The King Power Stadium

Next Game

Leicester v QPR

Saturday, 19 April 2014, 12:15

Sky Bet Ch'ship

The Madejski Stadium

Last Game

Reading 1 - 1 Leicester

Monday, 14 April 2014, 20:07

Sky Bet Ch'ship

TT's Five to Watch in the Championship

Thomas Hill picks out five of the Championship's most promising players to keep an eye on this season.

Last Updated: 12/08/12 at 16:03 Post Comment   

Butland: Impressed at the Olympics

Butland: Impressed at the Olympics

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

Who will light up the Championship this season as the clock ticks down to the new campaign?

Birmingham, Leeds, Blackpool and Cardiff supply the players in our top five.

Jack Butland

Club: Birmingham City

Position: Goalkeeper

Age: 19

Butland's rise from on-loan League Two keeper, to Euro 2012 back-up and Team GB No.1 is nothing short of extraordinary. Butland's rise has attracted the attention of a number of Premier League clubs, who spent time watching him during his stint at Cheltenham Town last season.

The youngster joined the Blues' academy in 2007, but has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Championship side. In 2011, he was handed the No.1 jersey but Colin Doyle and Boaz Myhill were given the nod over him throughout the campaign.

Cheltenham were lucky enough to loan Butland on two occasions where he made 24 appearances in total in 2011/12. The recent Olympic Games saw Butland show his shot-stopping ability as well as ability to command his box.

New manager Lee Clark hasn't revealed who he wants between the sticks just yet, but after Butland's performances over the summer he looks more than ready.

Jason Pearce

Club: Leeds United

Position: Defender

Age: 24

Pearce became Neil Warnock's first signing of the summer in May, when he moved from Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee. With a reputation of a traditional tough-tackling centre-back, Leeds fans are licking their lips at the prospect of seeing Pearce in the white shirt at Elland Road.

Having come through the ranks at Portsmouth, Pearce made a move to Bournemouth where he impressed at the lower levels. A return to Pompey followed in 2011, where Pearce won the players' player of the year and seven of the nine supporters' awards available.

To date, Pearce has made over 250 appearances and Leeds fans will be hoping this no-nonsense centre-half can improve their back line this campaign.

Ravel Morrison

Club: Birmingham City

Position: Midfielder

Age: 19

Sir Alex Ferguson was stunned when Ravel Morrison asked more money last season after only making three appearances, with the Manchester United manager saying the demands were 'unrealistic'. Morrison has once again surprised a few people by joining the Blues, but it could be the perfect move for him should he get the games to shine. Morrison made the move to the Midlands on a season-long loan on Sunday, despite only joining West Ham in January for a fee of £650,000.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is hoping Morrison will get some match practice in after making just one substitute appearance against Leeds in March. Morrison has the talent to excel but his reputation has gone before him in the past few seasons. If he can be given a platform to show his ability, Morrison could finally make people talk about him for all the right reasons.

Matt Phillips

Club: Blackpool

Position: Winger

Age: 21

The 2011/12 season was a breakthrough campaign for winger Matt Phillips as his glittering performances saw him named in the PFA's Championship team of the year. This summer, Scotland boss Craig Levein came calling and Phillips decided to play for Scotland, expressing that the opportunity was too good to turn down.

His pace and ability with the ball at his feet caught defences napping last season as Blackpool narrowly missed out on promotion in the play-off final. Blackpool boss Ian Holloway sent Phillips on a short-term loan to Sheffield United to find form in the first half of the season. It was a move that proved to be crucial in his development, Phillips netted five times in five starts before returning to Blackpool to finish the season with 12 goals in 35 games.

Phillips and fellow winger Thomas Ince will be crucial this season as Blackpool will look to the Premier League once more.

Joe Mason

Club: Cardiff

Position: Striker

Age: 21

Mason enjoyed a whirlwind 2011/12 season after making the step up from League Two side Plymouth Argyle. Cardiff started the season with Kenny Miller and Robbie Earnshaw up top, but Mason's hard work and determination paid off as he was thrust into the first team.

In all competitions last year, Mason started 27 games and found the net on 12 occasions; scoring vital goals to help Cardiff into the play-off spots at the end of the season. In the Carling Cup final against Liverpool, Mason found the net but it wasn't enough to bring the trophy back to Wales.

His impressive performances for Malky Mackay's side were rewarded with a new contract until the summer of 2016. Fulham, Sunderland and Swansea were all linked with Mason throughout the 2011/12 season but Cardiff will be confident they'll be joining the Premier League with Mason a key part of their attack.

Thomas Hill

Let us know if you think we've overlooked anybody by using the story comment facility below.

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Contract news: Tim Howard has been handed an extension to his Everton contract

Tim Howard will be staying with Everton until at least 2018 after agreeing a two-year extension to his contract.

Neymar and Jordi Alba will miss the bulk of the remainder of the season

Barcelona forward Neymar has been ruled out for up to a month due to a left foot injury.

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property