The Championship is well underway for the 2023-24 campaign, and there have already been plenty of interesting stories and results in the first few weeks. There have been shocks and surprises in abundance, leading many to rethink their pre-season predictions.
As fans try to analyse the EFL Championship odds, we’ve had a look at a few teams that could prove to be surprise packages in the second tier this season. Read on to discover which clubs are the ones to watch out for in the coming weeks and months, as another topsy-turvy Championship season gets up and running.
Fresh from promotion from League One, Ipswich Town are back in the Championship and are on a mission to make their presence felt. Head coach Kieran McKenna has worked wonders since arriving from Manchester United, and if he can instil the same winning mentality at Portman Road this season that the club had last term, it could be a successful campaign for the Tractor Boys.
They started the season in fine style with an impressive 2-1 win at last season’s play-off semi-finalists Sunderland, and backed it up the week after with victory over Stoke City at Portman Road. If Ipswich can maintain that form in the coming months, who’s to say they couldn’t be in with a chance of promotion come the end of the campaign?
It’s always tricky for a promoted side to adapt to the higher level required in the Championship, but Ipswich look unfazed so far.
Another promoted side that has caught our attention is Plymouth Argyle. The Pilgrims are back in the second tier for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign, and haven’t hung around in the early weeks of the campaign.
A 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town in the first game of the season at Home Park was the perfect start for Steven Schumacher’s sided, and they followed that up with a very credible 0-0 draw away against Watford.
Momentum will be key if Plymouth are to establish themselves in the Championship and avoid being sucked into the relegation battle, but they have the quality within their ranks to surprise a few and make headlines in the Championship news.
Preston North End
This will be Preston North End’s ninth successive season in the Championship, and they are yet to make it into the play-offs in that time. The Lilywhites will be keen to make this a season to remember after a few mid-table finishes over the last few seasons.
Ryan Lowe’s side have made a decent start to the campaign, drawing away at Briston City before beating Sunderland at home. If they can make Deepdale a fortress in the coming months then there’s no reason why they couldn’t make a push for the play-offs.
Preston fans have been starved of excitement over the past few seasons, with the club treading water in recent times, but positivity abounds around Deepdale after a strong start to the campaign.
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