The Championship got off to an explosive start last week and the teams are now settling back into the hectic schedule of almost two games a week. Nick Harris takes us through his Championship tips for the second round fixtures.
Aston Villa half time/full time @ 9/4 -BET NOW
Steve Bruce’s Villa are again one of the most fancied teams to win promotion this season having narrowly missed out last term via the play-offs.
Their insistence on keeping Tottenham target Jack Grealish at the club tells you they are once again serious about a return to the Premier League and they were winners on Monday night when they took the points from their away trip to Hull City.
Bruce opted for a 4-4-1-1 system against old club Hull and could well name a similar side as Villa welcome Wigan to Villa Park.
The newly-promoted Latics got their return to the second tier off to a perfect start with victory over Sheffield Wednesday and will head south brimming with confidence.
However, this is a much-tougher test for Paul Cook’s men than the Owls provided and the Villans should give Wigan an uncomfortable dose of reality in the Championship.
Draw @ 5/2 - BET NOW
Stoke started the season as the early favourites to go straight back up to the Premier League but Gary Rowett’s men were brought down to earth big style in their opener at Elland Road last Sunday when they were totally outplayed in a defeat to Leeds. Rowett knows he has to turn things around quickly in order to preserve a positive mood around the club.
Ashley Williams could be handed a debut after signing on loan from Everton, with Bruno Martins Indi potentially moving to left-back but Rowett is not expected to make wholesale changes to the side.
Brentford were on top form in their opener when they thrashed Rotherham 5-1 to go top of a very fledgling Championship table and boss Dean Smith is likely to name an unchanged side, if he manages to keep hold of his players beyond transfer deadline day.
Stoke will be looking to banish the memory of their defeat at Leeds but Brentford are flying high so I am going for a draw.
Hull to win @9/4 - BET NOW
It has been a troubled pre-season and start to the campaign for the men from South Yorkshire and they were soundly beaten by newly-promoted Wigan last weekend on the opening day. Therefore, I am not expecting things to get much better this weekend.
Atdhe Nuhiu serves a one-game suspension following his double-yellow against Wigan, so Lucas Joao is likely to start up top for the hosts alongside Fernando Forestieri.
It’s too early to mention pressure on the manager but Jos Luhukay knows it will not be long in coming if they continue their poor run.
Meanwhile Nigel Adkins’ men gave a decent account of themselves in their defeat to Aston Villa and were only undone by individual errors.
Winger Manuel Milinkovic could be set for his full debut after he was limited to a place on the bench against Villa on Monday, while Jackson Irvine should resume his place in the midfield.
The away win appeals in this one as Wednesday look set for a season of struggle after a quiet summer.
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