The promotion battle serves up a tasty encounter on Saturday and there are also key games with implications at both ends of the table.
Last Updated: 01/04/12 3:48pm
The Championship's promotion battle serves up a tasty encounter on Saturday and there are also key games with implications at both ends of the table.
Leaders Southampton will be hoping to take another step towards a return to the Premier League and the fight to avoid relegation continues to provide great intrigue.
The weekend's programme starts on Friday night when bottom club Doncaster Rovers look to put down an early marker by entertaining Birmingham City, who sit in the final play-off place.
Saturday's action starts at lunchtime when play-off chasing Cardiff City aim to claim a first home win in five attempts against lowly Millwall.
But the highlight of the weekend's fixtures sees third-placed West Ham United, who are unbeaten in 11 games but have drawn the last five at Upton Park, play host to second-placed Reading.
Just below those two clubs and fourth meets fifth as Brighton & Hove Albion welcome a Middlesbrough side without a win in five games to the AMEX Stadium.
Struggling Coventry City's quest for a first away win of the season takes them to the KC Stadium where Hull City have failed to win in their last four attempts.
Leeds United, sitting in 10th spot, and 14th-placed Watford cannot be confidently ruled out of the play-off picture and the two sides go head-to-head at Elland Road.
Nottingham Forest's survival prospects have been boosted by a three-match unbeaten run and Steve Cotterill's men are away to Crystal Palace.
Portsmouth, despite being hit with a 10-point penalty for going into administration, are still in with a chance of staying up and will aim to follow up a midweek home win over Hull City by beating Burnley at Fratton Park.
Bristol City are only a point outside the drop zone and entertain a Derby County side yet to give up on dreams of gatecrashing the play-off party.
Leicester City's current four-match unbeaten run has left them only four points adrift of the top six and they will be looking for three points at Peterborough United.
Ipswich Town have not lost at home since early January and Barnsley are the latest visitors to Portman Road this weekend.
The Championship programme wraps up on Saturday evening when table-topping Southampton head to play-off contenders Blackpool for an important game for both clubs.