The Championship Weekend Ahead (20th-21st Nov)

Barnsley v Portsmouth

How are they doing?
Barnsley are having a mixed time of it. They have 2 straight wins away from home but have won just once in their last 5 at home. Pompey’s revival has stalled; they have taken just 1 point from their last 3 games.

Check out . . . A player with a point to prove
Liam Lawrence was Stoke’s Player of the Season in the year they went up to the Premier League and made an impression when they got there. Since the Potters let him go, his performances have been key in turning Pompey’s season around.

The game
Has the feeling of a closely fought draw.

And finally . . .

Is Barnsley’s improved away form proof that they can do more than simply avoid the drop?

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Bristol City v Leicester

How are they doing?

Both are in decent shape, each beaten just once in their last 6.

Check out . . . a flying Welshman

Andy King, still just 22, is quickly becoming one of the hottest properties in the Championship. A creative midfielder, he is also Leicester’s top scorer.

The Game

Sven’s improving Leicester will nick this one.

And finally . . .

Has Keith Millen got enough support at Ashton Gate to survive a possibly tricky winter?

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Cardiff v Nottingham Forest

How are they doing?

The league leaders are going strong, with 6 wins from their last 8. Forest are having a more mixed time, with 3 wins from their last 6. Two of the divison’s biggest beasts.

Check out . . . England’s newest player

An obvious choice, but the attention will , more than ever be on Jay Bothroyd, the division’s top scorer.

The Game

Forest are a better side than their league position suggests and will get a point.

And finally . . .

Can Cardiff start to pull away at the top?

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Coventry v Burnley

How are they doing?

Struggling. 3 straight defeats see Cov very much on the slide. Burnley’s win against Watford broke a 4 game winless streak. 2 play-off hopefuls who are not having things their own way.

Check out . . . the divison’s most controversial signing

Whoever signed Marlon King was always going to take flak for it. Aidy Boothroyd took the gamble. King has yet to fire and the pressure is on.

The Game

The Sky Blues will end their winless run with a big performance at home.

And finally . . .

Has Brian Laws done enough to win over the Burnley faithful?

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Derby v Scunthorpe

How are they doing?

With 7 wins in 10, Derby have turned their season around and are the divison’s form side. Scunthorpe, with 1 win and 3 defeats in their last 4, are struggling a bit. Excellent v pretty mediocre

Check out . . . the talented loanee

The capture of Freddie Sears from West Ham was a big coup for the Iron. He has put in some decent performances without scoring. Time to deliver.

The Game

Derby will win and might score a few.

And finally . . .

Have Scunthorpe got anyone who can fill that Gary Hooper-sized hole in their attack?

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Doncaster v Swansea

How are they doing?

Donny’s form has been mixed, with 3 wins from their past 6. Swansea are in promotion form, with 4 wins from 5. The fairly high-fliers host the very high-fliers.

Check out . . . one of the division’s oldest pros

40 years of age and Neil Sullivan continues to do the business in the Donny goal.

The Game

An exciting draw, this could be the game of the weekend.

And finally . . .

How much will the Swans miss Marvin Emnes?

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Hull v Ipswich

How are they doing?

Hull’s win last week ended an 8 match winless run. Ipswich are inconsistent: 2 wins and 2 defeats from their last 4. Strugglers against frustrated play-off wannabees.

Check out . . . one of Arsene’s keepers

Arsene Wenger has a pretty mixed record with choosing goalkeepers It will be interesting to see whether Vito Mannone can impress during his time at the KC.

The Game

Hull might just make it 2 wins from 2 against an Ipswich side that are prone to being generous.

And finally . . .

After their tough start, what now constitutes a good season for the Tigers?

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Middlesbrough v Millwall

How are they doing?

2 wins in 4 since Tony Mowbray’s arrival shows an improvement for Boro. Millwall have gone 4 games without a win. A pair of strugglers, but possibly going in different directions.

Check out . . . Mowbray’s innovations

Tony Mowbray has promised to make Boro more attacking at home. Will we see this?

The Game

Boro will continue their recent upturn with a win.

And finally . . .

Will Millwall find themselves in a relegation scrap or can they recapture their early season form?

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Norwich v Leeds

How are they doing?

The Canaries are drifting, winless in 4. Leeds, with 3 wins in 4, are on the march. Two newly promoted sides both pushing to go up again.

Check out . . . a transfer-listed star

Bradley Johnson might well be on the way out but Simon Grayson is keeping him in the eleven. What impact will it have on his performances?

The Game

Tough one to call, will have to settle on a draw.

And finally . . .

Leeds’ recent run has mainly come against bottom half sides – can they do it against the best?

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QPR v Preston

How are they doing?

The Rs can’t lose but they can’t win either – unbeaten in 17 but with only 1 win in 7. Preston just can’t win – 1 win in 8. 2nd against a bottom.

Check out . . . the return of a forgotten man

Michael Tonge was very highly rated at Sheffield United but he ahs drifted into obscurity in recent years. Can he reignite his career at Deepdale?

The Game

Comfortable home win.

And finally . . .

Are the host of loan arrivals going to do enough for Darren Ferguson?

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Sheffield United v Crystal Palace

How are they doing?

Both secured big wins last weekend. It was United’s first in 5, while Palace made it 2 straight. Not too early to call this a relegation clash.

Check out . . . Sheffield United’s strikers

Anyone going to start scoring?

The Game

Palace will pick up a surprise away win.

And finally . . .

How many sides in the Championship actually look safe of staying clear of a relegation scrap?





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