The Championship season is up and running again and this is a league that neutrals love to watch as it often produces some entertaining action.

At the end of the season, three teams are going to experience the joy of being promoted to the Premier League. Here are three players who should shine and give their side a good chance of grabbing one of those places.

Lucas Joao

Reading striker Lucas Joao comes into this season on the back of his best-ever year. The Royals man scored 22 goals in all competitions in the 2020/21 campaign. His confidence should be sky high and that could lead to another fantastic campaign from the Portuguese player.

The Berkshire club finished just outside of the play-offs last season in seventh place. They have English Championship betting odds of 12/1 to be promoted. If Joao finishes at the top end of the leading goalscoring charts, their chances of going up will be greatly improved. The 27-year-old will have hopes of breaking back into the Portugal team one day. He will be desperate to lead his side into the Premier League so he can prove his class at the highest level again.

Harry Wilson

Fulham’s acquisition of Harry Wilson from Liverpool was one of the picks of the signings in the Championship in the summer transfer window. The Welshman has proved himself in this division before with spells on loan at Hull, Derby, and Cardiff.

The Cottagers have spent £12 million on the player who represented his country at Euro 2020. That could soon turn out to be a bargain as he is continuing to improve on the pitch. He was at Liverpool for 10 years but has now taken the step to leave Merseyside to better his career.

Wilson will deliver new Fulham boss Marco Silva goals from midfield and be a big part of their attack. His best total so far came at Derby when Frank Lampard was in charge. He netted 15 times in the Championship that season. His target this time around may be to reach 20 goals for that campaign. There is a good chance he will get his opportunity to shine in the Premier League next season.

Steven Benda

German goalkeeper Steven Benda has been at Swansea four years but this looks set to be his first season where he starts in between the sticks for the Swans. He started the Welsh club’s opener of the campaign against Blackburn.

Benda went out on loan at Swindon last season. The experience of playing first-team football really helped him develop in League Two. His performances in that spell away from South Wales have persuaded the coaching staff to give him a chance to be the number one ‘keeper this year.

The Swansea shot-stopper is one to look out for in the Championship as he is going to get better. Last season’s play-off final losers will want to try and gain an automatic spot in the standings this time. Benda can prove to be a great asset to them.

Expect another thrilling rollercoaster ride in the league as the early signs suggest another brilliant year ahead in the second tier of English football.

Chris Darwen
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