IT’S shaping up to a fascinating race for the English Championship title with just six points separating the top seven.
Bournemouth returned to the top last night with a thumping 5-1 win at Fulham and the focus will be on the second tier today with just one Premier League fixture being staged.
All the top teams have suffered form dips and in midweek it was the turn of Norwich who saved bookies millions by losing at home to Wigan. The defeat will have hurt Alex Neil and I’m on Norwich to bounce back at Millwall today with a win at 17-20 with Betfred.
Derby also lost in midweek but home advantage should see them through safely against Birmingham and they are 8-13 at Ladbrokes and Hills.
Sheffield Wednesday are back on track after successive wins and should make it three in a row at a Blackpool side who have conceded 18 goals in six games. The Owls are 19-20 at William Hill.
Here is team news that may help with your picks.
Blackpool v Sheff Wed
Blackpool will be without top scorer Steven Davies following his move to Sheffield United, while goalkeeper Joe Lewis also looks like being left in the cold again. Bolton loanee Niall Maher (groin) is a doubt, Charles Dunne is suspended and striker Gary Madine does not have permission to play against his parent club.
Sheffield Wednesday will be without injured pair Jose Semedo (foot) and Kamil Zayatte (hamstring), who both sustained injury in midweek. Striker Stevie May, midfielder Kieran Lee and defender Joe Mattock are pushing for recalls.
Cardiff v Charlton
Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall is a doubt due to a tight groin so Simon Moore could fill in. Anthony Pilkington remains on the long-term injury list, while Scott Malone is yet to regain full fitness after a couple of weeks out.
Johann Gudmundsson and Chris Solly (both muscular injuries) are expected to return for Charlton. Roger Johnson, Callum Harriott and Igor Vetokele are hoping to shake off knocks to feature.
Derby v Birmingham
Cyrus Christie (chest infection) could come back into the reckoning for Derby. Leading scorer Chris Martin, who has missed six matches with a hamstring problem, and midfielder George Thorne (thigh) could be fit for the trip to Norwich next weekend.
Birmingham are likely to have an unchanged squad for the trip to the iPro Stadium after back-to-back wins. Michael Morrison, Gavin Gunning and Matt Green are all back in training after knee injuries but are likely to be a few weeks away from returning.
Huddersfield v Rotherham
Huddersfield defender Jack Robinson is hoping to shake off a knock. Striker Nahki Wells is still struggling with the shoulder injury that has kept him out of the last two matches, while central defender Joel Lynch (groin) is not ready for match action.
Rotherham will hope to name skipper Craig Morgan (knee) in their side. New signing Danny Lafferty, a loan arrival from Burnley, is set to make his debut at left-back, which means Zeki Fryers is likely to be dropped.
Ipswich v Brentford
Ipswich strikers Daryl Murphy and Freddie Sears will be restored to the starting line-up after being dropped in midweek. Teddy Bishop (ankle) could be involved, Noel Hunt (knee) is out for the rest of the season and David McGoldrick (hip) and Luke Hyam (knee) are not ready to return.
Brentford are hoping to add Alan Judge to their squad after he had an injection in his knee. January signing Lewis Macleod is still doubtful with a hamstring injury and striker Scott Hogan remains sidelined with cruciate ligament damage.
Millwall v Norwich
Nicky Bailey (calf) could return to boost Millwall’s survival battle. The Lions still have a lengthy injury list, however, with Shaun Cummings (thigh), Stefan Maierhofer (quad) and Lee Martin (foot) set to miss out again.
Norwich will be without striker Lewis Grabban (ankle) and midfielder Alex Tettey (suspension). Wes Hoolahan will be looking for a return to the starting line-up while Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe could be in the squad.
Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough
Dougie Freedman has no new problems as he looks to bounce back from his first defeat as Nottingham Forest manager. Chris Cohen (knee), Andy Reid (groin) and Jack Hobbs (hamstring) remain absent for Forest.
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka could be handed a significant fitness boost. Midfielder Muzzy Carayol (knee) is gradually building up match fitness with the under-21s and he could soon be joined by defenders Daniel Ayala (thigh) and Damia Abella (knee).
Wigan v Leeds
William Kvist’s return to full fitness from a hamstring injury gives Wigan a welcome selection headache, with captain James Perch possibly reverting back to full-back. Grant Holt (knee) and Emyr Huws (ankle) are out for the season.
Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn has no new injury or suspension worries but midfielder Rudy Austin (thigh) remains sidelined. Billy Sharp is expected to retain his place up front with Steve Morison on the bench again.
Wolves v Watford
Wolves expect to name an unchanged squad. Carl Ikeme and Tommy Rowe are out with broken metatarsals but are edging closer to returns. Club captain Sam Ricketts is available but has struggled to break his way into the squad.
Watford will hand fitness checks to Joel Ekstrand and Odion Ighalo (both hamstring), Midfielder Sean Murray misses out again for the third-placed Hornets as he continues to recover from a knee operation.
|Coral||Get 6/1 on Chelsea to win v Swansea. Sat 3pm. Max Bet £5 (£5 free bet if loses), new customers.||CLAIM OFFER|
|Paddy Power||2 Up - You win! Paddy Power will pay you as a winner straight away if your team goes 2 goals up at any stage in the game. Ends Jan 9th.||CLAIM OFFER|
|Racebets||Use code WELCOME for up to £50 matched bonus when you join Racebets.||CLAIM OFFER|
|Marathonbet||Get a £20 matched bonus when you open a new account at Marathonbet. Use code TV20||CLAIM OFFER|
|Coral||Opt in to Coral's Bet & Get Club and receive a free £5 bet each week.||CLAIM OFFER|
|BetVictor||Bet £10 Get £60 when you open a new account at BetVictor.||CLAIM OFFER|