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Sunday's Championship Preview: Clarets can underline promotion credentials

The Championship has swung back into action after the pause for the World Cup and amongst two games on Sunday, leaders Burnley get the chance to further underline their promotion credentials when they face play-off hopefuls QPR.

What: QPR v Burnley, Championship 
Where: Loftus Road, London 
When: 13:00, Sunday 11th December 2022 
How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event 
Odds: QPR 21/10, Draw 12/5, Burnley 13/10 

Clarets aiming to stay top 

The Clarets' form before the break was good, winning four of their last five games, but such is the nature of the unpredictable Championship that they went into the extended international break top despite the fact they had failed to win 10 of their opening 21 games. 

Vincent Kompany's men drew eight times and lost twice, while also winning 11 games between the end of July and up to when the action in the second tier was put on hold last month. 

They will be determined to restart with a good performance and a victory as they know the chasing pack, which features the likes of Sheffield United, Blackburn, Watford and Norwich, will remain on their backs in the ever-competitive Championship and be ready to pounce should they slip up. 

Kompany has made a great fist of management in England so far and if he's able to guide the Clarets straight back up to the top flight in what was expected to be a transitional post-Sean Dyche era at Turf Moor, then his stock will rise even higher. 

R's boss Beale has left for Gers

Certainly, they will be confident of getting the better of QPR, who had slipped to sixth following a dismal run before the World Cup, losing four of their last five games. 

To compound the misery in west London, the R's also lost manager Michael Beale to Glasgow Rangers a fortnight ago. 

With Paul Hall being placed in interim charge at Loftus Road, there could be a disjointed look to the home side on Sunday with the squad still reeling from the highly-rated Beale's departure.

The R's players might well be frustrated Beale decided to walk away from the job not even six months into it. 

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Rodriguez a real goal threat 

Burnley have some of the division's better players in their ranks and there is plenty of experience in Kompany's squad. 

Jay Rodriguez has scored nine league goals and looks a solid price at 12/5 to net anytime this weekend, while a Burnley win to nil also appeals at 3/1 in the Result/Both Teams To Score market.

Hornets also in promotion race

What: Watford v Hull City, Championship 
Where: Vicarage Road, Watford 
When: 15:00, Sunday 11th December 2022 
How to watch: Sky Sports Red Button 
Odds: Watford 7/10, Draw 13/5, Hull City 9/2

The other game in the Championship on Sunday is Watford at home to Hull City with the fourth-placed Hornets hoping to lay down an early marker following the restart as well in the promotion race.

Watford are fourth, eight points behind Burnley as it stands, and were in solid form before the World Cup, winning four of their last six games, while the Tigers are down in a disappointing 20th, just a point and two places above the relegation zone. 

On paper, this looks like a great opportunity for Watford to pick up a home win against a Hull outfit who have won just one of their last five Championship games, but scratching beneath the surface of the form stats shows City have enjoyed some of their best days on the road so far this term and may prove to be very tricky opponents for Slaven Bilic's team on Sunday. 

Tigers' recent away form is good 

Hull have won three of their last four away league games, drawing the other, with victories at Cardiff, Rotherham and Blackpool serving as a reminder to Watford that even though there's 16 places separating the two teams ahead of Sunday's clash, there's only actually a seven-point difference in a congested table. 

Therefore, this game could well end up all square. With Championship form not exactly reliable considering both clubs' most recent competitive match was a month ago, it's interesting to note Hull have played two friendlies in the past fortnight, drawing both games 1-1 with Turkish sides Istanbul Basaksehir and Trabzonspor as part of a warm-weather training trip to Turkey. 

While it might be wise not to read too much into those results, boss Liam Rosenior did field plenty of first-team regulars in both friendlies and, with Watford not playing any games during their training camp in Spain, it might be that they are the rustier of the two teams when the competitive action resumes. 

A draw is therefore tempting at 13/5, a Watford win in the Full Time Result market is available at 7/10 and a Tigers win is 9/2

Estupinan could bag Hull's top-scorer so far this term. Oscar Estupinan, who has registered eight league goals, was involved in both friendlies so he should be sharp and raring to add to his impressive tally this weekend. 

The Colombian striker is 5/2 to score anytime against the Hornets.

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