Championship preview

Saints still chasing Brighton; Derby travel to local rivals Forest

Last Updated: 16/09/11 11:42am

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Leaders Brighton will hope to keep hold of the top spot at Leicester this weekend, while nearest rivals Southampton host Birmingham on Sunday.

At the other end of the table, rock-bottom Doncaster Rovers travel to fellow strugglers Reading, while Nottingham Forest host local rivals Derby in what should be an entertaining East Midlands derby.

Guy Poyet's Brighton have made a superb start to the season and are undefeated with five wins from their opening six games, a run promotion hopefuls Leicester will be looking to end at the King Power Stadium.

Third-placed Middlesbrough are the only other side still unbeaten and will hope to keep that record intact when they make the trip to Crystal Palace, currently eighth following their defeat at Leeds last time out.

In-form Southampton could leapfrog Brighton into pole position if they secure a good result at home to Birmingham in Sunday's only match. The Blues sit mid-table with a game in hand having beaten Millwall last weekend.

West Ham have recovered from their opening day defeat to remain unbeaten in their last five encounters and will be keen to keep up that momentum when they make the short trip to London rivals Millwall, who will still be stinging from their defeat at St Andrew's.

After a storming start to the season, Derby have suffered back-to-back defeats in their last two games and will be desperate to avoid a third in their local derby against Nottingham Forest, who sit on the edge of the drop zone.

Struggling

Lowly Doncaster visit second-bottom Reading still seeking their first win of the season, while the Royals have suffered four consecutive defeats.

Bristol City have suffered a similarly torrid start to the season and will be keen to breathe life into their campaign when they travel to Elland Road to take on Leeds.

Hull City have enjoyed back-to-back successes from their last two games and will hope to maintain that winning streak when they entertain Portsmouth, who are without a win in three.

Ian Holloway's Blackpool will be looking to overtake fellow promotion hopefuls Cardiff when they host the Bluebirds at Bloomfield Road, with the two sides currently level on points and the Tangerines sitting just outside the play-off places.

Promoted Peterborough have suffered consecutive defeats in their last two games and take on Burnley looking to get back to winning ways.

Watford make the trip to Barnsley buoyed by their 2-0 victory at Reading last time out as they aim to keep their campaign on course.

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