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Discussion Starter #1
The Championship season started this weekend with only two teams, Bristol and QPR winning by multiple goals while the three demoted sides from the Premier League all failed to win, Sunderland and Hull with a draw while Middlesbrough lost to Wolves.

The new managers in the league are: Daniel Farke (Norwich City), Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves), Gary Monk (Middlesbrough), Leonid Slutsky (Hull City), Thomas Christiansen (Leeds United), Simon Grayson (Sunderland) and Alex Neil (Preston)

The betting sites have Middlesbrough as overwhelming favorites with new manager Gary Monk and the fact they spent 40-50m in the summer on new signings without losing anybody of note except for Negredo (who was on loan anyway) and Gaston Ramirez. Most of that money was spent on attacking options such as Assombalonga, Braithwaite and Ashley Fletcher but they also added Johnny Howson, Cyrus Christie and Darren Randolph.

For some reason Villa is a popular bet and most sites have them second favorites after adding veteran players such as John Terry, Chris Samba, Ahmed Elmohamady and Glenn Whelan. They will also have Steve Bruce from the start of the season but they weren’t that impressive under him last season and finished well outside the playoffs.

The ‘sexy’ pick seems to be Wolves with their Chinese money and their Jorge Mendes influence in transfers. They made their intent known by signing Ruben Neves from FC Porto for 18m euros while also adding John Ruddy, Barry Douglas, Ryan Bennett, Diogo Jota and Willy Boly.

The two other relegated sides from the Premier League, Hull and Sunderland, didn’t have as strong of a summer as Boro. Hull brought in Leonid Slutsky to manage, his first managerial job outside of Russia however they lost many players (Robertson, Huddlestone, Elmohamady, Davies, Maguire, Jakupovic) while adding only a few pieces, couple of Chelsea loanees and Frazier Campbell. Sunderland have hired Simon Grayson who is a very successful League 1 manager but has yet to translate that into the Championship. They too lost many players in the summer (Pickford, Lens, Defoe, Larsson the notable ones) and have spent little in the summer with Aiden McGeady and Lewis Grabban being their most well-known signings…not too inspiring.

The other playoff contenders will probably be the typical names: Sheffield Wednesday, Fulham, Reading, Norwich, Derby, Leeds. Wednesday made Jordan Rhodes a permanent signing and added George Boyd but have done little outside of that. Reading have also been very inactive in the summer after their playoff final loss. Leeds have signed a bunch of foreign players of moderate success abroad but that isn’t always a recipe for success in this league. Norwich will hope to emulate Huddersfield’s model by hiring Dortmund II coach Daniel Farke and adding players from the German 2nd tier. Derby havd added good squad players such as Huddlestone, Curtis Davies and Andre Wisdom but lost Hughes and Ince to Premier League moves.

Of the three newly promoted sides, Sheffield United seem to be the safest bet for survival. Bolton are relegation candidates but they added some decent veteran players like Ameobi, LeFondre and Will Buckley. Millwall have spent 0 in the summer and also have sold nobody, net spend of 0 :D The other relegation candidates are probably Barnsley and Burton (second season syndrome?) Burton have added some veterans like Stephan Warnock, Jake Buxton and Hope Akpan but could lose Jackson Irvine in the next month (turned down a move to China apparently). Forest too I guess can be in some trouble, they lost their top scorer but added Daryl Murphy, who despite being 34 has a decent scoring record in the league but didn’t quite pan out at Newcastle. They also have new ownership
 

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Will be as hard to predict as ever, don't think Boro & Villa will run away with it like the pundits say...to be honest they've just picked the 2 teams who've spent loads of money.

I worry for Burton after they spent there money on a striker who looks to be injured for the whole season. Can't see Millwall staying up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cardiff, Wolves and Ipswich remain perfect after three matches, Cardiff have yet to concede, Wolves are coming off back to back away wins in Derby and Hull to show their intent while Ipswich came off a thrilling 4:3 win at Millwall. Forest lose their first match with a loss at Barnsley

Poor starts to the season for promotion candidates Fulham and “second favorites” Aston Villa. Fulham with three draws while Villa have 1 point from 9 but in fairness their fixtures have been tough. Burton only team yet to record a point in what looks like will be a long season for them…
 

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... Burton have now recorded three ...

Harry Redknapp slammed his players after Birmingham City went down 2-1 at the Pirelli last night. He's quoted as saying that they cost Gianfranco Zola his job, that four or five of them "disappeared" during the second half and that he's going to be moving a few on. I don't 'get' Birmingham. The squad is essentially the same as the one that Gary Rowett managed, and the players did all right under him, only to fail miserably under Zola, and now, after only a handful of games in charge, Redknapp has made up his mind about the calibre that's in the ranks. Why the drop in form?
 

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Rowetts managerial skills is the difference.

Before Rowett they were rubbish and narrowly escaped relegation (on the last day again if I remember right) when Lee Clark was in charge. Long overdue a spell in league one if you ask me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Heading into the first international break of the season (five games in), Cardiff City remain perfect in the league and sit on top of the table after Ipswich dropped their first points losing at home to Fulham. Wolves are winless in their last two after their fast start, including a home loss to the aforementioned Cardiff.

Still early days but Villa, Sunderland and Norwich all in the bottom half, Norwich looking especially poor with the worst defense in the league

Bolton and Brentford the sides yet to record a win
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Redknapp out at Birmingham City, they still lost the match under their new interim manager

Sunderland are 21st btw, had a feeling they would struggle, horribly run club and apparently one in dire financial situation, especially if they don't return to the EPL quickly. The price for their awful transfer business in their desperate attempts to stay up all those years
 

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Disappointed to see Hull struggling, I like Slutsky, but it seems that gamble won't pay off.
Still early, it's hard when you have big time Charlie's at the club that don't really want to play in the championship, which is what it looked like when we stuffed them 5-0
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not a high scoring matchday so far but couple of teams expected to struggle got impressive away results. Firstly, Birmingham got a point at Derby however remain in the bottom three. Both Millwall and Burton got scoreless draws away to teams in the top 10 while Brentford got their first win of the season at Bolton, the lone club without a win

At the top there is a three-way tie at 20 points between Leeds, Cardiff and Wolves. All three came off hard fought wins, Leeds winning a back and forth match with Ipswich, Wolves needing a last minute winner to beat Barnsley while Cardiff put more misery on Sunderland winning at the Stadium of Light and sending them to the relegation zone
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cardiff beat Leeds in the top of the table clash 3:1, Preston with an impressive away win at Hull to move up to 4th while Villa are climbing the table after their slow start to the season

Big worries for Sunderland? Still one win on the season and 2nd worst defense in the league, still in the relegation zone after getting hammered by Ipswich. Reading and Hull also hovering just above the bottom three. Bolton still without a win and have only scored 4 goals this season
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sheffield United go to the top of the table after both Cardiff and Wolves dropped points today, Cardiff with the bigger disappointing being held at home by Millwall. Bristol City still the early surprise package up to 4th after a win over struggling Sunderland.

Wonder how long Slutsky will get at Hull, after a good start they have hit a rough patch, lost to Forest at home today and are closer to the relegation zone than playoffs. Sunderland with 1 win in 14 :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Simon Grayson out at Sunderland after only four months, they have 1 league win in 15 and are coming off a draw with fellow strugglers Bolton.
 

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Chris Coleman the new Sunderland manager, pretty big fall for him, not that I expected him to get a big EPL job but I also didn't expect him to go to the bottom team in the Championship :p

Top three all won this weekend and there is a small gap starting to form between them and the rest of the league
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wolves now have a 4 point advantage over Cardiff and more importantly starting to distance themselves from third place. After their slow start Villa are now 4th in the table while Leeds are slipping

Wonder how long Slutsky has at Hull, only two points from the relegation zone and lost in the final minutes at home to Bristol while Sunderland got their first win under Coleman but remain in the bottom three
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wolves starting to run away with this, 10 point lead on 3rd place now, even Cardiff in 2nd place has a 6 point lead on joint 3rd Bristol and Sheffield United

Hull sack Slutsky after 6 months, they are hovering around the relegation zone and are winless in 7. Birmingham who lost today have only scored 10 goals this season :eek:
 

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Sunderland getting relegated would be quite a story. One of the big Northern clubs which has been on the 3rd tier only one season during their 138 year history.
 

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What is Nuno's secret? Why have Wolves been performing so well? I checked and this manager has the single best winning rate in Wolverhampton history. What happened and what is happening?

I'd be over the moon if they got promoted.
 
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