Ewood Park

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Blackburn v Cardiff

Friday, 08 August 2014, 19:45

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Championship preview

Cardiff can clinch the title, Hull could secure promotion and the extraordinary battle against the drop continues.

Last Updated: 19/04/13 at 12:30

Steve Bruce: Hoping Hull can take a huge step towards the Premier League

Steve Bruce: Hoping Hull can take a huge step towards the Premier League

Cardiff eye title; Hull aim for promotion; Relegation battle heats up

Hull City can take a huge step towards the Premier League when they host already-relegated Bristol City on Friday.

The Sky Sports cameras are at the KC Stadium as the Tigers look to go nine points clear of Watford in third, which could see them promoted if the Hornets slip up on Saturday.

If Hull are beaten in front of their own fans, Cardiff will be crowned champions - an achievement they will be hoping to guarantee anyway with a win at Burnley on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 2 HD.

Watford have a home fixture against Blackburn at Vicarage Road but with Rovers desperate for points there will be no guarantees for Gianfranco Zola's men.

Zola's side have won just one of their last seven games - ironically, against Hull - and must surely make do with a play-off place.

Who they face in those play-offs remains in the balance as the battle for the remaining three spots hots up with three games to go.

Much could depend on the outcome at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace take on Leicester City in a fifth versus sixth clash.

Neither side have been in great form of late but the Foxes could leapfrog the Eagles with an away victory, a result that would increase the pressure on former boss Ian Holloway at Palace.

An added concern will be the fact that the other three teams chasing a top-six finish all have winnable home games on Saturday.

Brighton currently occupy fourth spot and entertain Blackpool, while Bolton Wanderers host Middlesbrough.

Nottingham Forest, who are just a point outside the top six, also have a home game but will have a fight on their hands against a Barnsley team scrapping for their lives down at the bottom.

The Tykes are just one off the bottom but, remarkably, are only seven points away from the top half of the table as well - an indication of how tight things are in the Championship.

Huddersfield Town are the team currently the wrong side of the line, in the bottom three on goal difference, but could well claw their way out of there with a positive result at home to Millwall.

Just above them in the table are Wolves and Peterborough but both of their rivals face away trips at the weekend.

Wolves visit in-form Charlton Athletic at The Valley, while Peterborough visit Pride Park to take on Derby County.

A quick glance at the table suggests Sheffield Wednesday are out of things in lower mid-table but they are in fact just three points from safety and need a positive result at home to Ipswich Town.

The remaining fixture in the Championship sees Birmingham City host Leeds United - two of the few clubs who can plan for next season in the knowledge they will still be in this extraordinary division.

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Readers' Comments

I

worry about these types of conclusions on a teams brilliance when it was very clear that Argentina had 4 chances where they really should have scored and on chances alone then it would have been the more pragmatic Argentinians who would be the best in the world. I like the Germany team but this just shows that even with planning it relies on a great deal of luck and finding your opponents at just the right time.

dryice
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

W

e all know the British public don't have the patience to plan for 14 years. No chance. As soon as our young players don't win the world cup they get harrassed and abused to the point of mental breakdown. No, England likes to react to failure by sacking the manager and tearing up their best laid plans in favour of something shiny and new to keep the knee jerkers happy.

HarryBoulton
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

G

lad Messi was player of the tournament, there was no-one more deserving. Except Robben. And James Rodriguez. Or Muller and half the Germany team etc etc

sailingmagpie
Golden Ball award for Messi

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