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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

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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