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Championship preview with Sporting Life

23 January 2019

There's a split in the fixtures this weekend with just six games in the Sky Bet Championship - Sporting Life's Tom Carnduff previews the upcoming action.

Promotion hopefuls Norwich City and Sheffield United meet at Carrow Road, with the Canaries currently occupying second place, three points clear of the Blades and Albion.

Daniel Farke's side boast the second-best home record in the division, although United's strong away record will give them confidence.

Chris Wider's men sit high in the form charts with four wins in their previous five league games, which shows how this is a game that could go either way.

Top-of-the-table Leeds, who tasted defeat last time out against Stoke, travel to take on a Rotherham side who are battling at the other end of the standings with just two points separating them and the drop zone.

It won't be a straightforward contest, though. Leeds may have one of the best away records but Rotherham have lost just three of their 14 games at the New York Stadium.

Another side who thought they may have been battling relegation but are now within touching distance of the play-offs is Hull City.

The Tigers are enjoying a ten-game unbeaten run which has seen them fly up the table. They are sitting in eighth, just six points off Derby County in the final top-six spot.

This week sees them against another side in decent form in Blackburn. Rovers have won their last three in the league, putting them level on points with Saturday's opponents.

Aston Villa are on a five-game winless run in all competitions and welcome Ipswich Town to Villa Park.

The Tractor Boys remain bottom of the table, seven points adrift of safety on a run of six consecutive away defeats.

Martin O'Neill will be wanting to get his first win as Nottingham Forest boss against Wigan. They were beaten 1-0 by Bristol City last time out, although City are an in-form team.

Wigan have picked up points in three of their 14 away games – a total of five points from a possible 42.

Preston have been active in this transfer window and will travel to Stoke on Saturday.

North End beat QPR 4-1 in their last game, although the Potters did grab their first win under Nathan Jones as they beat Leeds.

There are a number of Championship teams involved in the FA Cup this weekend, giving them a break from league action.

Derby will face an away game at Accrington Stanley, while Albion will travel to play Brighton & Hove Albion.

Middlesbrough welcome Newport County, and despite their opposition playing in League Two, they will be well aware of their heroics by beating Premier League Leicester City in the previous round.

QPR are away at League One's leading team in Portsmouth, while Millwall welcome Marco Silva's Everton to The Den.

Swansea City are at home to Gillingham, while it's an all-Championship clash on Friday night as Bristol City welcome Bolton Wanderers.

Sheffield Wednesday's reward for beating Luton Town in the third round is a trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.


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