Championship Preview: Faltering Leicester look to reignite promotion push against Sheffield Wednesday

The Foxes have seen their tilt for the top two slowed down in recent weeks, but will be eyeing a big win against the Owls, who are still in the relegation scrap at the bottom
A strong run after Christmas propelled Leicester into contention for automatic promotion from the Championship, but they will be trying to just get their top-six aspirations back on track when they host Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

The Foxes have won just one of their last six games, although retain a four-point advantage over seventh-placed Nottingham Forest going into the weekend.


Bristol City
Crystal Palace
Nottm Forest
Sheff Wed
Hull City
After Michael Keane's last-gasp header snatched a point for Nigel Pearson's side in midweek, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is hoping to keep that desire going for the rest of the campaign.

"I think we can take the positives that we’ve got a never-say-die attitude," he told the club's official website.

"We’ve got to keep that and improve a little bit with each game.

"[To get promoted] would mean everything – to the club and to the city.

"The Premier League is where everyone wants to be and we’re no exception, we want to be there, and I think we’ve got a good chance."

The Owls' had embarked on a seven-match unbeaten run through January and February, but have lost their last two fixtures.

Experienced defender Anthony Gardner has backed his team-mates to regain their composure, however, and thinks defensive solidity could keep the 20th-placed side up this term.

Gardner told BBC Radio Sheffield: "We're confident that we can put in performances and get results.

"You have to have belief that you can win no matter who you play against.

"It is a very open league and if you get your tactics right and apply yourself on the day then it is possible to beat anyone.

"There are going to be times when you are not as resilient as you would like to be, but the more solid you are at the back the better platform you have to win a game."

An all-Midlands affair sees two of the youngest sides in the division clash at St Andrew's as Derby travel from east to west to take on Birmingham.

Rejected at Manchester United and then farmed out regularly by Stoke, the talented winger has finally found a home at Leicester. Marshall has contributed to 16 goals this term, despite only completing a full 90 minutes in seven of his 37 games this term.
The Irishman has made great strides this season, impressing enough to earn his first international caps. The driving force in the Rams' midfield, Hendrick will be looking to end the season on a high, with top-level scouts circulating at this time of year.
Losing Luciano Becchio has ripped much of the goalscoring threat out of Leeds, making an onus on defending even more important. The former Portsmouth man will be in for a tough test against Wilfired Zaha & Co. but a strong showing could see a shock at Selhurst.
Clark admitted to BBC WM: "As the weeks have gone on his knee has not held up too well.

"It's a big blow for us. Marlon's an experienced player, a goalscorer and, whatever formation he plays in, he's a threat."We've taken advice from a specialist to get it done and he'll then have to get through his rehab to be ready in time for pre-season training.

"But losing him is someone else's opportunity and we'll now have Wes Thomas and Peter Lovenkrands fighting for a shirt."

The Rams came close to upsetting leaders Cardiff on Tuesday as Connor Sammon gave Nigel Clough's side a late lead, only for Craig Noone to spare the Bluebirds' blushes in the closing stages.

"It was the story of the past five or six games, where we've felt we played well but haven't got the rewards," Sammon told reporters afterwards.

"We started very brightly, we thought we should have had a penalty for handball and I thought Chris Martin's [disallowed] goal was onside.

"Those things aren't going for us but we kept going and trying to do the right things."

Fireworks seem inevitable when Neil Warnock takes his Leeds side to former club Crystal Palace this weekend.

The Whites are still in with a faint hope of a play-off place, but will be aiming to become only the second away side to take three points from Selhurst Park this season - a feat that Warnock does not think is beyond his squad.

"I don't think there's much wrong now," Warnock told the club's official website. "We just need a bit of luck with injuries.

"It's a thin squad, but they're a good group. I wish this side had kicked off the season. The rub of the green will come and we'll just keep pushing on.

"We've got some difficult games coming up, but if we can come through those and look towards the last 10 games, it could still be anybody who gets in there."

Palace are currently fourth after demolishing Hull City 4-2 on Tuesday evening thanks to Kevin Phillips' hat-trick.

Glenn Murray's 28 goals have pushed Palace into a promotion push this season, but Holloway is considering resting the former Brighton man, due to the strength of his other attacking options.

"It's all about the balance of the squad," he told reporters.

"It's about getting a squad together. It's about tactics and being able to adapt to who you're playing.

"[Aaron] Wilbraham is probably playing better than I have ever seen him play and I might have to consider Murray is looking a little bit tired.

"What a great few options I've got. It's about keeping the energy going.

The weekend in headlines
  • Blackburn Rovers have taken Tromso midfielder Ruben Yttergard Jenssen on a four-day trial this week with a view to a permanent summer move.
  • Former Hull City chairman Paul Duffen watched the Tigers' 4-2 defeat to Crystal Palace in midweek as a guest of the club's current Egyptian owners, fuelling rumours that he could return to the board at the KC Stadium.
  • James Henry will play no further part in Millwall's season after picking up a serious knee injury in the Lions' defeat at Leeds last weekend.
  • Crystal Palace loanee Kevin Phillips is determined to keep his playing career going, in an attempt to outlast Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.

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