Hooray, the fixtures are out!
After last season’s ridiculously competitive Championship (dubbed ‘Competition 2.0’... by me), you’d think that clubs would not give two hoots about who’s playing who, as this was a league where Wolves finished 23 places below Cardiff City, but with so many teams from the north of England crammed into the league, there may be some who are marking their calendars for some pretty tasty away days.
West Yorkshire’s teams have all been given explosive starts to the season, too. After learning that they drew the short straw in the League Cup, Huddersfield Town have been handed a tricky first away day to Billy Davies’s promotion favourites Nottingham Forest, before a first home game of the season to ‘arry Redknapp’s Queens Park Strangers (ahem, Rangers).
Town also travel to Oakwell for their first Yorkshire derby of the campaign against Barnsley on August 31 before facing Leeds on October 26.
Should Town manage to beef up their skinny-looking strikeforce, many are tipping the Terriers to challenge for a playoff spot and rumours of a return for pacey striker James Vaughan and tank-like midfielder Chris Basham should do much to help.
Speaking of playoff hopes, the annual Leeds United Overambition Generator has once again cranked into life, with news that the Whites will begin their campaign at Elland road to Gus Poyet’s Brighton.
While it is difficult to know how Leeds’s season will pan out, Brian McDermott is a manager who seems to have based his success on winning runs, meaning Leeds will probably need to invest in a flair-player or two during the summer window. An ambitious, if unfounded, rumour that has been doing the rounds is a loan move for Villa’s one-time England striker Darren Bent – Leeds United will have to make rumours like this a reality if they expect to be challenging this season.
After following this up with a trip to Leicester, B-Mac’s men will then take on Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on August 17.
Ashley Ward was playing for Bradford City the last time they visited Wolves. City’s match against the fallen giants is not until October, but have an away trip to Wolves’ fellow relegatees Bristol City on the opening day to keep them occupied, before their first home game against Valley Parade hero Gregg Abbot’s Carlisle on August 10.
Despite the unexpected tying down of defensive lynchpin Andrew Davies, there has been remarkably little transfer activity taking place so far at VP, with PP choosing to get most of their current players back under contract before outsourcing their targets.