The Championship returns this weekend, and the action kicks off at Pride Park on Friday evening where Derby County take on Cardiff City.
The visitors have been inconsistent at best in their first few weeks back in the second tier, though that is more than can be said for their opponents, who are without a league win since matchday one.
There is plenty of news off the pitch regarding the Rams – most notably the signing of Wayne Rooney who will be joining up with his new teammates in January, but where in the division will they be by then?
Three points from the last fifteen available to Philip Cocu’s side would suggest that they could well be struggling, and you can bet on them finishing the campaign in the bottom three at a price of 12/1.
Saturday’s action gets underway at Craven Cottage where Fulham take on a West Bromwich Albion side who sit just two places and two points above them in the table.
The pair are second and third favourites respectively to achieve promotion this term, with Leeds United still top of the pile in the eyes of the bookmakers.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are in action on Sunday as they make the short trip to Barnsley, while there is another Yorkshire derby kicking off just half an hour earlier with second-from-bottom Huddersfield Town welcoming Sheffield Wednesday, and there will be a new manager in both dugouts.
Danny Cowley has been named as Jan Siewart’s replacement at the John Smiths Stadium while Garry Monk has been given the top job at Hillsborough, with Steve Bruce having moved to Newcastle prior to the start of the season.
Leaders Swansea City will have their work cut out for them as they take on a Nottingham Forest side who haven’t lost in any competition since they were narrowly beaten by West Brom on the opening weekend of the campaign, while second placed Charlton Athletic will look to extend their unbeaten start as they welcome Birmingham City to the Valley.
Bristol City could end the weekend in the top two if they win and other results fall in their favour – rock bottom Stoke City their opponents, while Preston North End and Queens Park Rangers, who are outside the playoffs only on goal difference, host Brentford and Luton Town respectively.
Elsewhere, Millwall take on Blackburn Rovers at the Den and Middlesbrough face Reading at the Riverside Stadium, while at KCOM Stadium Hull City host a Wigan Athletic side who can leapfrog their opponents if they can secure what would a first away victory since they won at Elland Road back in April.
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