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Championship: 4 things we learned from MD3

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Is the Championship table beginning to take a semblance of normality?

Derby County and Nottingham Forest fans would disagree, whereas Reading and Bristol City are beginning to dream…

The rampant Royals

Reading are this season’s fast starters, taking nine points from nine on offer, conceding just one goal in the process.

Sure, Bristol City boast the same record but, after finishing in 14th last campaign and struggling throughout, it’s Reading who are stealing the early headlines this season.

Veljko Paunovic is proving quite the hit in Berkshire, with the Serbian making a flying start after replacing Mark Bowen.

An injury to midfielder John Swift could prove crucial to Reading’s season as they look to continue their fine form without the industrious 25-year-old.

If you fancy the Royals to do the unthinkable and win the Championship, 33/1 with Bet365 is your best bet at a real punt.

Reading win the title - 33/1 at Bet365
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Time ticking on Cocu-clock

With just two wins in their last 15 outings – including a penalty shootout victory over Barrow Town in the Carabao Cup – Derby County are struggling.

Phillip Cocu inspired the Rams to a healthy 10th placed finish last season after an abysmal start but, with little to cheer about over the last few months, the Dutchman may soon find himself in the firing line of owner Mel Morris.

Derby found themselves 3-0 down to Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park on Saturday after just 15 minutes – eventually losing 4-0.

Captain Wayne Rooney has publicly backed the manager, but until performances start picking up it’s hard to see this lasting long.

Derby are still a lengthy 8/1 with BetVictor to face relegation this season, with 888sport going 6/1 that they will reach the top six.

Entertaining Rovers

Adam Armstrong, Bradley Johnson and Tyrhys Dolan have combined to score 10 goals for Blackburn Rovers already this season, seeing the Lancashire outfit set the pace early in the season for the most entertaining side.

A 4-0 away win for Rovers at Derby County underlined their hopes for a successful campaign.

Tony Mowbray was named the Championship’s manager of the week by the EFL, while Armstrong, Johnson, Joe Rothwell and Belgian goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski made the XI.

Rovers won just three in 13 at the back end of last season, but if they can keep this attacking flair going, they will be eyeing up the play-off spots.

Blackburn are 7/2 with Bet365 to finish the season inside the top six.

The goalless trio

Wycombe Wanderers, Nottingham Forest and Barnsley have all failed to find the net in their opening 270 minutes of Championship football this season.

Unsurprisingly, all three are lingering in the bottom five, but it’s Barnsley’s inclusion in this trio who may provide the biggest shock.

Coming of the entertaining RB Salzburg school, Tykes manager Gerhard Struber has created a high-tempo, high-pressing Barnsley outfit who have constantly looked a goal threat under his watchful eye.

Losses to Luton Town and Reading were followed by a goalless draw at home to Coventry City, with Struber left frustrated after creating 10 chances against the Sky Blues.

Barnsley are now 40/1 with BetVictor to be the highest-scoring side in the Championship this season after their fruitless start, while they are finely balanced at 5/4 with Unibet to finish in the top half.

All odds correct at the time of publication.

How to get Championship free bets

Sign up as a new customer at 888sport and you’ll get your hands on £40 worth of free bets.

The minimum deposit is set at £10 for this promotion on minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) using the promo code “10FREE”.

New customers only • £10 deposit using promo code • Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. withdrawal restrictions & full Full T&C’s apply
Derby to finish top six - 6/1 at 888sport
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