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Championship preview

It is another huge weekend in the Championship with leaders Cardiff keen to extend their lead at the top.

Last Updated: 11/01/13 at 13:53

Mick McCarthy: Ipswich boss will be looking to dent Cardiff's promotion hope

Mick McCarthy: Ipswich boss will be looking to dent Cardiff's promotion hope

Cardiff host Ipswich; Tigers v Owls; New managers at Molineux

It is another huge weekend in the Championship with leaders Cardiff keen to extend their lead at the top.

Cardiff host an Ipswich team that has been rejuvenated under Mick McCarthy but the Welsh side will still be optimistic of at least maintaining their seven-point advantage at the top of the table.

Second-placed Hull City are hot on their heels under Steve Bruce and they host Sheffield Wednesday in front of the Sky Sports 2 HD cameras in the evening kick-off on Saturday.

The Owls remain in the relegation places under Dave Jones but the Tigers have different things on their mind as they look to cling onto that second automatic promotion spot.

Before all that, there is a clash between two teams who have had busy weeks with managerial changes afoot at both Wolves and Blackburn.

The Molineux club sacked Stale Solbakken last weekend and Friday's game, live on Sky Sports 1 HD, sees new boss Dean Saunders take charge for the first time.

Rovers will have Michael Appleton watching from the stands after he agreed to become the next man to fill the Ewood Park hotseat.

Quite what Appleton's former players at Blackpool make of events remains to be seen, but we could get some clues when the Seasiders travel to Charlton on Saturday.

Another former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway will be focused on chasing down those promotion places when his Crystal Palace team take on Burnley at Turf Moor.

Middlesbrough are currently level on points with the third-place Eagles and will be eyeing three points when they host Watford, another of the clubs currently occupying the playoff positions.

The remaining play-off spot is held by fifth-place Leicester City and they will regard the trip to Ashton Gate to take on struggling Bristol City as a winnable fixture.

If the Robins do slip up there will be an opportunity for bottom-club Barnsley to move off the foot of the table when they face Leeds United at Oakwell.

The Tykes are managerless since the exit of Keith Hill but history suggests that might not make this Yorkshire derby a walkover for Neil Warnock's side.

One side down the bottom enjoying better fortunes is Peterborough and they will attempt to continue their recent revival under Darren Ferguson when they entertain Nottingham Forest.

Forest fans have been underwhelmed by the arrival of Alex McLeish and the mood will not be improved if they fail to get a result against the Posh.

Just above Peterborough there are teams with cause to be looking over their shoulder as the Championship enters the home straight now we are in 2013.

And two of those sides face each other when lowly Birmingham visit a Huddersfield side on a dismal run of 10 games without a win.

Elsewhere, Millwall could move into the playoff spots with a result at Dougie Freedman's stuttering Bolton Wanderers side.

And in the remaining fixture, playoff hopes are also on the agenda when Brighton host Derby County with the visitors able to leapfrog the Seagulls with an away win.

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Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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