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Match Previews

CHAMPIONSHIP: MATCH 30 PREVIEW

9 February 2015


Cardiff City return to home soil on Tuesday night as they welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to the Welsh capital. The Bluebirds enter the game on the back of an impressive point away to Sheffield Wednesday while the visitors will be looking to recover from a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest. Despite losing to Blackpool in their last away outing, the Seagulls have lost on just one occasion in their last four, a record only bettered by four clubs. Their solid performances on the road have not prevented them teetering on the edge of the relegation zone, sitting just one place and two points above the drop zone coming into the midweek fixtures. Positive news for the City strike force is that the South Coast side have conceded at least one goal in their last seven fixtures.

TOP OF THE TABLE TUSSLES



The fixture lottery has resulted in four of the top six meeting this week. This includes first placed Bournemouth matching up against second placed Derby County at the Goldsands Stadium. The teams are only separated by the Cherries’ superior goal difference at the top, with both accumulating 57 points so far. The Rams and their promotion chasing counterparts have lost just twice in the last ten but Bournemouth’s record against the top six may give County hope. Eddie Howe’s team have just two wins from six against teams in the automatic places and play off spots and also lost 2-0 to the Rams at the iPro Stadium back in September.

Watford will be making the 22 mile trip to Griffin Park as they attempt to leapfrog fellow playoff placed Brentford. The Bees are currently lying in fourth just two points ahead of their midweek visitors. Goals could be on the cards in London as the two teams have scored over 100 goals this season and it is a fixture that hasn’t produced a goalless draw since the 1957/58 season. The Hornets ran out 2-1 victors in the reverse fixture and if they are were to collect three points it would be the fourth home defeat for Mark Warburton’s men.

DROP ZONE DWELLERS



There may be 17 games left in the calendar but Blackpool and Wigan Athletic are in danger of being left behind with the two currently nine and seven points adrift of safety respectively. The Tangerines are facing an uphill battle and it does not get any easier this week as in-form Middlesbrough visit Bloomfield Road. ‘Boro, travel to Lancashire after a fine January resulting in manager Aitor Karanka gaining the coveted ‘Manager of the Month’ award and Lee Tomlin collecting the  ‘Player of the Month’ award, this after conceding just one goal in four unbeaten games with Tomlin scoring three. Blackpool will be glad to have a home outing after they have conceded 11 in their last two away games, including a 7-2 thumping at Watford.

Wigan will have to wait until Wednesday for their tie, a testing trip to face the Tricky Trees, Nottingham Forest. The Latics have struggled of late with just two points from a possible 18 and just three goals during those six matches. Forest have parted company with Stuart Pearce and now have Dougie Freedman at the helm. The Scot got off to a perfect start with an away win at Brighton and will be keen to get a home victory under his belt at the first time of asking.

BEST OF THE REST



A few seasons ago this would have been an all Premier League affair but now Bolton Wanderers and Fulham is a battle between 17th and 16th in the Championship. The Cottagers hit Wanderers for four in their home tie and will now look for more of the same at the Macron Stadium. Under the stewardship of Neil Lennon, the Trotters have proved to a much more stubborn outfit and will be unlikely to roll over as easily this time around but the London side have the record books in their favour. They have won the last four encounters, scoring 12 and not letting in a single goal and also boast a five game unbeaten streak when travelling to their North Western opponents. A win for either team could see them rise to as high as 11th in the league depending on other results.

Full Fixture List
Unless Stated 19:45

Tuesday 10th February
Birmingham v Millwall
Blackburn v Rotherham
Blackpool v Middlesbrough
Bournemouth v Derby
Brentford v Watford
Cardiff v Brighton
Charlton v Norwich
Huddersfield v Wolves
Ipswich v Sheffield Wednesday
Bolton v Fulham
Reading v Leeds

Wednesday 11th February
Nottingham Forest v Wigan

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