fiery encounter. There is also very little separating the two teams in the league standings. Wednesday are currently the higher of the two, but that could all change as there is only two points between them and Leeds. The Owls are ninth with sixteen points and the Whites twelfth with fourteen.

STILL UNBEATEN

Remarkably, after ten games in an extremely competitive division, there are still two clubs who have not yet experienced defeat. Nottingham Forest are in second place after drawing their last three fixtures, the latest a 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium against Wigan. The team tasked with trying to end the unbeaten streak is Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town, who also come into the game in a rich vein of form. Unbeaten in the last six games, with four victories, they find themselves just two points behind pace setters Norwich, Forest and Watford in fifth place.

Charlton Athletic ended a run of three draws with what was arguably their best result of the season, three points away at league leaders Norwich City. Bob Peeters will be looking at an assault on the automatic places Saturday when Birmingham City travel to the Valley. Like Ipswich, the Addicks sit just two points behind the leaders and depending on other results could top the charts before Forest play on Sunday.

BEST OF THE REST

The Championship is once again proving to be a difficult league to predict with just three points separating the top eight teams. Watford are third in the standings and only miss out on the top two because of inferior goal difference. Brighton will be the team travelling to Vicarage Road and hoping to inflict defeat on the Hornets’ for the first time in four games.

Now seven games unbeaten, Derby County sit one point off top. This weekend they are at home for the visit of Millwall. The Lions won last time out at the iPro Stadium after being thumped at The New Den 5-1 earlier in the same season. Ian Holloway’s team will be looking to halt a run of four defeats and a draw but will face an uphill battle against a team who have not lost on home soil this season.

Middlesbrough welcome Fulham to the Riverside on Saturday afternoon also looking to extend a hefty unbeaten run. Boro, now unbeaten in five, could be facing Kit Syman’s side at the wrong time. After a winless first eight games, the Cottagers have now won the last two, picking up three points at Birmingham and then hitting Bolton Wanderers for four back at Craven Cottage. Under the temporary management of Symons, the London club could climb out of the relegation zone if they make it three from three on Saturday.

Full Fixture List

Friday 3rd October
Blackpool v Cardiff City

Saturday 4th October
Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday
Blackburn v Huddersfield 
Bolton v Bournemouth
Brentford v Reading
Charlton v Birmingham
Derby v Millwall
Middlesbrough v Fulham
Norwich v Rotherham
Watford v Brighton
Wolves v Wigan

Sunday 5th October
Nottingham Forest v Ipswich

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