Sunday, October 21, 2018

Championship Preview: Matchday 2

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 10 Aug 2018

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Though many say it doesn’t matter at this juncture, the fact is that Middlesbrough sit on top of the Championship and they will be hoping to stay there as they host Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon.

Only a handful of teams have played twice, and of those it is Tony Pulis’s side who have the most points having come from two down to salvage a draw at Millwall last weekend before thumping Sheffield United by three goals to nil – and it is the Blades who sit bottom after losing twice.

Positive starts

Brentford were the big winners on the opening weekend and they face a tough trip to Stoke City, who will be keen to bounce back after their loss to much fancied Leeds United.

Perhaps the game of the day comes in the late kick-off where Marcelo Bielsa’s side take on Derby County at Pride Park, with Frank Lampard also all smiles after beginning his new role with a win.

The Rams were one of three sides who came from behind to secure three points last weekend with Aston Villa and Swansea City also emerging victorious despite conceding first.


The Villains host a Wigan side who saw off Sheffield Wednesday last time out while the Swans also meet a side who started with a win in the shape of Preston North End – who are the only side in the division yet to concede.

Despite their opening day win over much fancied West Bromwich Albion, Bolton Wanderers remain second favourites for relegation while they can be backed at a rather tempting 1/2 to avoid the drop.

The Trotters have a tough test against Bristol City at home ahead of them this weekend, but another triumph here would see their survival odds plummet.


Nottingham Forest sit on two points after back-to-back 1-1 draws – results that will look much more impressive alongside victory against Reading at the City Ground this weekend.

Blackburn Rovers would have liked to have highly rated Forest forward Ben Brereton in their ranks for Saturday’s visit of Millwall but failed with a late bid while the side Tony Mowbary’s men drew with last weekend – Ipswich Town will be keen to pile more misery on Rotherham United who were on the receiving end of Brentford’s bunch of fives.

Norwich City welcome West Bromwich Albion to Carrow Road while two of last weekend’s beaten sides – Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City face off at Hillsborough.

Finally, Sheffield United will hope to bounce back from their back-to-back defeats as they take on a Queens Park Rangers side who’s defeat last time out was their fourth in five Championship matches.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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