Championship Preview – Matchday 12
The Championship returns on Friday evening, with Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday getting the action underway in South Wales.
The hosts saw their six-game unbeaten run ended by leaders West Bromwich Albion last time out, though a return to winning ways would see them move to within a point of the play-off places.
Wednesday begin the weekend three points better off than their opponents and could find themselves top of the table going into Saturday’s games – if they win by two clear goals.
Blackburn Rovers face Huddersfield Town in Saturday’s early kick-off – The Terriers now out of the relegation zone and looking for a third straight victory while bottom club Stoke City will look to build on their first win of the campaign as they host promotion hopefuls Fulham.
The Potters undoubtedly spoilt many an accumulator after winning at high-flying Swansea City, while the Cottagers are currently without defeat in six, though four of those games finished all square.
After taking just one point from the last eighteen available, Reading will be hoping for an immediate impact under new manager Mark Bowen though they host a Preston North End side who haven’t lost in over two months and sit in third.
Swansea also travel to one of the division’s struggling sides – Barnsley – who haven’t won since their surprise victory over Fulham on the opening weekend and have taken just three points since.
The Yorkshire outfit, who won promotion to the second tier as runners up to Luton Town last season, are favourites to be relegated back to League One at a price of 6/4.
Luton are in no way safe from fears of the drop themselves, at least in the eyes of the bookmakers ahead of their match with Bristol City while title favourites Leeds United host Birmingham City.
Queens Park Rangers are one of several sides who could well end the day inside the top six, with Hull City their opponents while Charlton Athletic, who are just one place and one point worse off than Mark Warburton’s side welcome Derby County to The Valley.
There is a London derby at Griffin Park where Brentford take on Millwall, while out-of-form Middlesbrough, who have taken just one point from their last four games face a tough test with leaders West Bromwich Albion the visitors to the Riverside Stadium.
Finally, Nottingham Forest will be waiting to capitalise on any potential slip-ups by the Baggies as they look to make it eleven league games unbeaten as they travel to nineteenth place Wigan Athletic.
The Latics have risen away from the bottom three after winning back-to-back home games, and they have never lost at home to the two-time European Champions.
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