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Championship Preview: Burnley aim for rare derby joy, QPR eye top spot

By Football News



The game of the weekend in the second tier of English football will centre on Burnley's latest attempt to end their Blackburn hoodoo in a fixture playfully dubbed 't'El Classico' in reference to the local Lancashire dialect. 

Not since April 1979 have Burnley – currently flying high in third in the Championship – secured victory over their near neighbours, a run stretching 10 games.

The two sides battled out 1-1 draws in the respective games last season as Blackburn extended their undefeated streak against Burnley, which adds intrigue to an already fascinating fixture.

Burnley are yet to lose at home this season and Blackburn are winless away from Ewood Park in the Championship heading into Saturday's Turf Moor showdown.

Only two teams, leaders Blackpool and QPR, have amassed more points than Burnley in the opening five games of the season and the duo face Bournemouth and Birmingham City respectively this weekend.

Blackpool have proved a dogged team to beat so far this term, winning three of their last four games in all competitions 1-0.

Sixth-place Bournemouth have quickly acclimatised to life in the Championship following promotion last season and two highly rated young managers in Paul Ince and Eddie Howe prepare for a tactical duel.

QPR welcome Birmingham to Loftus Road with one eye on top spot should Harry Redknapp's men better Blackpool's result at Bournemouth.

Basement-boys Bolton Wanderers will be targeting a first Championship win of the campaign at the sixth time of asking when Leeds United head to the Reebok Stadium, while Huddersfield Town host Doncaster Rovers in a Yorkshire derby.

Former Ipswich Town defender Tony Mowbray takes his Middlesbrough team to Portman Road hoping to use three successive draws as a platform to build on.

Another old boy returns to his former stomping ground when Chris Powell's Charlton Athletic take on Watford at Vicarage Road.

Watford will be smarting after suffering their first defeat of the season prior to the international break, a 1-0 loss at Blackpool.

Leicester City and Wigan Athletic will put their promotion credentials on the line when they face other, while two sides scrapping at the opposite end of the table, Sheffield Wednesday and Yeovil Town, have the chance to edge away from the bottom three.

Elsewhere, Derby County are on the road at Millwall, Nottingham Forest host Barnsley and Reading may make it seven wins in a row against Brighton and Hove Albion.