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Championship week 2 preview

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The first week of Football is over and everyone has seen what their team has to offer whether the result was a surprise or was expected, it was full of great games.

QPR losing to Charlton was probably the biggest surprise as theAddicks are tipped to go down and QPR will have high hopes of bouncing straight back to the Premier League. Also MK Dons winning 4-1 was also unexpected as both teams are expected to have a relegation battle, but this may just show what Rotherham season will consist of as they struggle to stay up.

However last week is over and the next round of fixtures are close-by after all but 3 teams of the Championship have played in their Capital One Cup round 1 tie in mid-week. Teams will have to work extra hard to play three times in 7 days but this is a requirement for Championship teams anyway.

The stand-out game this week is Wolves vs Hull City. This game is of two teams that will certainly be up near the top come May and will be fighting for promotion. This game will feature some of the leagues best players such as, Benik Afobe of Wolves who scored the opening goal of last week and is sure to score many more.

Burnley vs Birmingham City – Saturday 15th August 12:30 – Turf Moor

Burnley drew 1-1 with last week with late goals coming from both teams. The problem for Burnley was that they had enough chances to score but only 4 shots out of 10 were on target and they could only convert 1 of the shots into a goal. They will also need to toughen up at the back as Leeds also had a large amount of shots with 15 on goal with 4 of them on target. In order to beat Birmingham this week they will need to strengthen that defence.

Birmingham beat Reading 2-1 last week despite there being little between the sides though the amount of shots that Birmingham allowed Reading to have with 20 of which 7 were on target is something the Blues will need to tidy up. Birmingham were thankful that Kuszczak was in good form in goal but they certainly need to patch up the holes in the defence as if Burnley can show that they can finish off the shots successfully, Birmingham could be in trouble.

Predicted score– This will be a closely fought match with the main eyes on the Birmingham defence but overall Birmingham can finish off the shots and will probably just win the game . Burnley 1-2 Birmingham.

Bristol City vs Brentford – Saturday 15th August 15:00 – Ashton Gate

Bristol City lost 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday last week in a disappointing start to their first season in the Championship in 2 years. Two second half goals were scored by Wednesday and though Bristol had the majority of the possession they could only manage 6 shots in the whole game with only 3 on goal. In order to challenge Brentford, Bristol will need to work on creating chances as well as converting them into goals.

Brentford scraped a draw last week with 2 goals in injury time to draw with Ipswich Town, 2-2. Once again they had a lot of shots but only had 5 out of 23 on target and they need to work on converting the chances. They managed to keep the majority of the possession, but what they did with the possession will need to change and they will need to be more consistent in front of goal if they wish to be challenging this season.

Predicted Score– City put up a fight against Wednesday and just lost out however Brentford’s attack will be too much for Bristol to handle. Bristol City 1-3 Brentford.

Derby County vs Charlton Athletic – Saturday 15th August 15:00 – IPRO Stadium

Derby County had a 0-0 draw with Bolton last week which wasn’t expected as Derby are a team that is expected to be a promotion favourite. They seemed to be sound defensively but they only managed to have one shot on target. The injuries of Bryson and Hughes will be costly to Derby as they are key players to the Derby first team and this showed as they couldn’t even beat a Bolton team that was down to 10 men by the end.

Charlton Athletic had the surprise result of last week by beating QPR 2-0. This convincing win over a team that has just been relegated from the Premier League raised some eye brows as a lot of people thought that they might end up in a relegation battle. If they play like they played against QPR in the match against Derby then they could cause the Rams some problems.

Predicted score– Derby were disappointing against Bolton and if Charlton play like they did in the last match then they may win but the reality is that Charlton are inconsistent. Derby 1-1 Charlton.

Fulham vs Brighton and Hove Albion – Saturday 15th August 15:00 – Craven Cottage

Fulham had a 1-1 draw with Cardiff City last week which was a fair result for both teams. What Fulham have to work on is keeping the possession. They had less possession than Cardiff did and if they had managed to keep the ball more, then they may have been able to avoid a late equaliser that was scored by Chris Noone of Cardiff. The shot count was low however this may be a consequence of the lower possession and they need to take charge at Craven Cottage early on.

Brighton had a strong start by beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 at home. After a disappointing last season, this is the start that fans would have loved as they won convincingly after having 59% of the total possession. However they need to strengthen their defence as Nottingham had 17 shot’s on goal though only 3 were on target. Fulham away from home will be much trickier.

Predicted score– Both teams are equally matched in strength and talent but there will be some score in the match. Fulham 1-1 Brighton.

Huddersfield Town vs Blackburn Rovers – Saturday 15th August 15:00 – John Smith’s Stadium

Huddersfield lost 2-0 to Hull City last week in a disapointing match agaist Hull who have just been relegated from the Premier League. What Huddersfield need to do is tighten up at the back, which manager Chris Powell will no doubt be working on in training this week. The goals conceded were poor and they will need to show some character if they are to avoid a relegation battle this season.

Blackburn also lost last week in a 2-1 defeat to Wolves at Ewood Park. Wolves out classed Blackburn both in defence and in attack and Blackburn will need to improve across the pitch if they wish to avoid a relegation battle this year. With Jordan Rhodes possibly on his way out to Sunderland, Blackburn’s case could get a lot worse with Rudy Gestede no longer at the club either.

Predicted Score– Blackburn and Huddersfield are quite equally matched but Huddersfield may just sneak a win in front of their home crowd. Huddersfield 2-1 Blackburn.

Ipswich Town vs Sheffield Wednesday – Saturday 15th August 15:00 – Portman Road

Ipswich managed to bottle a would be convincing win against Brentford with two injury time goals from at Griffin Park as they cracked late under pressure after a solid performance in normal playing time. They seemed to switch off at the vital moment at the back which proved costly as they were surely on for 3 points yet they ended with only 1 to show for all their hard work. This may not be a problem in their match against Wednesday, but they will need to be careful to see it through to the end.

Sheffield Wednesday convincingly beat Bristol City 2-0 and had a good performance overall under their new manager. This may be down to the fact that Bristol City were nervous on their return to the Championship so the Owls will want to make sure all aspects of the game are in tact against a possible fellow promotion candidate in Mick McCarthey’s Ipswich side.

Predicted score– Ipswich are hard to beat at home so Wednesday will have their work cut out though I think it may be closer than the pundits think. Ipswich 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday


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