The Coca-Cola football league championship, the Premier League’s slightly more interesting little brother, has long had a reputation for exciting matches and unpredictable results, and this season (thankfully) promises to be no different. Whilst the highest tier of English football is monopolised by the “big four”(and in reality, only two of those four clubs look capable of winning the title this year) the Championship is well and truly up for grabs.
- Anyone and everyone has a chance of lifting this trophy come the end of the season
The introduction of two traditional top tier teams in Middlesbrough and Newcastle threatened to make this years Championship slightly predictable, but many fans knew not to predict a two horse race. For many other teams in the league, away games at the Riverside or St. James’ park are like cup finals, and the big crowds add to their sense of motivation. Perennial yo-yo team West Brom will also be in the mix, and currently lie on the top of the table. However many other teams could also be in the promotion shake-up come the end of the season, and I’ll take a look at 3 in this article.
Leicester City are a good tip for an unfancied team sneaking into the play-offs. They have amassed 13 points from 8 games and are placed in 9th position. The Foxes got off to a good start by beating Swansea 2-1 and have impressed fans and pundits alike. Decent draws against teams like Ipswich and Sheffield United have followed and Leicester have only been beaten once so far, 1-0 away from home by Newcastle United. Few expect Nigel Pearson to lead his team to promotion just one year after gaining promotion from League One, but with good players like Matty Fyratt and Jack Hobbs on the books, anything is possible.
- Fryatt will have to keep scoring if Leicester are to mount a surprise promotion challenge
The city of Blackpool is more famous for it’s tower than it’s football, but the Seasiders are looking to grace the top flight three years after they got promoted to the Championship. With the fantastically verbose Ian Holloway in charge, Blackpool are looking solid and they have rocketed up the table, losing only once in a spell of form which has seen them occupy 7th place in the table. Coincidentally Leicester are the only team to have beaten ‘Pool, 2-1 at the Walkers Stadium, but Blackpool replied by beating Newcastle 2-1 at home. Blackpool also thumped Wigan 4-1 in the Carling Cup, so perhaps they would fare well in the top division.
- I’d love it if Blackpool got promoted, because it would mean we’d be hearing a lot more from Mr. Holloway
It’s probably fair to say Scunthorpe United aren’t one of the most glamorous teams in football, and yet the Iron are getting on well in the Championship, lying in 13th place. The team were promoted to the Championship last year after finishing in 6th position and winning the play-offs, and manager Nigel Adkins has been quick to prove that the Irons have some steel and won’t be relegated easily. A 4-0 away win against Crystal Palace has undoubtedly been their high-point of the season, and if they are able to replicate that form they could find themselves sneaking into the play-offs once again.
- A superb win against a good team sent out a clear warning to other teams- Scunthorpe were no push overs
So there you have it; three good teams, three potential promotion candidates. The arrival of Newcastle and ‘Boro might have led some people to write some of the smaller teams off, but the big boys will need to be on top form if they are to achieve promotion back to the Premier League.
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