Friday, March 02, 2007
Bored of the Premiership?
So if you are becoming blase with the continuing flattering to deceive of your Pompeys, Villas and Evertons and are accustomed to West Ham and Watford losing more often than not with teams such as Wigan, the Pigs, Man City and Charlton doing little better, I would urge you to follow the Championship for hte rest of the season.
This league is tight and currently the eight teams at the top of the league are seperated by a meagre five points. Rarely for the Championship, the three teams who suffered relegation from the Premiership: Sunderland, W.B.A and Birmingham all find themselves in the mix alongside the former fixture of the top flight, Southampton. Added to the mix are play-off or thereabouts regulars, Preston and Wolves with the two surprises packets of the season Derby County and Cardiff. I believe five of these teams have already topped hte league with three of them (Derby, W.B.A and Birmingham) having shared the honour in the week just gone.
All through the season I thought the Baggies would prevail and I won't change my mind just yet and together with them I would favour Sunderland for the other automatic place. Sunderland are yet to lose in 2007 and have been flying up the league; a last minute Liam Miller goal gave them a 2-1 victory over Derby which summed it up for the Mackems: when you're hot, you're hot.
For the play-offs, I'd reckon Wolves and Cardiff will miss out. Obviously, given my wayward form on the predictions you might as well get down the bookies and bet against Sunderand and W.B.A getting promoted automatically.
Look at the squads of these top teams, there really are some excellent players around and a lot of players capable of scoring a lot of goals. Derby can boast Steve Howard and Cardiff have the league's top-scorer in Michael Chopra. Birmingham have in Gary McSheffrey perhaps the best player in the league and Bendtner, Larsson and Muamba have all fitted the bill since arriving from Arsenal. In Kamara and Phillips, West Brom have a strike force second to none, although the Southampton pairing of Rasiak (fresh from treading water at Spurs) and Kenwyne Jones have been banging them in recently. Wolves' form has picked up with Andy Keogh, Olofinjana, McIndoe, Kightly and Ward all playing to the top of their game. Without wishing to belittle Preston, David Nugent is their stand out player and he just seems to get better and better.
But one thing is for sure, the Championship is where it's at and is Britain's most exciting professional league (I even include Scotland where I think Celtic mathematically clinched the league in September)
Mind you, the thought of Col U entertaining the likes of Arsenal & Manchester United does amuse me!