Tomorrow night two of the promoted sides from League One Millwall and Norwich, face each other in a division where making the step up from the division below, does not automatically limit the ambitions of that club to securing safety.
This season two previously established Premier League sides and a London team at peace with it’s less than wholesome image, have set out to prove that in the Championship you are only as good as your last performance and that promotion can be more than a pipe dream in their first season back in the Championship.
So with a third of the season already under their belts how have the three promoted teams fared so far?
Current position – 7th
League Record – Won 7, Drawn 3, Lost 5
Despite limited funds the club have put together a competitive squad that slowly edged itself towards the top of League One and the title.
Boasting a relatively young squad, comprised like much of the division with a blend of youth players, loanees and talented journeyman. Notable players include striker Grant Holt and the talented Irish playmaker Wes Hoolahan.
Despite lying 7th in the table the team’s recent form has not been superlative, having won just one of the last five games causing a slump from an early season high of third in the table.
Long Term Prospects
Unlikely to take the division by storm, however under the guidance with Paul Lambert at the helm it is possible that a good run could put the club safely within the playoffs, if not the automatic promotion spots.
Prediction – 8th -10th
Current position – 8th
League Record – Won 7, Drawn 2, Lost 6
After three years in the League One wilderness following a painful period of decline fuelled by financial mismanagement, the West Yorkshire club has finally climbed one of two rungs required to get the club back to where the fans will feel it belongs.
Managed by Simon Grayson the club may have lost their star striker in Jermaine Beckford over the summer, but Davide Somma and Luciano Becchio have each maintained a goal every two games ratio to the pain of his loss.
In defence Alex Bruce and Richard Naylor provide experience and stability with the young but much travelled but talented Kasper Schmeichel holding the gloves.
Lying 8th in the table Leeds are on the edge of the playoff places but currently lack the consistency that is endemic throughout the division.
Long Term Prospects
With a strong squad Leeds have the ability to do more than hold their own in the division, with a little consistency they will do damage, expect a move between now and Christmas.
End of Season Prediction – Playoffs
Current position – 16th
League Record – Won 5, Drawn 4, Lost 6
The weakest of the sides promoted this season, Millwall are a team that have bounced between the League One and the Championship in recent years.
With an experienced squad including players with David Schofield, Neil Harris, Kevin Lisbie and Darren Ward it is a squad likely to survive but not set the division alight as their current position suggests.
I do not think that Millwall fans should be alarmed by their current position in the table, the experience they possess will be key in the latter stages of the season should they hit a tight spot.
Long Term Prospects
Unlikely to threaten the upper echelons of the league, however stranger things have happened, mid table security is the most likely outcome for the Lions.
Prediction – Mid table safety
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