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Championship Preview: Burnley face Derby in promotion clash
22nd January 2016

Fourth-placed Burnley face third-placed Burnley at Turf Moor on Monday as one promotion contender aims to get one over another.

The Clarets, who are a point behind their hosts and five off second-placed Hull, are unbeaten in their last four matches, winning three, and have lost just twice at home all season.

Meanwhile, the Rams have failed to win in their last four, losing two, and have dropped out of the top-two.

However, after a 0-0 draw at Pride park earlier in the season, another tightly fought contest is expected, especially with County having only lost twice away from Pride Park this term.

Leaders Middlesbrough will be hoping to bounce back from their first defeat in 10 matches when they host in-form Nottingham Forest.

Aitor Karanka’s also conceded their first goal since November 7 during the 1-0 defeat at strugglers Bristol City, which saw their lead at the top cut to two-points.

25 April 2015 - Sky Bet Championship - Fulham v Middlesbrough - Middlesbrough manager, Aitor Karanka - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Middlesbrough’s remarkable run of nine matches unbeaten (eight wins and no goals against) came to an end against Bristol City.

Now they face a Forest side enjoying a 10-match unbeaten run after a difficult start to the season.

However, Dougie Freedman’s side have won just twice on the road and Boro have secured 32 points from a possible 39 at the Riverside.

If the table-toppers slip up again, Hull will be looking to close that gap or even move to the summit with a win at Fulham.

The Tigers, who have won five and lost five of their 13 away matches, hare on a three-match winning streak, but will be wary of the Cottagers after it took a late Sone Aluko winner to separate these sides earlier in the season.

Their hosts though have won just one of their last 13 league matches which sees them sit just four points above the bottom-three.

Brighton are aiming to record a second victory on the bounce after ending a run of seven-matches without a win at Blackburn last week.

It looked as though the Seagulls’ dip in form would see them fall out of the play-off spots, but Bobby Zamora’s early birthday goal secured a much-needed three points at Ewood Park.

Now at the Amex, where they’ve lost three times this season, Chris Hughton’s side welcome a Terriers outfit unbeaten in five.

David Wagner’s side are now eight points above the drop but have failed to win 10 of their 13 matches away from home.

Sheffield Wednesday moved into the top-six on goal difference with their third successive victory against Leeds last weekend, and now they’ll hope to cement that position when they travel to Reading.

However, the Owls have won just three times away from home and Reading, who are expected to give striker Yann Kermorgant a debut, have lost just three times from 13 outings at the Madejski.

17 December 2014 - Capital One Cup Quarter Final - Bournemouth v Liverpool - Yann Kermorgant of Bournemouth - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Reading signed experienced striker Yann Kermorgant from Bournemouth earlier this week.

Ipswich Town were the side to slip out of the top-six last week after their draw against Preston.

Now Mick McCarthy’s side will look to regain their play-off place when they travel to take on fellow top-six contenders Birmingham City.

The Tractor Boys are unbeaten in four and have won seven away matches this term, while Gary Rowett’s Blues, who are just two points adrift of their hosts, are unbeaten in four and on a high after last weekend’s 3-0 win at Derby.

At the bottom, Bolton Wanderers take on fellow strugglers MK Dons after receiving some welcomed news this week.

The Trotters, who are seven points from safety, avoided an immediate winding-up order after their FFP case was adjourned until 22 February.

However, they’ve only won twice this season – both at the Macron – but MK Dons, who are two points above the drop, have only won once on the road.

Three points above Bolton sit Charlton Athletic, another club seemingly in crisis with fans fiercely against the methods of club owner Roland Duchatelet.

The Addicks are without a win in 11 league matches, and have lost their last two games 5-0 and 6-0 to Huddersfield and Hull respectively .

28 November 2015 Football League Championship - Charlton Athletic v Ipswich Town: Charlton fans protest about a remark by a club owner which stated that only 2% of supporters were unhappy. Photo: Mark Leech

Charlton fans aren’t happy with club owner Roland Duchatelet.

Now boss Jose Riga, who was reappointed a couple of days before the thrashing at the KC, takes charge of his first home match in charge against Blackburn Rovers.

Rovers themselves are on a bad run, having failed to record a win in their last six league matches, losing four – a run which sees them sit just five points above the drop zone.

Despite their impressive victory over Middlesbrough last week, Bristol City are still in the drop zone on goal difference and are still without a manager after sacking Steve Cotterill.

Now the Robins will look to build on that win against Boro when they travel to face Leeds United at Elland Road.

City have won just twice away from home all season but Leeds, who have lost their last two after going seven unbeaten, have only won three of their 13 home matches.

Rotherham United are the other side in the fight against relegation, and this weekend they travel to play-off hopefuls Cardiff City.

The Millers. who have re-signed ex-Leeds striker Luciano Becchio until the end of the season, have lost three of their last four and sit outside the bottom-three on goal difference.

Meanwhile, the Bluebirds, who were recently slapped with a transfer embargo, are five points adrift of the top-six but have only lost once at home all term.

Elsewhere, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will be looking to build on his first win as QPR manager – against Roteherham last week – when 10th-placed Wolves visit Loftus Road, while Preson North End know a win over Brentford would see them leapfrog the Bees and possibly even into the top-10.

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