Its another busy Saturday in the Championship as Newcastle take on Sheffield Wednesday in the bumper kick off on Boxing Day.
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There are 10 teams in action in the Championship on Saturday as we reach round 15 as the action from England’s second tier really starts to hot up with a busy Festive period on the horizon.
With 14 games gone, a real pattern is beginning to emerge. Newcastle United and Norwich are shown they are above this level, Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday are proving that last season wasn’t a one off and Bristol City and Huddersfield are this season’s surprise package.
Newcastle lead the way on 31 points. Rafa Benitez’s men moved into the last 8 of the EFL cup midweek with a 6-0 win over Preston and they will go in search of a 7th successive win this weekend against the same opponents.
In all they have lost just one of their last 15 games and hold a three point lead at the top, and after a few ups and downs the Toon are really starting to justify their billing as pre season favourites.
In second place is Brighton.
The south coast side have won 8 of their games to date this season and are currently unbeaten in their last 5 with three wins and two draws as Chris Hughton eyes another serious challenge for promotion. They face fourth place Norwich in the pick of the 3pm games as Alex Neil’s side will prove a tough opponent this afternoon.
Just one point separates the sides and both sides will be keen to get a result as both try to keep in touch with Newcastle at the top of the table.
Should they share the spoils, then Huddersfield, currently third could climb into 2nd place but only if they overcome the challenge of inconsistent Fulham while 5th place Sheffield Wednesday will come into the mix if they beat Derby.
The Rams are slowly turning the corner under the new leadership of Steve Bruce, although the Owls will prove a tough challenge.
Bristol City have been superb this campaign and they will be out to secure an 8th win of the season away to another surprise outfit, Barnsley. The Tykes are 12th in the standings just four points behind their weekend opponents.
Elsewhere Cardiff, unbeaten under Neil Warnock and out of the relegation zone, take on second from bottom Wigan while Ipswich Town will have aspirations of moving to the top half of the table with a win over Rotherham.
In the day’s other games, Leeds United host Burton, with Garry Monk finally looking to have turned things round for the Yorkshire club.
Reading take on Nottingham Forest and Wolves travel to Blackburn.
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