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    Joe Jones
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    Twitter: twitter JoeJones1862

    Championship Preview: Can Cardiff City draw level with leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers with victory at Brentford?

    A big night in the Championship sees a faltering Wolverhampton Wanderers side being potentially pegged from a double-digit point advantage to neck-and-neck should they lose against Reading and Cardiff City win at Brentford.

    How could the action pan out? Football Manics takes a closer look.

    Aston Villa vs. Queens Park Rangers

    Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is likely to keep faith with the team that so impressively beat Wolves 4-1 on Saturday, which moved his side within seven points of the Championship leaders and four behind second-placed Cardiff City.

    QPR head into this game on the back of a win over Sunderland which saw them build up more of a cushion between themselves and the bottom three but with the Villans boasting such quality and playing at home, I reckon Bruce's side will come up trumps.

    Score prediction: Villa 3-1 QPR

    Barnsley vs. Norwich City

    No team has picked up fewer points across their last 10 Championship matches than Barnsley, whose meagre tally of six is on a par with fellow strugglers Sunderland and Burton Albion. The Tykes are also winless in nine home league matches, scoring just four goals in that time.

    Norwich will be hoping to recover from the setback of losing at Hull City in dramatic fashion, with James Maddison being the the first player to score a hat-trick in an away second tier game and end of the losing side since Gareth Taylor in April 2003 for Burnley at Watford, and I think they will have too much for the hosts to cope with.

    Score prediction: Barnsley 1-2 Norwich

    Brentford vs. Cardiff City

    The Bees' increasingly slender playoff hopes took a big blow last time out with a loss against Millwall but they are solid on their day and did well enough in the reverse fixture against the Bluebirds, weighing in with 25 shots, albeit without scoring.

    But this is a Cardiff side which is winning game after game as they now look set to leapfrog Wolves at the top of the table before the season's out, and even though they will have a fight on their hands against Brentford, I back Neil Warnock's side to get all three points.

    Score prediction: Brentford 1-2 Cardiff

    Ipswich Town vs. Hull City

    Mick McCarthy's side took four points from their last two games, against the two Sheffield teams, but it looks as though they will finish the season in mid-table, with their players and form very much middle-of-the-road, not to mention not having scored a single goal in their last four home games.

    Hull, meanwhile, will be buoyed from their superb 4-3 win over Norwich City last time out and, given Ipswich's troubles at Portman Road, they will certainly fancy their chances of at least a point, even if Abel Hernandez is likely not to play a second game in four days, having just come back from a long-term injury.

    Score prediction: Ipswich 0-0 Hull

    Sheffield United vs. Burton Albion

    The Blades, whose fans were long dreaming of a second successive promotion, are now five points off the playoff places, having won only one of their last four games, but they could see Leon Clarke and Mark Duffy back in the starting line-up which would give them a big boost.

    As for Burton, they have only scored once in their last six games and only grabbed goals in 18 of their 36 league games thus far, and although they will leapfrog out of the drop zone if they win and Barnsley lose, I think the Blades will not have too much of a problem in getting all three points.

    Score prediction: Sheff Utd 2-0 Burton

    Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Reading

    Wolves fans had been looking ahead to winning the Championship title with a similar sense of certainty as Manchester City fans for the Premier League, but now they are sweating profusely as, with just 10 games to go, the chasing pack is fast closing in.

    A side that was racking up win after win after win has now drawn two and lost two of their last five, leaving them just three points clear of Cardiff, but they will fancy their chances against a Reading side winless in seven league matches and boasting just one win in their last 16 games.

    Score prediction: Wolves 3-0 Reading

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