Championship Round-Up: 03/08/2018

Championship Round-Up: 03/08/2018

After a long wait, the Championship season is back and kicks off this weekend with all 24 teams in action across four days! We have provided all the information you need so there’s no need to look any further.

Bristol City vs Nottingham Forest

This matchup brings you two teams who will be wanting a season that brings more success than the last. Nottingham Forest are the visitors to Ashton Gate and will want to start their campaign in a positive way, but come up against a formidable opponent in Bristol City, who will be hoping to build upon last term’s 11th-placed finish. Andreas Weimann has arrived from Derby County awill aim to fill the boots of striker Bobby Reid, who left for Cardiff City. Nottingham Forest are not without their own new signings and are likely to include former Benfica midfielder Joao Carvalho, who arrived for £13.2m. This one looks a close contest and we’re backing the draw.

Recommended Bet: Draw at 23/10 Sky Bet

Millwall vs Middlesbrough

Just four points seperated these two sides last season, with Middlesbrough finishing in 5th and Millwall down in 8th. Boro had the bragging rights last year and have beat Millwall in 3 of their last 4 meetings, leaving the Lions will with something to prove and a desire to not be rolled over once again. However, it will be no easy task for Middlesbrough when they travel to The Den, which proved to be a fortress last season for the hosts, who have lost just one of their last 15 games. Neither side has been very active in the transfer window, making only a couple signings to add to what was present last year.

Recommended bet: Middlesbrough win at 15/8 with Bet365

Birmingham City vs Norwich City

This clash brings two teams together who had a tough seasons last time out, finishing in the bottom half of the table. Blues appointed Garry Monk as their new manager in march hoping for big changes in their clubs performances, and, after getting a full pre-season under his belt, will hope to see more consistency out of his side. It will be interesting to see how Norwich cope after losing midfield maestro James Maddison to Leicester City. The England under-21 international provided a lot of creativity in midfield, as did Josh Murphy, who is now with Cardiff City. Jordan Rhodes will be looked upon by the Canaries to cause problems for Birmingham’s defence on Saturday after he joined on a season-long loan. The previous meeting saw Norwich come out on top, but we’re expecting a more even contest this time around.

Recommended bet: Draw at 21/10 with Ladbrokes

Wigan Athletic vs Sheffield Wednesday

Wigan performed extremely well last season in order to be promoted back to the Championship, as well as shocking many with a superb FA Cup campaign which saw them knock out Premier League champions Manchester City. The Latics will be happy to see former midfielder Callum McManaman return to the club and strengthen their attacking options this season, with the hope being he will provide Will Grigg with the service he needs. Sheffield Wednesday will be traveling to the DW stadium, which proved to be a fortress in League One last season, but the Owls will be going into this game with a point to prove. Jos Luhukay’s team severely underperformed in 2017/18, going from playoff contenders to mid-table mediocrity in the space of 12 months.

Recommended bet: Wigan win at 5/6 with SkyBet

West Bromwich Albion vs Bolton Wanderers

Bolton will travel to relegated Premier league side West Brom in a matchup which, on paper at least, looks very one-sided. West Brom will be looking to gain automatic promotion back into top tier football this year and kick start their season with a win against a Bolton side who are likely to be facing a relegation battle once more. The Baggies have lost key players in Jonny Evans and Ben Foster over the summer, and are still clinging on to Salomon Rondon. Bolton lost six of their last eight games last season and we’re not expecting that trend to come to a halt on the opening day.

Recommended bet: West Bromwich Albion win at 4/9 with Bet365

Brentford vs Rotherham United

Brentford host their opening game against newly-promoted Rotherham United and will be looking to seal the win in a game most would expect them to win. Finishing in a sturdy 9th place last season, the Bees looked strong under Dean Smith and boast a young team that are rapidly becoming a formidable opponent. They have managed to keep hold of keeper Daniel Bentley and added to their defence with the summer signings of Julian Jeanvier and Andreas Bjellend. Rotherham enjoyed a very strong pre-season, winning 5 of their 7 friendlies and scored plenty of goals, but always seem to struggle in the Championship.

Recommended bet: Brentford win at 8/15 with SkyBet

Ipswich Town vs Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn kick off their first season in the Championship since being relegated back in the 2016-2017 with a trip to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town. Rovers will come into this game with high morale after gaining automatic promotion last year, finishing just two points behind champions Wigan, and enjoyed a decent pre-season which saw them beat Premier League side Everton. As for Ipswich, all eyes will be on new manager Paul Hurst, who joins from Shrewsbury Town and replaces the experienced Mick McCarthy in East Anglia. Ipswich haven’t spent big on their squad once again and we’re expecting something of an upset here.

Recommended bet: Blackburn win at 9/5 with Bet365

Treble

Preston North End vs Queens Park Rangers

Preston North End take on Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale, as the hosts look to pick up where they left off last season. They finished just one place and two points off the play-offs, enjoying a far more progressive campaign than their opponents. One of Rangers’ main problems last term was the sheer amount of goals they conceded, shipping 70 in total, but coach Steve McClaren has made just the one signing to bolster their defence. Preston are favourites to pick up the three points and Alex Neil will be hoping to build upon a campaign last time out which saw them come within touching distance of the play-offs.

Recommended bet: Preston win at 10/11 with Ladbrokes

Sheffield United vs Swansea City

The late game on Saturday will be hosted at Bramall Lane, where Swansea City will want to give their fans something to cheer about after suffering relegation from the Premier League. Swansea go into this game with a fit squad but they have lost key names over the summer in Lukasz Fabianski, Alfie Mawson and Andre Ayew. It’s tough to know what to expect from the Swans this year, particularly having appointed Graham Potter as their new manager. On the other hand, Sheffield United look in good condition for the new season after a solid return to the Championship last time around. The Blades had a strong pre-season, with eye-catching results including a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan, which can only boost the squad’s confidence ahead of the weekend’s clash.

Recommended bet: Sheffield United win at 5/4 with Bet365

Leeds United vs Stoke City

The Marcelo Bielsa era kicks off at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon, as Leeds look to impress their expectant fans against a Stoke City side who will be looking to rebuild in the Championship. Bielsa comes to the club with a wealth of experience and a reputation the likes of which the club hasn’t seen since their glory days in the Premier League. Standing in their way is a Stoke side who also have a new manager in Gary Rowett, who left Derby to take over at the Bet365 Stadium. Promotion will be on both of these team’s minds and they could well cancel each other out in this one.

Recommended bet: Draw at 23/10 with BetVictor

Hull City vs Aston Villa

Hull City’s meeting with Aston Villa on Monday night will round off the opening fixtures of the new Championship season, with what is one of the more unpredictable ties of the weekend. The bookies have it pretty split with who is going to come out on top, as a Hull side who struggled to compete last season face a club in Aston Villa who have been troubled by financial issues all summer. The Tigers have lost a number of key faces over the summer, as have their opponents, yet Villa have the greater quality on paper and we’re backing them to pick up the three points.

Recommended bet: Aston Villa win at 7/4 with BetVictor