All but one of the final round of Championship matches prior to the international break takes place on a busy Saturday afternoon in the second tier as a tightly bunched division looks to separate itself a little over the course of the day.
It is a Saturday which means we have a TV to take in from the division and there are plenty of other ways to keep up to date on what else is happening up and down the country, with a number of competitive matches on the card as always.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (3pm unless stated)
Nottingham Forest v Derby County (12.30pm)
Barnsley v Stoke City
Birmingham City v Fulham
Hull City v West Bromwich Albion
Leeds United v Blackburn Rovers
Millwall v Charlton Athletic
Preston North End v Huddersfield Town
Queens Park Rangers v Middlesbrough
Reading v Luton Town
Sheffield Wednesday v Swansea City
Wigan Athletic v Brentford
The televised offering will be a spicy affair as it is the second derby clash between Nottingham Forest and Derby County this season. Forest have already taken care of the Rams in the Carabao Cup and will be looking for a repeat of that over the course of the 90 minutes here. West Bromwich Albion will be aiming to back up their fine win over Stoke last week when they head to Hull City who battered Fulham last week and will be looking to take down another big scalp.
Best of the Rest
Preston, Leeds United and Swansea City all sit a couple of points behind West Brom on 28pts for the campaign. PNE host Huddersfield Town in a meeting of two form sides while Leeds host Blackburn Rovers who will want to turn over Marcelo Bielsa’s men. On paper at least Swansea have the toughest test as they go to Sheffield Wednesday for a tricky test. At the other end of the table the bottom two meet when Barnsley host Stoke, who begin the post-Nathan Jones era while Reading take on Luton Town at the Madejski Stadium. Two attractive sides clash at St Andrew’s when Birmingham City go up against Fulham.
I can’t lie and suggest that the QPR defence doesn’t worry me but it might well be that they have a better time of it on Saturday when they host out of form and extremely goal shy Middlesbrough at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. Middlesbrough have a raft of injuries to contend with for this match as well as a lack of output when it comes to scoring goals.
Rangers have no such problem scoring goals. They are among the best in the league in that discipline but they do have more of an issue in keeping them out of their net. You sense if QPR open the scoring though, which they are inclined to do on their own patch, what remaining confidence there is in the Boro players will disintegrate quickly. You rarely get rich backing odds on shots in this division but I’m happy to make an exception here given Middlesbrough’s woes.
Back QPR to beat Middlesbrough for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral