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Championship Preview: Wolves and Bristol City prepare for relegation battle at Molineux

Jonathan Campkin

The bottom of the Championship is extremely tight with five points separating the bottom eight teams. Therefore Bristol City who are bottom and Wolves who are directly above them on goal difference still believe they can get out of trouble. When they meet this weekend, both will be desperate to get closer to safety.

We look ahead to this match, the other standout games and the players to watch this weekend in the Championship…

Dean Saunders 300x225 Championship Preview: Wolves and Bristol City prepare for relegation battle at Molineux

Wolves manager Dean Saunders

MATCH OF THE WEEK

Wolves v Bristol City

Wolves have only taken four points from their last five games. In their last match they were beaten convincingly by Nottingham Forest.

Dean Saunders has been happy with the majority of performances but blames their inconsistent form on their failure to convert good chances into goals.

Meanwhile, Bristol City are unbeaten in four games and have kept three clean sheets in a row despite playing tough opponents in Brighton and Middlesbrough during this period.

They are currently bottom of the table but are only below Wolves and Peterborough on goal difference, a much improved situation to the one they found themselves in a month ago.

Manager Sean O’Driscoll has improved defensive shape and restored confidence in a team which looked demoralised under Derek McInnes.

Wolves will be happy that this crucial game is at Molineux, given Bristol City’s recent good form has been based on their home games. Away from home they have only taken one point from their last six league fixtures.

OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES

Blackburn v Burnley – Both teams sit in mid-table and seem unlikely to mount a promotion push or get dragged into a relegation battle. However the East Lancashire derby is always a match full of passion. The reverse fixture ended 1-1 earlier this season, so both will be looking to get one over their fierce rivals.

Leeds United v Huddersfield Town – Yorkshire derby where both have something to play for. Leeds United are five points outside the play-offs whilst Huddersfield are five points above the relegation zone. Leeds manager Neil Warnock, who used to manage Town, will be desperate to build some momentum after three successive draws.

MANAGER TO WATCH

Billy Davies

Davies has secured five consecutive victories which have meant Forest now sit in the last play-off place.

They have scored 13 goals and only conceded two in that period. However, they now face a tricky spell of fixtures with their next two games against Hull this weekend and Brighton two weeks after.

With nine games left this season, automatic promotion is highly unlikely given they are 11 points behind second-placed Hull.

Therefore it is all about securing a spot in the play-offs, which Davies has a lot of experience in.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Steven Davies

The 25-year-old Bristol City striker has been crucial to his side’s recent good form, having scored twice in their last four games.

He has scored 12 times in all competitions this season for the Robins even though he has only started 13 times this season.

In Bristol City’s last game against Middlesbrough he caused plenty of problems for the opposition defence as well as getting his name on the score sheet.

The Robins now face two crucial away games against Wolves and Derby. The threat Davies poses will be crucial if the Robins are to get anything out of them.

FIXTURES

Saturday 16th March 2013

Charlton v Millwall 12.30pm

Leeds United v Huddersfield 12.30pm

Barnsley v Watford 3pm

Blackpool v Peterborough 3pm

Hull v Nottingham Forest 3pm

Ipswich v Bolton 3pm

Middlesbrough v Birmingham 3pm

Sheff Wed v Cardiff 3pm

Wolves v Bristol City 3pm

Derby v Leicester 5.20pm

Sunday 17th March 2013

Brighton v Crystal Palace 12pm

Blackburn v Burnley 12.30pm

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