Written by Matt Joy
As game twelve approaches for all Championship clubs this weekend, we’ve already seen there is no time to settle on bad results, with staggeringly more than one manager set for their first game in charge of their respective clubs this weekend. In fact two new managers feature in this Championship Preview which looks at the three most interesting games which you should keep an eye on this weekend.
Derby vs Leeds
Two of the divisions “sleeping giants” will lock horns at the iPro on Saturday, with former England boss Steve Mclaren beginning his second stint at the East Midlands club. Although reaction to the news of his reappointment has been mixed, many of the Rams fans heading to the stadium will be pleased to see the club have move swiftly to try to rescue their season from mid table obscurity. They sit ten points adrift of the play offs but perhaps more worryingly two points above the drop zone. McClaren will know that with tough games against Brentford and Huddersfield ahead, a win in his opener is vital. Leeds on the other hand appear to be having a somewhat more stable season so far, which as Leeds fans know that isn’t perhaps the most common of phrases in recent years. Five wins in the last six for Gary Monks’ men is a very respectable return – and with a gap of just four points between them and the play offs, you have to think they’ll be looking up, not down at the moment. A tough one to call with Leeds on consistently good form, but a slightly reinvigorated Derby side may well hold them to a single point.
Aston Villa vs Wolves
Two sides who were tipped by many as amongst those most likely to be fighting for promotion and haven’t quite delivered so far meet this weekend. Villa, complete with newly appointed manager Steve Bruce. Bruce, who led Hull City to the Premiership last season, will be aiming to turn around a season that has seen Villa draw a staggering seven of their opening ten matches and who currently sit two points above the relegation zone. Wolves on the other hand sit in the middle of the pack, having been somewhat unremarkable this year. They’ve failed to find the consistency needed to be at the top end of the table. For both sides, there is still time to keep their season going, however each of the teams will know they’ll need to make the push sooner rather than later. I’m predicting a narrow win for the home side.
credit Neil Turner
Huddersfield vs Sheffield Wednesday
This traditional Yorkshire rivalry recommences on Sunday, with the early (and somewhat surprise!) pace-setters Huddersfield hosting Sheffield Wednesday. If you’d have suggested at the start of the campaign that in mid-October one of these sides would be top, arguably Sheffield Wednesday would have appeared to be the logical table-toppers. Huddersfield have been fantastic all season, only losing twice away at Brighton and Reading, each of whom have had very respectable start to the seasons. With only 14 and 13 goals scored by Huddersfield and Wednesday respectably, you’d expect a narrow game – in which I’m backing the hosts, 1-0.
What are your predictions for these games? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Jonathan Willier