Championship Preview: Morrison set for QPR bow

Ravel Morrison is set to make his QPR debut when Harry Redknapp's out-of-sorts side face Charlton Athletic in a London derby on Saturday.

Championship promotion-hopefuls Rangers announced the signing of the midfielder on Wednesday on a 93-day loan deal from Premier League side West Ham and he is expected to start at The Valley in the absence of the suspended Joey Barton.

The former Manchester United man was billed as a potential contender for a place in the England squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil earlier this season, but has since fallen out of favour at Upton Park.

Redknapp will be hoping the arrival of the 21-year-old sparks an upturn in fortunes for the pre-season favourites for the title, who have dropped down to fourth in the table after picking up only one point from their last three games.

Rangers will be expected to get the better of a Charlton side who are in the relegation zone on the back of a four-game losing streak in the Championship and have failed to win in the league since December 26.

Promotion contenders Burnley and Nottingham Forest lock horns at Turf Moor in the standout fixture of the weekend in the second tier.

Second-placed Burnley are on a post-war record run of 19 league games without defeat at Turf Moor, while Forest have not lost in 14 Championship games after a 2-2 home draw with leaders Leicester City on Wednesday.

Fifth-placed Forest are just five points behind Sean Dyche's side in the table and ought to have closed that gap to three points, having led Leicester 2-1 as well as playing against 10 men for the last half an hour at the City Ground after Paul Konchesky was sent off.

Leicester have drawn their last two games following a record nine-game winning streak and the leaders - who are eight points clear of Burnley - will be eager to pick up another victory when they host play-off hopefuls Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Derby County stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday and Steve McClaren's side get an opportunity to outline their automatic promotion credentials again when Bournemouth visit the iPro Stadium.

Wigan Athletic also won in midweek against Barnsley, but Ben Watson's double leg fracture overshadowed their 2-0 triumph and Uwe Rosler's side must prove they can cope without the midfielder when they travel to fellow play-off hopefuls Brighton and Hove Albion.

Sixth-placed Reading secured an impressive 3-1 win at QPR last weekend and Blackburn Rovers will be aiming to bring them back down to earth at the Madejski Stadium.

At the other end of the table Barnsley take on fellow strugglers Millwall at Oakwell, while bottom side Yeovil Town are at home to Doncaster Rovers - who are just two places above the bottom three.

Huddersfield Town host Wednesday in a Yorkshire derby, while Bolton Wanderers go in search of their first Championship win of the year at home to Watford.

Leeds United travel to Middlesbrough and Blackpool entertain Birmingham City in the other Championship games to be played on Saturday.


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