Championship preview

18 April 2008
The game of the day in the Championship comes at the Britannia Stadium where third place Stoke entertain the team directly below them, Bristol City. Elsewhere, there is will be a hotly contested London derby between promotion chasers Watford and Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road.Barnsley v Leicester
Leicester, who will start the game in the relegation zone, can drag Barnsley back into trouble with a win at Oakwell. However, a win for the Yorkshire side would guarantee their Championship status for next season.

Blackpool v Sheff Wednesday
Either side could find themselves in the drop zone come Saturday evening if they lose and other results go against them. Wednesday have drawn seven in succession, while Blackpool have not won in eight.

Colchester v Coventry
Already-relegated Colchester could seriously dent Coventry's fight against the drop with a win at Layer Road. The visitors have suffered back-to-back 2-1 defeats and another loss would send them into the bottom three if Leicester get something at Barnsley.

Norwich v West Brom
A win for West Brom would be another massive step on the road back to the Premier League, although it would not guarantee automatic promotion whatever happens elsewhere. Norwich are not quite safe from relegation despite two wins in their last four.

Plymouth v Preston
Just six points separate these teams, but Plymouth could technically still sneak into the play-offs, while Preston are not mathematically safe from relegation. It would take something amazing for either to happen, though.

QPR v Charlton
Charlton's play-off hopes have been dented by just one win in eight and they need a victory at Loftus Road to have any hope of finishing in the top six. Mid-table QPR have drawn four on the trot.

Scunthorpe v Cardiff City
Cardiff have a game in hand over most of their fellow play-off hopefuls and will be eager to maintain a run of eight games without defeat against a Scunthorpe side whose relegation was confirmed last weekend.

Sheff Utd v Hull City
Hull, with five wins in six, need another victory to guarantee they stay in the automatic promotion places with Stoke and Bristol City hot on their heels. However, Sheffield United have only lost once at Bramall Lane since the turn of the year.

Southampton v Burnley
Southampton have lost just once in their last four and a home win against mid-table Burnley is vital to ensure they do not get dragged deeper into a relegation battle. The visitors have won just once on their travels since January.

Stoke City v Bristol City
This match sees third host fourth and defeat for either stuttering side would severely damage their automatic promotion hopes. Stoke have won just twice in nine games, while Bristol City are on a run of one victory in eight.

Watford v Crystal Palace
Defeat for Watford and wins for Hull and West Brom would put automatic promotion beyond the Hornets. Palace have stormed into the play-off zone with an eight-match unbeaten run which has included five wins.

Wolves v Ipswich
Both these sides sit just outside the play-off places, but Wolves have played a game less than all the teams above them. Ipswich's inconsistent run of just one win in four is matched by their opponents.