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Championship preview

All 24 Championship sides are in action on New Year's Day as the battle for promotion continues at a pace.

Last Updated: 01/01/13 at 13:37

Malky Mackay: Looks to maintain lead at the top of the table

Malky Mackay: Looks to maintain lead at the top of the table

Leaders Cardiff look to maintain lead at the top

All 24 Championship sides are in action on New Year's Day as the battle for promotion continues at a pace.

Cardiff City remain five points clear at the top of the table and the Welsh outfit travel to Birmingham City - who sit just two places above the drop zone.

Steve Bruce's Hull City remain in the second automatic place one point ahead of Middlesbrough and they will look to consolidate their spot as they travel to Blackpool.

Middlesbrough will hope they can climb back into the top two as they are also on the road as they face Derby at Pride Park.

Fourth-placed Crystal Palace will look to increase the pressure on under-fire Wolves boss Stale Solkbakken as they host the Black Country outfit at Selhurst Park.

Leicester City go in search of back-to-back wins at the King Power Stadium as they welcome Huddersfield Town.

Managerless Blackburn entertain new Nottingham Forest boss Alex McLeish as he looks for his first win since taking charge at the City Ground.

The day's early kick-off sees Gianfranco Zola's Watford look to maintain their promotion push as they entertain Charlton Athletic.

Leeds United look to end a run of two successive defeats and get their promotion push back on track as they host Bolton at Elland Road.

At the bottom there is an archetypal six-pointer as basement side Barnsley travel to the team directly above them Peterborough United.

Third-from-bottom Bristol City could climb out of the drop zone if they can claim victory at Millwall, but they would also need Sheffield Wednesday to lose at home to Burnley.

Finally, Mick McCarthy's Ipswich look to continue their recent revival as they welcome Brighton to Portman Road.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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De Gea's Europa League target

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