The Championship is littered with clubs who’ve been yoyoing between England’s top two divisions for so long now that their promotions and relegations don’t even make us bat eyelids.
But Sunday afternoon kicks off with two teams you really wouldn’t mind seeing back in the Premier League. Sheffield Wednesday would offer a genuine derby against the Blades – a side who look like they won’t be getting relegated for many years – but also a dedicated fanbase, a famous stadium and a good culture.
Bristol City have been doing things right for some time, too – and Ashton Gate would be one of the better stadiums in the country for visiting fans, too. It perfectly combines old school with modern facilities.
And with just a point separating the sides, this one looks like a cracking way to kick-off your final pre-Christmas Sunday.
Sheffield Wednesday are a very good side, but they’re more conservative than they need to be. It’s the primary reason they’ll end up in the playoffs at best. West Brom and Leeds are never happy with a point and that urgency is what separates them from the remainder.
But their 12-goal tally at home is the fifth-worst mark in the entire division, which is bizarre for a team who have so much ability in the final third. Usually when I see these trends, I put it down to coaching but I do find that Sheffield Wednesday have been simply unlucky a lot.
However, with Bristol City coming to Hillsborough seemingly happy to take a point to cement their playoff aspirations near the mid-way point, that lack of a killer edge should see this one end in a stalemate.
We also have the added insurance that, should the 4/6 favourites go ahead, they definitely won’t be going for the jugular because of the anxiety surrounding their home results.
It just feels right, doesn’t it? Bristol City go 1-0 up from a corner early doors. They threaten to land to extend that lead in the following ten minutes.
However, after seeing City hit the bar and hearing the first boo from the home crowd, Sheffield Wednesday are shot into life with the equaliser finally coming 20 minutes from time, but the result ending up feeling like a loss because they just couldn’t find the winner.
We’ve all been in grounds when this very thing has happened.
As above, this covers you in case the game goes a different way. Regardless, you’d fully expect the away side to be ahead at the break because of the feeling inside the stadium, and away teams at this time of year possessing a bit more pep in their step.
If there’s another goal that arrives on just after half-time, at least you’ll salvage the hope of witnessing a great comeback in the second half to keep your interest. And to be fair, this is the season of hope, is it not? Not sure Santa and/or Jesus was on about a second-half comeback in Yorkshire, but if the shoe fits.