Championship Preview: Burnley host Blackburn in Lancashire Derby
4th March 2016

The race for the Championship title has shown no signs of slowing up, and by the end of this weekend, any one of four teams could sit top of the pile.

Burnley rose to the summit with a 2-1 away win over bottom-of-the-table Bolton last weekend, and are currently the league’s form side having not lost in 11 games. They welcome Blackburn, who have won their last two, to Turf Moor this weekend in a massive Lancashire derby, knowing that a win would cement their place in the top two. However, they have not beaten Rovers there since 1978.

Friday night sees Middlesbrough, who will be desperate to bounce back after dropping points on Tuesday in their 2-1 defeat to Blackburn, facing Wolves at the Riverside.

The hosts, who have kept the joint most clean sheets in the Championship this season (18), will want to avoid any more slip-ups if their title challenge is to continue – and the omens are good, as they have won 11 out of 16 home league games this season.

For Wolves, a 2-1 win over Derby last week got them out of a rut, but they look unlikely to reach the play-offs, currently lying 12 points from the top six.

13th January 2015 - FA Cup - 3rd Round Replay - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham - Wolves manager Kenny Jackett - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Kenny Jackett’s Wolves are 12 points from the play-offs despite beating Derby last weekend.

At the bottom of the table, Charlton make the short trip to London neighbours Brentford, knowing that defeat is not an option if they are to claw their way off the bottom of the table.

Defeat to Reading last week was a bitter bill to swallow for Addicks fans, who saw their team come back to level the match at 3-3, thanks to a Yaya Sanogo hat-trick, only to see the visitors snatch a winner late on, leaving them seven points clear of safety.

Brentford sit in 14th, knowing that like Wolves, a consistent run of wins is all that will take them nearer to the play-offs.

Another interesting clash between teams fighting for survival is between Leeds and Bolton – two sides badly struggling for form.

Bolton are not getting the rub of the green at the moment – their 2-1 home defeat to Burnley last week means they now sit level on points with Charlton at the bottom, despite taking the lead.

During the week it became clear that some Bolton supporters were being charged £42 for an away ticket for the game at Elland Road, which may not be the most attractive price, especially when considering that Leeds went down 4-0 to Brighton in midweek.

Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off sees Bristol City host local rivals Cardiff in an intriguing fixture. The Bluebirds’ 2-1 victory over Preston last time out means they are now just three points off the play-offs.

Bradford C vs Barnsley 25th April 2015 Photo: Steve Parkin  Barnsley Boss Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson’s Bristol City side have won four of their last five matches to ease their relegation fears.

The Robins’ relegation worries were eased last weekend after coming from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 away from home, and the Robins now sit eight points clear of the drop zone after four wins from five.

Elsewhere in the Championship, promotion-chasers Derby welcome Huddersfield to the iPro, struggling MK Dons play host to QPR, while Reading face Fulham at the Madjeski Stadium.

Preston play high-flyers Brighton, former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock takes his Rotherham side to Sheffield Wednesday, and Nottingham Forest travel to Suffolk to face Ipswich.


Middlesbrough vs Wolves (7:45pm)

Saturday (3pm unless stated)

Bristol City vs Cardiff City (12:00pm)
Burnley vs Blackburn Rovers (12:30pm)
Brentford vs Charlton Athletic
Derby County vs Huddersfield Town
Ipswich Town vs Nottingham Forest
Leeds United vs Bolton Wanderers
MK Dons vs Queens Park Rangers
Preston North End vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Reading vs Fulham
Sheffield Wednesday vs Rotherham United

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