Championship Preview: Big weekend for the top six

The action is coming thick and fast in the Championship as we enter game week 17 with just five points separating the top 9.

Leading the way at the moment is surprise package, Bournemouth. The club have surged to the top of the table on the back of 5 straight wins. Last time out they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 to take their recent goal run to 17 with four clean sheets during that time.

They face a tricky test on Saturday however with Middlesbrough their hosts. Boro are currently second in the table after just one defeat in 5. The club have won four and drawn two of their home games.

Third place Watford lost only their third game of the season midweek when they went down 2-1 away to Birmingham. However they could move back into second or indeed return to the summit with a win over another in-form side, 5th place Ipswich.

All action top six concludes with Derby at home to Wolves in the early kick off on Saturday.

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With the top six all pairing off, the table is likely to have a different look and feel to it come 4.45pm. The likes of Norwich, Blackburn, Brentford and Charlton will all hope to move into the play off places when then take on out of sorts Nottingham Forest, inconsistent Brighton, mid-table Millwall and Reading respectively.

At the bottom Blackpool secured a first point in 5 games midweek with a battling 2-2 draw with Fulham. The game was Lee Clarke’s first in charge and he will hope to kick on and secure a first win when his new side take on Leeds.

Fulham have shown an upturn in form in recent weeks and they will hope to extend their recent unbeaten run with a win at home to a Huddersfield side that has lost just once in five.

Elsewhere Birmingham face Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday are at home to Rotherham while Bolton and Wigan get the action underway on Friday when they meet in a North West derby at the Macron Stadium.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.