When the final whistle sounded as Leeds United completed a 2-0 win at Sunderland, all teams in the Championship had played 4 games, with the first weekly ‘double header’ in the record books.
In our weekly Championship round up, FantasySports.co.uk takes a look at how this fascinating division is shaping up with our 5 points to take away :
ALL TEAMS NOW ON THE BOARD
Big sighs of relief were heard all around the country, especially from South Yorkshire and East Staffordshire, as Barnsley and Burton Albion both recorded vital home wins (over Forest and Birmingham City respectively) and put points on the board, meaning that all teams have now chalked up something. Still some worrying signs, especially (again) if your team starts with a ‘B’ – as 4 of the bottom 5 places are filled with teams starting with that letter.
NO SUCH THING AS A DEAD CERT IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Predicting Championship scorelines for anyone who does a coupon is rather like sticking your hand in a bag of snakes and guessing which one is gonna bite you first – and equally as painful. Leeds United draw twice at home 0-0 and look very sterile, but then beat Sunderland easily away and look very decent….Nottingham Forest win at fancied Brentford, lose at maligned Barnsley, then beat promotion favourites Middlesbrough. QPR get a creditable draw at Sheffield Wednesday, lose at Norwich, then beat Hull City. And don’t even get us started on Reading!!!! The Championship is like the Grand National…take it fence by fence…or week by week in this case. Nothing is ever certain.
CARDIFF AND IPSWICH RULE THE ROOST
4 games played….4 wins for both. Cardiff especially we sit and take notice, as with wins over Aston Villa and Wolves in there, and they were tipped for significant improvement this season, you would be forgiven for thinking they are already on a promotion charge. Ipswich were the opposite, tipped to struggle against relegation, and you could argue they have taken advantage of a soft opening schedule (Birmingham, Barnsley, Millwall, Brentford)….but they have beaten those in front of them and as per the previous post – nothing is for certain. Well done to both…can they keep it going?
BIG BOYS STARTING TO FIND THEIR FEET
Good weeks for Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County, Leeds United – even Aston Villa won, scoring 4 goals in the process. The league table isn’t really a factor at this stage of the season, but its always better to be in the van rather than bringing up the rear, and teams widely expected to be challenging for the ultimate prize come the end of the season certainly seem to be shifting gear and making a bit of a move.
CRUNCH GAMES COMING THICK AND FAST
One of the beautiful things about the Championship is that on every schedule there is always one or two very tasty games for one reason or another. Top teams clashing, local rivalries, sleeping giants battling – every gameday throws up something that any true football fan can watch with interest. Upcoming soon : Leeds v Forest, Villa v Boro, Millwall v Leeds…and so many more. OK, we know the Premier League is there and all the riches that come with it….but for real excitement and true football drama, the Championship is where its really at!
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