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Championship Matchday 28 preview

last updated Friday 19th January 2018, 11:16 PM

Championship Matchday 28 preview
Championship Fixtures - MatchDay 28
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Friday 19th January 2018
19:45 Derby v Bristol C Sky
Saturday 20th January 2018
15:00 Aston Villa v Barnsley -
15:00 Bolton v Ipswich -
15:00 Fulham v Burton -
15:00 Leeds v Millwall -
15:00 Norwich v Sheff Utd -
15:00 Preston v Birmingham -
15:00 QPR v Middlesbrough -
15:00 Reading v Brentford -
15:00 Sunderland v Hull -
15:00 Wolves v N. Forest -
17:30 Sheff Wed v Cardiff Sky
League Table

Top of the Championship Wolves are playing at home to Nottingham Forest who in their last five away games have drawn two and lost three while Wolves have not lost in their last five home games and have only lost one game at home this season.

Second placed Derby and fifth placed Bristol City went head to head at Derby last night and fought out a goalless draw helping Derby to inch away from Cardiff and Bristol City to move, for the momenmt, above Aston Villa into fourth spot

Aston Villa are the only one of the other three Playoff teams to get a home game, against 19th placed Barnsley. Cardiff won last time out and will be hoping that they have stopped the disasterious form run. Sixth placed Sheffield United are away at inform Norwich and need a win to insure they aren't leapfrogged by Leeds or Fulham.

Fulham one point and four goals outside of the playoffs and unbeaten in their last five Championship home games face Relegation Zone Burton Albion at The Cottage. Burton have won three of their last five away games!!

The other two teams in the relegation zone, 23rd placed Birmingham are away at Preston who are not unbeatable at home and bottom placed Sunderland, at home to Hull City, still only have the one win at home donated by Fulham.

Friday 19th January 2018

Derby v Bristol C Sky

Championship promotion-chasers Derby and Bristol City had to settle for a point each following a goalless draw.

The Rams went closest, with Aden Flint clearing a Curtis Davies header off the line and Johnny Russell hitting the bar with a free-kick in the first half.

Derby's Cameron Jerome was booked for diving late on when he appeared to be fouled in the box by Flint. Replays showed the Bristol City defender clearly made contact with Jerome,

Lee Johnson's side climbed back above Aston Villa into fourth place in the championship

Saturday 20th January 2018

15:00 Aston Villa v Barnsley -

Aston Villa midfielders Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan could both feature in their home game against Barnsley.

Jedinak missed last week's win at Nottingham Forest due to a thigh injury and Whelan was forced out of that match with a knee problem, but both players have trained and will be assessed. Chris Samba (hamstring) and Gabby Agbonlahor (ankle) are likely to miss out again and goalkeeper Jed Steer may need an operation on his damaged shoulder.

Barnsley midfielder Lloyd Isgrove will return to contention after missing last week's goalless home draw against Wolves due to a dead leg. Isgrove's return is timely as on-loan Gary Gardner is ineligible to play against his parent club and fellow midfielder Joe Williams serves the second game of his three-match ban.

Aston Villa haven't beaten Barnsley in a home league game for 46 years, since a 2-0 win in January 1972 with goals from Andy Lochhead and Bruce Rioch.

Barnsley have lost one of their last four league games against Villa (W2 D1), but it came in the reverse fixture at Oakwell this season.

15:00 Bolton v Ipswich -

Bolton midfelder Karl Henry could be set to return for the visit of Ipswich after hamstring and back problems.

Henry has missed the last two matches but could return after training well this week. Fellow midfielder Darren Pratley is not expected back from a broken leg until the end of the month. On-loan Everton midfielder Harry Charsley made his debut in last weekend's defeat at Brentford and looks set to keep his place.

Ipswich will again be without defender Jordan Spence as he completes a three-match suspension. Goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski is back in training after his calf problem and could be involved, along with midfielder Cole Skuse (ankle).

Bolton are winless in nine league matches against Ipswich (D3 L6) since winning 4-1 in a Premier League game in April 2002 with Fredi Bobic scoring a first half hat-trick.

The Tractor Boys have kept clean sheets in five of their last six league games against Bolton (W4 D2).

15:00 Fulham v Burton -

Fulham will check on the fitness of captain Tom Cairney ahead of the visit of Burton.

The midfielder sat out last weekend's win at Middlesbrough due to a recurrence of a knee injury. Winger Floyd Ayite is set to miss out again with a hamstring problem. Tomas Kalas and Rui Fonte are pushing for recalls after dropping to the bench at Boro.

Burton were dealt an injury blow this week with the news that Will Miller will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. The forward suffered a detached kneecap in the defeat to QPR last weekend but, unlike long-term absentee Liam Boyce, he did not sustain any ligament damage.

This is only the second ever meeting between these sides at Craven Cottage, with the last match finishing 1-1 in September 2016.

Burton won the reverse fixture of this match in September, their only win over Fulham in four previous attempts (W1 D2 L1).

Fulham have picked up 13 points from a possible 15 in their last five league games (W4 D1), more than the Cottagers picked up in their previous 11 games (12 pts - W3 D3 L5).

15:00 Leeds v Millwall -

Leeds will include new signing Laurens De Bock in their squad for the home game against Millwall.

But latest recruit Adam Forshaw will not be involved due to a minor injury problem after joining from Middlesbrough in a £4.5million move this week. Left-back De Bock, a permanent signing from Club Brugge, could go straight into the starting line-up as Luke Ayling is out for the rest of the season after ankle surgery.

Millwall are hoping to have Tom Elliott and Shane Ferguson available. Elliott played 45 minutes for the under-23s on Monday after recovering from a leg injury and could be included. Ferguson has also returned to training following a knee problem and is in contention. Byron Webster, however, remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Leeds have won each of their last five home league matches against Millwall since a 2-0 defeat in League One in March 2010.

The Lions haven't won at Elland Road in a second tier fixture since April 1988, with goals from Tony Cascarino and Terry Hurlock securing a 2-1 victory.

15:00 Norwich v Sheff Utd -

Norwich boss Daniel Farke will assess the fatigue levels of his players ahead of the Sky Bet Championship visit of Sheffield United.

The Canaries took Chelsea to extra-time and penalties in their FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday night, so the likes of Alex Tettey, Wes Hoolahan and Marco Stiepermann could be in contention after coming off the bench at Stamford Bridge.

Sheffield United's new signing Ricky Holmes is hoping to be included in boss Chris Wilder's plans. Holmes, signed for an undisclosed fee from Charlton this week, plus recent arrivals Ryan Leonard, James Wilson and Lee Evans are all in contention.

Norwich have won eight of their last nine home league matches against Sheffield United (L1) including each of the last five.

These sides haven't shared a draw in a league match in any of the last 15 meetings, with Norwich winning 10 and Sheffield United winning five.

15:00 Preston v Birmingham -

Preston could have Paul Huntington and Josh Earl back for Saturday's Championship game at home to Birmingham.

Huntington is expected back after a hamstring injury, while Earl has trained this week, having recovered from a knee problem. Calum Woods, however, has a calf strain and is unlikely to be fit and Darnell Fisher is also a doubt with a hip injury. The game is likely to come too soon as well for Louis Moult, who is close to overcoming a hamstring complaint.

Birmingham boss Steve Cotterill has one new injury problem following last week's home defeat to Derby, but would not name the player. Goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak will return to contention after missing out for several weeks with a groin injury.

Preston are unbeaten in eight league matches against Birmingham (W5 D3).

The Blues have won one of their last 16 league visits to Deepdale (D6 L9), a 2-0 win in February 2001 with goals from Martin Grainger and Andy Johnson.

15:00 QPR v Middlesbrough -

QPR will check on Alex Baptiste ahead of the visit of Middlesbrough.

The defender missed last weekend's 3-1 win at Burton due to a back injury. Midfielder Jordan Cousins (hamstring) and striker Paul Smyth (thigh) could miss out again. But defender James Perch is fit after almost five months out with a knee injury.

Boro boss Tony Pulis will be looking for a sharper cutting edge after seeing his side squander a series of chances against Fulham last weekend before succumbing to a stoppage-time penalty. Pulis opted to use 12-goal striker Britt Assombalonga only as a substitute, the first time the £15million man had not started a league game since his summer switch from Nottingham Forest.

QPR have lost each of their last three league matches against Middlesbrough since a run of four consecutive wins between September 2010 and March 2014.

Middlesbrough have never won back to back away league matches against the Hoops.

15:00 Reading v Brentford -

Reading manager Jaap Stam will recall his regulars for the Sky Bet Championship visit of Brentford.

The Royals fielded 10 changes for the midweek FA Cup third-round replay win over Stevenage when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson scored a hat-trick in different shirts. Top scorer Yann Kermorgant is among those expected to be in line for a return, with defender Chris Gunter having been the only player to retain his place.

Brentford will have defenders Henrik Dalsgaard and John Egan available. Danish full-back Dalsgaard is back in full training having been sidelined for 10 weeks with a heel injury. Centre-half Egan has got the all-clear to return after suffering a second concussion of the season in December.

Reading ended a run of three consecutive home league defeats against the Bees with a 3-2 win at the Madejski Stadium last season.

Brentford have kept one clean sheet in their last 14 league matches against the Royals.

15:00 Sunderland v Hull -

Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong is out of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Hull after failing in a bid to have his three-game ban overturned.

The Black Cats appealed against the red card the Gabon international received for his challenge on Cardiff's Junior Hoilett last weekend but were unsuccessful and Ndong, who has been linked with a move to Watford, is now set to sit out against the Tigers, Birmingham and Ipswich.

Hull striker Will Keane is in contention to make his long-awaited comeback following a 14-month injury lay-off. The former Manchester United forward, who sustained the second serious knee injury of his career in November 2016, will be included in Nigel Adkins' squad.

Defender Ondrej Mazuch will also return to the squad following a hamstring strain, while winger Kamil Grosicki faces a late fitness test after being sidelined with an ankle injury since the goalless draw against Derby on Boxing Day.

Sunderland are unbeaten in four league matches against Hull (W2 D2).

Hull have won two of their last three away league visits to Sunderland (L1), one more than they managed in the 12 trips prior to that.

15:00 Wolves v N. Forest -

Wolves remain without the suspended Ruben Vinagre against Nottingham Forest following his red card in their FA Cup draw with Swansea. Jordan Graham is available after his loan at Fulham ended this week but the winger is unlikely to feature.

Joe Worrall comes back into contention for Nottingham Forest. The defender missed Aitor Karanka's first game as manager last weekend through suspension following his red card in the FA Cup win against Arsenal.

Wolves are unbeaten in six league matches against Nottingham Forest (W4 D2).

Forest haven't lost four consecutive league matches against Wolves since a run of five between 1971 and 1977.

17:30 Sheff Wed v Cardiff Sky

Sheffield Wednesday could hand a debut to new signing Joey Pelupessy against Cardiff. The Dutchman joined from Heracles on Thursday for an undisclosed fee and goes straight into Jos Luhukay's squad. Luhukay has no new injury worries and is likely to choose from a similar squad

Serbia midfielder Marko Grujic is in line for a Cardiff debut following his loan switch from Liverpool. Grujic is set to replace Joe Ralls who picked up a knock in the midweek FA Cup win at Mansfield.

Sheffield Wednesday have lost one of their last eight league matches at Hillsborough against Cardiff (W5 D2).

Cardiff have collected four points from a possible 18 in their last six league games against the Owls (P6 W0 D4 L2).

Matchday 28b table
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Championship Fixtures - MatchDay 29
KO Home   Away TV
Saturday 27th January
15:00 Barnsley v Fulham -
15:00 Brentford v Norwich -
15:00 Bristol C v QPR -
15:00 Burton v Reading -
15:00 Cardiff v Bolton -
15:00 Ipswich v Wolves -
Tuesday 30th January 2018
19:45 Birmingham v Sunderland -
19:45 Hull v Leeds -
19:45 Middlesbrough v Sheff Wed -
19:45 Millwall v Derby -
19:45 N. Forest v Preston -
19:45 Sheff Utd v Aston Villa -
League Table

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