EFL Championship: Five things we learned from the midweek fixtures

Six teams remain unbeaten in the league and six remain winless after the first three matches

West Bromwich Albion's Darnell Furlong (second left) celebrates with his team-mates after his long throw-in leads to Sheffield United's Jack Robinson scoring an own goal. Pictures: PA.

When the final whistle blew at The Hawthorns on Wednesday night, it drew to a close another hectic round of Championship fixtures.

For the third week running, over 30 goals were scored across the 12 matches, proving once again why this is one of the most exciting leagues in Europe.

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It’s still too early to pass judgement on the league table as it sits now but here are five things that we learned from this week’s results.

Fans display a banner at the end of the game

Preston are in big trouble

Three league games played, three lost, seven conceded and only two scored. If that’s a pattern that continues, Preston North End are going to be in for one big long slog of a season.

The problems for the Lilywhites stretch to off the field matters with many fans frustrated with lack of investment in the squad and judging by the initial games, they have a point.

Tuesday night’s defeat to Huddersfield Town was arguably the worst defeat yet. The Terriers, who look to be in for a rough ride themselves, didn’t even muster a shot on target throughout the 90 minutes and yet were still able to inflict another loss on Frankie McAvoy’s side.

The investment wanted by Preston fans looks to be turning more towards a must than a want at this point and time is ticking.

Aden Flint of old is back

During his five years at Bristol City, Aden Flint was not only one of the standout players at the club, but he was widely thought of as one of the best defenders in the Championship.

However, following his move away from the Robins in 2018 - his career sort of derailed and the now 32-year-old has up until recently, been a shadow of his former self.

But as the old saying goes, form is temporary, class is permanent and the latter has certainly started to show itself once more over the last six months with Cardiff City.

His two late goals on Tuesday to salvage a point against Peterborough United rubber stamped his return to form and after a troublesome last few years, he finds himself once again donning ‘cult hero’ status.

Sam Clucas doesn’t like Swansea

Stoke City midfielder Sam Clucas endured a less than successful spell with the Swans between 2017-18 which led to their fan base taking a bit of a dislike to him.

Well, it seems as though the feelings are very much mutual and like old players always seem to do in this beautiful game, he always seems to manage a goal against his former team.

On Tuesday night he helped himself to Stoke’s second in a 3-1 win at the Liberty Stadium and after being jeered throughout up until that point, he duly responded by taking his shirt off and holding it up right in front of the Swansea faithful.

It wasn’t quite Lionel Messi at the Bernabeu but it was still first class sh*thousery.

Rams are showing fight

Wayne Rooney’s Derby County could barely field a team before a ball was kicked just over a fortnight ago and were being touted as a guaranteed relegation spot by most.

However, after being given the green light to sign a number of free agents, they’ve not only managed to scrape together a squad, but have mustered up a respectable four points from the opening three games.

Had it not been for a calamitous injury time turnaround at Peterborough, we could have been talking about seven from nine. Their line-up on paper may look as though it is straight from an old used Panini sticker book but they are showing some fight and proving that relegation isn’t a certainty after all.

Blades struggling to shake losing habit

Sheffield United could be in real danger of back-to-back relegation’s after registering just a point from their opening three fixtures.

It’s incredibly hard to escape from downward trajectories when you’re in one as a football team and the Blades seem to be in a big one.

Wednesday night’s 4-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion was not only a horrible result but the all round performance was one of a team that seemed to have absolutely no idea what they were doing. They looked disjointed, devoid of confidence and lacking any serious quality.

There’s plenty of time for Slavisa Jokanovic to turn the fortunes of the club around but breaking the winless habit is something he’ll be wanting to do sooner rather than later.