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Thursday's Championship preview: Sheffield United head to the seaside

Burnley restored their advantage at the top of the Championship with Tuesday's 3-0 win over Birmingham but Sheffield United can go level on points again on Thursday.

The Blades head to Blackpool at 20:15 in one of eight matches on the agenda, including bottom club Huddersfield facing a Yorkshire derby against Rotherham while Sunderland could add to Wigan's woes.

Blades could enjoy trip to the Seaside

What: Blackpool v Sheffield United 
Where: Bloomfield Road, Blackpool 
When: 20:15, Thursday 29th December 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Football 
Odds: Blackpool 16/5, Draw 11/4, Sheffield United 5/6  

Four wins either side of the World Cup break have set United up nicely for a real promotion push, with Paul Heckingbottom now a year into having the job on a permanent basis and making a mighty fine fist of it. 

While John Egan's red card took some of the gloss off of the 3-1 Boxing Day win over Coventry, Heckingbottom has to be happy with how his side are performing and they are unlikely to fear a trip to Blackpool. 

The Seasiders sit 22nd in the table and have drawn their last three games. Another share of the spoils is 11/4 and was the case when the pair met at Bloomfield Road last March.  

That game finished 0-0 and the pair have drawn three of their last four meetings, including playing out a 3-3 at Bramall Lane in October. 

After squandering a 2-0 lead, Oliver Norwood's stoppage-time equaliser saved the Blades on that occasion but they look a more organised outfit now and have also won their last four on the road. 

That has helped them build the best away record in the Championship and they are 5/6 to claim an eighth away win of the campaign in the Full Time Result market. 

A player to look out for could be James McAtee, who now seems to be finding his feet after struggling for consistency after moving to Bramall Lane on loan from Manchester City. 

The 20-year-old scored in that 3-3 draw and also netted against Coventry. McAtee is a handy 3/1 in the Anytime Goalscorer market.

Can Terriers back it up? 

What: Huddersfield v Rotherham 
Where: John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
When: 19:45, Thursday 29th December 2022 
How to watch: Sky Sports Red Button 
Odds: Huddersfield 23/20, Draw 9/4, Rotherham 13/5 

Arguably the result of Boxing Day came at Deepdale as Huddersfield came from behind to beat Preston 2-1, in the process recording just their fourth win under Mark Fotheringham. 

The Terriers remain bottom of the table, five points below 21st-placed Hull but have a game in hand to come and will be looking to build momentum when Rotherham come to town. 

Matt Taylor's Millers drew 2-2 at home to Stoke on Monday and are without a win in four games. They sit 19th in the table and have won just twice on the road this season, suggesting they could be vulnerable against a Huddersfield team who had shown little form prior to winning at Preston but are sure to be reinvigorated for that experience. 

Rotherham won October's reverse meeting 2-1 and a repeat scoreline in Huddersfield's favour is 8/1 in the Correct Score market. 

If Huddersfield are to survive, they will need to start scoring goals, with their tally of 21 the second-lowest in the division. 

Jordan Rhodes started against Preston and may again get the nod from Fotheringham. As a poacher, Rhodes is a bit of a throwback but could be the perfect man to spearhead the Terriers' survival push and is 9/4 as an Anytime Goalscorer.  

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Sunderland may add to Wigan's woes

What: Wigan v Sunderland 
Where: DW Stadium, Wigan
When: 19:45, Thursday 29th December 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Football 
Odds: Wigan 13/8, Draw 9/4, Sunderland 17/10  

Tony Mowbray's glee was there for all to see as Ellis Simms fired in the stoppage-time winner against his former employers Blackburn on Boxing Day.  

Personal pride was at stake in that game and he might return to being his usual stoic self when his side head to Wigan on Thursday. 

After earning promotion last season, the Black Cats are pushing for the same this time around and as of writing, sit a point adrift of the top six. 

It is a different story for Wigan, who came up with Sunderland from League One but have struggled and are currently 23rd in the standings. 

New boss Kolo Toure oversaw a 1-1 draw in his first game in charge but his team have subsequently lost against Sheffield United and Middlesbrough. 

They have also lost the pair's last three meetings. Four of the last five meetings have seen three goals, with exactly three in the Exact Total Goals market priced at 10/3.  

In truth, it is tough to see past Sunderland winning at 17/10 in the Full Time Result, especially with Ross Stewart back in the side. 

The Scot has struggled with a thigh injury but has scored in both games since returning to the side. Stewart is 15/8 in the Anytime Goalscorers market and netted on both occasions these two teams met in 2021/22.  

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