Championship Preview: How could the West Midlands clubs fare? - The Evesham Observer

Championship Preview: How could the West Midlands clubs fare?

Evesham Editorial 11th Aug, 2023 Updated: 11th Aug, 2023   0

Evesham has a fondly supported football team in Evesham United, but the town does not play host to professional football. However, the wider West Midlands region boasts a wide range of clubs that play in the higher divisions of English football.

The highest population of West Midlands professional teams in the football league is within the Championship. The second division of English football will feature three teams from the region. Some are huge historically, and others will enter this campaign off the back of narrow playoff disappointment last term.

Championship football will be available in several locations briefly north of Evesham in the 2023/24 season, but which West Midlands side is best suited to make a push to the Premier League come next May?

Coventry City

Coventry City was just 90 minutes away from Premier League football back in May, however, it was not to be, and this season they will have to fight in the Championship yet again.

The Sky Blues have maintained much of their squad and should be strong promotion competitors for a successive campaign. In the English Championship betting odds they are offered at 11/2, they may have blown a huge chance at Wembley last season, but their chances of securing Premier League status are far from over yet.

Coventry defeated Middlesbrough in the playoff semi-final last year, before suffering a cruel penalty shootout loss to Luton Town in the final.

The Singers also lost their star player Viktor Gyokeres this summer, as he was sold to Sporting Club in Portugal. The Swedish forward was the main factor in Coventry’s play-off charge last season. However, the club have made a strong statement in signing United States international Haji Wright as his replacement.

Coventry’s experience from last season could allow them to go one step further this season, or alternatively, it could leave them mentally depleted. They not only lost on the pitch, but they missed the chance to earn a huge chunk of finances for the club, which meant their star player had to leave.

West Brom

West Brom finished just three points shy of the playoff positions in the 2022/23 season, and they have maintained much of their goal-scoring core over the summer.

John Swift is the team’s main playmaker, having weighed in with seven goals and 10 assists last campaign. The squad has excellent midfield depth to support Swift’s technical abilities.

In the attack, there are a variety of profiles including pacey wideman Grady Diangana and experienced creative winger Jed Wallace who managed six goals and eight assists in 2022/23.

West Brom certainly has the firepower to score regularly in 2023/24, however, there are question marks over the quality of their defence due their collective rashness and lack of ball-playing ability.

The Baggies will certainly be in contention this season, but their defence may have them walking a tightrope at times.

Birmingham City

Birmingham City are arguably the biggest West Midlands club that plays in the Championship. However, promotion is not a massive likelihood for the Blues next season.

City is a team in transition, their squad is filled with inexperienced starlets and veterans that are certainly past their best like Lukas Jutkiewicz. Any successful squad requires a significant amount of players in their prime.

Birmingham will likely finish somewhere around mid-table, as their rebuild should take a couple more years yet. However, West Midlands football fans should keep an eye on Coventry and West Brom, as both will surely mount promotion challenges in 2023/24.

Article written by Chris M


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