Championship set for blockbuster season with 19 former Premier League sides and TWO champions

Last season has barely finished, but we’re already looking ahead to the new one.

The Championship has a reputation for being the most competitive and entertaining leagues in Europe due to the relatively level playing field among its 24 competitors.


24 clubs will be desperate to follow in Burnley’s footstesps by winning promotion to the Premier LeagueCredit: Getty

This year, the competition is going to be particularly fierce.

Of the 24 clubs featuring in the Championship, a staggering 19 of those teams have played in the Premier League since its formation in 1992.

In fact, only Millwall, Preston, Bristol City, Rotherham and newly-promoted Plymouth have not played in the top tier during the last 21 years.

Leeds United, Leicester and Southampton will be playing Championship football once again after suffering relegation from the Premier League.

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Meanwhile, two of the three clubs to be promoted from League One last term, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich, also both played in the top flight in the nineties and early 2000s.

The Tractor boys even played in the UEFA Cup between 2001 and 2003, the second campaign being in the old first division after suffering relegation in 2001/02.

Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Southampton, Hull City, Birmingham City and Swansea City have also played in the UEFA Cup, while a trio of teams have gone one step further.

Leeds, Leicester and Blackburn Rovers have all featured in the Champions League, while the latter two have been able to call themselves champions of England.

Leicester stunned the nation when they won the Premier League in 2016 and Blackburn stopped Man United’s momentum in 1995.

Both teams begin the new season at home, with Coventry at Leicester and West Brom travelling to Ewood Park.

Leicester have won the Premier League title and played in the Champions League


Leicester have won the Premier League title and played in the Champions LeagueCredit: getty

The prize for clubs competing in the second tier is huge with the riches and global exposure that life in the Premier League brings and each year a number of clubs have a genuine case for striving to be ‘back where they belong’ in England’s top league.

But with 19 clubs having experience of genuine success at the top table, it means that the Championship is going to be more competitive than ever in a season which will make it arguably the best second tier ever.

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