0 users online

Championship Matchday 25 Preview

last updated Friday 29th December 2017, 9:28 PM

Championship Matchday 25 Preview
Championship Fixtures - MatchDay 25
KO Home   Away TV
Friday 29th December 2017
19:45 Cardiff v Preston Sky
19:45 Millwall v QPR  -
Saturday 30th December 2017
15:00 Barnsley v Reading -
15:00 Birmingham v Leeds -
15:00 Brentford v Sheff Wed -
15:00 Burton v Norwich -
15:00 Hull v Fulham -
15:00 Ipswich v Derby -
15:00 Middlesbrough v Aston Villa -
15:00 N. Forest v Sunderland -
15:00 Sheff Utd v Bolton -
17:30 Bristol C v Wolves Sky
League Table
Championship MatchDay 25 sees table topping Wolves visiting second placed Bristol City. Wolves will remain top regardless of the result but City need to get something from the game to have any chance of holding on to second place.

Third placed Cardiff, home to ninth placed Preston, have to rebound from being crushed , at home, by Fulham on Boxing Day. Preston have drawn nearly half of their games and possess one of the best defences in the Championship

Fourth placed Derby, away at Ipswich, could go second if the results go their way.

At the bottom of table with struggling Birmingham, one point in their last five games and one win in their last twelve games, facing a Leeds side unbeaten in their last six games it is hard to see Birmingham changing their fortunes.

The other two relegation zone inhabitants face difficult away fixtures, Sunderland at Nottingham Forest and Bolton at Sheffield United. Burton just outside the zone have a relatively easier task facing Norwich at the Pirelli Stadium.

In London Fulham are a point above Brentford and eight points above QPR after knocking Cardiff off their perch in second place and now they face Hull at KCOM Stadium. Slavisa Jokanovic's side are looking to record three consecutive Championship wins for the first time since April (a run of four wins). Hull have failed to find the net in each of their last three games (D1 L2).

Brentford are at home to Sheffield Wednesday who have lost just one of their last nine league matches against Brentford (W5 D3). QPR, one win in nine games, have a difficult task with an away game with Millwall, one defeat in their last five games at home.

Friday 29th December 2017

19:45 Cardiff v Preston Sky

Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson is absent again for the Bluebirds' Championship home game with Preston.

Iceland international Gunnarsson faces another six weeks on the sidelines after undergoing ankle surgery.

Preston lost both Paul Gallagher (calf) and Calum Woods (dead leg) in Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Barnsley.

Tom Clarke, just back from an Achilles injury, was not risked, while Callum Robinson (foot) and Greg Cunningham (knee) are in contention to feature.

Cardiff are unbeaten in eight home league matches against Preston (W5 D3) since losing 1-0 in November 2004.

The Lilywhites have not done a Football League double over the Bluebirds since the 2004-05 season.

19:45 Millwall v QPR  -

Millwall will assess Conor McLaughlin and Tom Elliott before the London derby with QPR at The Den.

Both started the 2-2 home Boxing Day draw with leaders Wolves, but were forced off within the hour.

QPR are without midfielder Josh Scowen, who serves a one-match suspension for his two yellow cards in the goalless draw at Ipswich on Boxing Day.

Jordan Cousins came into the team for the trip to Suffolk, with Bright Osayi-Samuel dropping to the bench.

Veteran forward Jamie Mackie is also available again for QPR's first visit to The Den since October 2013, having completed a three-match suspension.

Millwall have won one of their last 13 matches against QPR in all competitions - a 2-0 win at The Den in March 2011.

QPR are winless in four league trips to The Den since a 2-1 top flight win in February 1990, when Simon Barker and Roy Wegerle scored for the Hoops.

Saturday 30th December 2017

15:00 Barnsley v Reading -

Barnsley could hand a first start since November to centre-back Angus MacDonald for the visit of Reading.

Midfielder Stevie Mallan looks set to continue after his debut on Boxing Day while Brad Potts (virus) may return.

Reading midfielder Liam Kelly (illness) missed the trip to Bristol City on Tuesday but is in contention to return.

Fellow midfielders John Swift (hamstring), George Evans (thigh) and Garath McCleary will all be assessed before the trip to Oakwell.

Barnsley are winless in six home league matches (D1 L5) against Reading, since winning 3-0 in August 1996 in the season they won promotion to the Premier League.

The Royals have kept eight clean sheets in their last 13 league games against the Tykes (W8 D3 L2).

15:00 Birmingham v Leeds -

Bottom club Birmingham have striker Sam Gallagher available again following his one-match ban for the visit of Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds.

Midfielder David Davis is also pushing for a return to the starting line-up as Blues seek a first win in eight games.

Leeds playmaker Samuel Saiz is back after two games out with a calf issue.

Ronaldo Vieira will be assessed after suffering a knock in the 2-1 win at Burton on Boxing Day, while Stuart Dallas could be missing again.

Birmingham City have won only two of their last nine Championship matches against Leeds United.

Leeds have not won their final league match in a calendar year since 2009, when they won 4-2 at Stockport County.

15:00 Brentford v Sheff Wed -

Ollie Watkins could be back for Brentford after missing the Bees' Boxing Day victory over Aston Villa with a foot injury.

But John Egan (head) and fellow defenders Josh Clarke (ankle) and Henrik Dalsgaard (heel) are doubts.

Sheffield Wednesday interim boss Lee Bullen might be without striker Gary Hooper, who sustained a knock during the win at Nottingham Forest.

Almen Abdi could start after impressing as a substitute at the City Ground.

The Bees have won one of their past 11 home matches against Wednesday in all competitions (D5 L5).

The Owls have lost just one of their past nine league matches against Brentford (W5 D3).

15:00 Burton v Norwich -

Luke Murphy returns for Burton as they bid to halt a run of eight straight home defeats against Norwich.

Loanee midfielder Murphy was ineligible against parent club Leeds on Boxing Day and was replaced by Jamie Allen.

Norwich will check on midfielder Wes Hoolahan (hip) and forward Cameron Jerome (back), who both missed the win at Birmingham City.

Tom Trybull and Alex Tettey could retain their places, while Jamal Lewis also impressed at left-back.

Burton's only previous match against Norwich at the Pirelli Stadium came in last season's Championship season, a 2-1 victory.

Norwich have not drawn two league matches against an opponent goalless in the same season since 2000-01 against Nottingham Forest.

15:00 Hull v Fulham -

Hull City's top scorer Jarrod Bowen could start against Fulham, having had to make do with a place on the bench for the Tigers' past two matches.

Jon Toral is likely to miss out after sustaining a knock against Derby on Boxing Day, while Kamil Grosicki (ankle) will be assessed.

Aboubakar Kamara is being monitored by Fulham after missing the 4-2 win at Cardiff because of illness.

Rui Fonte and Lucas Piazon may also be recalled by the Cottagers.

Hull have won their last four home league matches against Fulham - the Cottagers' last league win there came at Boothferry Park in October 1996.

Fulham have beaten Hull twice in 2017 - winning in the FA Cup in January and in the Championship in September - and last beat an opponent three times in a calendar year in 2014 against Norwich.

15:00 Ipswich v Derby -

Ipswich Town will be without midfielder Teddy Bishop for the visit of Derby to Portman Road on Saturday.

Bishop (hamstring) was forced off in the first half of the goalless draw with QPR but Kevin Bru is available again after attending a funeral.

Derby midfielder Bradley Johnson hopes to feature after picking up a knock in a challenge against Hull on Boxing Day.

Johnson's absence could hand a start to former Ipswich loanee Tom Lawrence, who was among the Rams' substitutes.

Ipswich last did a Championship double over Derby in the 2009-10 season and beat the Rams at the iPro Stadium last month.

Derby have won each of their past three league trips to Portman Road without conceding a goal.

15:00 Middlesbrough v Aston Villa -

New Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis takes charge for the first time against promotion rivals Aston Villa.

Pulis watched from the stand, with Craig Liddle in the dug-out, for the 2-0 Boxing Day win at Bolton, which moved Boro seventh in the Championship.

Villa have captain John Terry back in full training after nine matches out with his broken metatarsal.

They will also check on the injury suffered by top scorer Albert Adomah in Tuesday's defeat at Brentford.

This is the first league meeting between these sides at the Riverside since May 2009 in the Premier League - Boro are winless in four home league meetings with Villa.

Villa failed to score in two home matches against Middlesbrough inside a week in September (0-0 in the Championship, 0-2 in the League Cup).

15:00 N. Forest v Sunderland -

Nottingham Forest forward Daryl Murphy is expected to face his former club Sunderland after being left out of the Boxing Day loss to Sheffield Wednesday.

Midfielder David Vaughan also missed the game against the Owls and faces a fitness test for Saturday's match.

Sunderland are likely to be without top goalscorer Lewis Grabban, who has a calf problem.

Midfielders Didier Ndong (ankle) and Darron Gibson (groin) could also be absent for the Black Cats.

This is the first meeting between these sides at the City Ground since August 2008 in the League Cup - Sunderland won 2-1 with goals from Phil Bardsley and David Healy.

The Black Cats have not lost twice to Forest in a league season since 1984-85, having already lost 1-0 earlier this season.

Forest have won five of their past seven league games at the City Ground (L2), although the two defeats have come in the most recent three games there (0-2 v Cardiff and 0-3 v Sheffield Wednesday).

15:00 Sheff Utd v Bolton -

Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United have midfielder John Fleck back following a three-match ban.

But David Brooks has been suffering with tonsillitis, while defender Kieron Freeman (knee) and striker Ched Evans (ankle) both remain sidelined.

Adam Le Fondre could return for Bolton after missing the past four games through illness.

However, defender Andrew Taylor may miss out after being forced off during the Boxing Day defeat by Middlesbrough.

Sheffield United are unbeaten in three home league matches against Bolton (W2 D1) since losing 2-1 in November 1999.

Bolton have not kept a clean sheet at Bramall Lane in any of their past 12 visits there since a 1-0 win in March 1970 under manager Nat Lofthouse.

17:30 Bristol C v WolvesWolves Sky

Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson will assess Jamie Paterson and Nathan Baker (both hamstring) for the visit of Championship leaders Wolves. The pair were withdrawn during Tuesday's victory over Reading, which saw the Robins move up to second.

Wolves may bring back top scorer Leo Bonatini after starting with him on the bench at Millwall on Boxing Day.

Bonatini's 12 goals, supplemented by 10 from Diogo Jota, make them the only Championship side with two players in double figures this season.

Wolves will start 2018 on top of the Championship knowing that the last 12 teams to head the table on New Year's Eve have all gone on to win automatic promotion.

Since being promoted back to the second tier in 2015, Bristol City have won both their home Championship meetings with Wolves.

Wolves have not kept a clean sheet in their last 10 league games against the Robins - the last of which was a 3-3 draw at Molineux in September..

Matchday 24 table
return to results

Championship Fixtures - MatchDay 25
KO Home   Away TV
Monday 1st January 2018
15:00 Bolton v Hull -
15:00 Derby v Sheff Utd  -
15:00 Leeds v N. Forest Sky
15:00 Norwich v Millwall -
15:00 Preston v Middlesbrough -
15:00 QPR v Cardiff -
15:00 Sheff Wed v Burton -
15:00 Sunderland v Barnsley -
17:30 Aston Villa v Bristol C -
Tuesday 2nd January 2018
19:45 Fulham v Ipswich -
19:45 Wolves v Brentford -
20:00 Reading v Birmingham -
League Table

Source BBC Sport/SkySports
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"