The international break is finished and Roy Hodgson’s beautiful face has left our screens for another couple of months. But it does mean that the Premier League and more importantly the Championship returns. What’s more exciting then seeing Brentford come to town? There was no money to be made during the internationals, but the Championship is here in it’s endless frustrating glory to fix that.
Leeds are a different team this season. Whether this is a good thing or not is left to be seen, but the new signings have fitted in well and the singing of Jordan Botaka on deadline day means Leeds now have two, yes TWO, out and out wingers. What a time to be alive. 4 draws and a first win away to Derby on 13 years is a sign that Leeds might not actually finish in the bottom half of the table. Chris Wood took his sweet time settling in, but now he has three in three and looks every bit the part of a 20+ goals a season striker Leeds have been crying out for. Lets take a moment to respect this particular effort against Derby.
— Leeds United FC (@LUFC) September 1, 2015
Brentford had a great season last year, but the losses of some key players like Andre Gray, Jonathan Douglas and Stuart Dallas will make it very difficult for a repeat of last years finish. Two losses in their last two including a 3-1 to Reading will do nothing for confidence. Leeds are playing well and should be able to pass this test. Stuart Dallas is yet to open his account for Leeds and players have a habit of scoring against their former clubs so an 11/1 first goalscorer looks tasty, but the 4/1 anytime is the best bet. For you Bees fans out there Alan Judge is the best bet. He’s got two goals this season so far and is 12/1 to find the onion bag first and is at 4s for an anytime punt.
Middlesbrough v MK Dons
Middlesbrough win @ 4/7
Boro should win this game comfortably, but the Championship in all it’s glory can toss form books and favourites out the window in seconds see Middlesbrough losing to Bristol City as an example. Since losing to Bristol City Boro have won two on the trot and the signing of David Nugent was a statement of intent. He’s a 20 goal a season striker and who can forget that screamer on his England debut? The new boy is 9/2 to score first, but this game could be a high scoring game so the 7/1 for Nugent to score twice.
For the Dons they need to keep it tight at the back and try to catch Boro on the bounce. Colin Barker is going to be the key man for the MK Dons. He has 3 goals already. He’s at a very decent 14/1 shot to nab the first goal. Boro should have enough in their locker to win the game, but 4/7 odds aren’t the most appealing ever. A Boro -1 handicap win at 8/5 looks the better option.
Bolton v Wolves
Wolves win @ 6/4
Wolves need to kickstart their season and away to Bolton they have a great chance to walk away with three points. Benik Afobe is one of the best strikers in the league, but he is still waiting to hit top form. Adam Le Fondre needs to have a good season. He’s been out on loan twice since he joined Cardiff and since he moved up to the Championship with Reading in 2011 he hasn’t been a regular or scored the goals that he did in the lower leagues. Le Fondre scored eight goals in 17 games for Bolton on loan last season and as I’ve mentioned former players have an aptitude for scoring against their former clubs. A 6/1 punt to hit the net first is the way to go if you want to make things interesting.
Lord Bolton are in the dumps. Three draws and two losses will have Neil Lennon sweating and they need to get a win as soon as he possibly can. With an attack that’s about as powerful as Donald Duck you’d think that the chances of a Bolton goal are slim to none, but before you go putting that new shoe money on a handy Wolves win. Eight goals conceded in five games and no clean sheets so far this season isn’t the stuff of potential champions or promotion candidates. But Afobe should be the difference between the sides and kickstart Wolves’ season.
Brighton have had an amazing start to the season and Kazenga LuaLua has been the best player in the league this season. LuaLua has four goals in five games and they also have Tomer Hemed who has three goals this season. A 3-2 win against Ipswich the last day out will have confidence sky high, but Hull are sitting in second and are coming for top spot. This game should be an absolute cracker between the two form teams in the league. Chuba Akpom and Abel Hernandez have two goals each so far (see he wasn’t that big a waste of money only £1.66 million a goal) so there are goals in the side. But Brighton have a defence tighter then Ken Bates on a weekend in Vegas and don’t offer goals easily.
A loss to Charlton is the only blemish on the mighty Steve Bruce’s record, but Brighton is going to be a massive test for the men from Yorkshire. The key battle will be Gordon Greer against Akpom and Hernandez. If Hull’s strikers can get the space to hurt Brighton they will, but Brighton don’t tend to give up the space. A tight 1-0 win will do it for either side and Brighton are full of confidence.
Charlton had a good season last season and have begun well again this season with wins against Hull and QPR. Tony Watt has three goals this season and is back after a calf injury, but they have goals in the side. Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson and Karlan Ahearne-Grant both have two goals this season. They should have more than enough to get by the bottom side.
Rotherham have conceded 13 goals this season so far and have a defence shakier then Chad Mendes after the McGregor fight. They have no real goal threat, but they have a mental advantage that Charlton haven’t beaten Rotherham in their last seven meetings. That being said Charlton are far too good for Rotherham so obviously knowing the Championship Rotherham will waltz this one.