There’s a juicy looking Championship coupon tonight as Newcastle face Nottingham Forest, Brighton take on Cardiff & reading take on Fulham amongst others.
The top three are all in action tonight as the Championship moves onto match day 24, with the action really hotting up as we approach the new year.
Leaders Brighton have, on paper anyway, the easiest of the day’s tasks as they host struggling Cardiff.
Chris Hughton’s side are unbeaten in 17 games and beat QPR 3-0 on Tuesday. The Seagulls will be without suspended winger Kazenga LuaLua while on-loan defender Sebastien Pocognoli will also miss out with a slight knock.
Cardiff drew with Brentford 2-2 last time out, a result that left them 19th in the table, four above third from bottom Blackburn. The club have won just one of their last five games although they have also lost just once during that run.
There’s little doubt that the Seagulls will be looking for three points tonight which would keep their slender lead at the top of the Championship.
Manager Neil Warnock welcomes back Sol Bamba following suspension however Jazz Richards (calf) and full-back Lee Peltier (thigh) are out. Cardiff have a good record on the South Coast. They have won one and drawn five of their last 6 games at the Amex.
Should Cardiff pull off a surprise result, Newcastle will be waiting in the wings. Rafa Benitez’s side have dropped to 2nd in recent weeks after two defeats in five games.
One of those came away to Friday’s visitors, Nottingham Forest.
The Magpies lost 2-1 at the City Ground and will be keen to get back to winning ways. They will have to do so without the suspended Jonjo Shelvey. Former Liverpool and Swansea midfielder Shelvey sits out the second of a five-match ban after being found guilty of using racially abusive language.
History would appear to be on the side of Newcastle. The club have won their last five home league games against Nottingham Forest keeping clean sheets in the last three but will be disappointed with their performance during a 1-0 loss at home to Sheffield Wednesday last time out.
Another home defeat would be a disaster and three points will be a must if their are to keep tabs on Brighton at the summit.
Third place Reading, winners in three of their last four games, face a difficult test at home to Fulham. Its been plain sailing for manager Jaap Stam at the moment, with the club in good form, and they’ll want to continue that tonight,
The Cottagers are unbeaten in their last five games and currently sit 8th in the table.
The final game on Friday sees Ipswich take on Bristol City.
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