The Championship in England is known for its tough tackles, grueling number of fixtures and sheer competitiveness as all 24 clubs battle it out for a place to get promoted to the best league in the world.
With four teams going for automatic promotion at the end of April and the final day twists and turns, the 2014/15 campaign was one of the most eventful yet; but fear not soccer fans, the upcoming season promises to be just as entertaining. Plus, many of the games will be shown on beIN SPORTS for readers in the US (see the latest TV schedule).
With the calibre of clubs dropping down from the Premier League, plus some of the world’s most proven players and coaches joining, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict the league standings come May each year.
For 2015/16, some of the cash has trickled down into the Championship, with the likes of Derby and Middlesbrough spending big on their mission to return to the Premier League.
Derby have been the nearly-men for the past two seasons, losing in the 2014 play-off final and missing out on a top six finish last year after a dismal back end of the campaign. This season, however, with big name signings like Tom Ince, Darren Bent, Jason Shackell and Andreas Weimann, there is a flurry of excitement around the club.
Programming note: Even if you don’t have a TV subscription to beIN SPORTS, you can watch the Championship live on fuboTV for just $6.99 per month. The service streams the beIN broadcast to your computer, tablet or smartphone (plus, it supports Chromecast). And set-up just takes minutes. sign up for a free trial to fuboTV via their website.
The most important recruitment of the summer, however, may be the acquisition of a man who has spent much of his career as Carlo Ancelotti’s understudy. Paul Clement has worked at some of the world’s biggest clubs in Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid, but the coming season in the Championship may be his toughest yet.
Another man who took the step up (or down) from assistant at Real Madrid to managing a Championship side is Aitor Karanka. The Spaniard impressed during his full season in charge at Middlesbrough and seems to be taking the club in the right direction with important signings such as Stewart Downing, Christian Stuani and Diego Fabbrini.