The Championship is back tonight as Blackburn Rovers host relegated Cardiff City in the opening clash at Ewood Park. Every season the second tier is unmatchable for unpredictability and this season will definitely be the same again! With Fulham, Cardiff and Norwich joining the division from the Premier League and a host of strong sides vying for promotion, here are five players who could be the top goalscorer come May 2015.
Jordan Rhodes – Blackburn Rovers
The Sky Bet favourite at 7/1 Jordan Rhodes joined Blackburn Rovers from Huddersfield Town in August 2012. Rovers paid £8m for his services after he scored a phenomenal 36 goals in 40 league 1 games. Since his move he scored 26 in 2012/13 and 25 last season so probably is a very safe bet for at least 20 Championship goals. Blackburn struggled upon their relegation from the Premier League but Rhodes has been a shining light and now Gary Bowyer’s men have a legitimate shot at promotion. One potential individual issue for Rhodes is Rudy Gestede. While it would be good for a teammate to share goalscoring responsibility it may mean his regular 25+ figure is slightly lessened.
Ross McCormack – Fulham
Rossco signed for Fulham for an eye-watering £11m this summer from Leeds and has been given odds of 8/1 to top score. McCormack is going into his seventh season in the Championship and he will be confident as he finished last season as the league’s golden boot winner with 28 strikes. He now will be the man with Fulham’s hopes rested on his shoulders and the Cottagers will be praying that the pressure doesn’t get to the Scot. Whilst last season was pretty incredible it was in fact only his second ever time at scoring more than 20 goals in a season, the other being the 21 netted in his debut Championship campaign with Cardiff City in 2008/09.
Matej Vydra – Watford
When Matej Vydra was in the Championship last time he netted 2o times in 41 matches to help Watford’s unsuccessful promotion push. The Udinese owned Czech with 11 caps for his country was then given a Premier League opportunity on loan with West Bromwich Albion last season. The Baggies had a difficult season and in 18 appearances he only found the goal 3 times, very disappointing for him. Now though, he’s back and at odds of 12/1 I don’t see a reason why he can’t strike fear into Championship fans and defenders alike for a second time!
Lewis Grabban – Norwich City
Lewis Grabban burst onto the Championship scene last season with 22 goals in 44 games for Bournemouth. The 26 year old has odds of 14/1 to lead the way in May 2015 following his £3m move to Norwich. Grabban started out at Crystal Palace and after some loan spells moved to Millwall then Brentford. Goals were not free-flowing when Rotherham United took him on in League 2 but he found the net 18 times and was sold to League 1 Bournemouth in 2012/13. The Cherries were promoted and he scored 13 times and then helped secure their survival last time out. He will now be asked to help Norwich bounce back to the Premier League and prove personally that he was not a one hit wonder.
Adam Le Fondre – Cardiff City
Adam Le Fondre is slightly more unfancied by the bookies at 20/1 so possibly a high paying outside punt. The former Reading man scored 15 last season and 12 the season previous in the Premier League meaning he can do it against the best, that’s why Cardiff secured his signature for a fee thought to be around £2.5m. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær described him as a “fox in the box” and will be asked to deliver in the big situations as Cardiff aim for the Premier League again. Perhaps his individual pursuit will be disrupted by fellow strikers Kenwyne Jones, Javi Guerra and Kiko Macheda who give the Bluebirds good depth and removes the reliance on one man to finish all the chances.
Who have you got your tips on for the 2014/15 season?
(Picture thanks to The Sun & odds from Sky Bet)