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Middlesbro' v Birmingham

Saturday, 09 August 2014, 15:00

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Championship preview

Crystal Palace are the new leaders in the Championship, but the chasing pack remain within touching distance and could pounce this weekend.

Last Updated: 09/11/12 at 19:12

Ian Holloway: Will be hoping Crystal Palace continue to top the table on Saturda

Ian Holloway: Will be hoping Crystal Palace continue to top the table on Saturda

Boro host Owls; Eagles take on Posh; Foxes face Forest

Crystal Palace are the new leaders in the Championship, but the chasing pack remain within touching distance and could pounce this weekend.

Middlesbrough get the weekend action up and running in front of the television cameras, there is a top-of-the-table clash at the Cardiff City Stadium, an East Midlands derby at the King Power Stadium, an all-Yorkshire clash at Oakwell and another managerial bow at Bloomfield Road.

Middlesbrough could return to the top of the second tier table on Friday night when they play host to Sheffield Wednesday, live on Sky Sports 1HD, with Tony Mowbray's side going in search of a sixth victory in their last seven outings.

Should Boro see off the Owls, Crystal Palace will be looking to offer a positive response when they attempt to keep their goal rush going during a trip to struggling Peterborough.

It is possible that either Cardiff or Hull City could end the weekend leading the Championship promotion race, and they go head-to-head in South Wales with the Bluebirds eager to address a slight wobble and the Tigers determined to maintain forward momentum.

Before attention turns to the 3 o'clock kick-offs, local rivals and top-six hopefuls Leicester and Nottingham Forest will do battle on Saturday lunchtime, in a game which can be seen live on Sky Sports 2HD .

Blackburn boss Henning Berg will be hoping it is third time lucky for his Rovers side as they attempt to secure a first victory under their new manager in a home date with Birmingham.

Perfect

Burnley have made a perfect start to life under Sean Dyche, and boast Europe's most prolific marksman within their ranks in the form of Charlie Austin, and will fancy their chances of continuing their climb up the standings when they go to rock-bottom Ipswich.

Back-to-back victories have carried Derby to within a point of the play-off places, but they face a tough ask this weekend when they travel to The Den to face an in-form Millwall side that has gone eight games unbeaten.

Blackpool and Bolton have both undergone managerial changes in recent weeks and new Seasiders boss Michael Appleton will take in his first game at the Bloomfield Road helm when Dougie Freedman's Trotters make the short trip across Lancashire.

No win in five has seen Wolves boss Stale Solbakken come under mounting pressure and he will be calling for a marked improvement from his side when they play host to Brighton.

Leeds and Watford are locked together on 20 points after 15 games and both could do with a morale-boosting success at Elland Road to have them looking upwards once more.

South Yorkshire meets West Yorkshire in the final fixture on Saturday, with Barnsley looking to snap out of a three-match losing sequence when they entertain play-off chasing Huddersfield.

On Sunday, lowly Bristol City will attempt to avoid suffering a seventh straight defeat when Charlton arrive at Ashton Gate.

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