APR 25: CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM NEWS

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FOUR teams are fighting for the two automatic promotion places from the Championship and Watford and Middlesbrough could take giant steps to sealing their spots on Saturday.

Leaders Watford should win at Brighton and I expect Middlesbrough to leave Fulham with three points. Norwich must win at Rotherham to keep the pressure on but the hosts of course need the points in their battle to beat the drop.

Millwall v Derby is another fascinating game and there is something to play for between both teams when Wigan host Wolves. Here’s all the latest team news from the Championship.

Birmingham v Charlton

Andrew Shinnie (foot) is a doubt for Birmingham’s final home game. Diego Fabbrini could feature though after flying to Italy to get a new face mask after his initial one was broken in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Reading.

Charlton look set to be without Alou Diarra after the midfielder was forced off with a knee injury during last weekend’s win over Leeds. Johnnie Jackson (leg) and Callum Harriott (ankle) are set to miss out again.
Last season: Charlton 0 Birmingham 2, Birmingham 0 Charlton 1.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).

Brighton v Watford

Brighton boss Chris Hughton could make changes but Joao Teixeira (broken leg), Sam Baldock, Andrew Crofts (both knee), Kemy Agustien (thigh) and Solly March (calf) are all still on the sidelines. Watford can add Matthew Connolly (hamstring) to their squad as they look to edge a step closer to promotion. But fellow defender Joel Ekstrand and midfielder Sean Murray are still out with knee injuries.
Last season: Watford 2 Brighton 0, Brighton 1 Watford 1.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).

Cardiff v Blackpool

Cardiff will assess Scott Malone after he came off against Millwall. Forwards Federico Macheda and Alex Revell will be assessed once more as they look to end their spells on the sidelines. Blackpool should have Miles Addison back in their squad for their final attempt to chalk up an away triumph this term. Auxiliary right-back Tom Barkhuizen has been ruled out because of a shin injury.
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire).

Fulham v Middlesbrough

Scott Parker could return to the Fulham squad after being rested against Blackpool because of a slight knock. Lasse Vigen Christensen (hamstring), Emerson Hyndman (collarbone) and George Williams (knee) are set to miss out again.

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka will make a late check on leading scorer Patrick Bamford (ankle). Midfielder Albert Adomah is in a similar position after also hurting an ankle at Norwich.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

Huddersfield v Blackburn

Huddersfield striker James Vaughan is hoping to overcome a knee injury. Vaughan has missed the last two matches and if he returns to contention boss Chris Powell will have a near full-strength squad to choose from.

Blackburn have huge problems in central defence with four players out injured if Matt Kilgallon fails to overcome a thigh strain. However, David Dunn (calf) and Josh King (hamstring) are due back in the squad.

Last season: Huddersfield 2 Blackburn 4, Blackburn 0 Huddersfield 0.
Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire).

Ipswich v Nottm Forest

Ipswich will be forced to make at least one change to their squad as Jonny Williams this week had his loan cut short following a recurrence of a groin injury. Striker Luke Varney (hamstring) will continue to be assessed. Jorge Grant will be in the Nottingham Forest squad that travels to Suffolk after being promoted to the senior team. Kelvin Wilson will serve the second game of a four-match ban while Chris Cohen, Andy Reid, Britt Assombalonga and Matty Fryatt remain out injured.
Last season: Ipswich 1 Nottm Forest 1, Nottm Forest 0 Ipswich 0.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).

Millwall v Derby

Millwall are still without midfield duo Ed Upson (suspended) and Shaun Williams (foot). Shaun Cummings is struggling with a groin injury and fellow full-back Carlos Edwards (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Derby hope to have leading scorer Chris Martin (hamstring) back in contention as they look to seal a play-off place. Will Hughes (ankle) was injured in the warm-up last weekend but should be fit.
Last season: Derby 0 Millwall 1, Millwall 1 Derby 5.
Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire).

Reading v Brentford

Reading will check the fitness of defender Alex Pearce, midfielder Danny Williams, winger Hal Robson-Kanu and striker Pavel Pogrebnyak. Boss Steve Clarke will also be without utility man Nathan Ake, who has gone back to Chelsea.

Brentford make the short trip along the M4 without on-loan Everton youngster Chris Long because of a knee injury. Midfielder Lewis Macleod is still not match fit after a hamstring problem.
Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).

Rotherham v Norwich

Rotherham will aim to make up the three points the Football League deducted them and only Frazer Richardson (calf) is unavailable for boss Steve Evans. Recalled loanee Jonson Clarke-Harris could be back in the squad.

Norwich manager Alex Neil could be tempted to go on the offensive and Lewis Grabban, Gary Hooper and Nathan Redmond may all be recalled for the promotion-chasing Canaries.
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).

Sheff Wed v Leeds

Sheffield Wednesday quartet Keiren Westwood (calf), Jose Semedo (foot), Will Keane (ankle) and Claude Dielna (hamstring) could all return to action. Skipper Glenn Loovens remains sidelined with a long-term hamstring injury.

Leeds defender Aidy White could make his first appearance of the season having suffered an ankle injury in pre-season. Strikers Mirco Antenucci and Edgar Cani are both still nursing the knocks that kept them out last week.
Last season: Sheff Wed 6 Leeds 0, Leeds 1 Sheff Wed 1.
Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).

Wigan v Wolves

Tim Chow will be expected to keep his place in Wigan’s starting line-up after scoring on his full debut. Apart from Emyr Huws (ankle), Grant Holt (knee) and the suspended Martyn Waghorn, Latics are at full-strength.

Wolves’ Danny Batth has been ruled out for three months with a stress fracture in his foot. Carl Ikeme (knee) and Bakary Sako (groin) are both doubts for Kenny Jackett’s squad.
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight).

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