Welcome to Last Word on Football’s EFL Championship Preview. Every week we’ll bring you a closer look at some of the key fixtures from each matchweek, as well as having a go at predicting the weekend’s results.
Championship Preview: Matchweek 2
Leeds United v Nottingham Forest
Two of the division’s most historic heavyweights clash in this second round of fixtures. Leeds will look to build off their impressive away win at Bristol City to rubber-stamp their credentials as promotion favourites. Forest will have to do better than they did against West Bromwich Albion. They are still finding their feet under new boss Sabri Lamouchi, which gives Leeds a slight edge in this encounter.
Leeds 3 – 1 Nottingham Forest
Middlesbrough v Brentford
These are two sides expected to be in play-off contention come May, and neither side got off to the start they would have hoped for. Thomas Frank will hope that the loss of Neil Maupay does not spell the end of the Bees’ goal threat. Middlesbrough showed they can score goals in their season opener. If they can instil some traditional Middlesbrough steeliness in defence, they should see past Brentford.
Middlesbrough 2 – 1 Brentford
Birmingham City v Bristol City
Birmingham got a good win on the opening day against a strong Brentford side. In front of their own supporters they will want to build a run of form. Bristol City were unconvincing in their loss to Leeds, but should have enough to take a point off the Blues.
Birmingham City 1 – 1 Bristol City
Cardiff City v Luton Town
Cardiff suffered a rude awakening in their return to Championship football in a 3-2 defeat to Wigan. Neil Warnock will call for much better defending in their second game. Luton enjoyed a thrilling 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough to open the campaign. Cardiff should have too much quality for the Hatters this time around.
Cardiff City 2 – 1 Luton Town
Charlton Athletic v Stoke City
Charlton’s Championship return began with a 2-1 win, where they held out against a dominant Blackburn Rovers. For Stoke City, though, it was misery again, after a 2-1 loss to QPR at home. Nathan Jones will demand a reaction from his players, but this could be an even match.
Charlton Athletic 1 – 1 Stoke City
Derby County v Swansea
Both sides opened their campaigns with impressive 2-1 wins. Derby beat Huddersfield Town, while Swansea trumped Hull City. This could be an exciting game as both sides try to build a winning streak; they are two equally-matched sides, though, and this could go either way.
Derby County 2 – 1 Swansea City
Fulham v Blackburn Rovers
Fulham suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Barnsley last weekend, but should bounce back at Craven Cottage. A side with the attacking strength of Fulham should ease past Blackburn, whose defence was their Achilles Heel last season.
Fulham 3 – 1 Blackburn
Hull City v Reading
Two sides who suffered defeat on the opening day battle it out to get their seasons on track. Reading announced a triple signing on Tuesday, but they will be unlikely to have a say on this match. Hull should take this one.
Hull City 2 – 0 Reading
Preston North End v Wigan Athletic
Preston’s season got off to a poor start with a defeat away at Millwall, while Wigan did well to beat Cardiff. This is a match that could go either way but Preston should grab their first win.
Preston 1 – 0 Wigan Athletic
Queens Park Rangers v Huddersfield Town
It was joy for the R’s on the opening day against Stoke City in a surprise away win. Huddersfield, though, started with a loss at home to Derby County. After such a long, difficult season, it may take time for the Terriers to acclimatise to the league again. Rangers could capitalise this weekend.
QPR 2 – 1 Huddersfield
Sheffield Wednesday v Barnsley
The first Yorkshire derby of the season takes place this weekend. Both sides had good wins in their opening games. Keiren Westwood will miss out after picking up a red card against Reading. This is will be a fiery occasion but Barnsley could pull out a shock result here.
Sheffield Wednesday 0 – 1 Barnsley
West Bromwich Albion v Millwall
West Brom showed character to come from behind and beat Nottingham Forest last time out. Millwall also started their season with a win, beating Preston 1-0. West Brom should have too much for this Millwall side, and should grab another win at home.
West Brom 3 – 0 Millwall