0 users online

MatchDay 4 in the Championship ~ Preview

last updated Saturday 23rd August 2014, 11:34 AM
Championship MatchDay 04 ~ Saturday 23rd August 2014

Championship MatchDay 04
Saturday 23rd August 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
23:0812:15 IpswichNorwichKeith StroudPortman Road Sky1
23:0815:00 BlackburnBournemouth Geoff EltringhamEwood Park
23:0815:00 BrentfordBirminghamRobert MadleyGriffin Park  
23:0815:00 BrightonBoltonGraham ScottAmex Park  
23:0815:00 DerbyFulhamOliver LangfordIpro Stadium  
23:0815:00 HuddersfieldCharltonTim RobinsonJohn Smith's Stadium  
23:0815:00 MiddlesbroughSheff WedPhilip DowdRiverside Stadium  
23:0815:00 MillwallRotherhamPaul TierneyThe Den  
23:0815:00 N ForestReadingAndy WoolmerThe City Ground  
23:0815:00 WatfordLeedsJames LiningtonVicarage Road Stadium  
23:0815:00 WiganBlackpoolCarl Boyeson The DW Stadium
23:0815:00 WolvesCardiffDarren DrysdaleMolineux Stadium  

MatchDay 4 in the Championship sees Fulham away from home at Derby desperate for a point.

Fulham have not lost their first four games in any league since the early Fifties.

The odds are certainly stacked against Felix Magath and his youngsters with Derby quoted as odds on favs to crush The Cottagers.

12:15 Ipswich Town v Norwich City ~ Sky1

The Tractor Boys: Beat Fulham 2-1 on the opening day but have since taken one point from two games to gather four points in total. Lost 5-1 at home and 4-1 away against Norwich in 2010/11.

The Canaries: Have scored three goals in winning their past two matches, and sit on six points in sixth place despite a defeat on the opening weekend. Lewis Grabban has three goals in two games.

East Anglian derby: This will be the 94th Old Farm Derby between Ipswich and Norwich. The Suffolk side hold the better record, with 40 wins compared to Norwich's 36.

New signing Cameron Stewart remains sidelined for Ipswich after suffering a fractured jaw at the beginning of the month. However, Elliott Hewitt returned to the squad in midweek and could be in line for his first appearance of the season.

In a week of turnover for Norwich, recent arrivals Carlos Cuellar and Cameron Jerome go straight into the squad, while Leroy Fer has left for pastures new. Martin Olsson remains unavailable through suspension while Jonny Howson (knee) and Gary Hooper (calf) are also out. There will be an assessment on Javier Garrido, who may return after a hamstring injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Ipswich L W W L D; Norwich D L L W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Christophe Berra (Ipswich) 2; Lewis Grabban (Norwich) 3

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)

Verdict: Ipswich 1 Norwich 1

15:00 Blackburn Rovers v Bournemouth

Rovers: One of six teams hovering around mid-table on four points after a win, a draw and a defeat. Striker Jordan Rhodes has been the centre of interest from Premier League Hull City, as Gary Bowyer prepares for a tough challenge.

The Cherries: Knocked off top spot in midweek after a 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest, who replaced them in first place. Won their first two before that.

Hear from Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick in the club's Google+ hangout

Unbeaten: Blackburn are haven't lost in their past 14 Sky Bet Championship matches - a run stretching back to March.

Blackburn midfielder Corry Evans is a doubt after limping off in Tuesday's defeat to Norwich, while Chris Brown (knee), Matt Kilgallon (back) and Tommy Spurr (groin) are all ruled out. Jordan Rhodes is expected to play despite being the subject of a bid from Hull.

There are no fresh injury concerns for the Cherries, with Simon Francis (hamstring) and Elliott Ward (knee) still doubtful after missing the previous game through injury.

Last season: Blackburn 0 Bournemouth 1, Bournemouth 1 Blackburn 3

Last five league matches: Blackburn W W D W L; Bournemouth W L W W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Tom Cairney & Rudy Gestede (Blackburn) 2; Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) 3

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)

Verdict: Blackburn 1 Bournemouth 3

15:00 Brentford v Birmingham City

The Bees: Came from behind at Blackpool to win 2-1 on Tuesday night - their first victory at this level for 21 years. That took them onto four points.

The Blues: Birmingham have also picked up a win, a draw and a loss in their opening three fixtures of the season. A victory would represent their best start to a season after four games since 2010/11.

Two decades ago: These two clubs haven't met in league competition since October 1994, almost 20 years ago. Birmingham won 2-1 at Brentford on that occasion.

New signings Andre Gray and Scott Hogan (ankle) remain sidelined for Brentford, with both players failing to shake off knocks, while Sam Saunders' knee injury keeps him out of this clash. However, full-back Nico Yennaris could return and will face a fitness test following a back injury. Midfielder Adam Forshaw is fit again and could return to the squad.

Birmingham have no fresh fitness concerns, with just Matt Green and Gavin Gunning (both knee) the two long-term absentees.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Brentford L W D L W; Birmingham L D L W D

Top scorers (all competitions): Stuart Dallas (Brentford) 3; Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham) 2

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)

Verdict: Brentford 0 Birmingham 1

15:00 Brighton and Hove Albion v Bolton Wanderers

The Seagulls: Picked up their first league win under Sami Hyypia with a 2-0 success at Leeds United on Tuesday night, which got them off the mark in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Trotters: Bolton are one of four teams in the division yet to record a win. Two defeats have come either side of a 2-2 stalemate with Nottingham Forest last weekend.

Joe Bennett could be in line for a Brighton debut following his loan move from Aston Villa during the week. There could also be home bows for Joao Teixeira and Danny Holla, while Andrew Crofts has completed a three-match suspension and will be available to boss Sami Hyypia.

Kevin McNaughton is ruled out for the Bluebirds after suffering a minor hamstring injury, but Dean Moxey is fit to return following three games out. Marc Tierney and Sanmi Odelusi remain sidelined.

Last season: Bolton 0 Brighton 2, Brighton 3 Bolton 1

Last five league matches: Brighton W W L L W; Bolton W D L D L

Top scorers (all competitions): Joao Teixeira, Craig Mackail-Smith, Kazenga LuaLua & Lewis Dunk (Brighton) 1; Neil Dann & Craig Davies (Bolton) 2

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

Verdict: Brighton 2 Bolton 1

15:00 Derby County v Fulham

The Rams: Derby's opening-day win over Rotherham has been followed up with a 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday and a 3-2 defeat to Charlton Athletic. Steve McClaren has called for a reaction from his players after that loss to the Addicks.

The Cottagers: After relegation from the Premier League in 2013/14, Fulham are finding life hard in the Sky Bet Championship with three defeats in three so far. They've boosted their squad with the signing of Tiago Casasola from Boca Juniors.

Four in a row: Fulham haven't lost their first four league games in a season since 1956/57, when competing in the old Division 2.

Paul Coutts has not fully recovered from a hip-flexor strain so will miss out for Derby, while Shaun Barker and George Thorne remain sidelined with long-term knee injuries. Omar Mascarell, the 21-year-old midfielder on loan from Real Madrid, could be in line for his first start for the club after impressing as a substitute so far this season.

Adam Taggart is the only injury concern for newly-relegated Fulham, but Moussa Dembele, Chris David, Hugo Rodallega and Emerson Hyndman will be among those pushing for recalls following the Cottagers' disappointing start to the season.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Derby W D W D L; Fulham L D L L L

Top scorers (all competitions): Jeff Hendrick & Jamie Ward (Derby) 2; Tim Hoogland (Fulham) 1

Referee: Oliver Langford

Verdict: Derby 3 Fulham 0

15:00 Huddersfield Town v Charlton Athletic

The Terriers: A much-needed win on Tuesday night - 2-1 over Reading - gave Huddersfield their first points of the season. Mark Lillis remains in caretaker charge.

The Addicks: Bob Peeters' Charlton revolution continued in midweek with a 3-2 success over Derby to put them on seven points from three games. One of five unbeaten teams in the division.

Huddersfield caretaker boss Mark Lillis is faced with a lengthy injury list. Lee Peltier (groin), Anthony Gerrard (calf), James Vaughan (calf), Oscar Gobern (toe), Martin Paterson (knee), Danny Ward (back) and Joe Lolley (hip) are receiving treatment and unlikely to feature.

Charlton's Romanian striker George Tucudean faces a late fitness test ahead of the trip after limping off at half-time in Tuesday's 3-2 win over Derby. Stephen Henderson is also doubtful after missing the win, while Chris Solly could return after he was rested in midweek.

Last season: Charlton 0 Huddersfield 0, Huddersfield 2 Charlton 1

Last five league matches: Huddersfield L W L L W; Charlton W W D W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Nahki Wells (Huddersfield) 3; Yoni Buyens, Igor Vetokele & Lawrie Wilson (Charlton) 2

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

Verdict: Huddersfield 1 Charlton 1

15:00 Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday

Boro: A defeat to Leeds is sandwiched by victories against Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers so far. New striker Kike netted the winner at Bolton in midweek and has three goals in four games in all competitions but boss Aitor Karanka is trying to bring in Chelsea front man Patrick Bamford.

The Owls: One of five teams who remain unbeaten. They've won once and drawn twice, most recently in midweek against Millwall when they conceded in the last minute to draw 1-1.

Middlesbrough captain Jonathan Woodgate has been ruled out of the clash due to a slight hamstring injury and fellow defender Ben Gibson (hamstring) is also out. Christian Burgess and Richie Smallwood both left the club this week, and long-term absentees Rhys Williams (Achilles) and Muzzy Carayol (cruciate ligament) remain unavailable.

Wednesday defender Sam Hutchinson is doubtful following a back injury, but Kieran Lee and Lewis Buxton have both been ruled out for definite by manager Stuart Gray.

Last season: Sheff Wed 1 Middlesbrough 0, Middlesbrough 1 Sheff Wed 1

Last five league matches: Middlesbrough W W W L W; Sheff Wed L L W D D

Top scorers (all competitions): Enrique Garcia (Middlesbrough) 3; Stevie May (Sheff Wed) 2

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Verdict: Middlesbrough 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0

15:00 Millwall v Rotherham United

The Lions: Sit third after two wins and a draw. Magaye Gueye's injury-time leveller at Sheffield Wednesday preserved their unbeaten record. Striker Scott McDonald is anticipating a stern test against Steve Evans' Rotherham.

The Millers: Have collected three points so far with a victory against Wolves coming between defeats to Derby and Watford. Paul Green is out through injury and striker Kieran Agard has joined Bristol City.

Double: Millwall did the double over the Millers when the pair were last in the same division, in 2006/07. They won 3-2 at Rotherham before triumphing 4-0. Neil Harris, Chris Zebroski and Darren Byfield (2) were on target that day at The Den.

Millwall will be without Nicky Bailey after the midfielder was ruled out for around a month with a recurring calf injury. Fellow midfielders Ed Upson and Richard Chaplow are battling back from hamstring injuries but Ricardo Fuller could return after resting for the midweek draw with Sheffield Wednesday and Magaye Gueye is pushing for his first start.

Rotherham midfielder Paul Green is out for two to three weeks with an ankle injury suffered on Tuesday, while Frazer Richardson (foot) and Rob Milsom (ankle) remain sidelined. Ryan Hall could return after recovering from an ankle injury and Anthony Wordsworth, signed from Ipswich on Friday, should make the squad.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Millwall D W W W D; Rotherham D W L W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Mark Beevers, Matthew Briggs, Magaye Gueye, Martyn Woolford & Shaun Williams (Millwall) 1; Matt Derbyshire & Ryan Hall (Rotherham) 1

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

Verdict: Millwall 1 Rotherham 0

15:00 Nottingham Forest v Reading

Forest: Sit at the summit with seven points after an impressive 2-1 midweek win at previous pacesetters Bournemouth. Manager Stuart Pearce believes his side's top-of-the-table status will count for nothing against Reading.

The Royals: Sit 12th after a win, a draw and a defeat. They beat Ipswich last weekend with 12 Academy graduates featured in their squad, but lost in midweek to Huddersfield, from whom they've signed Oliver Norwood this week. Won 3-2 on their last visit to the City Ground.

All the Reds' long-term injury victims are edging closer to first-team contention. Central defenders Jamaal Lascelles (knee) and Kelvin Wilson (calf) and midfielders Henri Lansbury (knee) and David Vaughan (hamstring) have stepped up their training, while recent signing Robert Tesche was also involved this week. Dexter Blackstock remains the only absentee as he continues his recover from a serious knee injury.

New signing Oliver Norwood is available for Reading but Jamie Mackie is ruled out due to the terms of the loan agreement with parent club Forest. Hal Robson-Kanu, Stephen Kelly, Danny Williams, Jem Karacan (all knee), Garath McCleary (back) and Danny Guthrie (calf) are out but Anton Ferdinand could make a first appearance after working on his fitness.

Last season: Reading 1 Nottm Forest 1, Nottm Forest 2 Reading 3

Last five league matches: Nottm Forest L L W D W; Reading W D D W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Britt Assombalonga (Nottm Forest) 3; Nick Blackman, Simon Cox, Shaun Cummings, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Craig Tanner & Jake Taylor (Reading) 1

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

Verdict: Nottingham Forest 3 Reading 1

15:00 Watford v Leeds United

The Hornets: A topsy-turvy start has seen Watford win 3-0 against Bolton Wanderers, 2-0 against Rotherham United but lose 3-0 to Norwich City. The fitness of Matej Vydra will be assessed prior to Saturday's match after he picked up a dead leg against the Millers in midweek.

The Whites: A 1-0 win agaist Middlesbrough is their only success so far, after 2-0 defeats to Millwall and Brighton. This match will see Leeds head coach Dave Hockaday come up against his former employers.

Goals galore: Over the last two clashes between Watford and Leeds at Elland Road, 13 goals have been scored. The Hornets won 6-1 at Leeds during 2012/13 while last season's encounter at Elland Road ended 3-3.

Matej Vyrda is a doubt for Watford after suffering a dead leg against Rotherham on Tuesday. He could be replaced by Mathias Ranegie, who returns following an injury which has so far ruled him out. Craig Cathcart is still sidelined with a knee injury and Joel Ekstrand is serving the second game of a three-match ban.

Leeds are waiting on international clearance for new signing Mirco Antenucci before handing him a debut, but fellow striker Souleymane Doukara is out for around four weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage. Giuseppe Bellusci, who made his loan permanent this week, could make his debut in defence.

Last season: Watford 3 Leeds 0, Leeds 3 Watford 3

Last five league matches: Watford L L W L W; Leeds W D L W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Lloyd Dyer (Watford) 2; Souleymane Doukara (Leeds) 2

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight)

Verdict: Watford 1 Leeds 1

15:00 Wigan Athletic v Blackpool

The Latics: Have lost their past two after an opening-day 2-2 draw with Reading - not the start most were expecting from Uwe Rosler's side.

The Tangerines: Rock-bottom after losses to Nottingham Forest, Blackburn and Brentford. They'll take confidence from the fact they overcame Wigan twice in 2013/14, including 2-0 away from home.

Derby day: This Lancashire derby - the first of the campaign - has a lot at stake with both teams looking to spark their respective seasons into life.

Shaun Maloney missed Wigan's midweek loss to Cardiff through illness and could be missing once again as they host the struggling Seasiders. Chris McCann (knee) is still on the road to recovery, while Ben Watson (broken leg) remains on the long-term injury list.

Blackpool players Jacob Mellis and Andrea Orlandi were struggling with fitness issues and missed the midweek game with Brentford and are doubtful for the trip. Jose Cubero has still not received international clearance to play, while Gary MacKenzie, Tom Barkhuizen and Bobby Grant are yet to feature this season because of knee injuries.

Last season: Wigan 0 Blackpool 2, Blackpool 1 Wigan 0

Last five league matches: Wigan W L D L L; Blackpool W L L L L

Top scorers (all competitions): Callum McManaman (Wigan) 2; Tomasz Cywka & Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool) 1

Referee: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire)

Verdict: Wigan 3 Blackpool 0

15:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Cardiff City

Wolves: Two wins and a loss represents a good start for Kenny Jackett's side. All three of their matches so far have ended 1-0, so expect a tight game on Saturday.

The Bluebirds: Have collected back-to-back victories after a draw on the first weekend, to sit second. Striker Kenwyne Jones has started the season superbly, with three goals to date. Beat Wolves twice during 2012/13, the last time they were in the same division.

Wolves captain Sam Ricketts is likely to start on the bench again as he waits for his first league appearance of the season, with vice-skipper Danny Batth taking the armband in an unchanged squad.

Summer signings Kiko Macheda and Kagisho Dikgacoi are available and could make their Cardiff debuts - but boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be hesitant to make too many changes. Anthony Pilkington could start after impressing as a substitute on his debut in midweek.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Wolves D W W L W; Cardiff L L D W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Nouha Dicko, Dave Edwards, Sam Ricketts & Bakary Sako (Wolves) 1; Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff) 3

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)

Verdict: Wolves 1 Cardiff 3
Source Sporting Life/Football League
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"