With five games gone in the English Championship, we are now starting to get a gauge of how teams are shaping up. At the top of the table, Cardiff City are the only team in the division with a perfect record, having won all five of their games so far, conceding just two goals in the process. Down at the other end of the table though, Bolton Wanderers and Brentford have both failed to win any of their games so far, picking up just two points. There is a full schedule of games this weekend, with one game taking place on Friday night and 11 on Saturday. In this preview I’ll be taking a look at some of the bigger games on offer this weekend, starting with the game on Friday night.
Derby vs Hull City
Both of these sides are expected to challenge for the playoffs this season, but both have had slightly underwhelming starts and sit on just seven points from five games. Derby will start this game as favourites at odds of 1/1, whilst an away win for Hull is available at 13/5. There really isn’t much to choose between these two sides though and I think the draw could be the most likely outcome in this one.
Draw – 5/2 (Ladbrokes)
Aston Villa vs Brentford
Aston Villa started this season as joint favourites with Middlesbrough to win the league at odds of 7/1 (Ladbrokes), but a poor start has seen them slide out to 14/1 (Ladbrokes) after just five games. Steve Bruce has spent plenty of money trying to improve the Villa squad, but they have won just once so far this season. On Saturday they come up against a Brentford side who have really struggled this season, failing to win any of their games. Villa must win this one to kick start their season and I think they will do just that.
Aston Villa to win – 21/20 (Ladbrokes)
Bolton vs Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough spent almost £50m in this summer transfer window and also managed to hang on to Ben Gibson, meaning that they arguably have the best squad in the Championship. They started the season as joint favourites for promotion, but two defeats in their first five games have left them eight points off top already. They come up against a Bolton side who are rooted to the foot of the table on Saturday and you’ve got to be thinking that Boro are licking their lips in anticipation of this one.
Middlesbrough to win – 1/1 (Ladbrokes)
Fulham vs Cardiff
Fulham are another side who big things were expected of this season. The side from West London started the season as second favourites to lift the trophy at odds of 8/1 (Ladbrokes), but they too have found the going tough this season, winning just once. On Saturday they come up against a Cardiff side who have won every game so far this season, but I think this will be a tough game for the side from Wales. Fulham haven’t scored many this season; just three, but they have also only conceded twice. Taking that into consideration, I think a low scoring draw could be on the cards here.
Draw – 12/5 (Ladbrokes)
Wolverhampton Wanders vs Millwall
Wolves brought in Ruben Neves this summer and the Portuguese midfielder has looked a class act so far in the Championship. His side are unbeaten so far this season and are now the favourites to pick up the league title at odds of 11/4 (Ladbrokes). This weekend they take on a Millwall side who you would expect to finish mid-table this season and I don’t think Wolves should have too many problems brushing them aside this weekend.
Wolves to win – 3/4 (Ladbrokes)