The Championship season began on Friday night but the rest of the opening round of matches take place on a busy Saturday afternoon in the second tier as 22 sides look to start their campaign in the right note.
Of the 11 matches on Saturday afternoon we have one on TV and there are plenty of ways of following the action in the others, with season ticket holders at their club getting matches for free if they are at home via the iFollow service.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (3pm unless stated)
Birmingham City v Brentford (12.30 – Sky Main Event & Sky Football)
Wycombe Wanderers v Rotherham United (12.30)
Barnsley v Luton Town
AFC Bournemouth v Blackburn Rovers
Bristol City v Coventry City
Cardiff City v Sheffield Wednesday
Derby County v Reading
Huddersfield Town v Norwich City
Millwall v Stoke City
Preston North End v Swansea City
Queens Park Rangers v Nottingham Forest
Opt in and place 5 accumulators either in a Boylesports shop or online and get an acca free! Click the image below to bet. ALL CUSTOMERS! 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
The televised offering sees the team who blew promotion completely last season getting their latest attempt to become a Premier League club underway when Brentford make the trip to the midlands to take on a Birmingham City side who will be looking to hit the ground running under their new manager Aitor Karanka. The other big matches sees the relegated sides beginning their quest for an immediate return to the Premier League. Norwich City make the trip to Huddersfield Town while AFC Bournemouth host Blackburn Rovers.
Best of the Rest
It is always a big day for the promoted teams and two of them meet to kick their Championship campaigns off when Wycombe Wanderers host Rotherham United in the early kick off. Coventry City are the other team embarking on a season at a higher level and they head down to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City. The two other sides who were beaten in the play-offs last season are in action too. Cardiff City host a Sheffield Wednesday who need points more than anyone having been forced to start from a -12 position, while Swansea City make the trip to Preston North End. Wayne Rooney and his Derby County side host Reading.
I’m never one to jump into an opening day card and that isn’t going to change here because there isn’t a whole lot which flies out off the page at me when I look at the card. I was tempted by Cardiff City but they are missing one or two too many players for my liking which isn’t ideal. That means I’ll take just the one bet which comes at the Vitality Stadium where the recently relegated AFC Bournemouth host Blackburn Rovers.
Bournemouth are odds on to win the match but I’m not so sure they should be that but until we see this new look Cherries outfit it is hard to know whether that is correct or not either way. One thing I do expect to see here is goals. I don’t think Bournemouth are going to be great defensively given who they have lost but there should still be goals in their side. Blackburn are full of goals and tend to go after them even on their travels. We should get an entertaining and open game here and one which will contain over 2.5 goals.
WON – Back AFC Bournemouth vs Blackburn Rovers – Over 2.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with 888sport
Back it here: