Here's a look at Championship teams currently enjoying some of the best form
As mentioned recently, we have now had the first quarter of the season. It’s clear that some things have stayed the same, but other things have started to change. My latest articles have looked at teams and managers that have started to struggle – but now we are looking at teams that are currently showing their best form.
As always there will be plenty of opinion and analysis from me – but the data will rule here. In fact, some of the teams that would have featured here no longer qualify. Notable examples of this are Cardiff City and Aston Villa who both lost their most recent matches.
You will have to read on though to see who has made the cut…
1. Bristol City (10 Matches Unbeaten)
Bristol City take the award for the longest current unbeaten run as they have not lost a league match for 10 games. Clearly, this is having a positive impact on their league position, they currently sit fourth in table – and have only lost one game this season.
It’s an interesting turn around for the club after going on one of the worst runs of form at the end of last season. If Bristol City can keep this form going, then it’s an example of the benefits of sticking with a manager through difficult times.
Lee Johnson must have been aware that he needed a strong start to stay in his job – and that seems to have motivated him and his team. One player that has stood out for them this season has been attacking midfielder Jamie Paterson – who is a contender to be the leading Championship assist maker this season.
2. Preston (9 Matches Unbeaten)
Preston are another one of those teams that have enjoyed a strong start to the season. Currently, they are on a nine-match unbeaten run – but did throw away a two-goal advantage in their most recent match. Nevertheless, the club currently sit fifth in the table and have also only lost one league game this season.
The club did an excellent job of adapting to the Championship from League One last season – and Simon Grayson earned praise for the job that he did. The budget isn’t huge at the club, so it was unknown what direction they would go in.
However, Alex Neil has taken things up a level – and Preston have put themselves in an excellent position to be involved in the play-offs this season. However, they must keep their current form up for that to happen. I predicted that Preston could be one of the surprise packages this season and that prediction looks like coming true.
3. Norwich City (7 Matches Unbeaten)
Norwich City have to be one of the most improved teams in the Championship so far this season. Early doors, the Canaries were in the bottom three of the table and fans must have concerned about which direction they were heading. However, new head coach Daniel Farke has managed to turn things around quickly – and the club are currently enjoying a seven-match unbeaten run.
Norwich are the first one of the clubs mentioned in this list that aren’t currently in the top six. However despite that slow start, they have now closed the gap to just one point on sixth place Leeds United. Leeds themselves are currently going through a bad run of form, so things could well be coming together quite nicely for the Canaries.
There has been a very clearly defined plan at the club over the course of the summer. The Canaries were one of the most active teams in the transfer market but did things in a sensible and measured way. Given these facts, I predicted that Norwich would be a team that would improve as the season progressed – and that has proved to be correct.
4. Brentford (5 Matches Unbeaten)
Brentford had a very poor start to the season – and it looked like they would be in big relegation trouble. It’s also worth mentioning that they lost a few key players during the summer that added to the idea that they would struggle.
The Bees are another one of those clubs that have seen a big improvement over recent games though. The current situation is that they are on a five-game unbeaten run – and have climbed to 18th place in the league. In fact, they may feel that if they can continue their current good run of form; they can yet mount a challenge for the play-offs.
I have a lot of time for Brentford and they have a lot of good things going for them including having a healthy average age and squad size. The Championship always has the ability to change quickly – and Brentford’s season may not be as helpless as it once seemed. In fact at the start of the season, I predicted that Brentford would be a team to sizzle – and that could still happen.
5. Fulham (4 Matches Unbeaten)
Fulham were one of the teams to watch last season as they reached the play-offs. It was a surprise to many that they failed to win promotion last season. It was then a further surprise that the club made a slow start to this season.
It was always likely that things would improve for them though – and they have now climbed to ninth in the table. A big part of their recent improvement has been a four-match unbeaten run as they have really started to get their game going.
It’s no great secret that the club built a lot of their success last season on their ability with the ball. Of course, they didn’t control that part of their game so well at the start of this season. However, they have started to get that side of their game going – and have consistently been one of the best teams for passing accuracy. All of this bodes well for a successful season going forward until May.
6. Derby County (4 Matches Unbeaten)
Derby County would have had high expectations for this season after appointing Gary Rowett at the end of last season. However, Rowett’s new club haven’t made the sort of start to the season that they would have been hoping for.
Things are now slowly starting to improve though as the club are on a four-match unbeaten run. This recent upturn in results have lifted the Rams to 13th in the Championship and gives them hope of securing a play-off place at the very least.
Even when the club were struggling there were things that had been going well that gave them hope of improving matters. One of those such things is the form of striker Matej Vydra who has put himself in an excellent position to be the leading scorer in the Championship. It’s clear that all successful teams need a goalscorer, so Vydra could have a very important role to play.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we looked at Championship teams currently on the longest unbeaten runs. So, did we get it right? Or maybe you think that the teams we have mentioned do not deserve praise.
If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. Next, I will be looking at the Championship teams with the worst defensive records – so get ready for that one.