SWANSEA, WALES - AUGUST 25: Connor Roberts of Swansea City in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Birmingham City at the Liberty Stadium on August 25, 2019 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Welcome to the sixth edition of our Championship preview series for the 2019/20 season. We will analyse the weekend’s key fixtures as well as having a crack at predicting the results.

Championship Preview: Matchday Six

This Week’s Biggest Clashes

Leeds United v Swansea City

The division’s pace-setters meet in this weekend’s heavyweight clash. Both with near perfect records from their opening five games (four wins, one draw each), this match could shape both team’s seasons.

Leeds United have started their season perfectly, after the heartbreak of their play-off misery. Swansea City, meanwhile, have shocked the league under new manager Steve Cooper. Their fast starts will give both sides the faith that they can mix with the league’s best come May.

This match is also a matter of the unstoppable force facing the immovable object; Swansea City are the league’s top-scorers (11 goals), while Leeds boast the sternest defence (2 goals conceded). Swansea will do well to get past Kiko Casilla in goal, if Ben White and Liam Cooper don’t stop them beforehand.

Cardiff City v Fulham

A battle of two relegated sides who will share the same ambition; a swift return to the Premier League. However, the opening five games have seen contrasting for tunes for the two teams.

Fulham, one of the bookmakers’ favourites for promotion, have started inconsistently, but have a basis for a promotion push. Scott Parker seems to have addressed their defensive frailties of last season. However, it is unclear which Fulham will turn up week-on-week.

Cardiff City, meanwhile, best the Cottagers in terms of inconsistency. They sit in 14th after five games, and Neil Warnock will be pushing for better from the Bluebirds. After conceding eight goals in August so far, Fulham’s attack will be licking their lips. Cardiff, though, could take heart from the fact that their two wins have come at home.

Championship Preview: Predictions

Cardiff v Fulham

Fulham were pegged back at home against Nottingham Forest and Scott Parker will look for a reaction. Cardiff, meanwhile, played a 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers. Fulham could heap misery on Neil Warnock’s men here.

Cardiff City 1 – 3 Fulham

Bristol City v Middlesbrough

Another battle between two sides with promotion ambitions. Bristol City are unbeaten in the league since their opening day reversal. Benik Afobe looks a shrewd addition upfront alongside Famara Diedhiou. Middlesbrough, on the other hand, have started slowly under Jonathan Woodgate, with just one win. Bristol City should continue their good form here.

Bristol City 2 – 0 Middlesbrough

Birmingham City v Stoke City

Birmingham have started the season in a rather inconsistent vein of form. Pep Clotet will be happy to have the Blues above the relegation zone. Nathan Jones, however, is a man under more and more pressure each week. This could yet heap more on him.

Birmingham City 2 – 1 Stoke City

Brentford v Derby County

These are two sides whose fan-bases will expect play-off finishes come May, but have dealt with disappointment in August. Both with just one win from their opening five games. Brentford need to find goals fast, with just two so far (lowest in the division).

Brentford 1 – 2 Derby County

Leeds United v Swansea City

This could be a matter of who scores more goals; both teams are capable of finding the back of the net. Expect some good, flowing football from both sides.

Leeds United 2 – 1 Swansea City

Luton Town v Huddersfield Town

At the fifth attempt, Luton Town finally grabbed their first Championship win. Huddersfield, meanwhile, are still looking for theirs, having dropped down last year. Luton’s confidence will be growing, and could yet carry them further.

Luton Town 1 – 1 Huddersfield Town

Millwall v Hull City

A battle between two sides expected to struggle this season. Millwall, though, have enjoyed a bright start, sitting in 10th. Hull City are just a point above the relegation zone, with one win in August. Do not expect bags of goals in this one.

Millwall 1 – 1 Hull City

Nottingham Forest v Preston North End

Two sides who have enjoyed bright openings to their campaigns, which will give them reason to believe they can push on. Preston are the league’s second top scorers, but are yet to find a win on their travels.

Nottingham Forest 2 – 1 Preston North End

Reading v Charlton Athletic

Reading have overcome their opening two defeats, with three promising results, including a 3-0 win over Cardiff. But Charlton have surprised even more in their Championship return, sitting in third, unbeaten so far. Both sides know their goal-scoring formula.

Reading 2 -2 Charlton Athletic

Sheffield Wednesday v Queens Park Rangers

Sheffield Wednesday have responded well to Steve Bruce leaving, with Lee Bullen leading them to seventh place so far. If Jordan Hugill can continue bringing the goals, QPR could threaten Wednesday’s stern defence.

Sheffield Wednesday 2 – 1 Queens Park Rangers

West Bromwich Albion v Blackburn Rovers

The division’s fourth and last unbeaten side, West Brom have started slowly, but confidently. They will want to shake their two consecutive draws, though. They come up against a Blackburn Rovers side unbeaten in their last three league games. They don’t score much (3 goals), but their success lies in keeping the opposition out (4 goals conceded).

West Brom 1 – 1 Blackburn

Wigan Athletic v Barnsley

This could be a crucial relegation six-pointer, already very early in the season. Both sets of fans will demand better from their players, but they will likely also be fighting relegation later this season.

Wigan Athletic 1 – 2 Barnsley

 

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