Championship preview

QPR host Watford; Leeds go to Burnley; Tykes take on Blades

Last updated: 10th December 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Championship preview

Speed: Wales target takes side to Barnsley

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The Championship sees a full programme of fixtures this weekend as teams look to kick-start a good run ahead of the busy Christmas period.

Leaders Queens Park Rangers host Watford on Friday night as they look to stretch their lead at the top of the table to seven points.

Rangers have been in fine form this season and are already four clear with a game in hand, although Watford are unbeaten in three.

Cardiff City are trying to gun down the Hoops but they are on a poor run and face a potentially tricky trip to Middlesbrough.

Boro are still languishing at the wrong end of the table and have yet to click into gear under Tony Mowbray, but are still regarded as dangerous opponents.

Leeds United are staking an early claim for a play-off place and the Whites go to Burnley.

The Clarets will provide Simon Grayson's men with a stern test of their credentials at Turf Moor and have been in good form on their home patch for the most part this term.

Coventry have surprised many with their position this season and the fifth-placed Sky Blues travel to the Madejski to take on Reading.

The Royals have had a two-week break and it will be interesting to see if they are rested or rusty this weekend.

Barnsley and Sheffield United contest a South Yorkshire derby at Oakwell in what is expected to be a fiery encounter.

Blades boss Gary Speed has been linked with the vacant Wales position but will no doubt be fully focused on the task in hand when his side makes the short journey to the Tykes.

Slipping

After a great start to the campaign Ipswich have slipped down the rankings and will be desperate for a win against rock-bottom Preston.

Roy Keane has recently admitted he fears the sack this winter, and a defeat against North End would further add to his troubles.

Derby will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats when they go to Bristol City.

The Rams have lost back-to-back games against Norwich and Burnley and have moved out of the play-off places.

Norwich themselves host Portsmouth at Carrow Road and the Canaries will be tough nuts to crack - remaining unbeaten since October.

Scunthorpe United put in an abject display last time out against Millwall and will be hoping for an improvement when they take on Nottingham Forest at Glanford Park.

Millwall, meanwhile, will be hoping to build on that victory over the Iron when they go to promotion hopefuls Swansea on Friday night.

Elsewhere in the second-tier this weekend Leicester City host Doncaster Rovers and Hull City make the trip to London to play Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.

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