Championship briefing

Team news and statistics for the midweek action in the npower Championship.

Last Updated: 01/01/13 at 12:58 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Sky Bet Championship. Click here to bet.

Fitz Hall: Major doubt for Watford

Fitz Hall: Major doubt for Watford

(Current league positions in brackets)

Tuesday, January 1

Birmingham (20) v Cardiff (1)

Birmingham boss Lee Clark has a selection crisis with Nikola Zigic suspended and Marlon King (knee), Peter Lovenkrands (calf), and Akwasi Asante (hamstring) also sidelined through injury, meaning Jake Jervis is the only recognised Blues striker available. Midfielders Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) and Darren Ambrose (knee) are also absent.

Stephen McPhail and Tommy Smith are likely to miss out once more for Cardiff although striker Rudy Gestede will hope to claim a place in the starting line-up after coming off the bench to score the only goal of the game against Millwall over the weekend.

Last season: Birmingham 1 Cardiff 1, Cardiff 1 Birmingham 0

Last five league matches: Birmingham L D D W L; Cardiff W L W W W

Top scorers: Marlon King (Birmingham) 13; Heidar Helguson (Cardiff) 8

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)

Blackburn (15) v Nottingham Forest (7)

Managerless Blackburn will assess Ruben Rochina after the former Barcelona B playmaker limped out of Saturday's clash with Barnsley midway through the second half. Fabio Nunes (hamstring), Mauro Formica (foot) and Paul Robinson (back) may be absent once more while it is unclear whether Gael Givet, David Dunn, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Dickson Etuhu will feature after they missed the clash with the Tykes "through injury", according to Rovers' official website.

On-loan full-back Alan Hutton may return from illness after missing Alex McLeish's first game as Nottingham Forest boss against Crystal Palace on Saturday through illness. McLeish has defender Brendan Moloney, midfielders Simon Gillett, Guy Moussi, Lewis McGugan and Henri Lansbury, and striker Simon Cox at his disposal should he wish to make any changes.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Blackburn D L L L W; Nottm Forest W D L W D

Top scorers: Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn) 14; Billy Sharp (Nottm Forest) 10

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)

Blackpool (12) v Hull (2)

Blackpool midfielder Isaiah Osbourne returns from a one-match suspension for collecting five yellow cards this season. Defender Ian Evatt (knee) and winger Matt Phillips (toe) remain on the sidelines.

Hull defender Ahmed Elmohamady is doubtful due to a calf injury although Liam Rosenior is on stand-by if the right wing-back fails to recover. Alex Bruce returns from a three-match suspension and provides father and manager Steve Bruce with an alternative option at centre-half.

Last season: Blackpool 1 Hull 1, Hull 0 Blackpool 1

Last five league matches: Blackpool D W L D L; Hull W W W D W

Top scorers: Thomas Ince (Blackpool) 13; Sone Aluko (Hull) 8

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Crystal Palace (4) v Wolves (17)

Crystal Palace remain without defender Damien Delaney, who sits out the final game of his three-match ban after receiving a red card in the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield, and skipper Paddy McCarthy is sidelined with the groin injury that has prevented him playing this campaign.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, midfielder Stephen Hunt and defender George Elokobi continue to remain on the sidelines for Wolves, whose manager Stale Solbakken is expected to make changes to his out-of-form team, with Jamie O'Hara pushing for his first start of the season following a hernia problem.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crystal Palace D D D L D; Wolverhampton W L W L L

Top scorers: Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) 22; Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Wolverhampton) 9

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)

Derby (11) v Middlesbrough (3)

Derby forward Jamie Ward will sit out the New Year's Day clash as a precautionary measure despite making his first appearance since September at the weekend following a long-running hamstring strain. Defender Mark O'Brien (groin) and midfielder Craig Bryson (knee) are slight doubts.

Middlesbrough midfielder Josh McEachran will be assessed after missing his side's last match due to an ankle injury. George Friend (hamstring) and Emmanuel Ledesma (knee) may miss out once again, while midfielders Julio Arca (toe) and Muzzy Carayol (knee) and striker Curtis Main (knee) are definitely out.

Last season: Derby 0 Middlesbrough 1, Middlesbrough 2 Derby 0

Last five league matches: Derby W W L L D; Middlesbrough W W L W W

Top scorers: Theo Robinson (Derby) 9; Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) 10

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)

Ipswich (19) v Brighton (10)

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy is set to name an unchanged team for the sixth successive game. With no new injury or suspension concerns, McCarthy is likely to keep faith will all of his starting XI.

Brighton boss Gus Poyet hopes to have Will Buckley available after the midfielder missed the 3-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday evening due to a hamstring complaint. Andrea Orlandi and fellow midfielder Gary Dicker will continue their comebacks from rib and knee complaints respectively.

Last season: Brighton 3 Ipswich 0, Ipswich 3 Brighton 1

Last five league matches: Ipswich W L D W W; Brighton L D D D L

Top scorers: DJ Campbell (Ipswich) 10; Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton) 10

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Leeds (9) v Bolton (14)

Leeds' leading goalscorer Luciano Becchio is battling to overcome a thigh strain, which forced him to miss the 2-0 defeat at Hull on Saturday and meant Davide Somma made his first start for the club in 19 months following a serious knee injury. Defender Aidy White is suspended after receiving his fifth booking of the season at the KC Stadium.

David Ngog is a doubt for Bolton due to a twisted ankle while fellow forward Benik Afobe is carrying a slight hamstring problem. Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews may feature despite an Achilles injury but fellow midfielder Mark Davies (shoulder) and defender Matt Mills (thigh) are still unavailable.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Leeds L W W L L; Bolton D W L L W

Top scorers: Luciano Becchio (Leeds) 16; Chris Eagles (Bolton) 7

Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands)

Leicester (5) v Huddersfield (16)

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson may opt to freshen up his side, with centre-half Zak Whitbread and striker Jamie Vardy looking to make their respective returns to the starting XI, while right-back Ritchie De Laet may be rested after overcoming a back problem to play against Burnley on Saturday.

Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson is expected to retain Anthony Gerrard and Joel Lynch at the heart of defence, Calum Woods and Danny Ward are hoping to return after knocks kept them out of the squad altogether at the weekend, while Alan Lee is available again following his three-match ban.

Last season: No corresponding fixtureLast five league matches: Leicester D L L D W; Huddersfield D L D D D

Top scorers: David Nugent (Leicester) 12; Chris Atkinson (Huddersfield) 6

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)

Millwall (8) v Bristol City (22)

Millwall could be without Scott Malone as the defender was replaced in the opening 20 minutes of the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff on Saturday after hurting his leg in a collision with Peter Whittingham. Striker Andy Keogh (toe), winger Chris Taylor (knee) and skipper skipper Paul Robinson (pelvis) are all highly unlikely to feature.

Bristol City's defensive duo Louis Carey and Danny Wilson are struggling with hamstring complaints and it remains to be seen whether they return to the matchday squad, while Robins boss Derek McInnes is set to stick with Paul Anderson and Sam Baldock up front.

Last season: Bristol City 1 Millwall 0, Millwall 1 Bristol City 2

Last five league matches: Millwall L W D L L; Bristol City L W L D W

Top scorers: Chris Wood (Millwall) 12; Sam Baldock (Bristol City) 9

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)

Peterborough (23) v Barnsley (24)

Peterborough will be without the suspended Lee Tomlin, who will begin a three-match ban after being sent off on Saturday for elbowing Bristol City defender Greg Cunningham, with Danny Swanson the man most likely to replace him.

Managerless Barnsley will be without on-loan striker Marcus Tudgay due to a suspected broken collarbone. Marlon Harewood is expected to partner Craig Davies up front but midfielders Jacob Mellis (dead leg) and Akos Buzsaky (hamstring), plus defender Martin Cranie (ankle) are expected to miss out again.

Last season: Barnsley 1 Peterborough 0, Peterborough 3 Barnsley 4

Last five league matches: Peterborough L W W W L; Barnsley D L W L L

Top scorers: Dwight Gayle (Peterborough) 14; Craig Davies (Barnsley) 9

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)

Sheffield Wednesday (21) v Burnley (13)

Sheffield Wednesday striker Jay Bothroyd could miss out once again due to the ankle injury that has sidelined him for the last six games, while midfielder Jose Semedo may be absent once more because of a badly cut knee, meaning manager Dave Jones could name an unchanged line-up.

Top scorer Charlie Austin is a major doubt for Burnley due to a gluteal problem that caused him to break down after only seven minutes of the Clarets' clash with Leicester at the weekend. Martin Paterson came on for the 23-goal striker but Sam Vokes could also push for a start if Austin misses out. Defender Ben Mee remains sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Sheff Wed L W W W D; Burnley L D D W L

Top scorers: Chris O'Grady (Sheff Wed) 6; Charlie Austin (Burnley) 23

Referee: David Webb (County Durham)

Watford (6) v Charlton (18)

Defender Fitz Hall is a major doubt for Watford after limping off in the 42nd minute of the 3-1 win at Brighton on Saturday with a hamstring knock. Lloyd Doyley (calf) continues to miss out, while striker Fernando Forestieri is unlikely to dislodge in-form forward pair Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra despite recovering from a hamstring problem.

Charlton will be without striker Danny Haynes due to a hamstring injury, while defender Michael Morrison serves a one-match ban after being dismissed against Derby at the weekend. Striker Ricardo Fuller could return to the line-up following a hamstring problem but Rhoys Wiggins (foot), Andy Hughes (Achilles) and Ade Azeez (hamstring) all remain sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Watford W L D W W; Charlton D L L L D

Top scorers: Matej Vydra (Watford) 12; Danny Haynes (Charlton) 5

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)


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