Championship, The72: Championship Season Preview

The72: Championship Season Preview

The Automatic Contenders

Aston Villa (Prediction – 3rd)

After a bumpy first season back in the Championship, Aston Villa should be far more settled this time around and ready to make a claim for the Championship title. John Terry has joined the club and has since been appointed Captain after his association with Chelsea ended with him claiming a Premier League winners medal. Striker Jonathan Kodjia will need to be in brilliant form this season to help Villa in their claim to try and reach the top whilst Sam Johnstone returns on loan from Manchester United for this season.  The quality of Micah Richards, Neil Taylor, James Chester, Conor Hourihane, Albert Adomah and Tommy Elphick should all shine through and it’s fair to say that Villa do have one of the best squads in the division; the question is if they can utilise it.

Steve Bruce is no stranger to this division and he knows what he will need from his players if they are to get out of this league. After winning promotion with Hull City into the Premier League, Bruce will be as prepared as ever this season for the run-in to the division’s title although it certainly won’t be an easy ride. We’ll find out this season as to what this Aston Villa side is made of and if they really can launch a challenge for the Championship title.

Championship, The72: Championship Season Preview
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Sheffield Wednesday (Prediction – 2nd)

After two seasons of play-off heartbreak to two of Wednesday’s Yorkshire rivals, the Owls will want to get it done the easy way this season and finally book their place back into the Premier League. Jordan Rhodes is set for his first full season at Hillsborough and if he can recapture the form he’s shown at both Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers in his career, he will be incredibly useful up front. The Owls have one of the best goalkeepers in the division in Kieran Westwood and with new signing George Boyd bringing some Premier League experience to a midfield that already includes Kieran Lee, Barry Bannan and Ross Wallace, it’s hard not to see Wednesday being up there this season; but finally getting the job done.

Carlos Carvalhal will be going into his third season in charge with the Owls after two very successful seasons at the club. The Portuguese manager has led Wednesday to two successive play-off finishes, he’s helped them beat Arsenal 3-0 in the League Cup helping the Owls reach the Quarter Finals that season in the competition. Carvalhal will be under no illusions that this will be a tough season for the Owls, but he’s the man to take them back to the top.

Championship, The72: Championship Season Preview
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Middlesbrough (Prediction – 1st)

Newly relegated Middlesbrough won’t be in the Championship for long. Despite the fact that ‘Boro struggled so badly in the Premier League last season, they’ve recruited incredibly well during this transfer window. They’ve brought in a wealth of attacking talent to the Riverside, including club-record fee striker Britt Assomabalonga, Ashley Fletcher from West Ham United and Danish striker Martin Braithwaite. The arrival of Jonny Howson in midfield brings a midfield with real talent and experience in the division to the Riverside Wwho could be one of the clubs most important signings.

Garry Monk worked wonders at Elland Road last season and there’s absolutely no doubt that he could be set for success at the Riverside. Monk has impressed many, in his first managerial position at Swansea he did an impressive job and he’s also performed incredibly well during his time at Leeds United. With the clubs spending power and Monk’s managerial ability, Middlesbrough could quite easily make an immediate return to the Premier League.

 

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