The 2017/18 Championship campaign is now well underway with every side having played four matches. This means that despite being so early on in the season, we are starting to see evidence of teams who could make a push for promotion to the Premier League come next May. This season already appears to have the ingredients to be one of the best Championship campaigns to date.
A lot of sides have spent big money in the hope of achieving promotion to the top flight this season with the likes of Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Wanderers being the biggest spenders. Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Hull City are all backed by parachute payments that come as a result of relegation from the top flight, but it is only Boro who have invested heavily this summer so far.
Many other sides were also among the favourites for promotion by the bookies who do not have these sort of funds available. Sheffield Wednesday has finished in the playoffs for two consecutive years under the management of Carlos Carvalhal and remains fancied by many to make it third time lucky. Leeds United agonisingly missed out on the playoffs last season under Garry Monk and were also put among the contenders for this season under new manager Thomas Christiansen.
We take a look at three teams who have gone under the radar through pre-season but have made a superb start to the campaign and might now be viewed as ‘dark horses’ for promotion to the Premier League.
3. Ipswich Town (Current Position – 2nd)
Mick McCarthy was a manager who found himself under an immense amount of pressure on multiple occasions last season, most notably after Ipswich Town suffered a humiliating FA Cup defeat at the hands of Lincoln City. Majority of the club’s supporters would have been happy to see him move on from his role at the club but their opinion of him has vastly changed following their superb start to this campaign.
Ipswich have won all four of their Championship outings so far, scoring nine goals in the process. One area in which the Tractor Boys struggled with throughout the entirety of last season was finding the back of the net on a regular basis, and they often relied on Leicester City loanee Tom Lawrence who has recently made a permanent switch to Championship rivals Derby County.
However, McCarthy secured the services of Rangers duo Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner this summer for relatively to fees, and both players have been a revelation at Portman Road so far. They have both been finding the back of the net on a regular basis, and if they continue at this rate, then Ipswich Town will most definitely be seen as dark horses for promotion despite being among the favourites for relegation before the first kick of a ball this season.