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Championship Preview: Two form teams clash at the City Ground

Jonathan Campkin

The Championship is relentless. All clubs have two games this week and there are some fascinating matches to look out for.

We look ahead to the standout games and players to watch this week……

Billy Sharp 300x225 Championship Preview: Two form teams clash at the City Ground

Nottingham Forest have been inconsistent

MATCH OF THE WEEK

Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough

Sean O’Driscoll’s team are on a fine run of form, having gone five games without defeat. This run includes an impressive victory over league leaders Cardiff City.

The Reds now find themselves one place and one point outside the play-off positions after an inconsistent start to the season.

Forest have one of the most potent forward pairings in the league. Simon Cox and Billy Sharp are both prolific goalscorers and provide the pace and energy which frightens defences.

They also rely on Andy Reid, the creative spark in midfield, who has the ability to pick passes and dribble past defenders. He has been crucial to this upturn in fortune.

Meanwhile Middlesbrough also find themselves with plenty of momentum.

They come off the back of a fantastic victory against Sunderland in the Capital One Cup and have won their last four Championship games.

There is still a long way to go in the season, but this already looks like a vital match for two teams who could be fighting for automatic promotion.

OTHER MATCHES

Hull v Wolves: Hull occupy the final play-off position whilst Wolves are one of the teams just outside the play-off places. Hull have impressed under Steve Bruce and striker Sone Aluko has caught the eye with some outstanding performances. Wolves with their Premier League experience and match-winning talent will always prove a handful.

Crystal Palace v Blackburn: Many predicted with Dougie Freedman’s departure, Palace would struggle. However their win against Leicester City shows they are still a force to be reckoned with. Blackburn who are one place behind them will be looking to impress new manager Henning Berg.

CRUNCH MATCH

Sheffield Wednesday v Peterborough United

Both on 12 points, Peterborough find themselves out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

Wins against Huddersfield and Derby have propelled the Posh above their opponents. They now have four wins from their last six. Meanwhile Sheffield Wednesday earned their first win since August by beating Ipswich.

Two teams who are lingering at the wrong end of the table. Both will be desperate to gain three points.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Kerim Frei

The 18-year-old winger, who plays for the Turkish national side and made an instant impression in the Premier League last season, has joined Cardiff City on a month’s loan from Fulham.

He is highly rated at Craven Cottage due to his bravery, ability to attack when one on one with a defender and his versatility, given he can operate wide or behind a striker.

The Bluebirds found themselves light on numbers following the injuries to Craig Bellamy and Tommy Smith. However Austrian-born Frei, who is technically very gifted with the ball, will fill that gap.

Frei, who picked up a pelvic injury whilst on international duty, has been back in training for the last month.

It will be an opportunity to gain some match practice, catch Martin Jol’s attention and help to cement Cardiff’s position at the top of the league. The Bluebirds face trips to Bolton and Charlton this week.

FIXTURES

Friday 2nd November 2012

Brighton v Leeds United 7.45pm

Saturday 3rd November 2012

Birmingham v Ipswich 3pm

Burnley v Wolves 3pm

Charlton v Middlesbrough 3pm

Crystal Palace v Blackburn 3pm

Derby v Blackpool 3pm

Huddersfield v Bristol City 3pm

Hull v Barnsley 3pm

Nottingham Forest v Millwall 3pm

Sheff Wed v Peterborough 3pm

Watford v Leicester 3pm

Bolton v Cardiff 5.20pm

Tuesday 6th November 2012

Birmingham v Bristol City 7.45pm

Brighton v Peterborough 7.45pm

Burnley v Leeds United 7.45pm

Charlton v Cardiff 7.45pm

Derby v Barnsley 7.45pm

Huddersfield v Blackburn 7.45pm

Hull v Wolves 7.45pm

Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough 7.45pm

Sheff Wed v Blackpool 7.45pm

Watford v Millwall 7.45pm

Bolton v Leicester 8pm

Crystal Palace v Ipswich 8pm

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