Championship Preview: QPR aim to remain unbeaten

Queens Park Rangers will hope to extend their unbeaten start to the Championship season when they face Middlesbrough at home on Saturday.

From their opening eight matches Harry Redknapp's side have only dropped points to Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield so far, giving them a three-point lead over Burnley.

Despite being top of the table, QPR have by no means blown teams away.

They have only scored more than one goal in a game once this season but at the back they have been very solid, having conceded just twice.

Middlesbrough, on the other hand, have started the season fairly poorly.

The Teeside club have only lost twice but five draws have seen them struggle to make an impression in the league as they sit in 16th position.

The weekend's showcase match sees Nottingham Forest and Derby contest the East Midlands Derby in Saturday's early kick-off.

Forest, who are currently in the final play-off place, have not won any of the last four derbies but only Watford and Leicester City have beaten them at the City Ground in 2013.

Derby are six positions and four points adrift of Nottingham with one win in their past five matches in all competitions.

QPR's closest challengers, Burnley, welcome Charlton to Turf Moor, a match that does not bode well for the visitors.

Charlton have only won one of their last 11 games and come into the weekend's match with a single triumph under their belt this season.

Burnley are one of three sides on 17 points, ahead of Leicester and Blackpool on goal difference.

The trio trail Nottingham by three points.

Leicester have a potentially straightforward match at home to Barnsley on the horizon having won three out of four games at King Power Stadium this season.

Their visitors, meanwhile, are languishing near the bottom in 23rd place and have won just two of their last 15 league matches.

Blackpool's tricky trip to Huddersfield will be the first match of the weekend as they face each other at The John Smith's Stadium on Friday.

Paul Ince's side have won four of the last six games between these sides but Huddersfield have been defeated in only two of their previous 17 home Championship matches.

At the foot of the table Bolton Wanderers will hope to pick up their first three points of the campaign when they welcome fellow strugglers Yeovil, while Sheffield Wednesday host Doncaster.

Birmingham are aiming to open up a bigger gap between themselves and the bottom three when they travel to Reading, who in turn are looking to get back into the play-off places.

Looking to keep pace with those at the top are fifth-placed Watford.

FA Cup holders Wigan will be Watford's visitors on Saturday, while Millwall and Leeds United face each other in a bottom-half clash.

The final two games see Ipswich welcome Brighton to Portman Road and Blackburn Rovers travel to Bournemouth.