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Big clubs in the bottom half of the Championship

Wednesday 8th March 2017
Several teams that are currently in the Championship were in the Premier League only a couple of years ago. However, many of these big clubs are in the bottom half of the table. Cardiff City, Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic.

All these clubs have huge reputations and massive fan bases. Home games at some of these clubs are in attendance of 30,000 or more. Also, bringing in players for transfer fees of £10M+ shows the major stature of these well-known clubs. We'll take a quick look at how these clubs are doing.

Cardiff City

In the 2013-14 season, Cardiff City was promoted to the Premier League for the first time. However, they were relegated back to the Championship at the end of the season. Since then, Cardiff has struggled to regain their place in the top flight of English football. This season has been an odd one for them as they see themselves in 13th place with three wins in the last six, a draw against Fulham and most recently a draw against Blackburn Rovers.
I believe Cardiff will be safe from relegation but I also don't think they are capable of getting to the playoffs as they are 15 points behind Sheffield Wednesday who hold the last playoff spot.

Aston Villa

One of the founding members of the Football League. Aston Villa have had many seasons in the top tier of English football and were well established in the Premier League. They were relegated in the 2015-16 season and many blame ex-owner and Chairman Randy Lerner for the demise of the clubs success. In 2016, Villa was bought out by Chinese businessman Tony Xia.
Things haven't turned out so well for Villa but they are just a place behind QPR and a point behind in 15th place. Despite being in the bottom half of the Championship, Villa have won three of their last four games against Rotherham United, Bristol City and Derby County. Their last game was a 1-0 defeat against Huddersfield who are in 3rd place. Despite their last result, I believe that Villa could push themselves and achieve a top half of the table finish.

Queens Park Rangers

Another club who spent just one season in the Premiership before being relegated back to the second tier of English football. QPR was promoted in the 2013-14 season but finished bottom of the table and returned back to the Championship. QPR had a status during their Premier League campaign after buying numerous players and failing to succeed afterwards.
This season hasn't particularly been a pleasant ride for QPR fans as they see their beloved team 14th in the table. But considering they have four wins in their last five after a poor run is a positive for Ian Holloway's side. They seem to have gathered momentum and I think they can keep on getting the results to climb the table.

Blackburn Rovers

A club with a rich history. Blackburn Rovers were most notably known for winning the Premier League back in the 1994-95 season. In the 2011-12 season, Blackburn was relegated after 11 years in the Premier League. A big blow for a club with a big reputation and a large fan base.

Since being in the Championship, Blackburn has struggled to make it back to the top flight and another example of that is of this season. They are in the depths of a relegation battle lying in 20th place on 37 points just two points above the drop.
Now under new manager Tony Mowbray, Rovers have won two games and they will need continues this if they want to avoid the drop.

Birmingham City

Another West Midlands team that are underperforming. Since 2002 Birmingham have spent seven seasons in the Premier League. They built a big reputation and grew in stature. Home of England's "Second City" meant that there has been huge support for the club for many years.

With just two wins since the middle of December last year "Blues" fans will not be happy with how poor recent results have been. Some would say the departure of Gary Rowett was a bad decision as he was doing well with the club. It was just very odd to see a manager doing well and get sacked, only to be replaced by a huge name in football (Gianfranco Zola).
A recent win against Midlands rivals Wolves is just what Birmingham needed to steer clear of the drop. But most recently they lost to relegation troubled Wigan 1-0. They are 8 points above relegation but if they carry on like their recent form they could see themselves in trouble.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

In the past 10 years, Wolves have seen themselves go from a Premiership side, relegated to the Championship, relegated to League One and promoted back to the Championship. An interesting story from a neutral point of view as its quite rare to see such a thing happen in today's modern game.
Wolves have lost  six of their last seven games dropping all the way down to 21st place in the table. This isn't the best time to lose form coming into the final stages of the season. I believe wolves may drop under the red line and will be fighting for their place in the Championship next season.

Wigan Athletic

From 2005 onwards, Wigan Athletic spent 8 consecutive seasons in the Premiership becoming an established club in the top flight of English football. Oddly enough, the season they got relegated in 2012-13 they also won the FA Cup against Man City.
Now in the Championship, two wins in the last nine games is not what Wigan fans would want to hear right now but that's the form that the Latics are in. They are second from bottom sitting on 34 points but just pipped Birmingham in a 1-0 victory on Tuesday night. They are just two points inside the relegation zone meaning it could be a tight finish to the end of the season for Warren Joyce's side.

Where do you think these big clubs will finish this season?
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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