The first round of Championship matches will see Leeds United clash with outright favourites Stoke City
We’re counting down to the start of the 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship season, with the teams making their final preparations before the big kick-off.
It will be Reading and Derby County kicking off the campaign on Friday 3 August, with Paul Clement in charge of the Royals after previously managing the Rams.
Frank Lampard is the new Derby manager and the bookies are struggling to split the two teams for this clash at the Madejski Stadium, with a draw potentially on the cards.
There are a spate of Saturday afternoon matches and that includes an intriguing encounter between Bristol City and a new-look Nottingham Forest, with the Tricky Trees among the favourites for promotion after coming under a new ownership.
West Brom look to have an easy opener when they entertain Bolton Wanderers at The Hawthorns, with Millwall hosting a Middlesbrough side looking to go one better than last season where they lost in the play-offs.
On Saturday evening, Sheffield United make their bow against a Swansea City team who were relegated from the Premier League last term and don’t look particularly well-equipped to bounce back at the first time of asking.
It is the Blades who are firm favourites to win this game and Chris Wilder will be looking to build on a positive first season back at this level with United.
Leeds United begin a new chapter under Marcelo Bielsa and it’s fair to say this could amount to anything, with Stoke City looking like a steadier ship and the Potters head to Elland Road with the tag of being title favourites.
Gary Rowett has a team who are arguably stronger than the one that got relegated last season, with Thomas Ince, James McClean and Benik Afobe the notable arrivals at the bet365 Stadium.
On Monday night, we have Hull City clashing with Aston Villa and it will be interesting to see the visitors’ team considering that the Midlands club are under new ownership.
The Tigers will hope to hit the ground running under Nigel Adkins who is a canny operator at this level and City will be looking to take advantage of the disarray in the visitors’ ranks.
All odds were correct at time of posting.