After an eventful Saturday, attention turns to Derby v Blackburn as Bet365 announce they are live streaming a variety of games from the Championship this season.
The football league celebrates its 125th anniversary this year and for every club in the Championship the season begins with the wish that they are not around in the division for the 126th year.
Last season’s 10th placed side will take on the division 17th when Derby welcome Blackburn to Pride Park. It is was not too long ago that this tie would have been a Premier League clash but with the club’s now mid-table Championship sides with aspirations of the play-off’s the journey back to the big time is a slow one.
Derby look the more settled and stable side with Nigel Clough, in his fourth season in charge, fully aware of the life as a Championship manager. Each year under the former Liverpool striker, who has had to wheel and deal, slash the wage bill and work with a smaller squad, has been about baby steps and the feeling this year is that the club are ready to full on challenge on for a play-off spot after threatening to last season.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP LIVE STREAMING
Don’t forget you can watch all the action from The Championship and more with Bet365 and their exclusive stream.Click here to navigate through to the landing page and select ‘ Live Streaming’ at the top of the page and continue.
Pre-season form has been impressive with 6 wins with their only defeat coming at the hand of West Bromwich Albion. The most pleasing aspect for Clough will have been the goals for column with the Rams racking up an impressive 22 goals including 6 against Irish side, Bohemians and 5 against Port Vale.
Conor Sammon, Nathan Tyson and Michael Jacobs will look to fire the goals for Derby this season while in the one to watch column Jeff Hendrick is sure to enhance his reputation after a stellar season last time out which culminated in International honours with Ireland.
Blackburn’s pre-season has been somewhat laboured this year and while they have lost one, a 3-1 defeat to Everton, draws with Rochdale, Preston and Wrexham won’t have set the world alight.
However after a roller-coaster ride couple of years with more downs then up’s Rovers will looking for some stability this coming season and a place in the top half of the table would be an achievement after their flirtation with the drop last season.
The new man in charge, Gary Bowyer has made some useful acquisitions this summer with the likes of Matt Kilgallon, Simon Eastwood, DJ Campbell and Chris Taylor all bringing Championship experience with them to Ewood Park.
Another summer arrival, Alan Judge, a player Bowyer will be familiar with, will be tasked with providing some creativity while just like he was last season Jordan Rhodes will be the main source of goals for Blackburn although Leon Best will aim to take some of the heat off the Scottish International.
The former reserve team coach knows the players, the club and the fans very well and that will important as he tries to manage expectations. Bowyer will be keen to make a strong start and with fellow play-off rivals Nottingham Forest, Bolton and Leicester in the opening few weeks of the season, momentum will be key.
For Blackburn the road to perdition will be firmly behind them as they begin a new season with hope and promise while for Derby is steady as you were.
Paul Coutts has returned to training after a groin injury and could feature while summer signings Lee Grant, Johnny Russell, John Eustace and Adam Smith will all hope to make their debuts and will be joined in the starting line up’s by Chris Martin and Craig Forsyth. The pair spent time on loan with the Rams last season but have now completed permanent deals to join the club.
Blackburn meanwhile will had a debut to recent signings defender Tommy Spurr and Hull star Tom Cairney. The pair only joined the club on Thursday and will join fellow new signings Kilgallon, Judge, Eastwood and Taylor in the starting eleven although another new signing Campbell misses out after injuring his ligaments in pre-season.
Last season Blackburn beat Derby 2-0 at home and drew 1-1 away and have won 4 of their last five meetings in all competitions however with both sides inconsistence and capable of inspiring and infuriating this could be tough to call. A score-draw looks the most likely outcome.[/colored_box]