Championship Corner: Sheffield Wednesday in huge clash and our tips for the day

As ever, there are plenty of big clashes up and down the Championship as the teams in England's second division do battle for a coveted place in the Premier League.

The Championship is England's most competitive and frantic division, and the season is hotting up towards another exciting run-in.

The race for automatic promotion is as close as ever, but the chasing pack have a lot of catching up to do if they are to break into the top six - Cardiff City are trailing sixth-placed AFC Bournemouth by six points as the table stands.

Here's a game-by-game look at today's Championship matches and our top tips for the afternoon's action in the 3pm kick-offs. You can follow it all minute by minute on Planet Sport as the games get underway in our live score centre.

Bristol City vs Barnsley

Having struggled near the relegation places for the last couple of seasons, Barnsley have enjoyed a much more positive campaign so far under Valerien Ismael, with the Tykes currently sat 10th in the table.

They have recently overtaken Bristol City in the league, with the Robins seemingly in freefall. Having been in play-off contention, City sacked Dean Holden in midweek after losing their sixth consecutive match in all competitions. Keith Downing and Paul Simpson are in caretaker charge this weekend, so they'll be aiming to put the Robins back on track.

An away win for Barnsley is odds-on with Paddy Power at 19/20, with a home win for Bristol City out at 3/1 - the draw is priced at 9/4.

Cardiff City vs Preston North End

Mick McCarthy has started brightly at Cardiff
Mick McCarthy has started brightly at Cardiff

The Mick McCarthy revolution has been in full swing at Cardiff since he replaced Neil Harris a month ago.

Harris was relieved of his duties after a run of seven defeats in eight matches, but 'Big Mick' has reignited the Bluebirds' promotion push and they have gone unbeaten in six - with four wins in a row in the Championship.

North End, meanwhile, are riddled with inconsistency at the moment. Alex Neil's side are on a run of just two wins in nine matches in all competitions, although they did beat Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers last weekend.

Cardiff are evens to win this afternoon, a Preston victory is priced at 14/5 and Paddy Power are offering 11/5 on the points being shared.

Huddersfield Town vs Swansea City

In theory, this one should be a mismatch. Huddersfield are without a win in all competitions since the end of December, while Swansea are right in the hunt for the automatic promotion places.

The Terriers have picked up just two Championship points in 2021, they surrendered a two-goal lead against bottom side Wycombe Wanderers to lose 3-2 last weekend, along with a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough in midweek.

Unsurprisingly, Swansea are hot favourites to win this match at 23/20 with Paddy Power, while Huddersfield are priced at 13/5 for their first victory of 2021 and the draw is available at 21/10.

Millwall vs Wycombe Wanderers

Gareth Ainsworth's Wycombe Wanderers side will have taken an enormous amount of heart from last weekend's comeback win at Huddersfield, but they couldn't capitalise on that result after losing 2-1 at home to an upwardly mobile Derby County in midweek.

Their hosts, Millwall are on a strong run of form at the moment. They're unbeaten in six and have won their last three on the bounce in the Championship as they start to build momentum heading into the final third of the season.

Millwall are available at 3/4 to win this afternoon, while Wycombe are out at 4/1. The draw is priced at 23/10 on Paddy Power.

Norwich City vs Rotherham United

Norwich City are hot favourites to get promoted back to the Premier League
Norwich City are hot favourites to get promoted back to the Premier League

Table-toppers Norwich are four points clear of their nearest challengers at the moment, but they'll aim to extend that lead with a win against relegation-threatened Rotherham.

The Canaries came from behind to win the reverse fixture back in October, but the Millers have improved their form since the turn of the new year. Paul Warne's side went on a run of four wins out of six in the Championship in January, but that form has since halted with two straight defeats in their most recent games. Norwich, meanwhile, have won back-to-back games.

Norwich are heavily fancied at 4/9 to win at Carrow Road, while Rotherham are 6/1 to take the points back to South Yorkshire and 17/5 to claim a point, according to Paddy Power.

Nottingham Forest vs Blackburn Rovers

After a horrendous start to the season, Nottingham Forest have found their feet again and are steadily getting away from trouble in the Championship table. They'll certainly fancy their chances against a Blackburn Rovers side who have lost their last three.

A 90th-minute winner from Joe Lolley gave Forest a late 1-0 victory back in October at Ewood Park, but Rovers will be looking to get back to winning ways after three straight losses to one-goal deficits.

Paddy Power have priced this game as a tough one to call, with a Forest win available at 8/5 and a Blackburn win at 9/5, with the draw at 21/10.

Queens Park Rangers vs AFC Bournemouth

QPR have been in better form than their placing of 16th in the table suggests. Having been closer to the bottom three, Mark Warburton's men will be a stern test for promotion-chasing Bournemouth - with QPR currently on a run of five wins out of six in the Championship.

Bournemouth have slipped in their promotion push and recently sacked club legend Jason Tindall from the manager's job, with Jonathan Woodgate currently in caretaker charge.

The Cherries are still favourites to take the points, though, with an away win available at 13/10 on Paddy Power. QPR are 2/1 to win, while a share of the spoils is at 9/4.

Reading vs Middlesbrough

Teenager Michael Olise has been one of Reading's brightest talents this season
Teenager Michael Olise has been one of Reading's brightest talents this season

While Reading are enjoying their best season since their run to the play-off final in 2017, eighth-placed Middlesbrough have been something of a bogey side for the Royals for a long time.

The teams' 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture was the first point Reading had won against Boro since 2015 - ending a run of seven straight defeats against the Teessiders. Lucas Joao is in brilliant scoring touch, however, having notched his 20th goal of the season in all competitions in the Royals' midweek win against Bristol City.

Veljko Paunovic's side are favourites for the win with Paddy Power at 29/20, a Boro win can be found at 21/10 and the draw is 2/1. Joao is also available at 7/2 to be the first goalscorer.

Sheffield Wednesday vs Birmingham City

The biggest game of the day at the bottom of the table. Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City are locked at 28 points apiece and sit 22nd and 23rd in the table, so a win for either side would be a massive result.

Their defeat to Stoke in midweek was a disappointing one for Wednesday, having won three of their previous four before that game. Blues are very much on a downward spiral, though, winning just once in their last 14 matches in all competitions. There's no better way to get back to form than beating a direct relegation rival, though.

Wednesday are priced as marginal favourites for the win at 17/10, with Birmingham at 15/8 for victory and the draw is also available at 15/8 on Paddy Power.

Stoke City vs Luton Town

Stoke are one of the clutch of teams aiming to make headway into the play-off places, with that hope reignited after beating Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

Luton are five points behind the Potters and are safely tucked away in mid-table, but they've won just once in their last six matches in all competitions.

The Potters are 6/5 favourites to take victory on Saturday afternoon, with Luton out at 13/5 for all three points and the draw is available at 2/1.

Planet Sport Picks

A threefold consisting of victories for QPR and Swansea City alongside a draw for Reading against Middlesbrough is priced at 18.35/1 with Paddy Power.

(All odds in this article are correct at the time of writing, subject to change).

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