Aston Villa travel to Cardiff while Leeds host Preston in the best of the second-tier action



WE are one week into the Championship season and Bristol City sit top of the league.

It really would be a shock if come the end of the campaign the Robins are still occupying that position!

Bobby Reid is playing further forward for Bristol City this season

Che Adams

Che Adams was among the goals against Crawley in the Carabao Cup

City face a tough trip to Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham this weekend, while Mark Warburton heads back to Brentford for the first time since his exit two years ago.


Our EFL man in the know TOM BARCLAY casts his predictions for each second-tier match this weekend – with odds provided by division sponsors Sky Bet.


Barnsley v Ipswich

PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM needs to pick up the pieces after the opening-day horrorshow at Bristol City.

Low-scoring Ipswich at home is the perfect fixture but even after hitting four in the cup this week, I still feel a point is all the Tykes will receive for their efforts.

Prediction: 1-1. Sky Bet odds: 5/1

Birmingham v Bristol C

THE Robins came steaming out the blocks last week with makeshift striker Bobby Reid netting just as I predicted.

Harry Redknapp’s Blues are a step-up though and after they walloped five past Crawley in the cup, I fancy a red-hot Che Adams to inspire a narrow home win here.

Prediction: 2-1. Sky Bet odds: 17/2

Brentford v Nottingham Forest

MARK WARBURTON returns to Griffin Park for the first time since leaving as boss two years ago.

And after using up all his luck in Forest’s extremely fortunate win over Millwall last week, I predict free-flowing Brentford to make it a miserable comeback.

Prediction: 3-1. Sky Bet odds: 12/1

Mark Warburton

Mark Warburton knows Nottingham Forest were lucky against Millwall

Cardiff v Aston Villa

ASTON VILLA are my tip for champions this season – even if they failed to bowl me over last week in their 1-1 draw against Hull.

More than anything, I expect Steve Bruce’s side to be hard to beat this term – though I see Neil Warnock’s Cardiff also being a tough nut to crack so a draw here makes sense.

Prediction: 0-0. Sky Bet odds: 15/2

Derby v Wolves

GARY ROWETT’S side looked solid if unspectacular to me at Sunderland last week.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves are more of an unknown quantity. With so many new players and a new manager, expect inconsistency – hence, a Derby victory.

Prediction: 1-0. Sky Bet odds: 11/2

Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce was disappointed his side threw away another victory against Hull

Hull v Burton

LEONID SLUTSKY’S thrown-together side really impressed me at Villa Park on Saturday.

Winger Kamil Grosicki in particular looks a potential candidate for Player of the Season – if he stays – and I reckon he will be too hot for Nigel Clough’s defence to handle.

Prediction: 2-0. Sky Bet odds: 6/1

Leeds v Preston

IF the win at Bolton is anything to go by, Thomas Christiansen’s Leeds will provide great entertainment this term.

A hat-trick for new-boy Samu Saiz in the Carabao Cup this week shows their strength in depth – even if it was overshadowed by spitting allegations – which Alex Neil’s men may struggle to repel.

Prediction: 2-1. Sky Bet odds: 15/2

Nuno Espirito Santo

New Wolves chief Nuno Espirito Santo got off to a winning start last week

Millwall v Bolton

I WILL be attending The Den this weekend to grab an early look at these two newly-promoted sides.

Neil Harris’ men were very unlucky last week at the City Ground and I fancy them to edge this over Phil Parkinson’s Trotters.

Prediction: 1-0. Sky Bet odds: 11/2

Reading v Fulham

THIS clash is a repeat of the play-off semi-finals last term, where Jaap Stam’s men did a job to blunt free-scoring Fulham before their agonising final defeat to Huddersfield.

I can see Stam pulling off another defensively solid performance which will provide a solid point.

Prediction: 1-1. Sky Bet odds: 6/1

Kamil Grosicki

Kamil Grosicki looked a cut above for Hull against Aston Villa

Sheffield Wednesday v QPR

IAN HOLLOWAY’S men have started the season superbly with back-to-back wins in the league and cup and no goals conceded.

But Wednesday are one of the big beasts of the Championship and will have too much firepower up top for the R’s to pull off another shut-out.

Prediction: 2-1. Sky Bet odds: 15/2

Middlesbrough v Sheffield United

GARRY MONK’S debut did not go to plan last week with defeat at Wolves.

But I think it will be a different story this weekend where the ex-Leeds man’s reign will kickstart at the expense of Chris Wilder’s Blades.

Prediction: 2-1. Sky Bet odds: 15/2

Samu Saiz

Samu Saiz hit a hat-trick in the midweek Carabao Cup


Norwich v Sunderland

NELSON OLIVEIRA certainly made his frustration at not starting known when he held up his shirt to boss Daniel Farke in protest after netting a late leveller against Fulham.

It will be fascinating to see if the Portuguese star begins this clash here against Simon Grayson’s mob, who showed spirit and some quality against Derby last week.

Prediction: 1-1. Sky Bet odds: 11/2

Ryan Sessegnon Ruben Neves and Kenneth Zohore – The Championship XI to watch out for this season

Keep up to date with ALL the football news, gossip, transfers and goals on our club page plus fixtures, results and live match commentary.

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