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Championship Preview: Derby aim to bounce back, QPR face Brighton

Derby County will look to get their automatic promotion hopes back on track with victory over in-form Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.

Back-to-back Championship defeats have left Derby eight points behind second-placed Burnley and, with QPR only a point behind in fourth, Steve McClaren’s side needs to return to winning ways quickly.

Dougie Freedman’s men stand in Derby’s way and Wanderers are on a high after three wins on the trot, the last of which was a 5-1 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday.

QPR travel to Brighton and Hove Albion after ending a run of five games without a win against Birmingham City at the weekend.

The Loftus Road outfit hit the headlines after announcing huge financial losses and manager Harry Redknapp is under pressure to deliver an instant return to the Premier League.

The top two both have away trips to contend with as Burnley, fresh from a first win over rivals Blackburn Rovers in 35 years, face Birmingham at St Andrew’s, while leaders Leicester City head to struggling Barnsley.

A morale-boosting 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest lifted Barnsley’s hopes of pulling clear of the relegation zone, while Leicester have a five-point cushion at the summit.

Leeds will look to put their heavy defeat to Bolton behind them when they host Reading, with visiting boss Nigel Adkins desperate for a win after two draws and a defeat in the last three matches.

Reading’s place in the top six is under pressure from Wigan Athletic, who sprung another shock on Manchester City to progress to the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday, while Forest are also in danger of dropping out of the play-places after three consecutive defeats.

Forest visit Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough, while Wigan host Sheffield Wednesday.

Yeovil Town, unbeaten in five, host Ipswich Town as they hope to climb out of the bottom three for the first time since late September, and Paul Dickov’s Doncaster Rovers welcome Watford to the Keepmoat Stadium.

With no win since November, and only four points from a possible 51, Blackpool will hope they can a stop their tumble down the table against Millwall, with Barry Ferguson still searching for his first win in interim charge.

Meanwhile, Charlton Athletic get back to league action following their exit from the FA Cup with a clash against Huddersfield Town, and Blackburn face Bournemouth.

Sun 9 March, 2014
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