Championship Preview: Bournemouth visit Middlesbrough in top-of-the-table clash

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Two of the Championship's form sides clash on Saturday as leaders Bournemouth visit Middlesbrough.

Six successive league wins puts Bournemouth ahead of the second-placed Middlesbrough on goal difference only, but Eddie Howe's men are sure to face a tough ask at the Riverside Stadium this weekend. 

Both teams leapfrogged previous leaders Watford with midweek wins - Bournemouth triumphed 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday while Middlesbrough crushed Norwich City 4-0.

Captain Grant Leadbitter scored twice in that Middlesbrough win for Aitor Karanka's men and he is expecting an entertaining affair when Bournemouth come to visit.

"We're on a roll - we want to keep that going but we've got a tough game on Saturday," Leadbitter told the club's official website.

"It would be good to see 20,000 fans there [at the Riverside] on Saturday - the more the merrier.

"But we've got to concentrate on playing better than we did on Tuesday.

"Eddie Howe has got a great team down there. They'll be no mugs and will be coming at us.

"They will attack but so do we. It'll be two good teams fighting for three points on Saturday."

Leadbitter has eight Championship goals this season - one behind Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson.

Watford will look to bounce back from a surprise defeat against struggling Birmingham City at Ipswich Town.

But the third-placed side know things will not be easy against an Ipswich side who sit fifth and have won their last two.

Derby County are just goal difference adrift of Watford and host Wolverhampton Wanderers after ending a two-match league losing streak with a 3-2 success over Huddersfield Town on Tuesday.

The pressure on Nottingham Forest boss Stuart Pearce is continuing to mount after his side extended their winless run to 10 matches in all competitions on Wednesday.

A meek 3-1 home loss to Brentford saw Forest drop to 11th - a far cry from the league lead that they held in September.

Forest spent heavily in the close-season and will be thankful their next opponents are also out of form. Norwich City, who go to The City Ground on Saturday, have won just one of their last seven.

Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday are both winless in eight league matches and face fellow strugglers in home matches.

Neil Redfearn's Leeds host rock-bottom Blackpool, while Wednesday welcome Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United.

Birmingham and Bolton Wanderers are still in the relegation zone, despite midweek wins, but both can pile the pressure on the sides around them with home victories against Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic respectively.

Brentford make the short trip to Millwall buoyed by their big win at Forest and Reading battle Charlton Athletic.

Elsewhere, in-form Blackburn Rovers go to Brighton and Hove Albion and Fulham take on Huddersfield.