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EFL Midweek Preview: Promotion hopefuls looking to get back on track

There's a full schedule of Championship fixtures on Tuesday and Wednesday and the league's frontrunners are looking to rediscover some form.

Table-toppers Burnley continue to churn out performances consistently after enjoying an 11-game unbeaten run. However, their rivals have slipped up over recent weeks.

Second-placed Sheffield United are winless in four games after earning a dramatic late draw at home to Blackpool last time out, while third-placed Norwich haven't won in three outings and have lost each of their last two.

After a slow start to the season, Swansea are the form side in the division over the past five games, having won four and lost won.

Luton, who sit seventh, following a six-game unbeaten streak, have tasted defeat just once in their last 10 engagements.

Hatters hoping for Carrow Road success

WhatNorwich v Luton, Championship
WhereCarrow Road, Norwich
When19:45, Tuesday 18th October 2022
How to watchSky Sports Red Button
OddsNorwich 5/6, Draw 13/5, Luton 10/3

Norwich appeared to have put their rocky start to the term, which saw them fail to win any of the opening three games, firmly behind them as they embarked on a nine-game unbeaten run, including seven victories.

However, they head into Tuesday's home meeting with Luton on the back of successive defeats to Preston and Watford.

Luton, meanwhile, are flying and a run of six games unbeaten has seen them climb to seventh and in the mix for a play-off push.

The Hatters have built their form on a strong defensive platform, keeping three clean sheets in their last six outings, while they have the joint-sixth best defensive record in the division.

It's Luton's away record that has been particularly impressive, picking up 11 points from six games and they have only lost once.

With that momentum on their side and considering Norwich are without a win in two at Carrow Road, Luton look an attractive option at 5/6 in the double chance market.

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Road form a worry for Reading

WhatSwansea v Reading, Championship
WhereLiberty Stadium, Swansea
When19:45, Tuesday 18th October 2022
How to watchSky Sports Red Button
OddsSwansea 19/20, Draw 5/2, Reading 3/1

Few would have predicted that Reading, who finished a place and four points clear of the drop-zone last term, would be sitting sixth after 14 fixtures in 2022/23.

The Royals have the best home record in the Championship, collecting 16 points, but they haven't been able to match that form on the road.

Just six of Reading's 22 points have come on their travels, tasting defeat four times in six games, and that could ultimately be their biggest issue in trying to maintain their lofty position.

Tuesday's trip to Swansea looks like it could end in another loss for Paul Ince's men with the Welsh outfit enjoying a good run.

Swansea have picked up more points than any other club in the Championship over the past five games and things are starting to feel really positive.

They've won successive games at the Liberty Stadium and have kept clean sheets in two of their last four when hosting.

A Swansea win to nil, priced at 9/4, appeals, especially when considering Reading have failed to score in three of their away outings.

Clarets could be tough to catch

WhatBirmingham v Burnley, Championship
WhereSt Andrew's Stadium, Birmingham
When 19:45, Wednesday 19th October 2022
How to watch Sky Sports Red Button
Odds Birmingham 11/4, Draw 12/5, Burnley 21/20

With several promotion hopefuls starting to drop points, Burnley appear to be growing stronger and stronger.

The Clarets, looking for an immediate return to the Premier League, are at the top of the table, albeit on goal difference, but there's a danger they could start to pull away with a huge amount of momentum on their side.

Vincent Kompany has watched his Burnley side avoid defeat in each of their last 11 games and confidence is sky-high after a 4-0 win over Swansea on Saturday.

Birmingham are also in the ascendancy after recording back-to-back wins, having kept clean sheets in both of those games, but Burnley look poised to bring that run to an end.

Despite Burnley's obvious ability to get results, they've struggled to keep clean sheets and have conceded at least one in five of their last six away league outings. With that in mind, a Burnley win with both teams to score at 7/2 offers interest.

Hull offer value against depleted Blackpool

WhatBlackpool v Hull, Championship
WhereBloomfield Road, Blackpool
When19:45, Wednesday 19th October 2022
How to watchSky Sports Red Button
OddsBlackpool 21/20, Draw 12/5, Hull 11/4

Blackpool and Hull have both struggled for consistency this season with the former sitting 19th and the latter in 21st. They are separated by just two points and will both see Wednesday's clash as a big opportunity to register a win.

Blackpool picked up a 3-1 victory over Watford in their most recent home outing but that was just their second win at Bloomfield Road.

Hull are yet to taste victory on their travels this season, losing four and drawing two, but they could be worth siding with at 11/4 on Wednesday.

The Seasiders had three men sent off in a dramatic 3-3 draw at Sheffield United on Saturday and those absentees could hand the advantage to the Tigers.

Centre-back Marvin Ekpiteta, left-back Dominic Thompson and forward Shane Lavery were all dismissed and are set to miss out against Hull.

The unavailability of two first-choice defenders seriously weakens the Lancashire club and could see them come away on the losing side.

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