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EFL Championship Title Race

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EFL Championship Title Race

We take a closer look at the EFL Championship title race and the teams who are contenders to win the league and any dark horses to keep an eye on.

 

Last Season’s Relegated Teams

It’s not surprising to find two of last season’s three relegated Premier League teams sitting towards the top of the Championship table.

Fulham have been the most exciting team to watch in the Championship this season. They are the league’s top scoring team (18 goals) with Aleksandar Mitrovic currently the league’s second top scorer with 6 goals. Fabio Carvalho and Harry Wilson have both already recorded 3 goals a piece. Manager, Marco Silva, will need to learn how to rotate his squad during the season and rely on a larger group of players to avoid players burning themselves out. Despite losing 2 of their last 3 games they have to be considered the favourites to win the league due to their attacking talent.

West Bromwich Albion are currently sitting in third place and are showing signs of adapting to Valérien Ismaël’s trademark style. The Baggies and Bournemouth are the only unbeaten teams in the division. They may have drawn their last 3 games, but to find themselves in such a strong position after what could have been a transitional period is an encouraging sign for the rest of the season. Callum Robinson has again shown himself to be a dangerous player at this level, scoring 3 goals during this early part of the campaign. Matt Phillips has also contributed 2 goals and 2 assists from midfield. West Brom have the joint second-best defensive record, allowing only 7 goals in the first 8 games. As they continue to adjust to Ismaël’s style their fans should expect many more wins and to be in the top 2 at the end of the season.

Current league leaders, Bournemouth have made a steady start to the season under their new manager, Scott Parker. They have the joint-best defensive record (tied with Coventry City), conceding only 6 goals in their first 8 games. Dominic Solanke has rediscovered his goal scoring form, already finding the back of the net 5 times this season. Philip Billing (3) and Jaidon Anthony (2) have also contributed goals from midfield.

 

The Early Season Surprises

Coventry City have been the team that have been the biggest surprise, so far this season. Currently finding themselves in fourth spot after 3 wins in their last 5 games. Equally surprising has been the form of their forward, Viktor Gyökeres, who has scored 5 times and provided 2 assists. The Sky Blues have won the same number of games as Bournemouth and Fulham, beating a couple of teams who could be play-0ff contenders come May.

The return to playoff contention has been a long time coming for Stoke City fans. Michael O’Neill continues to build on the groundwork he laid last season and the quality of the squad suggests that hopes of a spot in the play-offs are not beyond a possibility. Tommy Smith and Mario Vrancic have been key assist-providers, each contributing 3 so far this season. They need to work on tightening up their defence, as it’s currently the most porous of the top 6 teams.

Blackburn Rovers fans have also had an enjoyable start to the season. Many pundits may have predicted a difficult season for the Ewood Park club, especially after they sold striker Alan Armstrong to Southampton during the summer. Tony Mowbray has done an efficient job with the squad at his disposal and is getting the best out of forward Ben Brereton-Diaz. The Chilean international has already recorded 4 goals and looks a player hungry for more.

 

Potential Dark Horses

The Championship has a reputation of being an incredibly difficult league to predict, which last weekend’s results clearly proved. Although some teams may have faltered early on, a good run of 10-12 games can easily catapult a team towards the summit.

Sheffield United have made a stuttering start on their return to Championship, but recent signs are more positive, with the Blades winning two out of their last three games. Billy Sharp has a proven track-record in the division and looks set to have another big season. Their squad contains players to provide the frontman with numerous opportunities, such as Morgan Gibbs-White and Conor Hourihane. They look like they are coming to grips with Slavisa Jokanovic’s tactics and recent performances suggest that players are becoming more comfortable with their roles in his system.

A number of other teams have shown early signs of promise and could be surprise play-off candidates. Queen’s Park Rangers definitely have a talented squad containing a combination of creativity and fire-power to propel them to a top six finish. The results of Huddersfield Town have caught the eye, with Sorba Thomas and Matty Pearson being in particularly good form. Could Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City put a consistent run of results together to be competitive? If Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City can sort out their current home form and maintain their impressive away performances, they could well earn themselves a play-off birth.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘EFL Championship Title Race.’ What do you think of our EFL Championship title race predictions? Have we missed out any teams who might be contenders? Let us know your thoughts!

 

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