Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has named his two clubs that he thinks will be promoted from the Championship this season, as well as a ‘dark horse’ that could come up on the rails…
Prutton played for the likes of Forest and Sheffield Wednesday but believes that his old club Leeds United could be that dark horse.
He thinks that it will be a ‘cracking game’ on Sunday at Elland Road and Leeds could ‘maybe climb a little higher’ now they have risen to sixth place.
David Prutton believes that Garry Monk is doing an outstanding job and sees the Yorkshire club potentially upsetting Newcastle and/or Brighton.
Those are his two tips for automatic promotion and not exactly taking a big chance with his punting, as the two clubs stand clear at the top.
David Prutton praises Rafa for calming it down at Newcastle United and points to the ‘firepower’ at St James Park, with more goals (34) than any of their 23 rivals and the top scorer in the Championship (Dwight Gayle), NUFC are looking strong.
The only possible area for strengthening is another creative player as well as Shelvey, something that would be particularly appropriate if the Newcastle midfielder lost his misconduct case.
As for main rivals Brighton, Prutton sees many similarities between Hughton and Benitez, pointing to the fact that like Rafa, Chris Hughton has the power over which players are bought and sold.
David Prutton speaking to Sky Sports:
The two sides winning automatic promotion to the Premier League will be…
It’s really hard! I’ve been so impressed by Huddersfield’s start but it will have to be Brighton and Newcastle.
The experience from last season in the promotion race will serve Brighton well and Newcastle have so much firepower.
Rafa Benitez has done really well at Newcastle to be as low-key as possible and there hasn’t been any drama at all with their approach to the season so far. The expectation is that they need to go straight back up and their start has been wonderful.
Every department is strong at Newcastle and I think maybe just another creative midfielder to go with Jonjo Shelvey is what’s required.
Brighton’s 5-0 win over Norwich was impressive but it was clinical rather than complete dominance. Norwich were in the game but if you get thumped 5-0 then it hasn’t gone your way.
I also watched Brighton in the 2-0 win at Bristol City and they still played well without Anthony Knockaert. Their defence is fantastic and I think Glenn Murray offers them something a little bit different up front.
Chris Hughton, like Rafa, is pretty pragmatic and he seems to time and time again maximise what he gets out of his players. Without making it sound too straightforward for Brighton, it’s a good manager with good players that do the right things more often than not. Brighton didn’t want Dale Stephens to go in the summer and that shows that Hughton has control over his team. He’s a good player and it’s not disrupted the team in any way. The great form of Steve Sidwell has helped too.
Watch out for … they’ll climb the table and make an impact in the promotion race.
They’ve already jumped up to sixth but I’m going to go for Leeds to stay in contention and maybe climb a little bit higher.
We’ve heard less and less about the off-field issues and more about results on the pitch which is exactly as it should be.
They’ve recruited well and now Monk, who I think Swansea would have been well advised to stick with, and his coaching staff are seeing the benefit of that.
The match against Newcastle on Sunday is a sell-out and it’s great to see that. That will be a really cracking game.