Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: English Championship: Gameweek 1 Preview

English Championship: Gameweek 1 Preview

Welcome back! The good stuff is finally on the horizon, but for now, the English Football League Championship will suffice. One of the most grueling leagues in the world with the biggest prize money after 46 fixtures. Let’s take a dive into matchday one.

Friday 29 July

Huddersfield 33/20
Draw 9/4 
Burnley 7/4

Huddersfield welcome freshly relegated Burnley in the opening fixture of the campaign. Last season Huddersfield finished two six points short of Premier League qualification and failed to deliver in the Play-offs. Burnley sacked long-standing coach Sean Dyche and club captain Ben Mee stepped in only to no avail. Now, Mee has ditched his club for Brentford and the pursuit of England’s finest begins with four-time Premier League winner Vincent Kompany at the helm. I’m all over Both Teams to Score (Yes) at 17/20.

Saturday 30 July

Wigan 29/20 
Draw 22/10 
Preston 2/1

Wigan are riding high after promotion. Unfortunately, key number nine, Charlie Wyke, will possibly sit out the matchup with Preston North End. New Namibian right-back Ryan Nyambe has been a signing to add more energy down said flank, while Zimbabwean right-back and captain Tendayi Darikwa will usher him in slowly through the season. The home side Draw No Bet at 13/20 is a banker.

Rotherham 2/1
Draw 5/2
Swansea 27/20 

Rotherham welcome Swansea to New York Stadium in their first match back in the Championship. Swansea’s downfall has been escalating over recent seasons. Jamie Paterson spoke at length about the Swans' pre-season and getting himself into peak condition following a turbulent debut campaign at the club. After joining 24 hours before last season kicked off, he picked up a long-term injury. Now with a season and proper work under his belt, big things are expected at the Welsh club. Back the away team to win.

Luton 19/20
Draw 51/20
Birmingham 28/10

Luton were the surprise package last season, but they just didn’t have enough to get them over the line in the Play-offs. It’s been three seasons since promotion and the hard work has been showing for the home side. The squad has also been improved with two goalkeepers, three midfielders and two centre-forwards. Back the Hatters to start the season off ‘mad’ with a matchbet – Luton and Addition Totals Over 1.5 at 29/20.

Blackburn 21/20
Draw 5/2 
QPR 5/2

Blackburn’s pre-season in Scotland left them without a win, drawing two fixtures against Dundee and Celtic. Their return to England showed a much more resilient defence, earning two clean sheets. QPR, on the other hand, have scored goals in buckets in their warmup fixtures.
To keep a clean sheet in pre-season, let alone two, shows a side is switched on and in unison. I’m behind the home side here.

Blackpool 1/1
Draw 51/20
Reading 26/10 

Blackpool have not made many signings this window, but two loan deals from Manchester City and Liverpool for the services of centre-back Rhys Williams and central midfielder Lewis Fiorini is in my opinion is good business. Reading struggled last season with a fairly small squad in such a tough league. They have made signings but have failed to add more numbers. The home side will come through flying.

Millwall 13/10
Draw 47/20 
Stoke 43/20

The historic club that is Stoke City keeps dropping levels. Their pre-season club friendlies in terms of results have been completely off. Meanwhile, Millwall kept up a good pace last campaign, they are looking to build on that foundation. Back the home club.

Hull 5/4 
Draw 24/10 
Bristol City 22/10 

Two clubs that finished way down on the table last season, Hull and Bristol is not the most pleasant of fixtures for entertainment. Betting wise, it’s as simple as lack of cohesion come the start of the season. Hull head coach Shota Arveladze joined in January and won his debut fixture, but struggled to do much going forward. I believe it’s goals galore here, back the Additional Totals Over 2.5 at 1/1.

Cardiff 43/20
Draw 23/10  
Norwich 13/10 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Norwich finish in the top six spots come the end of this EFL season. The Canaries always seem to bounce back quite instantaneously. Fan-favourite Tim Krul seems fit and ready to ply his trade in a league he knows well, while there are no major additions after having to scale back on the budget. Norwich has a very useful backline but don’t offer much going forward. The draw is the safest play in this encounter.

Middlesbrough 5/4  
Draw 24/10  
West Brom 9/4 

Middlesbrough verses West Brom is without question the spectacle of the weekend. Middlesbrough have lost right-back talisman Djed Spence to Tottenham, while West Brom’s number one shot-stopper Sam Johnstone made way to Crystal Palace. These clubs have not made any bright acquisitions to replace what they have lost but the club setup will allow for quality to continue through the production line. The draw is where I’d place an odd penny outside of any multiple.

Sunday 31 July

Sunderland 16/10
Draw 47/20  
Coventry 17/10 

Sunderland are making their way back up the ranks while Coventry is doing the exact same, ready to kick off their third consecutive season back in the EFL Championship. The upward trajectory of these two historic sides is intriguing. Coventry’s pre-season was something to excite the fans. Six wins out of six, scoring 14 and conceding just two. Looking into friendlies is not the best insight, but those kinds of results can’t be ignored. Back Coventry.

Monday 1 August

Watford 12/10
Draw 47/20 
Sheffield Utd 47/20 

Who doesn’t love Watford? A rather difficult season back in the Premier League, but the Championship is where they thrive. They are used to ‘cutting off the fat’ when dropping down to a lower league and the transition will not be as difficult as other teams might experience. Bet on them to be ready to kick off the new season with three points.

Blackburn Win 21/20
Blackpool Win 1/1
Luton Win + Over 1.5 29/20
Wigan Draw No Bet 13/20

Written by Joshua Gaillard