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Championship Predictions > Aug 6th - 8th

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bournemouth vs West Brom

The Championship season starts at 7:45pm BST on Friday night when two of the teams I've backed to be in contention for promotion to the Premier League go head-to-head with Bournemouth hosting West Brom at the Vitality Stadium. Both teams have new men in charge at the club after respective disappointing campaigns last season so will either begin this season with a win?

Bournemouth missed out on the opportunity to return to the top flight of English football at the first time of asking last season after an aggregate defeat to Brentford in the Championship play-off semi-finals. Former head coach Jonathan Woodgate has been relived of his managerial duties and the club have taken the shrewd decision to bring in former Fulham gaffer Scott Parker to lead their campaign. It's been a case of keeping things consistent for Parker with the only transfer arrivals being Brentford's creative midfielder Emiliano Marcondes and the loan signing of left back Leif Davis from Leeds on loan. It's probably no surprise given the quality throughout this Cherries squad including the likes of Dominic Solanke, David Brooks, and Philip Billing to name a few. Pre-season offered a mixed bag of results but the performances showed glimpses of what appear to be positive signs ahead of the opening game.

West Brom will be licking their wounds after relegation from the Premier League last season. Manager Sam Allardyce left the club almost immediately after their relegation was confirmed and the board have made the controversial decision to appoint former Barnsley head coach Valerien Ismael as their new boss. The Baggies are another team that haven't really added much more quality to their current squad but they still boast a strong line-up. Alex Mowatt from Barnsley and Adam Reach from Sheffield Wednesday are the two stand out signings with centre back Matthew Clarke from Brighton potentially being a clever loan move. Ismael has done well to get rid of a lot of deadwood within the team with the likes of Charlie Austin, Branislav Ivanovic, Sam Field, Kamil Grosicki, Lee Peltier, and Hal Robson-Kanu all leaving the club. This squad still possesses the talents of players such as Sam Johnstone, Grady Diangana, and Callum Robinson. The big question is what impact will the exit of Matheus Pereira to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal have on the club?

Well, what a game to kick-off this new Championship season. Two teams that almost have Premier League ready squads going at it for an early scalp. I've been looking at how these two teams could set-up and I can't see a lot between them. Both of these teams have squads packed full of quality players, have new managers at the helm that know this division, and will likely favour a more attacking style of football. I have to back the draw but it could well be an entertaining one. Albeit slightly disjointed at this early stage of the season.

Draw @ 3.45 with SBK

BTTS @ 1.83 with Sport Nation

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Cardiff vs Barnsley

It couldn't have been a better start for us in the opening game of the Championship with that draw and both teams scoring but it was never in doubt was it?! :loon The next game I'm covering is my very own Cardiff who kickstart their campaign at home against last season's play-off semi-finalists Barnsley in a 3pm BST kick-off at the Cardiff City Stadium. Can either team start with a win?

Cardiff have had a bit of an underwhelming summer transfer window. The departures of loanees Harry Wilson, Sheyi Ojo, and Jordan Osei-Tutu along with the end of contract exits of Joe Bennett, Junior Hoilett, Sol Bamba, and Joe Bennett left us significantly weakened compared to last season. When you consider we've only added Luton striker James Collins, Ryan Wintle from Crewe, Mark McGuinness from Arsenal, and Ryan Giles on loan from Wolves it feels like we're still lacking 2-3 players. Central midfield remains an issue for me and our options out wide now are very limited. It's likely Mick McCarthy will stick with the 3-5-2 system from last season so we do have the likes of Giles, Joe Bagan, Perry Ng, and Thomas Sang that can play the wing back roles it still seems like we need more quality in those areas to make the most of the system. Expectations are very limited this season and our fans are just glad to be back watching the team in the stadium. Kieffer Moore is unlikely to be heavily involved today as he continues his return to full training after a physically demanding 2020 European Championship.

Barnsley defied a number of people's expectations to finish in the top six last season. Head coach Valerien Ismael was rewarded for his achievements by being offered the managerial role at recently relegated West Brom. The man chosen to replace him was little known former TSV Hartberg gaffer Markus Schopp. You have to feel his experience as a data analyst for St Polten a few years back must have something to do with why he appealed to the "moneyball" approach of Billy Beane et al at board room level. The Tykes have lost a number of squad players from last season's successful season including Alex Mowatt, Conor Chaplin, and Michael Solbauer but they have recruited quickly with the likes of Devante Cole, Obbi Oulare, Josh Benson, and Aaron Leya Iseka coming in. It's undoubtedly going to be a transitional season for the Yorkshire club but how quickly can they gel this new-look side under a new man at the helm?

I have to admit, even though Barnsley did very well last season I felt we had their number. We beat them 3-0 at home and drew with them 2-2 away when we probably should have won that game too. I've tipped Barnsley to struggle this season. They defied the odds last year and they've lost their star man in Mowatt and not replaced him. Combine that with a new man coming in with fresh ideas and it could cause problems. Cardiff might not be as strong as last season but we'll be well-drilled, organised, and disciplined. I can see us sneaking this one in front of a passionate home crowd. As I've always said, you have to back McCarthy to win his home games!

Cardiff to Win @ 2.56 with SBK

Anytime Scorer: James Collins @ 3.30 with Betfair

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Huddersfield drifted from 8/11 out to 11/4 because of 4 players and the manager missing with Covid. Seems like an overreaction to me. Derby were so bad at the back last season and look even worse now with Stearman, Davies and Forsyth..surely Huddersfield will get plenty of chances and Rhodes still knows where the goal is.

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Interesting games today. On a Cardiff perspective, I'm seriously worried that if we stick with this route one tactic and don't try and adopt a more creative approach on the ground whilst also bringing in a couple more creative players then we're going to struggle all season.

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Coventry City

They lose to Wolves at 1-2 in last game, suffering a four-match losing streak even if in Friendly game. It is because they are weak in defensive, with 10 conceding goals during that time. It takes time for them to adjust themselves.


Nottingham Forest

They get 3W-1D in recent games. But most of their opponents are weak teams. It can not be seen their competitiveness. In addition, Tyler Blackett, who has made 4 assists for Nottingham Forest in last season, has suspended due to injury, weakening their playing.


There is no big gap between two teams. Coventry City were the sixteenth in last season and Nottingham Forest were the seventeenth. But Nottingham Forest get a three-match winning streak from Coventry City in the past. So Nottingham Forest have the trend to win.


Goals in Match: Over 2 goals

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1 hour ago, Johntrig said:

Sorry if this is wrong place but is championship elo ratings not available to view ? 

Thank you 

Hi Johntrig, the ELO ratings can only be displayed when each team has played one game at home and one game away so there are previous results and form to show. The results and form don't carry over from the previous season. :ok

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