Championship weekend preview: Aston Villa looking to cement top-two spot

Aston Villa have the chance to cement their spot in the Sky Bet Championship top two on Saturday, but they will have to get past a tough challenge at Fulham to do so.

Villa are currently a point clear of Derby and Cardiff in the battle for automatic promotion, with the Rams having played a game more, but boss Steve Bruce is preparing for a tough battle at Craven Cottage.

“It’s possibly the biggest test of 2018 so far,” he said. “I’m expecting a very difficult game. Fulham are a very good side. I tipped at the start of the season that they were the ones we might have to beat to get where we want to be.

“At this particular moment, they’re going very well. They’ve got talented players. It should be a cracking game.”

If Villa slip up then Cardiff could move back into the top two when they host Middlesbrough on Saturday, with Boro trying to build some momentum to haul their way into the play-off positions. While Preston, who are seventh in the table, welcome runaway leaders Wolves to Deepdale.

Bottom-club Burton host struggling Nottingham Forest in a bid to bridge the gap between themselves and safety, while Sunderland, a point ahead of Albion, will hope to do the same against Brentford.

Bolton and Birmingham have climbed a little away from relegation danger lately, with the Trotters travelling to QPR and the Blues hosting Millwall.

There are two live games on Sky Sports Football and Main Event on Sunday. Norwich host Ipswich in the East Anglian derny from 11.30am, and Leeds face Bristol City from 4.15pm.