On paper Fulham should be hitting the ground running in thier bid to rejoin the Premier League at the first opportunity.
However, three losses on the bounce and Felix Magath’s talented squad is already underachieving and fighting to keep pace with the early leaders.
Unfortunately the Cottagers face arguably one of their toughest assignments of the season next with a trip to face Steve McClaren’s Derby.
The Cottagers look doomed to a fourth consecutive defeat and therefore the Rams form the basis of our second tier four-fold that includes wins for Brentford, Charlton and Nottingham Forest at a tempting 21/1.
The Bees have started surprisingly well this year, drawing with Charlton, going down by just a goal to early pace setters Bournemouth and bouncing back with victory over Blackpool.
Birmingham have started equally well, with four points from three games, but could struggle to break down a Brentford side that has lost just four of its last 17 home games.
Brentford last beat the Blues in 1936, with the Midlands side winning six of seven meetings since, but the west Londoners will be ignoring history to take three points here.
As mentioned above Fulham have had an awful start to life in the Championship, losing to Ipswich, Millwall and Wolves.
The talent is there and has some – including me – believing they are destined for a promotion push but the belief is hard to see and Derby, who have won seven of their last eight are unlikely to be in a charitable mood.
The Rams have four points on the board already and will pile more pressure on Magath with victory at Pride Park.
The Addicks have started with a bang, taking maximum points from both Wigan and Derby, and having beaten the Terriers on their last visit to the John Smith’s Stadium will be confident of another win here.
Huddersfield had a confidence boost of their own in beating Reading but comprehensive losses to Bournemouth and Cardiff could be a better indicator of form.
Forest were fortunate to leave Dean Court with maximum points last time out but that won’t derail their growing confidence.
Stuart Pearce’s men top the league and will be undaunted at the prospect of facing a Reading side that lost at home to beleaguered Huddersfield last week.
The Royals may have taken four points off the East Midlanders last season but this is a much-changed Forest side so bank on the home team for this one.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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