As Middlesbrough and Watford kick things off this Friday live on Sky Sports Football, check out the things to know ahead of the new EFL Championship season
By Virgin TV Edit
Come Friday night it’ll only have been 38 days since last August’s play-off final capped off an exhilarating (if year-long) 2019-20 season. And yet, somehow, enough has changed in the Championship to ensure the coming season remains as captivating a prospect as ever.
Fresh faces (both on and off the pitch), kits, and even a new stadium await footy fans as another season of perpetual play-off- or relegation-induced angst, stress, and occasional moment of pure, unadulterated joy, looms.
And with a vast majority of it set to be beamed into your tellybox via Sky Sports Football, there’s no better (or easier) time to tune in and watch your favourite team battle their way to a 1-1 draw on a rainy Tuesday night in Stoke.
So sit back, have a brew, enjoy these few remaining stress-free days and check out our things to know about the upcoming season…
Stars to watch
After bagging 26 goals in League One for Peterborough, Brentford forward Ivan Toney could well be the player to watch this season. But, in a league packed with potential future stars (Preston’s Ben Davies, for one) and former legends like Wayne Rooney, there’s no shortage of stars on show.
New (and returning) teams
Rotherham bounced back from relegation and made an immediate return to the Championship. With them came fellow returners Coventry and second tier newcomers Wycombe. How they all fare against the league’s grizzled veterans and the recently relegated ex-Premier League sides will be intriguing.
Managers to watch
Given the league’s notorious brutality for newcomers, keep an eye on recently appointed Vladimir Ivić (Watford), Jason Tindall (Bournemouth), Veljko Paunović (Reading), Dean Holden (Bristol) and Carlos Corberán (Huddersfield). Honourable mentions also go out to Championship old hands Gary Rowett (Millwall), Alex Neil (Preston), and Neil Warnock (Middlesbrough).
Any Championship aficionado will know, by now, that to try and predict the final outcome of the season is nigh-on impossible. Should the league remain as thrillingly (or infuriatingly) competitive as always, expect more ridiculously tight battles at both ends of the table.
New away day
Well, of sorts. While fans must remain at home for the foreseeable future, Brentford’s sparkling new Brentford Community Stadium looks to be a peach of a venue for when restrictions are lifted. Sleek, airy, accessible and stylish: it’s a far cry from the confined, corrugated dreariness of Griffin Park (no offence, Brentford).
How can I watch the EFL Championship?
The season kicks off on Friday 11 September on Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503) as Middlesbrough take on Watford, the fixture being the first of 130 Sky Bet English Football League to be broadcast on Sky Sports over the 2020-21 season!
Watch on the go
Virgin TV customers who subscribe to Sky Sports can watch on the go with the Sky Sports app. Not only will you be able to take your Sky packages with you, but you get in-depth sports coverage, as well as exclusive videos and interviews. On iPad and Android tablets you can also access Sky Sports’ cutting-edge second-screen functions. Download from the Apple app store for iPad or iPhone, or from Google Play.
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