Who has the balls and guile to make it to the Premier League? Our tips and wild cards.
The Sky Bet Championship always has something to offer, it’s just a shame that it is often overshadowed by the glorified Premier League. We should appreciate it just as much, the quality of football played by teams in this division is astonishingly good. Most people would agree that this league is full of surprises. Whether it’s a team making a great comeback, one of those huge victories that makes you jump up and down in your living room, a manager spying on the other teams….
Anyway here’s 4 teams that are well and truly capable of reaching the promised land.
Norwich are a team that fear nobody, the way that they play the ball forward is exceptional. When Teemu Pukki receives the ball you just know that he’s going to pull something incredible off and the ball will gracefully trickle over the goal line into the back of the net. One of the reasons why Norwich are such a powerful side is due to the sheer dominance in midfield. With the likes of Hernández, Stiepermann, and Buendía, they are able to dismantle most sides.
If you have a weak defence they will exploit it and wreak havoc. The success is mostly down to the Canaries manager Daniel Farke, he’s such an influential manager and he’s able to get the best performances out of his players. Not only that, the team chemistry isn’t half bad either, the majority of the players in the team are of a German nationality. With this in mind, if Norwich were to reach the Premier League they could probably replicate what Wolves have done so far and shake up some big teams. Of course, if Teemu Pukki is still at the club he is bound to be up there on the Premier League top scorers list.
West Brom already have an insight on the football played in the Premier League. They were relegated last season but since Darren Moore has taken the managerial role, the club looks to make a return. As expected, the baggies have been a really competitive side in the championship. They’ve racked up plenty of goals and put on some outstanding performances over the course of the season. The Skilful attacking duo Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez have been a real goal threat for opposing teams and they’ve caused mayhem for defenders. Between them, they’ve scored 33 goals which just demonstrates how remarkable this team actually is. If the baggies can bounce back from their relegation, we should expect big things from them in the Premier League. They certainly have a squad talented enough to beat some of the top teams.
Leeds United easily have the capability to be in the Premier League. With Marco Bielsa in control, Leeds have been leading the Championship and at one point looked as if they were going to storm ahead. The style of attacking football that they play, along with the high work rate that Bielsa has introduced into the team, is securing important victories.
The fans have an important impact on the Leeds team as the players thrive off of the atmosphere at Elland road and it gives them the confidence to drive forward with the ball and see off their opponents. It’s no surprise that Leeds have one of the most expensive squads of players in the Championship but above all, they have a squad packed with experience. Young talents such as Jack Clarke and Bailey Peacock-Farrell have been given the chance to develop their careers and bring some energy to the team. If Leeds United achieve promotion to the Premier League they could be a deadly force. Armed with a group of experienced players and the excellent leadership of Marco Bielsa, they could tear up the Premiership division.
Around this time last season, nobody would have expected Sheffield United to be anywhere near the top 3 in the Championship. Boyhood blades fan and manager Chris Wilder has brought something special to the club, the way that they play is unique and exciting to watch even for fans of other teams. They may not have the most expensive squad of players in the Championship but they have the passion, drive, and determination to win games of football. The attacking capabilities of the squad are magnificent, the striking partnership Billy Sharp and David Mcgoldrick have netted an impressive number of 33 goals between them. Sharp alone has scored 22 goals making him the second highest scorer in the championship so far.
Additions to the squad have been vital for the blades bolstering the team and enabling them to push towards the top end of the table. Midfielder Oliver Norwood has brought a new dimension of dangerous attacking football to Sheffield United. His passing is just immense and he’s able to create some good chances, not only that but his ability taking set pieces has led to plenty of goals for the blades. We just can’t ignore the solid defence either, John Egan has been a rock at the back so far. He’s definitely one of the reasons they’ve been so strong this season.
If Sheffield United manage to fulfill their promotion dreams they could be a real hand-full for some of the lower rated teams in the Premier League. It’s almost guaranteed that Billy Sharp’s talent would be questioned by other fans but he’s proved them wrong so far in the Championship. He’s a natural-born goalscorer, therefore, a step up in opposition wouldn’t be too much of a challenge for him.
Hull City have been really unpredictable at times throughout the season. They had a rocky start to the championship and looked likely to finish at the bottom end of the table. Surprisingly though Hull managed to go unbeaten from the end of November to the middle of January, winning 7 games and drawing 3. During this period, they recorded a 6-0 win over Bolton Wanderers, you could say that this was a “mauling” by the home side. Forward Jarred Bowen has been on fire for Hull, netting 16 goals this season. He’s been a really prominent figure at the club and has helped the team achieve important victories.
The Tigers still have plenty of time to reach the playoffs if they can make the remaining matches count. Nigel Adkins needs to push his team and help them secure a return to the Premier League. It’s difficult to predict how a return to the top division would unfold but what an experience it would be for the fans.
Similar to Hull City, Birmingham have had a mixed form this season. However, compared with last season they seem to be making a lot of progress. Gary Monk seems to be having a positive impact on the club and has strengthened them slightly. They have the ability to reach the playoffs if they can turn the draws into wins. The club has a real talent at their hands, Che Adams is a real goal threat and brings a lot to the team. So far this season he’s scored a total of 19 goals which is just phenomenal. If Birmingham manage to reach the Premier League, it would be a huge upset for their rival club Aston Villa. Although they would probably struggle against most teams in the top division.