The season is back.
Yes, you read that first line correctly. After two long months without any competitive football league action, the new season finally begins this weekend.
What a weekend it should be. There are a few juicy games for us to sink our teeth into and in this article, I’ll be listing five of the best matches that will be taking place! For a bit of variety, I’ll choose one of the best from each league and then two additional ones. Enjoy!
1) Brentford vs Ipswich
Both sides claimed play-off places last year and both of them fell short of promotion to the Premier League. After coming so close yet so far – and after a fantastic season for the Bees, in which many thought they wouldn’t survive only for them to finish in the top six – they’ll both be ready and raring to go again, to try and build on last years performances.
Brentford will want to surprise people again and get off to a flying start and prove that they can finish high up the table again. Ipswich will be hoping that top goalscorer Daryl Murphy picks up from where he left off last year and fires them to new heights and possibly promotion this year. This game between two of last year’s top six will certainly be an interesting one.
2) Coventry vs Wigan
This one will be an intriguing one, with Wigan facing their first challenge back in League 1.
Many tipped the Latics to go up last season and they totally underperformed and found themselves relegated come the end of the 2014/15 season. Many expect them to go straight back up and they’ll be looking to start well with a win over Coventry here. But it won’t be easy: they’re away at the Ricoh Arena and Coventry will certainly be giving it their all.
It’s new surroundings for Latics but it’s business as usual for Coventry. Definitely one to keep an eye on – Will Wigan start off well? Will Coventry snatch victory? Wigan are the favourites but in League 1 and football, anything can happen.
3) Oxford vs Crawley
This is a huge clash for both teams, despite it only being the opening day of the season.
Oxford are being tipped for a good shot at League 2 glory this season, while Crawley will be hoping to bounce back well from League 1 relegation. Both teams have recruited pretty well and again, they’ll both be hoping to get off to a good start.
Plus, Oxford have not lost a game at home against Crawley in the last six seasons as well and the Red Devils will be hoping to put an end to that streak on Saturday.
4) Preston vs Middlesbrough
I’ve chosen this one because it could be a fantastic game.
Middlesbrough were so close to Premier League promotion, only to lose in the final to Norwich. That heartache will spur them on to go one step further and clinch promotion in 2015/16. Preston sit at the other end of the spectrum: they will be playing this game on the back of an amazing season for them. They finally gained promotion through the play-offs and find themselves back in the Championship. They’ll be hoping to carry the momentum from that victory into this game and secure a win against one of the best Championship sides last season.
Preston will want to prove they can cut-it in the Championship. Middlesbrough will want to prove they can go all the way this year. Add to that the fact that there has been some superb signings from both teams (and also some key players who have left both teams) and it could prove to be a quality game.
5) Brighton vs Nottingham Forest
I’ve chosen this one, purely because of the fact it’s the first game back in the new season.
Not only is it the first game of the new Football league season but it’s also the first league game in England and it’s also the first televised fixture too.
Add in the fact that Bobby Zamora could make his Brighton return and the fact that Forest will want to start making a forward step this year, not a backwards one (as do Brighton) and it’s definitely worth watching.
Picture credit – Self-Made (Wikimedia Commons)