EFL Championship Contenders – Don Goodman’s Verdict

Here at BoyleSports, we caught up with Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman who gives us the lowdown on West Brom and Leicester’s promotion hopes.

Ahead of another action-packed weekend of EFL action, we spoke with former football league player and Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman  and he had plenty to say!

Goodman discusses West Brom’s playoff hopes, Matt Philips injury record, the potential of John Swift and his Sunderland v West Prom Prediction.

Don also gives his perspective on young Liverpool centre-back Jarell Quansah, Leicester’s record aspirations and gives his prediction for their game against Plymouth

Are West Brom Leading Playoff Contenders?

I think they’re the best of the rest at the moment. The sides below the top four are too far away to reach the current top two due to the quality of the current top four. If I had to put my money on who one of those teams would be, I’d be going for West Brom and I never, ever thought I’d be saying that at the start of the season.

All kudos to Carlos Corberan. He’s galvanised the group, there’s a togetherness and spirit for the badge and it’s refreshing to see. They didn’t deserve to lose against Leicester or Southampton and they’re in a good place. They need players back quickly as they’re heading into a busy period but I’m liking what I’m seeing from Albion over the last couple of months.

Why Is Phillips Regularly Injured Between November and January?

We need to understand what a serious injury is. Matt Phillips has played 248 games for West Brom and I think they’ve had value for money. He’s been dynamic all his life and that means he’s been more vulnerable to injuries.

Maybe Matt falls into the category where his body will always get injured. He has to cope with it, get on with it and see how long he can go without getting the next one.

This time of year, the weather changes and there’s far more games happening so maybe there’s an element of fatigue that is linked to it but it’s not something I’d worry about.

Can John Swift Fulfil His Potential?

There’s no doubt about John Swift’s ability. It’s just about keeping him fit now. He’s only started 10 games and already has six goals this season. He’s got pedigree at this level and the key is just keeping him fit.

Corberan needs to manage his minutes with all the games coming up but it’ll be worth it if they can keep him fit before the end of the season.

Sunderland vs West Brom Prediction

I can’t believe how stupid the sacking of Tony Mowbray is. Sunderland have to be careful what they wish for. They’ve got so much talent that he’s brought through. He did an incredible job. It’s unfathomable that the club thinks he wasn’t doing a great job. Look at what he’s done with Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts. He’s made every young player better with his coaching.

This will be a tough game. Sunderland don’t do draws but I have a feeling this will be one. I’m going to say 2-2.

Jarell Quansah Linked With Leicester

It’s a hard one for me to answer because I’ve never even heard of the boy, let alone seen him play.

So I can only presume that if Leicester want him, he’s a typical Liverpool centre-half and is ball-playing and athletic, which would suit their style under Enzo Maresca.

If that’s what they’re seeing you have to trust their judgement. But in terms of me offering a judgment on that, it would be a guess at this stage.

Can Leicester Break The Reading Record?

I think they can beat the record if they want to. What I’ve seen over the last few years is some amazing Championship teams, particularly the likes of Wolves, Fulham and Burnley last season. They could have all beaten it if they wanted to.

But what happens is, they get promoted so early and it almost seems like they take their eye off the ball a little bit and they drop points that you wouldn’t expect them to.

I remember seeing that brilliant Wolves team (2017/18) go to the Stadium of Light on the last day of the season and lose 3-0 to an already-relegated Sunderland, which should never happen and would never have happened if they needed the points. So it’s the mentality, really.

Leicester’s Strength-In-Depth

On paper, this is the best squad of players, with the most depth, most talent, the most experience and the most rounded I’ve ever seen in the Championship. They’re almost halfway there (to 106 points). It’s theirs to beat if they want to, but it will be down to them.

As for Reading and the differences, football is a different game from when they did it (2006). Most teams played the same way and were slightly more direct. You had to win your battles and be more physical.

It was a brilliant Reading team, but this Leicester team has the potential to smash every Championship record if it wants to.

Leicester vs Plymouth Prediction

I looked at Plymouth’s away record and they haven’t won an away game in the Championship this season. So I can’t predict that they’ll go away to Leicester and get anything.

Leicester have been beaten twice on home soil by Leeds United and Hull City, but they’ve won the other seven. I think it will be comfortable, really.

Leicester City 3-0 Plymouth Argyle.

*Prices subject to fluctuation

Remember, always gamble responsibly. Here’s our Safer Gambling Guide.