Boxing Day to be a cracker in the Championship


With all 24 teams in action, we take a look at the pick of the action from England’s second tier on Boxing Day.

Starting with the thrills and spills down at the bottom end of the table, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield will be eyeing victories in this relegation six-pointer.

Boro and the Terriers are in 20th and 19th place respectively as the season ticks over into the second half of the campaign.

These two sides played out a drab goalless draw on a Wednesday night in West Yorkshire back in October and once again it looks set to be another cagey encounter at the Riverside.

Jonathan Woodgate is treading water with his position as Boro manager and another win would give the former defender a bit more time before potential reinforcements can arrive in the January transfer window.

Further up the Championship table and the race for the playoff places looks like it could go right down to the final kick of the regular season.

There are only six points between third and 13th going into the Boxing Day games and once again there will be plenty of chopping and changing in the table come the full-time whistles.

Sheffield Wednesday will be hoping they can narrow the gap on the top two when they make the trip to bottom-club Stoke City.

A late controversial penalty handed the Owls a 1-0 win over Bristol City last time out to move the South Yorkshire outfit up to third in the standings.

Garry Monk has started to get a real tune of his side in recent weeks and now the club find themselves firmly in the playoff picture.

Meanwhile, Michael O’Neill’s Potters will be determined to bounce back from their defeat to Middlesbrough last time out.

Stoke have been languishing down in the relegation zone for months but a win over the high-flying Owls could take the Staffordshire side out of the bottom three.

Thursday will also see a battle of the roses as second-place Leeds United host a Preston North End side in fifth place in the table.

Preston managed to neutralise Leeds’ attack for much of their meeting at Deepdale earlier this season which ended in a 1-1 draw in Lancashire.

Alex Neil’s side head across the Pennines to face Marcelo Bielsa’s men who are going through a blip after an impressive run of seven consecutive wins.

A stalemate with Cardiff City, after being three goals up, and a defeat on the road at Fulham have frustrated the Whites and they will be determined to get their season back on track on Boxing Day.