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Championship MatchDay 05 ~ Preview

last updated Saturday 30th August 2014, 11:18 AM
Championship MatchDay 05 ~ Saturday 30th August 2014

12:15 Sheffield Wednesday v Nottingham Forest ~ Sky1

The Owls: Enjoying a blistering start to the 2014/15 season. Stuart Gray's men are unbeaten in four in the Sky Bet Championship and overcame Premier League Burnley in the Capital One Cup Round 2 on Tuesday. Signed Everton striker Hallam Hope on loan this week.

Championship MatchDay 04
Saturday 30th August 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
30:0812:15 Sheff WedN ForestGraham SalisburyHillsborough Sky1
30:0815:00 BrightonCharltonKeith HillAmEx Stadium  
30:0815:00 DerbyIpswichEddie IldertoniPRO Stadium  
30:0815:00 FulhamCardiffJames AdcockCraven Cottage  
30:0815:00 LeedsBoltonSimon HooperElland Road  
30:0815:00 MiddlesbroughReadingDarren BondRiverside Stadium  
30:0815:00 MillwallBlackpoolAndy WoolmerThe Den  
30:0815:00 NorwichBournemouthStephen MartinCarrow Road  
30:0815:00 RotherhamBrentfordStuart AttwellNew York Stadium  
30:0815:00 WatfordHuddersfieldNeil SwarbrickVicarage Road  
30:0815:00 WiganBirminghamDavid WebbDW Stadium  
30:0815:00 WolvesBlackburnKeith StroudMolineux Stadium  
Forest: Also on a great run of form, booking their place in Round 3 of the Cup in midweek to complement their League streak of three wins and one draw. Sit top of the pile and are the division's top scorers with 10 goals.

New boys: Forest's 10 league goals this season have all been scored by new signings; Britt Assombalonga (4), Michael Antonio (3), Matty Fryatt (2) and Chris Burke (1).

Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Sam Hutchinson (back) faces another fitness test. Fellow midfielder Kieran Lee will play no part as he is still struggling with a groin injury, but new signing Hallam Hope could make his debut.

Forest's Henri Lansbury and Jamaal Lascelles made their return from knee injuries during midweek and could feature. David Vaughan (hamstring) and Kelvin Wilson (calf) both played 90 minutes for Forest's development squad this week as they continued to step up their recovery from injury.

Last season: Nottm Forest 3 Sheff Wed 3, Sheff Wed 0 Nottm Forest 1

Top scorers (all competitions): Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheff Wed) 4; Michail Antonio and Britt Assombalonga (Nottm Forest) 4

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)

Verdict: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Nottingham Forest 3

15:00 Brighton & Hove Albion v Charlton Athletic

The Seagulls: After starting with two defeats, they've bounced back with two league victories, as well as a 4-2 midweek win against Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup. They've added striker Sam Baldock to their ranks this week, which will give them a further boost.

Nathan Jones exclusive: The Brighton coach talks about last season's Play-Off defeat to Derby and what it's like working for new manager Sami Hyypia.

The Addicks: Life under Bob Peeters has been positive so far for Charlton with two wins and two draws in the Sky Bet Championship. The manager experienced his first defeat as the Addicks boss in midweek, suffering a 1-0 Cup loss at Derby

Sam Baldock could be handed his Brighton debut after joining on a four-year contract from Bristol City. Kazenga LuaLua may miss out with an ankle injury while Dale Stephens (ankle) is still sidelined.

Charlton will check on goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, who has missed the last three matches with a hamstring injury. Right-back Chris Solly is set to return having sat out the midweek Capital One Cup defeat to Derby to rest his troublesome knee.

Last season: Brighton 3 Charlton 0, Charlton 3 Brighton 2

Top scorers (all competitions): Jake Forster-Caskey, Joao Teixeira and Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton) 2; Igor Vetokele (Charlton) 3

Referee: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)

Verdict: Brighton 1 Charlton 0

15:00 Derby County v Ipswich Town

The Rams: Two wins, one draw and one defeat represents a relatively good start for last season's defeated Play-Off Finalists. They thumped Fulham 5-1 last time out in the League at the iPro Stadium.

The Tractor Boys: Won on the opening day but have since slumped to two defeats and a draw. Last weekend they lost the East Anglian derby 1-0. Haven't won in five on the road in all competitions either side of summer.

Eight-goal thriller: This match last season, in October, was Steve McClaren's first as the new Derby manager and it ended 4-4, with the Rams coming back from 4-1 down.

Jake Buxton, Jamie Ward and John Eustace were all rested for Derby's cup win over Charlton while standout performances from Zak Whitbread, Ivan Calero, and Ryan Shotton will have given Rams boss Steve McClaren food for thought.

Jonathan Parr, Kevin Bru and Alex Henshall could all be pushing for a place for Ipswich, with just 16 senior players available. Conor Sammon is ineligible to face his parent club while Cameron Stewart (jaw) and Stephen Hunt (calf) still sidelined.

Last season: Ipswich 2 Derby 1, Derby 4 Ipswich 4

Top scorers (all competitions): Chris Martin and Jamie Ward (Derby) 3; Christophe Berra (Ipswich) 2

Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)

Verdict: Derby 3 Ipswich 1

15:00 Fulham v Cardiff City

The Cottagers: Have lost their opening four league games in a season for the first time since 1956. Last weekend's hammering by Derby could be the wake-up call they need, having overcome Brentford 1-0 in the Cup on Tuesday. Signed experienced goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly this week. Yes, the one that used to wear tracksuit bottoms for Crystal Palace.

The Bluebirds: Were unbeaten after three games before a 1-0 reverse at Wolves last Saturday. Overcame Port Vale 3-2 in the Cup in midweek and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased with his young side, which he talks about in the latest In the City.

Fulham have doubts over Scott Parker (ankle) and Mark Fotheringham (hip). Boss Felix Magath rotated his squad for the midweek Capital One Cup win at Brentford but might be tempted to keep changes to a minimum this time after the Cottagers won their first game of the season.

Cardiff striker Federico Macheda is set to make his league debut after his two-goal show in midweek away to Port Vale. Aron Gunnarsson (ankle) is battling to be fit so summer signing Kagisho Dikgacoi could make his first league start in the Icelandic midfielder's absence.

Last season: Fulham 1 Cardiff 2, Cardiff 3 Fulham 1

Top scorers (all competitions): Ross McCormack, Tim Hoogland and Scott Parker (Fulham) 1; Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff) 3

Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)

Verdict: Fulham 2 Cardiff 1

15:00 Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers

The Whites: Managerless after Dave Hockaday was dismissed following a 2-1 defeat to Yorkshire rivals Bradford in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday. They've lost three of four in the Championship, winning the other, and were soundly beaten 4-1 at Watford last Saturday. Neil Redfearn is in caretaker charge.

The Trotters: Bolton have also lost three of four, drawing the other, to sit in the relegation places. They've conceded nine goals - the joint-worst in the division. Will take confidence from the fact they won 5-1 on their last trip to Elland Road.

Level: The head-to-head record between these sides is 23-all with regards to wins, alongside 13 draws.

Leeds caretaker boss Neil Redfearn could hand Casper Sloth his debut as the club start life without sacked head coach Dave Hockaday. Luke Murphy and Sam Byram are both suspended while Rodolph Austin (hamstring), Gaetano Berardi (concussion), Souleymane Doukara, Aidy White (both ankle) and Steve Morison are out.

Dougie Freedman will likely ring the changes again for Bolton following their midweek Capital One Cup win against Crewe, but former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford will hope for a starting berth. Mark Davies is still waiting to get the all-clear to return from a toe injury while Dean Moxey (foot) could also come back into the fray.

Last season: Leeds 1 Bolton 5, Bolton 0 Leeds 1

Top scorers (all competitions): Souleymane Doukara (Leeds) 2; Jermaine Beckford, Neil Danns and Craig Davies (Bolton) 2

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Verdict: Leeds 0 Bolton 1

15:00 Middlesbrough v Reading

Boro: Two wins and two defeats leaves them mid-table. They won 2-1 at Bolton in their last away match but haven't won at Reading in three visits. Added Tottenham's Ryan Fredericks to their ranks this week, on a season-long loan.

The Royals: They've lost their past two after four points from their first couple of matches. Were thumped 4-0 at Forest last Saturday but responded by winning 1-0 at Scunthorpe in the Cup in midweek, which pleased boss Nigel Adkins.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka made six changes for the Capital One Cup victory over Preston but Tomas Mejias, George Friend, Kenneth Omeruo, Grant Leadbitter, Adam Reach and Kike should return after being left out.

Oliver Norwood returns to a Reading squad decimated by injuries after being cup-tied for the midweek Capital One Cup win at Scunthorpe. But the Royals will again be without Jordan Obita, Hal Robson-Kanu, Stephen Kelly, Danny Williams, Jem Karacan (all knee), Garath McCleary (back), Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Guthrie (both calf).

Last season: Reading 2 Middlesbrough 0, Middlesbrough 3 Reading 0

Top scorers (all competitions): Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) 4; Jake Taylor (Reading) 2

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)

Verdict: Middlesbrough 1 Reading 0

15:00 Millwall v Blackpool

The Lions: Suffered a 1-0 reverse against Rotherham last weekend, which ended their 12-match undefeated spell either side of summer. They also lost 2-0 at home to Southampton in the Cup in midweek.

The Tangerines: Four defeats in four leaves them alongside Fulham at the foot of the division. They have a fairly good record at Millwall, losing just once away to the Lions in five visits since 1999.

Watford loanee Mathias Ranegie could make his Millwall debut against Blackpool. Boss Ian Holloway made nine changes for the midweek Capital One Cup defeat by Southampton so the likes of Alan Dunne and Ricardo Fuller are in line to return but Nicky Bailey (calf) and Ed Upson (thigh) are set to miss out again.

Midfielder Andrea Orlandi could be back in Blackpool's squad after declaring himself fit following injury. Steven Davies may also return to the fold following a knee injury, but the same ailment keeps defender Gary MacKenzie, midfielder Jacob Mellis and striker Billy Grant out of action.

Last season: Blackpool 1 Millwall 0, Millwall 3 Blackpool 1

Top scorers (all competitions): Mark Beevers, Magaye Gueye, Martyn Woolford, Matthew Briggs and Shaun Williams (Millwall) 1; Tomasz Cywka and Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool) 1

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

Verdict: Millwall 3 Blackpool 0

15:00 Norwich City v Bournemouth

The Canaries: Lost to Wolves on the opening weekend but have won three on the spin since then, including a 1-0 success at East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town last weekend. Lewis Grabban scored the decisive goal at Portman Road, and now goes up against his former club.

The Cherries: New signing Callum Wilson has stepped into the shoes vacated by Grabban on the south coast with four goals this term. Eddie Howe's men won their first two games of the season but have since lost to Forest and Blackburn.

Norwich will be without Martin Olsson due to a family bereavement. Javier Garrido (hamstring) and Gary O'Neil (leg) face fitness tests while Canaries boss Neil Adams has issued a positive update on recovering stars Gary Hooper (calf) and Jonny Howson (knee), stating on the club website: "They are on their feet and doing light running and jogging."

Bournemouth will be without defender Elliott Ward after he went under the knife to correct a knee problem. Fellow defender Simon Francis (hamstring) is set to return to training having missed the last three games but Shaun MacDonald is ruled out with a thigh injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Top scorers (all competitions): Lewis Grabban (Norwich) 4; Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) 4

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Verdict: Norwich 3 Bournemouth 1

15:00 Rotherham United v Brentford

The Millers: Picked up an impressive 1-0 win at Millwall last Saturday to make it six points from two games. Manager Steve Evans has been relaxing in midweek by taking on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The Bees: Sit one place and one point behind Rotherham in the Sky Bet Championship table, after one win, two draws and a solitary defeat. Lost 1-0 to local rivals Fulham in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

League 1: When these teams met in Sky Bet League 1 last term, Rotherham won this fixture 3-0 and came through 1-0 at Griffin Park. Brentford haven't scored against their weekend opponents for 360 minutes.

Rotherham will welcome Richie Smallwood and Anthony Wordsworth back into the squad, but Paul Taylor is a doubt with a virus. All three were cup-tied for the Capital One Cup defeat at Swansea in midweek and, while Smallwood and Wordsworth should return to Steve Evans' starting XI, Taylor's condition will be monitored.

Tony Craig returns to the Brentford squad after missing their midweek cup defeat against derby rivals Fulham through suspension. Scott Hogan made his Bees debut as a sub against the Cottagers, having recovered from an ankle injury, so he should be involved again.

Last season: Brentford 0 Rotherham 1, Rotherham 3 Brentford 0.

Top scorers (all competitions): Ben Pringle, Ryan Hall and Matt Derbyshire (Rotherham) 1; Stuart Dallas (Brentford) 3

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Verdict: Rotherham 2 Brentford 1

15:00 Watford v Huddersfield Town

The Hornets: Watford have no new injury concerns ahead of Huddersfield's visit on Saturday, and defender Joel Ekstrand returns from a three-game suspension. Sit second in the table on nine points after three wins and a defeat. Striker Mathias Ranegie joined Millwall on loan earlier this week, but Troy Deeney penned a new four-year deal.

The Terriers: Mark Lillis remains in caretaker charge of Huddersfield, who lost 2-0 to Nottingham Forest in the Cup on Tuesday night. However, they're unbeaten in two in the Sky Bet Championship.

Bad memories: Huddersfield won 4-1 at Vicarage Road on the final day of the 2013/14 campaign. Watford boss Beppe Sannino says his side need to cancel the memory of that defeat.

Joel Ekstrand returns to the Watford squad after completing a three-match ban following his red card against Norwich a fortnight ago. Fellow centre-back Craig Cathcart is back in training after a knee injury but is unlikely to feature just yet.

Huddersfield caretaker boss Mark Lillis could be short of a specialist right-back as both skipper Lee Peltier and Tommy Smith are struggling with groin injuries. However, Nahki Wells (ankle) and Jonathan Hogg (calf) are hopeful of returns.

Last season: Watford 1 Huddersfield 4, Huddersfield 1 Watford 2

Top scorers (all competitions): Lloyd Dyer and Fernando Forestieri (Watford) 3; Nahki Wells (Huddersfield) 4

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Verdict: Watford 3 Huddersfield 0

15:00 Wigan Athletic v Birmingham City

The Latics: Picked up their first league win of the season last Saturday with a 1-0 success over Blackpool. Had lost two and drawn one before that making their return four points from the first four games.

The Blues: Two places higher than Wigan with one point more. Lost on the opening day but have since gone three games unbeaten. Lost 3-0 to Sunderland in the Cup in midweek.

James McArthur's uncertain future may cause him to miss out for Wigan. Winger Shaun Maloney could return after a bout of illness but Ben Watson (broken leg), James McClean (ankle) and Chris McCann (knee) are all still sidelined.

Neal Eardley (groin) is a doubt for Birmingham after limping out of Wednesday's Capital One Cup exit to Sunderland. Matt Green (knee) is still recovering while Gavin Gunning is a long-term absentee after a knee operation last week.

Last season: Birmingham 0 Wigan 1, Wigan 0 Birmingham 0

Top scorers (all competitions): Callum McManaman (Wigan) 2; Paul Caddis and Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham) 2

Referee: David Webb (County Durham)

Verdict: Wigan 1 Birmingham 1

15:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers

Wolves: Have the best defence in the Championship after four matches, conceding just once. All their games have ended 1-0 with Kenny Jackett's men on nine points from a possible 12.

Rovers: Beat Bournemouth 3-2 last Saturday to move onto seven points from a possible 12. Boss Gary Bowyer was boosted by the news in earlier this week that Hull City have ended their interest in Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes.

Final push: Blackburn have already shipped four goals in the final 15 minutes of league matches this season, without scoring in the same period.

Wolves could give George Saville a debut after he joined from Chelsea. Tommy Rowe could make his first appearance in the squad after recovering from a broken toe he suffered during pre-season but winger Razak Boukari (hamstring) is out for a further three months.

Blackburn may include defender Matt Kilgallon (back) in their squad as they bid to record a first clean sheet of the campaign. Rovers are still without full-back Tommy Spurr (groin) and summer signing Chris Brown (knee) though.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Top scorers (all competitions): Nouha Dicko, Bakary Sako, Dave Edwards and Sam Ricketts (Wolves) 1; Rudy Gestede (Blackburn) 3

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)

Verdict: Wolves 1 Blackburn 1

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