Championship 2018/19: Team-by-Team Rundown Part 2

Championship 2018/19: Team-by-Team Rundown Part 2
Aaron Rogan
Aaron Rogan
August 2, 2018
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Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.

This is the second instalment of our Championship Team-by-Team Rundown. You can read the rest of the series here: Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4

This year’s Championship campaign is set to be a competitive one, with close battles at the top and bottom. Derby County have emerged as one of the main contenders for the top six, as have Leeds United and Middlesbrough. Meanwhile, the bookies are turning sour on Ipswich and Hull, but can either of those two sides beat the drop? Here we’re continuing our rundown of every Championship side, starting with the promotion chasing Rams.

Read More: 2018/19 Season Outright Betting Tips and Predictions

Derby County

Position last season: 6th
Key Player: Matej Vydra
Key Signing: Florian Jozefzoon
Title Odds: 15/1

What FST Thinks

Derby County have gone to lengths in order to finally end their history of near misses. They’ve been waiting years to secure a return to the Premier League, but could this finally be the year? They’ve been busy in the market, but they’ve put all of that in the hands of a rookie. Former Chelsea man Frank Lampard has stepped in to his first managerial role, and he’s got a huge task trying to guide Derby out of the Championship at long last. Will the former England man take his playing class to the dugout, or is this going to be too big of a challenge for his first job?

Lampard was certainly a more interesting choice than many of the old hands at this level. He’s someone who players want to play for, which is a boost at this level. On top of that, he’s gone entirely against his Chelsea days, playing football out from the back so far. The additions of Florian Jozefzoon, Mason Mount and Jack Marriott look good, while Matej Vydra seems set to stay in another boost.

Derby should be more entertaining to watch this season, and right now they seem a little more unpredictable. The Rams are a side who have plenty of experience chasing the play-offs, and with their quality they should be expecting a top six finish at least this term.

What the Fans Think:

Fan: Kevin Tucker @Ktuck_79

Predicted Finish: 4th

Jack Marriott could be one of the signings of the season. At 23 he’s still learning, while he had a phenomenal season last season. If he steps up to Championship level, £3m could be a bargain. Lampard has also brought in Mason Mount and Harry Wilson on loan from Chelsea and Liverpool respectively. Both have impressed massively during pre season with both starting in the wins against Southampton and Wolves.

Four wins from five pre season games is a positive going into a new season under a new manager. Notable during pre season is the use of several youth players with Mason Bennett and Max Lowe being the stand out additions to the squad. Several transfers are still up in the air, George Evans from Reading and Martin Waghorn from Ipswich both look like they could be completed before the start of the season and with Vydra now looking like he may stay, the squad looks like it could compete against any team in the division.

Hull City

Hull predictions and betting tips

Position last season: 18th
Key Player: Jarrod Bowen
Key Signing: Reece Burke
Title Odds: 66/1

What FST Thinks

Hull City certainly didn’t make a strong return to the Championship last season. They started the campaign with many expecting a push to return to the Premier League after relegation from the top flight. However, they slumped down the table, and ended up in the relegation picture. Nigel Adkins has taken charge of the Tigers, who remain in boardroom turmoil. Are they set for another tough campaign at this level, or can the former Southampton boss inspire a shock push for the top six this term?

The Tigers currently look stocked up front, with Jarrod Bowen emerging as their main man. He hit 14 goals last season, and he’s going to be vital to a squad which has been hit by departures. The key for Hull is that they lost last season’s back four, along with their first choice goalkeeper. While Adkins has added talent, their squad still looks short in key areas.

The standout signing for them is defender Reece Burke, which has brought in another young talented defender from the Premier League, but this time on a permanent basis. They’re going to need replace half of last season’s starting 11, and four of their five top appearance makers, so it’s hard to see Hull climbing up the table. We expect another season of struggle at the KCOM.

What the Fans Think:

Fan: Jack

Predicted Finish: 12th

I think we are too good to go down yet not good enough to trouble the top teams and places. The fact everyone from the 15/16 promotion campaign has now left the club, highlights the trauma and uncertainty around the club and the owners.

The incomings compared to the outgoings doesn’t really compare. Bright prospects such as Reece Burke and De Wijs look like they could be great signings, but they haven’t really done the business anywhere they’ve been in their young careers. Yet the likes of Abel, Dawson and Meyler know what it’s like to get out this league and have all left. Confidence isn’t very high right now especially with the Allams running things. In my opinion if you offered the fans to go up with the owners or stay in this league and get a new owner they’d go for the latter.

Ipswich Town

Ipswich West Ham

Position last season: 12th
Key Player: Martyn Waghorn
Key Signing: Gwion Edwards
Title Odds: 66/1

What FST Thinks

Ipswich fans finally saw off Mick McCarthy, after his troubled relationship with the club finally ended. They’ve taken a risk in replacing their outspoken former boss, with Paul Hurst coming in from Shrewsbury. Despite his history of saving sides from the drop, the Tractor Boys are seen as one of the main contenders for relegation this season. However, can Hurst guide them away from danger this term?

The manager has a strong track record behind him after successful spells at Shrewsbury and Grimsby, and he’ll be aiming to carry his progression on at Ipswich. While they don’t have a side cut out for a play-off push, there are plenty of sides in this division who look worse. We can’t see the Tractor Boys struggling, especially since they look set to hang on to Martyn Waghorn, who was a key presence going forward last term. He should fire Hurst’s side to safety this term, but they may struggle to match last term’s top half finish.

What the Fans Think:

Fan: @Ennis1408

Predicted Finish: 8th

Looking forward to a ‘New Era’ under new manager Paul Hurst! His attacking & high pressing style of play could prove to surprise a few. New signing Ellis Harrison from Bristol Rovers has been handed the number 10 shirt. He scored on his debut against West Ham Saturday and we hope he can score as many as his former mentor and Blues legend legend Marcus Stewart.

Exciting wingers Gwion Edwards and Jordon Roberts have signed from Peterborough and Crawley. Along with young Chelsea CB/DM Trevoh Chalobah on loan! With the return of young Andre Dozzell from injury the Blues new look midfield could be what’s needed to freshen things up! With bids in place for a few more defenders Paul Hurst is quickly putting his stamp on the side.

As the current longest serving championship side I don’t fear relegation. With a few more late additions play-offs are not out of reach. Personally I think with a young squad the long slog might be a bit to much!

Leeds United

Leeds vs QPR Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Previews

Position last season: 13th
Key Player: Pablo Hernandez
Key Signing: Barry Douglas
Title Odds: 11/1

What FST Thinks

Leeds arguably secured the signing of the summer, as the appointed legendary manager Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine brings bags of experience from across Europe, and now he’s dropping down to the Championship to work at Elland Road. It’s hard to know what to make of the deal, given Bielsa’s tendency of blowing his top, and the constant state of flux Leeds seem to be in.

This move feels like it could go either very well, or very badly for Leeds. It’s hard to see this being a quiet season at the very least. Leeds have made some strong moves this summer, and the signing of Barry Douglas looks like a steal. Jack Harrison is another good buy, and Bielsa certainly has talent to work with in this window. The capture of Patrick Bamford has boosted their forward line, and with the additions on the pitch and in the dugout, a top six finish is a must for Leeds this term.

What the Fans Think:

Fan: Leon Bendelow

Predicted Finish: 5th

We have had an unconvincing start to pre season but seem to be showing more ambition now compared to previous seasons. I think Bielsa will get us playing great football. Douglas could be the signing of the summer for the price we paid, and think we are getting a bargain for Bamford too along with good young talent in Baker and Harrison (if he signs). Good transfer window overall but if we sell Ronaldo Vieira it could prove to be a mistake.

Middlesbrough

Aston Villa vs Middlesbrough

Position last season: 5th
Key Player: Adama Traore
Key Signing: Aden Flint
Title Odds: 8/1

What FST Thinks

Middlesbrough were title favourites just 12 months ago, but they failed to live up to that billing in the early stages of last season. They turned to Tony Pulis during the campaign, and he took them in to the play-offs. That was slight progress, but Boro are now expected to kick on this term. They’ve made strong signings in defence, with Aden Flint looking like a great buy from Bristol City. That’s added a little more solidity to the defence, a key part of the Pulis approach.

While Pulis has his critics, his style should bring success in the Championship yet again. The fact that the survival specialist dropped down a tier shows the clear ambition to make a swift return to the top flight, as has their desperation to hang on to key men like Adama Traore. We expect them to be at least contending for the title this term, now that Pulis has defensive reinforcements to add to an impressive squad overall.

Read More: Championship 2018/19 Outright Betting Tips and Predictions

What the Fans Think:

Fan: Adam @BoroAdam_

Predicted Finish: 6th

Boro have been slow off the mark in terms of transfers with positions that need strengthening, such as acquiring new full-backs. We also need players who can give the side more creativity, which we lacked last season. Also Boro may now look for a new striker after the departure of Patrick Bamford to Leeds. We have made two summer signings so far with the addition of centre back Aden Flint and central midfielder Paddy McNair. In my opinion Tony Pulis’ side fall a little short in squad depth and creativity compared to their championship rivals. This could worsen, as Boro may lose their player of the season in Adama Traore. If Middlesbrough fail to utilise the last two weeks of the transfer window, the club may be in for a long season.

Millwall

Millwall vs Aston Villa Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Previews

Position last season: 8th
Key Player: Jed Wallace
Key Signing: Murray Wallace
Title Odds: 50/1

What FST Thinks

Millwall defied expectations with their eighth place finish last season. On the back of promotion from League One, they mounted a push for the play-offs, only just falling short in the final weeks of the campaign. Will they be able to produce another incredible campaign yet again, or will the reality of their resources hit hard this time around?

Neil Harris saw his side become one of the toughest sides defensively in the division last season, and they’ll need to be that solid once again to spark a play-off push. All of the sides around them have strengthened, while the Lions will be relying on the same players as last season. They’ll need a lot from Jed Wallace and George Saville in midfield yet again, while the squad could use a little new blood. Right now, they look set for a stable, but unspectacular, campaign.

What the Fans Think:

Fan: Mason Pettengell @MPettengell10

Predicted Finish: 12th

We’ve done well to keep hold on to key players, with Hutchinson, Saville, Cooper and Wallace staying put. We signed Ben Amos to push Archer for the number 1 jersey. We’ve also added Murray Wallace as cover for the defence but we still need a winger and a striker who gets more than 15 goals a season in order for us to not be a yo-yo team, it’s just finding one on the budget we have.

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