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Championship: Things getting tight at the top

The Premier League may have halted for a winter break but there's plenty of Championship action to enjoy on Tuesday.

The Championship has always been an unpredictable league and the picture at the top has changed on numerous occasions already this season.

It appeared that Bournemouth and Fulham were the only serious contenders for the automatic promotion spots but there's some serious competition emerging.

Fulham may have opened up a healthy lead at the top but Bournemouth are under pressure from Blackburn, QPR and West Brom for second place.

The race for a playoff spot is also proving to be an interesting one with just seven points separating sixth-placed Huddersfield and Coventry, who have three games in hand, down in 10th.

R's firmly in the mix

QPR haven't been any lower than seventh since 19th October and they head into Tuesday's home clash with Swansea sitting fourth.

They are just two points adrift of second-placed Bournemouth and have a game in hand, while they have a five-point buffer to seventh-placed Middlesbrough.

After losing successive games in December, Mark Warburton's men have recovered well and they welcome Swansea to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on the back of four consecutive victories.

Visitors Swansea have massively underperformed this campaign and they'll start the evening down in 17th.

They have shown some signs of improvement recently, drawing at Huddersfield and beating Preston after losing three in a row.

QPR, who won the reverse fixture 1-0, can be backed at 11/10 to beat 5/2 Swansea in the 19:45 clash, while the draw is priced at 12/5.

5thWest Brom2745
8thNottingham Forest2740

Forest hoping to maintain playoff push

Nottingham Forest looked anything but playoff contenders after failing to win any of their opening seven games of the season.

However, the arrival of Steve Cooper on 21st September saw a major turnaround in their fortunes and they now boast serious top-six hopes.

Saturday's 2-1 win over arch-rivals Derby wasn't pretty but they got the job done and they can go into Tuesday's engagement against Barnsley with confidence.

Cooper's men are four points adrift of sixth with a game in hand and aren't expected to encounter too many problems against the rock-bottom Tykes.

Barnsley have picked up just two points all campaign and are below Derby, who were deducted 21 points, on goal difference.

After a run of four games without a win against Barnsley, Forest sealed a 3-1 triumph at Oakwell earlier in the term.

Lewis Grabban scored on that trip to South Yorkshire and, having taken his league tally to 12 when he netted against Derby on Saturday, he can be backed at 6/5 to score anytime on Tuesday.

Luton looking to get back on track

Luton have edged up and away from the drop zone through December and January, enjoying a five-game unbeaten streak, but that run came to an end on Saturday at Sheffield United.

Tuesday's 19:45 encounter with Bristol City at Kenilworth Road provides the perfect chance to get back to winning ways.

Luton are 3/4 to claim all three points against 15/4 Bristol City and the draw is available at 5/2.

The Hatters are two points clear of Tuesday's opponents but they have two games in hand and have their eyes looking up the table rather than down.

Bristol City's away record doesn't make for pleasant reading, failing to win six and losing five during that sequence.

They have also lost on their last five trips to Luton across all competitions and are without a win in six.

Away form a concern for Posh

Peterborough have struggled to adapt to life in the second-tier, especially on their travels, and they head to Birmingham with a woeful away record.

They've lost 12 of their 13 fixtures on the road - winning the other - and have conceded 36 goals in the process.

Birmingham's home form isn't much to write home about, winning five, drawing three and losing five, but they will see this encounter as a great way to add three points to their tally.

A home win is priced at 17/20 with Peterborough available at 7/2 and the draw 12/5.

Playoff rivals square off

Just a point and a place separate ninth-placed Stoke and Coventry in 10th, but the latter does have a game in hand.

Both clubs head into Tuesday's engagement on the back of defeats last time out and are in danger of falling off the playoff pace after recent performances.

Coventry have won just one of their last eight and Stoke boast just one win from their last five in the league.

The Sky Blues are 5/4 to come out on top against 12/5 Stoke and the draw is 11/5.

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