MARK WARBURTON could not have wished for a better start to the season after wins over Millwall and Brentford.
The question is can Nottingham Forest keep the good times rolling at Barnsley or will their luck run out at Oakwell?
Meanwhile, John Terry and Co at Aston Villa need to buck up their ideas at Reading after their 3-0 humbling at Cardiff.
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Our EFL expert TOM BARCLAY casts his predictions for the Championship fixtures tonight and tomorrow – with odds provided by division sponsors Sky Bet.
Barnsley v Nottingham Forest
FOREST are high on confidence after their terrific start while Barnsley need time to adapt after another summer of change.
I can see Mark Warburton’s mob making it three out of three with Daryl Murphy a likely goal-scorer.
Prediction: 1-2. Sky Bet odds: 9/1
Birmingham v Bolton
I SAW Bolton draw at Millwall on Saturday and while I was impressed with their organisation, fight and commitment, I worry where the goals are going to come from this season.
The same could be said for Blues with no significant attacking additions made yet – though Isaac Vassell is a prospect – but Harry Redknapp’s men should have enough here.
Prediction: 2-0. Sky Bet odds: 13/2
Brentford v Bristol City
DEAN SMITH has had a poor start this season with two straight league defeats.
He knows his side is far more capable than what they have shown against Sheffield United and Forest, and I am backing them to show it against City.
Prediction: 8-1. Sky Bet odds: 8/1
Cardiff v Sheffield United
NEIL WARNOCK’S side were one of my dark horses in my pre-season predictions and they are already showing why.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has taken to life brilliantly in the Championship and with their rock-solid defence, expect another victory here.
Prediction: 2-0. Sky Bet odds: 11/1
Derby v Preston
I HAVE a feeling it will be gradual progress for Gary Rowett this season and facing off against the tactically-astute Alex Neil will not be easy.
Goals will be at a premium and I wager there won’t be any!
Prediction: 0-0. Sky Bet odds: 8/1
Hull v Wolves
KAMIL GROSICKI looks set to be one of the stars of the division this term – if he stays put at Hull.
Wolves have started impeccably but with so many new players I fancy them to come unstuck here.
Prediction: 2-1. Sky Bet odds: 9/1
Leeds v Fulham
THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN faces a battle to keep hold of star striker Chris Wood.
The Leeds chief knows his New Zealand centre-forward will be key to their promotion ambitions this season – just as he will here against Slavisa Jokanovic’s great entertainers.
Prediction: 2-2. Sky Bet odds: 11/1
Middlesbrough v Burton
WITH all the attacking talent Garry Monk has signed this summer, you could be forgiven for forgetting about Rudy Gestede.
But the ex-Villa striker gave a timely reminder of his talents with the winner over Sheffield United and could be back in the goals tonight against Burton.
Prediction: 3-1. Sky Bet odds: 11/1
Millwall v Ipswich
NEIL HARRIS’ side have been desperately unlucky not to bag at least one win this season after cruel defeat at Forest and a draw with Bolton.
The tide has to turn at some point and I reckon it could be tonight against Lions old boy Mick McCarthy and his men.
Prediction: 1-0. Sky Bet odds: 5/1
Reading v Aston Villa
JOHN TERRY and his side must respond to the 3-0 battering they suffered at Cardiff this weekend.
But Jaap Stam’s Royals are a stubborn bunch and by the end of it I see both sides still short of league win this campaign.
Prediction: 1-1. Sky Bet odds: 5/1
Norwich v QPR
DANIEL FARKE warned in pre-season that the changes he is implementing at Carrow Road may take a while before they bear fruit.
And so it has proved with no wins in the league so far and I see another frustrating evening in store for the Canaries given QPR’s very solid start to the campaign.
Prediction: 1-1. Sky Bet odds: 6/1
Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland
IT has not been the best of starts for Carlos Carvalhal and he will be desperate to kickstart the Owls’ campaign with a win here.
But Simon Grayson has settled in superbly at Sunderland and they already look like proving the pre-season doom-mongers completely wrong with their work ethic.
Prediction: 1-1. Sky Bet odds: 9/2
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