Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
CARNAGE

Attempting to understand the utter chaos of the Championship

It gets more and more mental every year

The Premier League might be the greatest league in the world, but the Championship is the most unpredictable.

It seems like with every season England’s second tier becomes more and more of a free-for-all, an idiosyncratic mess of fallout and fun.

And, in 2018/19, it may have reached peak absurdity.


SIGN UP – WIN £5k BY PLAYING DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER THIS WEEKEND


You and us both, Tony

PA:Press Association
5
You and us both, Tony

Usually at this stage of a season we have a hunch about who the standout promotion candidate might be.

The likes of Wolves, Newcastle and Burnley have all pulled away from the rest of the pack in recent years, their class and superiority eventually shining through.

This season is different.

This season any number of 13, maybe even 15 clubs can reasonably feel promotion is a realistic target.

Missed his seat

Reuters
5
Missed his seat

Sheffield United currently sit top of the tree, but just six points separate first from tenth, with only a further five all the way down to Aston Villa in 17th.

They leapfrogged Leeds, who themselves went back to the summit the weekend before despite winning just two of their previous nine fixtures.

The top of the Championship is like a nostalgic throwback to late 90s’ Premier League years, with Nottingham Forest, Norwich and Middlesbrough all contending too.

Are Forest heading back to the big time?

Reuters
5
Are Forest heading back to the big time?

In fact Bristol City and Brentford are the only sides in the top 17 yet to dip their toes in the Premier League pool.

From the teams… to the individuals.

The managers range from Tony Pulis to Frank Lampard to Marcelo Bielsa.

Billy Sharp, who must be at least 57, scored his first hat-trick in a decade to fire Sheffield United top last weekend.

Ageless

PA:Empics Sport
5
Ageless

Jordan Rhodes seems hellbent on playing, and scoring, for every Championship side possible before the end of his career and is now at Norwich.

Despite boasting genuine Premier League pedigree like Yannick Bolasie, Jack Grealish, Bojan and Ibrahim Afellay, Aston Villa and Stoke sit 17th and 13th, below Brentford and Blackburn, respectively.

Just a month ago Steve McClaren’s head was perched precariously underneath the QPR guillotine, but four wins in their last five has transformed them from relegation certainties to playoff hopefuls.

Barcelona was a long time ago mate

Getty - Contributor
5
Barcelona was a long time ago mate

If results go their way this weekend, Rangers could go fifth.

While your weekly accumulators might disagree, the unpredictability is making the Championship one of the most exciting divisions in the world.

Our advice? Strap in and enjoy the ride.


READ MORE:


WATCH: The second part of our exclusive documentary