Championship Preview: Time running out for Jones
For a club the size of Sheffield Wednesday, Championship football is the very minimum. For Barnsley, who have one of the poorest average attendances in the Championship, League One football would diminish the crowds even further. Therefore the predicament they both find themselves in, is getting serious.
We look ahead to the this match, the other standout games and the players to watch this week in the Championship…
MATCH OF THE WEEK
Barnsley v Sheffield Wednesday
Barnsley have taken just three points from their last six games which has left them in the relegation zone on goal difference.
The problem is at the back where they are leaking goals. They have conceded nine in their last four matches including a poor 4-1 defeat at Watford.
They are also struggling to score given they have only found the net six times in the last six games.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday have lost their last seven games which has meant they are just one place and two points above rock-bottom Peterborough.
In those seven games they have only scored four times and let in 16, a sign of their lack of firepower and defensive frailties.
Pressure is now growing on Wednesday manager Dave Jones to turn around their form. Their next two games, which are both against teams in the bottom half, are crucial.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES
Bristol City v Derby – Despite three points from last weekend’s match at Sheffield Wednesday, Derek McInnes is still under huge pressure. They have moved out of the relegation zone on goal difference but they have not won at home in eight matches. Derby will prove tough opposition given they are just three points outside the play-offs.
Brighton v Nottingham Forest – Two teams just outside the play-offs, both on 32 points. Nottingham Forest go into the fixture with more confidence off the back of a home victory against Burnley, whereas Brighton could only draw away at Charlton.
Burnley v Watford
When you are up against a former club, a win always means more than just three points. This will be the case for Burnley manager Sean Dyche when he takes on his former employers.
Burnley lie in seventeenth and are on a poor run of form having taken just five points from their last six games.
Meanwhile Watford are in good form, taking 17 points from their last eight games. They sit in sixth, just inside the play-offs, but with Millwall on the same points tally and Brighton and Nottingham Forest just one point behind, Watford will be desperate to win.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Ipswich Town have won their last three games, despite playing tricky opponents in Millwall, Bolton and Nottingham Forest, thanks in part to Campbell’s superb form.
The frontman has scored three goals in his last two games after notching a brace last time out against Millwall to leave Ipswich in twentieth place but five points above the relegation places.
Campbell’s good work-rate and finishing instinct has resulted in seven goals in 12 appearances for the Tractor Boys, after he joined on-loan from Queens Park Rangers.
Ipswich face Leeds United away this weekend before a home match against Bristol City. Campbell will be looking to continue his recent form and push the Tractor Boys further away from the drop zone.
Saturday 15th December 2012
Hull v Huddersfield 12.30pm
Birmingham v Crystal Palace 3pm
Blackpool v Blackburn 3pm
Bolton v Charlton 3pm
Brighton v Nottingham Forest 3pm
Bristol City v Derby 3pm
Burnley v Watford 3pm
Cardiff v Peterborough 3pm
Leeds United v Ipswich Town 3pm
Middlesbrough v Wolves 3pm
Millwall v Leicester 3pm
Barnsley v Sheffield Wednesday 5.20pm
Tuesday 18th December 2012
Brighton v Millwall 7.45pm
Recent Posts on Football
- Ibet: Newcastle struggling to cope with loss of Yohan Cabaye
- Time for Manchester City to step up to the plate
- The Football Lawyer: Once Brazilian players prove their European ancestry, it's still not easy for them to settle
- The Football Lawyer: Uefa has made moves to stamp out racism, but only time will tell if they grow more forceful
- The Wasteland: Cruzeiro's Brazilian title triumph turns Rio and São Paulo into footballing tiddlers
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter