Championship midweek preview: Steve Bruce back at Sunderland, Fulham host Sheffield United
Last Updated: 06/03/18 8:04am
Steve Bruce heads back to Sunderland with promotion-chasing Aston Villa, while in-form Fulham host Sheffield United on a packed Tuesday in the Sky Bet Championship.
The former Black Cats boss is chasing promotion with third-placed Aston Villa but is wary of the threat posed by Chris Coleman's rock-bottom but improving side.
"Sunderland have scored three against Middlesbrough, they've scored three against Bristol City and they've gone to Millwall and got a result at the weekend, so, all of a sudden, they're finding something," Bruce said ahead of the Stadium of Light clash.
"They have gone through a tough time, but Sunderland away is never going to be easy."
With leaders Wolves not in action until Wednesday evening, second-placed Cardiff will hope to reduce their six-point advantage when they entertain lowly Barnsley, while Fulham will look to maintain their challenge by extending their unbeaten league run to 14 games against a Sheffield United out to stay in the play-off hunt.
No other side has won more points or scored more goals than Fulham in 2018 and, since Christmas, no other player has scored more league goals in England than teenager Ryan Sessegnon.
Derby - without a win in five - need to halt their slide if they are to stay in the promotion race when they travel to QPR, while Preston and Bristol City meet at Deepdale on the back of welcome weekend victories.
New Birmingham manager Garry Monk faces a reunion with the club which dispensed with his services in December as Middlesbrough head for St Andrew's sitting in seventh place after Friday night's 3-0 victory over Leeds.
The Blues, who parted company with Steve Cotterill over the weekend following a fifth successive league defeat, go into the game two points shy of safety.
Burton, who are one place and a single point worse off, welcome Brentford to the Pirelli Stadium, while Hull, who sit precariously above the drop zone, entertain a Millwall side that have gone nine Championship games without defeat.
Ipswich will attempt to build upon an impressive 1-0 win at Preston last time out when they make the trip to Sheffield Wednesday, who have lost their last three, while Norwich will hope to improve upon a run of four successive draws against Nottingham Forest, who will arrive with back-to-back wins to their name.
Bolton travel to Reading to meet a Royals side that have won just once in 14 attempts with both sides lying too close for comfort to the bottom three.
Watch Soccer Special from 7.30pm on Sky Sports News and follow the action on the go with our live blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.
Pick your dream team for the Champions League final to be the latest £50k jackpot winner.