We are only a few games into the 2021-22 Championship season and already it couldn’t be more open. No team has a 100% record, with the top 10 teams all level on four points, and at the wrong end of the table, there are two teams who are yet to pick up a single point. This makes it increasingly difficult to decide who will gain promotion to the promised land, the Premier League, especially for those searching the latest odds on the English Football League Championship.
But for Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United, more than the rest of the division, they’ll be looking to make a quick return to the top flight. Last season, we saw both Watford and Norwich City bounce back at the first opportunity, so could we see a similar story come of the end of this campaign?
It’s been a bright start for Fulham, who in their second match of the season, put five goals past Huddersfield Town. The Cottagers held a 3-1 lead at half time, and even after Harry Wilson was sent off with just under 20 minutes to go, they still managed to go on to grab a couple more goals. Sitting top of the Championship, with a slightly superior goal difference to their rivals, Marco Silva couldn’t ask for anything more – having joined the club during their pre-season, following Scott Parker’s exit to join Bournemouth.
Just two signings have arrived at Craven Cottage so far – goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga on a free transfer from Tottenham Hotspur, and the aforementioned Wilson from Liverpool. Although it’s believed they’re looking to bolster their attacking options with 20-year-old Rodrigo Muniz set to sign from Brazilian side, Flamengo.
Despite flitting between the top two divisions over the last four seasons, with both their previous two promotions to the Premier League coming by way of the play-offs, you have to fancy Fulham’s chances once more.
Boing boing Baggies
Over the last decade or so, West Brom have cemented their name as the epitome of a yo-yo club – up and down between the Premier League and Championship more times than a busy lift! Last term, they were marginally better than Sheffield United but five wins from 38 games says it all – and was the lowest number of wins they’d accumulated in the top flight since the 1985-86 campaign.
The Baggies are another of the sides with four points from two matches, and after drawing with Bournemouth in their opening fixture, were the victors of a five-goal thriller against Luton Town. Tomorrow night, they face fellow relegated outfit, Sheffield United, in what could prove to be a massive – and exciting – game early on. Valérien Ismaël will be keen to extend his side’s unbeaten run at this early stage, while the Blades – who we’ll come on to next – will be desperate for points.
There were plenty of departures from the Hawthorns at the end of last season, while they’ve been shrewd with their arrivals: Alex Mowatt, Quevin and Adam Reach all joining on free transfers. Expect the boing boing Baggies to bounce-back.
Of all the newly relegated sides, Sheffield United have had the worst luck so far. While they’re not tipped as far as the Championship relegation odds are concerned, they find themselves at the wrong end of the table again.
Last season was nothing short of a write-off, with plenty of Premier League records broken – but not for the right reasons. 5 points from their first 19 fixtures was a real low, as well as their run of 17 games without a win and as well as spending the whole of the season in the relegation zone, they were rooted to the bottom for a large proportion of the campaign too.
And with two matches played, the Blades have picked up a solitary point – and are yet to score a goal! As mentioned, they have a tough match coming up, as they travel to the Hawthorns, before a bottom-of-the-table clash against Huddersfield. They’ll be hoping for a change in form soon – otherwise it could be a long season, which could prove to be detrimental for the future of the club.