Its a busy coupon in the Championship this afternoon with Wolves v Middlesbrough, QPR v Reading, Fulham v Norwich, Preston v Sheff Wed amongst nine fixtures to be played this afternoon.
The Championship is back with no less than nine games to taking place later today with all the sides looking to get off to a good start to their new season.
Middlesbrough are many people’s favourites to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking as they face Wolves at Molineux this afternoon.
Chairman Steve Gibson has made it apparent that promotion is an absolute must this season and he has signalled his intentions by splashing the cash during the summer. Garry Monk came in to take over at the Riverside in June, and immediately set his sights on some lofty signings.
The pick of these has to be Britt Assombalonga, brought in from Nottingham Forest for £15m, and the 24yr old will be looking to improve on his tally of 14 goals last season. Ashley Fletcher also made the move to the north east from West Ham, arriving in a £6.5m deal, while goalkeeper Darren Randolph also arrived from the Hammers for £5m.
Anything other than promotion will be seen as a failure for all at the Riverside, so there is genuine pressure to for Monk and his side to get off to a good start in the Black Country.
Wolves themselves have opened the purse strings, with new boss Nuno Santo bringing in Ruben Neves from Porto in a deal worth around £15m, while John Ruddy has arrived from Norwich, with the club clearly setting about their intentions this season – they’ll be looking to improve on their 15th placed finish last season.
Middlesbrough however look to be everyone’s banker of the day, and could reap the rewards for punters at a lofty price of 11/5.
Ian Holloway’s QPR look for another season of struggle, with the club looking to rebuild with a younger group of players. With only two arrivals during the summer, Josh Scowen from Barnsley & Charlie Owens from Tottenham, there may be only a little improvement on the Hoops 18th placed finish last season.
Reading will once again have to pick themselves back up after the club once again suffered a horrific playoff loss at the hands of Huddersfield.
There have been plenty of departures during the summer, notably midfielder Danny Williams and Jaap Stam faces a difficult job lifting his players once more for an often brutal Championship campaign, but they look a big price of 12/5 to take all three points.
Elsehwere Sheffield Wednesday will be looking to put their playoff defeat behind them as they travel Deepdale to take on Preston. With more or less the same squad as last season, there will once again be high hopes that the Owls can take have another successful season.
That one also kicks off at 15:00.