Championship preview

02 October 2009 11:53
Newcastle United could move five points clear at the top of the Championship table this weekend as they host Bristol City. The Magpies dropped their first home points of the season in midweek as they were held to a draw by Queens Park Rangers. But with their nearest rivals West Bromwich Albion, Preston North End and Middlesbrough all losing - the point meant they actually extended their lead at the top. Newcastle are now looking to get back to winning ways as they welcome Bristol City to Tyneside, who themselves could move as high as third with a victory in the North East. Chris Hughton's men can only move five points clear at the most because second play third, with West Brom taking on Preston at Deepdale early on Saturday. If there is a winner in that game - which you can see live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1 from 12:45 - then the victor will move into second spot. Middlesbrough are clinging on to a place in the top four despite their horrendous run of form which has seen them take just one point from their last three games. Boro look to get back to winning ways on the road as they travel to Reading. Cardiff City returned to winning ways on Tuesday in emphatic fashion as they thrashed Derby County 6-1 and Dave Jones will want his side to start showing some consistency as they face Watford at Vicarage Road. After just one win in four games, Sheffield United are in need of three points and they will look to get back to winning ways as they face South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster in a derby clash at Bramall Lane. Another derby takes place in the Midlands in an early kick-off at the Ricoh Arena with Coventry taking on Leicester. Blackpool are the Championship's surprise package so far this season but their good run of form ended in midweek at Bristol City - but they have a chance to bounce back on Saturday with their trip to the capital to face Crystal Palace. The only team without a win in the league is Ipswich. Roy Keane's beleaguered side travel to Oakwell to face Barnsley. Peterborough's poor form has seen them sink into the bottom three, and they host Nottingham Forest on Saturday - who have revitalised themselves in recent weeks with two successive wins. After claiming their opening triumph of the season at Peterborough, second from bottom Plymouth look to make it two wins on the bounce as they welcome Scunthorpe United to Home Park. Derby County are looking to bounce back from their thrashing at Cardiff in midweek, with Sheffield Wednesday the visitors to Pride Park. Finally, Paulo Sousa will come up against his former employers QPR on Saturday as the Hoops travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City.

Source: SKY_Sports