Aston Villa dealt blow, Leeds send strong Sheffield United warning as Middlesbrough handed boost: Championship weekend preview

Middlesbrough look set to play their part in another big weekend in the Championship - with some key games set to be played.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 1:40 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 1:44 pm
We preview a big weekend for Middlesbrough and their Championship rivals

There is plenty still to be decided at the top and bottom of the division - and Middlesbrough are still eyeing a spot in the play-offs ahead of some crucial fixtures. Scroll down and click through the pages as we highlight the key talking points from this weekend in the Championship:

Two of Middlesbrough's closest play-off rivals go head-to-head at Villa Park, in a clash which could have a big bearing on how the top six looks comes the end of the season.
Reports in Croatia suggest that Villa stopper Lovre Kalinic could face up to a month on the sidelines - depriving Dean Smith of an experienced head during the run-in.

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The Canaries are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Championship, and could strengthen their hold on top spot if they can pick up three points from their trip to Wigan on Sunday.
While Norwich look near-assured of promotion, their weekend opponents are still battling against the drop. And Wigan boss Paul Cook has urged his side to learn from the Canaries' 'outstanding success'.
Leeds United host Steve Bruce's Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday. The White's will be looking to extend their lead over Wednesday's bitter rivals, Sheffield United, with a victory.
The Leeds United boss has sent a strong warning to his players - urging them not to focus on what Sheffield United are doing and instead to concentrate on getting results themselves.
West Brom host Preston North End on Saturday and could see their play-off chances boosted if they can claim all three points against a North End side who look set to miss out on the top six.
Preston boss Alex Neil has been heavily linked with the vacant managerial position at West Brom in the build-up to this clash, but insists his focus remains on the job in hand at Deepdale.
Middlesbrough will be looking to give their play-off hopes another spark when they welcome Hull City - a side who also have designs on a top six finish.
While he won't be fit for this weekend, youngster Lewis Wing has handed Middlesbrough a boost after revealing his surgery to fix a hernia problem.
And they could take another step towards the top six with victory over crisis club Bolton Wanderers this weekend. The sit just one point behind Middlesbrough at present.