So far the Championship has continued on from recent seasons, and has been a very enjoyable league to follow. In this article, I will be looking at the top six teams in the Championship, and how they have fared so far…
1- Burnley – Thanks to the incredible form of Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, Burnley have stormed their way to the top of the Football League. Both strikers have been in thunderous form; Ings has scored 14 goals, whilst his striker partner Vokes has notched up 9. They beat QPR in late October to go clear at the top of the division and since then have remained unchallenged.
2- Leicester – The Foxes have not taken long to bounce back after their heart-breaking Play-Off semi-final loss, and currently sit 2nd in the league. David Nugent has been key for them and has scored 7 goals whilst Lloyd Dyer and Jamie Vardy have been amongst the goals as well. If Leicester can bounce back from their defeat to Nottingham Forest, they could be in with a real shout of achieving automatic promotion this season.
3- QPR – Despite faltering after a brilliant start, QPR are still one of the favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League. With bags full of experience, in the likes of Clint Hill, Joey Barton and Andrew Johnson, QPR have what it takes to mount a sustained assault on the automatic promotion places and expect them to do so as the season progresses.
4- Blackpool – Paul Ince’s side have slipped down the league table, since they were top in September, but they still sit fourth and will be confident of being in the Play-Off positions come the end of the season. Any team with Tom Ince in is likely to do well, and Ince senior will know exactly how to keep getting the very best out of him week in, week out. Blackpool have to pick up points in their next three games if they are serious about their chances.
5- Nottingham Forest – Sitting 5th in the Football League’s top division are Nottingham Forest. They have had a very solid season so far, having only lose three games and they recorded their first win in three at the weekend against Leicester, at a time when their season threatened to go off the rails. With some very tough matches coming up, Forest will have to be on top form over the next few weeks to continue their impressive start.
6- Reading – After suffering relegation last season, Reading are hopeful of making an immediate return to the top flight, and have begun their season in a very positive fashion. Adam Le Fondre has been in sparkling form, and has scored six goals whilst Danny Guthrie has been one of the stand-out performers in the league so far. In recent weeks their ruthlessness has been questioned, but if they can pull together as the season progresses things could be looking good for the club.
And the best of the rest…
Sitting just outside of the Play-Off places are Watford, who will be reasonably pleased with their start, despite suffering some disappointing results in recent weeks. Leeds United will be confident of staying in and around the pack, particularly if the form of Ross McCormack and Rudolph Austin continues. The clash between those two at Elland Road, in early December, will be key in determining the two clubs immediate future.
Derby, under new manager Steve McLaren, have been rejuvenated and will be confident of a push towards the top six over the coming weeks. Wigan have a game in hand on their promotion rivals and could rise to 6th with a win, however their Europa League involvement may be a hindrance. Finally, 11th placed Brighton have been hit by quite a lot of injuries this season, but when their squad returns to full strength they could be real contenders.
So, there’s quite a lot of quality challenging at the top of the Championship, and I haven’t even mentioned the likes of Ipswich, Blackburn and Bolton…