Every Friday for Weekend games or Tuesday for Midweek games I’m going to look at every game in The Championship. A quick paragraph about each match and a prediction. So with this week being the first week of the season, lets see how your club is going to get started;
Brighton v Nottingham Forest
Brighton had a difficult 2014/15 season, finishing 20th after being in the playoffs the season before, but with signings like Bobby Zamora I can see them doing better this season. Forest always start the season well, and are usually top at the end of August, however with Britt Assombalonga still injured until early 2016 I think they will struggle this season.
Cardiff v Fulham
Both had difficult first seasons in The Championship, finishing 11th and 17th. Neither made a huge impact on the transfer market this summer, so we’re just going to look at the head to head from last season. Cardiff winning 2-1 at home and a 1-1 draw in London, so they were fairly closely matched last season. Home advantage means a lot early in the season, so I think Cardiff will take it.
Leeds v Burnley
Time to be as unbiased as I can, Leeds have made 7 new additions to their squad this season and have sold a lot of the deadwood. I think the additions have certainly strengthened the squad and they are a lot stronger than they were this time last year. I would hope to see a lot more competitive Leeds United this year. Burnley are our first relegated team for this year. Having lost key players Danny Ings and Keiran Trippier to Premier League club I don’t think it will be easy for Burnley. However with additions such as Jelle Vossen they will definitely be a team to watch.
Birmingham v Reading
Birmingham had the better 2014/15 finishing 10th and will be looking to improve on that this season, again not much action in the transfer market but losing Darren Randolph to West Ham could hurt The Midlands team. Reading had a poor season, finishing 19th and only 9 points from safety. Having made 6 new signings including Ali Al Habsi from Wigan and Yakubu on a free they will be hoping these signings can help them move up the table.
Blackburn v Wolves
Blackburn played very well last season at home, finishing 9th and only losing 6 games at home. However they have lost Rudy Gestede to Aston Villa and Tom Cairney to Fulham, there’s also rumours of Jordan Rhodes leaving too, I would be surprised to see Blackburn struggle this season. Wolves also had a brilliant 2014/15, especially the 2nd half of the season. They only just missed out on the playoffs on goal difference, but they did lose 9 games on the road last year. Not much action in the transfer market means we will see a similar Wolves to what we saw last year. Obviously I am completely impartial, but Wolves are my pick to win the league.
Bolton v Derby
After finishing 18th last season Bolton will be wanting to improve this season, I don’t think they will. Ben Amos and Gary Madine are good signings but in my opinion not good enough to compete, I’d expect another season of dodging relegation in Lancashire. Derby are most people picks to win the league, and were most peoples picks to get promoted last season, but after a terrible 2015 they didn’t manage to make the play offs. There problem was not being able to see out games in 2015, the game at Birmingham springs to mind where they conceded twice in the last few minutes. With additions such as Darren Bent, Tom Ince, Jason Shackell and Andreas Weimann I think they will do well this season and challenge for the title.