The Championship season kicks off with the featured game QPR v Sheffield Wed as we bring you live streaming and the latest odds on the game.
Relegated QPR will begin their bid to return to the Premier League with a home fixture against Sheffield Wednesday.
Harry Redknapp’s are the bookies favourite to immediate return to England’s top tier but with the Championship one of the most competitive leagues in Europe they face a tough task. One of the Premier League’s big spenders last season the Hoops have been forced to offload a number of players this summer as they adjust to their new surroundings.
Big names Jose Boswinga, Djibril Cisse, Jamie Mackie, Christopher Samba, Jay Bothroyd, Tal Ben Haim, DJ Campbell and Rob Hulse have all left the club with Joey Barton, Cesar and Loic Remy all set to follow before the end of the transfer window.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP LIVE STREAMING
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Despite the mass exodus there is still plenty of talent at Redknapp’s disposal with the arrivals of experience stars Richard Dunne, Danny Simpson and Karl Henry joining the likes of Junior Hoilett, Jermaine Jenas, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Nedum Onuoha, Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson in the squad.
Another shrewd bit of business is the capture of Charlie Austin with the former Burnley striker set to form a potentially prolific partnership with Zamora and Johnson.
Sheffield Wednesday meanwhile will be hoping to build on last season’s 18th place finish and look to push on and make the play-offs this season. Wednesday manager David Jones will hope to use the visit to Loftus Road to make an early statement of intent and will hope to spring a surprise on Redknapp’s side.
Jones has managed to keep hold of the nucleus of last season’s squad and has made some inroads in the transfer market this summer picking up some emerging youngsters from Europe.
The most high profile signing has been Atdhe Nuhiu, a 6ft 6” striker that arrives from Rapid Vienna. The 24 year old striker spent time on loan with Eskisehirspor in Turkey last season.
French winger Jeremy Helan has arrived from Manchester City for an undisclosed amount while another winger, Jacque Maghoma, has signed on a free transfer from Burton Albion. Another free capture was promising full-back Rafael Floro who comes, highly rated, from Porto.
Jones is also on the lookout for another striker with Michael Chopra and Conor Wickham both linked with moves to Sheffield although neither will be confirmed before the start of the new season. Former Blackpool striker Gary Taylor-Fletcher is training with the club but no deal has been completed at this point with Jones keeping an eye on the 32 year old while former Hull City defender Kamil Zayatte is also poised to join the club.
While Jones has been balancing the books over the summer scouring the market for good value transfers and free agents he will have noted with interest that former Birmingham City director Sammy Yu is heading a consortium interested in buying the club all of which could mean that the former Everton manager could get a bigger transfer kitty before the end of August.
End of season league form: QPR exited out of the Premier League with a whimper losing 5 of the final 6 games conceding 8 goals and managing just one with their only point coming in a 0-0 draw with Reading. Sheffield Wednesday meanwhile won 2, drew 2 and lost 2 to finish four places above the relegation zone. Jones side won 16 of their 46 games last season losing 20 games, although surprisingly they had the 9th best defence in the league.
Pre Season form: Much like their league form last season Sheffield Wednesday have yet to kick into gear ahead of the new season recording unconvincing wins over Rangers, Scunthorpe and Stockport but losing to Braga and drawing with Chesterfield, Hull and Steaua Bucharest. QPR meanwhile beat Southend and Besiktas, drawing with Exeter and losing to Peterborough and Italian side Udinese.
THE SQUEAKYBUMTIME VERDICT
Given their previous status as a Premiership club and with plenty of big names still in the squad it’s no surprise that QPR are not only favourites to open the season a win but also for a swift return to the Premier League.
Wednesday however have a good record at Loftus Road and over the years have come away with 7 wins and 11 draws on visits to London. The most recent meeting between the two sides, back in the 2010/2011 season, ended in a 1-1 and don’t be too surprised to see a similar result this time round.