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Championship Preview: Hull, Burnley, Middlesbrough and Brighton all eyeing top two spots
26th February 2016

A full complement of Championship fixtures this weekend is kicked off on Friday night, as league leaders Hull welcome Sheffield Wednesday to the KC Stadium.

After restricting Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, the Tigers won 1-0 away to Ipswich on Tuesday to maintain their lead at the top of the table with a game in hand over the chasing pack.

23 January 2016 - Sky Bet Championship - Fulham v Hull CityRobert Snodgrass of Hull City and Andrew Robertson of Hull City celebrate the goal of Abel Hernandez of Hull City (far left)Photo: Charlotte Wilson / Offside

Hull City remain in the Emirates FA Cup after holding reigning champions Arsenal to a goalless draw last weekend.

The visitors to Humberside, Sheffield Wednesday, sit in sixth place and occupy the final play-off position after their 1-1 draw with QPR in midweek. The Yorkshire side will be boosted by the return of striker Fernando Forestieri after he was suspended for the midweek clash.

For Charlton at the other end of the table however, things are not looking too positive after a second straight defeat has seen them slip seven points adrift of safety after a 2-1 loss to Preston on Tuesday.

The Addicks welcome Reading to London this weekend, knowing that they will need to arrest their run of five home games in a row without scoring if they are to claw their way anywhere near safety.

Reading sit 14th in the table after a 1-0 win over strugglers Rotherham on Tuesday, but sit 14 points off the play-offs and know realistically that they are too far off to mount a late charge this season.

One of the stand out fixtures of the weekend is the Lancashire derby between relegation threatened Bolton and promotion candidates Burnley.

The visitors to the Macron Stadium are unbeaten since the turn of the year, and sit just a point behind Hull at the top of the league after their 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.

Bolton lost 1-0 away to Birmingham in midweek but will welcome the return of striker Gary Madine after he was left out of Tuesday night’s defeat for disciplinary reasons.

Rotherham’s torrid run of form continued in midweek with the Millers losing 1-0 away to Reading, meaning their last win was back on January 12. They welcome Brentford to the New York Stadium on Saturday, who beat Wolves 3-0 to end a poor run of form.

Neil Warnock’s Rotherham have lost their last three matches against the Bees, conceding five and scoring just once in the process – meaning it could be a difficult afternoon for the Reds.

Elsewhere in the Championship; Middlesbrough could potentially end the weekend top of the division if results go their way and they win away at Fulham.

Aitor Karanka’s Boro won 3-1 at home to Cardiff on Tuesday to put an end to their run of three straight draws, and they will be hoping that their defence can hold out and continue to be the tightest back four in the division.

Meanwhile Fulham sit ten points above the relegation zone after their 1-1 draw with Leeds on Tuesday night.

All Championship fixtures:

Friday 26, February

Hull V Sheffield Wed

Saturday 27, February

Wolves V Derby

Blackburn V MK Dons

Bolton V Burnley

Cardiff V Preston

Charlton V Reading

Fulham V Middlesbrough

Huddersfield V Ipswich

Nottm Forest V Bristol City

QPR V Birmingham

Rotherham V Brentford

Monday 29, February

Brighton V Leeds

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