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Championship

Preview: Sky Bet Championship – Matchday 2

10 August 2018

The Championship action has been coming thick and fast already, and a full Saturday is next on the horizon with the 2018/19 season now in full flow. Here’s our weekend preview…

Pacesetters

Four clubs have played two Championship games each following a couple of Tuesday night fixtures, and one of those sides leads the way going into the weekend.

That team is Middlesbrough, who earned a point with two late goals at Millwall on the opening day, before a first-half blitz saw off Sheffield United at the Riverside in midweek.

Next up is a visit from Birmingham City, who were denied three points on the opening day by Norwich City. The Blues have had a torrid time on Teesside over the years, winning just once in their last 17 games.

Millers’ time

Rotherham United’s return to the Championship didn’t go according to plan, losing 5-1 at Brentford on the opening day and memories of their catastrophic 2016/17 campaign will have quickly been flooding back.

This weekend, Paul Warne once again finds himself up against his good friend Paul Hurst, the man he got the better of in May’s Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final when beating Shrewsbury Town and booking their second-tier return.

Two of those Shrews — Toto Nsiala and Jon Nolan — will be trying to exact some revenge after joining Hurst at Ipswich Town earlier this week. The Tractor Boys faced a newly promoted side last week too, scoring late on to share the spoils with Blackburn Rovers.

Around the Grounds

Marcelo Bielsa and Frank Lampard made winning starts in EFL management last week, and now the pair meet in the Saturday evening fixture live on Sky Sports.

Steve Bruce got the better of former club Hull City in Aston Villa’s opener, and he welcomes Wigan Athletic, another of his previous employers, looking to build on Monday night’s triumph.

As for the Tigers, they face fellow Yorkshiremen Sheffield Wednesday, who lost 3-2 at the Latics in their first match. City rivals Sheffield United have lost two out of two, and visit Queens Park Rangers trying to make it third time lucky.

The three sides relegated from the Premier League have had mixed results so far, and all face tricky tests on Matchday 2. WBA, winless after two, travel to Norwich City, Swansea City host Preston North End, and Stoke City take on a Brentford side who put five past Rotherham United in their opener.

Saturday 7 August 2018

Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic
Blackburn Rovers v Millwall
Bolton Wanderers v Bristol City
Derby County v Leeds United (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Middlesbrough v Birmingham City
Norwich City v West Bromwich Albion
Nottingham Forest v Reading
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield United
Rotherham United v Ipswich Town
Sheffield Wednesday v Hull City
Stoke City v Brentford
Swansea City v Preston North End


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