EFL Championship Preview
Football is back! The return of the Championship is upon on, and we’re set for another long and gruelling season as a lot of teams fight it out to gain promotion to the Premier League.
Match Previews: First games of the season!
Bournemouth vs West Bromwich Albion
Friday, 6th August
A cracking game kicks off the Championship season on Friday night as West Brom travels to Bournemouth. Both sides should fancy their chances at promotion this season.
New manager Scott Parker has been brought in to help Bournemouth get back up to the Premier League, and he has the credentials to do that. Bournemouth also has the team capable of doing that, with a lot of talent that they’ve been able to keep hold of. They have been quiet in the transfer market, but they may feel as though they have enough within their ranks already. It’s a tough opener against a recently relegated West Brom who will be looking to bounce back.
West Brom has a new man at the helm also in Valerian Ismael. The manager enjoyed his first season in English football last term as he took Barnsley to the playoffs. Like Bournemouth, there hasn’t been a lot coming in through the door, and they are about to lose one of their better players in Matheus Pereira. They will need a few more bodies added to the team to help in their quest for promotion, but the side does have a team that is capable of challenging at the top end of this league. Bournemouth is one of the toughest fixtures that West Brom will face this season, and it should be a tasty encounter.
Derby County vs Huddersfield Town
Saturday, 7th August
Two sides that are tipped to be at the bottom end of the table and fighting for relegation, which is understandable.
Derby enters this season with a lack of first-team players. Wayne Rooney certainly has his work cut out for him this season, and it’s a surprise that he hasn’t walked away after everything that Derby has been through. It’s not good news when you’re coming into a season with the bare bones of a squad, and it could be further depleted as teams are looking at Derby’s Tom Lawrence and others. It’s a tough time for Derby who will no doubt struggle this season to stay up, but they can get off to a good start here against another struggling team.
Huddersfield has at least been busy in the transfer market to improve the quality of their squad, and they look as though they’ve been able to do that with players that are proven in the Championship. They’ll fancy this fixture amid all of Derby’s troubles, and they’ll look to capitalise on that and inflict more pain. It’ll still be a tough season for Huddersfield, but survival in the league is the main goal and they’re certainly capable of that.
Fulham vs Middlesbrough
Sunday, 8th August
Two teams that should be looking at promotion, or at least playoffs this season.
Marco Silva is back in management after a couple of seasons out of the game, but it’s definitely a risky appointment. His track record has good and bad in there, but he does have a lot of qualities in the way he wants his teams to play. It’s good attacking football with a lot of tempo, and Fulham has the players to do that. It doesn’t always work though, and this team did struggle last season to be clinical in front of goal. With the addition of Harry Wilson from Liverpool, they’ll be hoping it’s a recipe for success.
Middlesbrough has added a few good players to their side this season which should help them immensely. Players like Sammy Ameobi, Matt Crooks and Uche Ikpeazu bring quality and a presence to the team. They should be one of the outsiders for promotion or playoffs, and with a manager like Neil Warnock, anything is possible. It’s a tough opener, but a game that Middlesbrough will feel they can take maximum points from.