There is a full list of Championship action to go at over the weekend, kicking off and finishing with a pair of derbies at either end of the country.
Saturday lunchtime’s game sees local pride at stake as Barnsley host Leeds at Oakwell. Both go into the game following midweek defeats and will feel they need to start building some momentum heading into the famously busy festive period.
The 17th place Tykes usually base their campaigns on winning at home and won this fixture 3-2 last term. However, the Whites beat Middlesbrough last weekend and, despite going down at Wolves on Wednesday, look good for the win at 17/10.
Eight games take place at 3pm and the ones involving the bottom three are probably the most interesting.
Leaders Wolves welcome 23rd place Bolton in a game that, on paper at least, only looks to have one outcome. The Molineux outfit spent big in the summer, and their investment is currently reaping the rewards. The Trotters have been hampered by off-field financial issues but, after a shocking start, have not lost in seven.
However, six of those have been draws and, although the Championship is often unpredictable, the gulf in class is difficult to avoid and, with the home win short, Wolves with a handicap of -2 at 5/2 could be on the cards.
Meanwhile 22nd host 24th at Pirelli Stadium where Burton welcome Sunderland. The Brewers have not won in 11 while the Black Cats have only a single victory to their name this term.
One thing is for sure, this will not be a game overflowing with quality and both teams will know just how vital the outcome could be. However, new Sunderland boss Chris Coleman says he was pleased with his players in Tuesday’s defeat at Aston Villa and, on offer at 6/4, it could be their day.
Speaking of fourth place Villa, they have won three of their last four and can continue that run at home to Ipswich. While the Tractor Boys got off to a flyer and subsequently stalled, Villa are picking up the pace heading into December.
The home win outright is odds on and there does not seem too much value in it. Instead, that outcome but to zero might be more appealing to punters and 6/4 is a decent price.
Just below the Villans are Bristol City who were poor in their midweek loss to Preston and will be expecting a response against struggling Hull.
No win in five does not look good for Leonid Slutsky, and with the Robins often better on the road where they can use their pace on the break, look out for their generous 31/20 for victory.
Another of the 3pm games that catches the eye is the one between sixth place Middlesbrough and seventh place Derby. Both were tipped for promotion pushes from the outset and, after mixed starts, appear to be getting their act together.
Garry Monk and Gary Rowett both oversaw wins in the week and will be confident of repeating their success but might be disappointed, and a draw at 23/10 would not be a surprise.
Scorer markets could also be tempting here and Britt Assombalonga is 57/20 to open the scoring.
Elsewhere and the best of the rest of the games could be the London derby at Craven Cottage between Fulham and Millwall. The Cottagers won 5-4 at Sheffield United in the week but are still way off where they want to be, while the Lions’ recent slump means they are now flirting with the drop.
It could be another tough afternoon for Neil Harris’ men as, despite their inconsistency, Fulham do appear to be getting something together and 5/6 for a home success could be a winner.
Preston may also make it two straight wins on the road when they take on Norwich. The Canaries are so inconsistent it is untrue and, with PNE back on the way up after a barren few months, 49/20 is not to be sniffed at.
Finally and Sheffield Wednesday can also grab an away win at Reading. The Owls are another who finally appear to be finding some rhythm and with the Royals still nowhere near after their play-off final defeat in May, it could be wise to back Wednesday at 17/10.
Later on at teatime Sheffield United welcome Birmingham City to Bramall Lane for the first league meeting between these two great clubs since 2009. The Blades won on that occasion and it is hard to look past the same outcome.
Chris Wilder has impressed in the way he has continued the Blades’ momentum and Premier League clubs are thought to be monitoring him.
A win on Sunday will help maintain his side’s push for back-to-back promotions and, with the Blues having a bit of shocker all round, don’t look past the home win, possibly to zero at 5/4.
The action continues on Sunday afternoon when Nottingham Forest take on Cardiff. Whatever you think of him, Neil Warnock is doing a belting job in south Wales but is facing a Forest team on the rise, winning two of their last three.
It promises to be a real battle on the banks of the Trent and it seems hard to find a winner. Therefore the draw may be wise at 23/10.
Finally, on Monday night, it is derby day in west London as Queens Park Rangers take on Brentford. QPR seemed to have found their rhythm but have slumped recently, while the Bees have played well every week without getting the results their performances have always deserved.
The truth is you never quite know what to expect from QPR so it seems sensible to back the Bees at 7/5 to sting their local rivals for the third game in a row at Loftus Road.