The 2019/2020 EFL Championship and League One and Two seasons commence this weekend and the action kicks off with the now traditional live Friday night Championship fixture and the action continues Saturday with the remainder of Championship fixtures and a full set of League One and Two fixtures.
Leeds under the stewardship of controversial Argentine manager Biesla are favourites to win the Championship this season and with the majority of last season’s squad intact, the addition of talented Portuguese attacker Costa from Wolves they look well placed to challenge for automatic promotion after just missing out last season. Fulham are fancied to bounce straight back to the Premiership this season under the management of the popular but inexperienced Scott Parker, as they’ve managed to hold on to top scorer Mitrovic, who is proven at this level, and they’ve added more Championship experience with midfielders Knockaert from Brighton and Cavaliero from Wolves.
To the delight of home fans, Neil Warnock has chosen to stay on for another season at the Bluebirds and with his experience at this level, they look well placed to mount another serious promotion challenge this season and bounce straight back to the Premiership. Huddersfield did not panic and overreact to relegation like many owners do and retained the services of talented German manager Jan Siewart and some of last season’s more experienced squad members, which should ensure they are competitive and are able to mount a serious promotion challenge.
West Brom came close to promotion last season under sacked manager Darren Moore but just missed out in the play-offs and they replaced Moore in the summer with former West Brom manager and Croatian star Slavan Bilic. They should be competitive again this season however, they will miss the goals and experience of Dwight Gale and Jay Rodriguez in attack and if they fail to replace their talent, they may struggle this season.
Brentford looked as if they would mount a serious promotion challenge at one stage last season, but their poor away form and disappointing end to the season allowed teams who ended the season strongly like Boro, Forest and Swansea to leapfrog them. This group of teams along with Bristol City, Hull, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston, who finished either in the top half and/or mid-table with only thirteen points separating them all, have the potential to build on last season’s form and challenge for a play-off berth and/or automatic promotion.
Millwall, Reading and QPR all came close to being relegated last season and there have been no major positive signs this summer that their fortunes will improve this season. Stoke, Wigan and Birmingham City will also need to improve on last season’s form if they don’t want to find themselves dragged into the relegation battle this season and newly promoted sides Luton, Barnsley and Charlton aren’t given much chance of survival by the layers and of the three Barnsley may survive given their experience at this level.
Please tune in tomorrow when I’ll provide my analysis for EFL League One and Two and any ante post season long selections.
There ARE football tips today.