With the Championship season now well underway, betting fans are gaining an idea of how this year is going to turn out. From the promotion contenders to the relegation battle, the opening 11 games of the New Year have set the scene for an exciting campaign ahead one the international break is over. While the season is still in its infancy, the league’s leading scorers has already more than pricked the interest of many Betfair fans as the Championship’s depth of striking talent continues to prove itself.
Ross McCormack was the Championship top scorer last season with 28 goals for Leeds before his £11 million move to Fulham, but the Scottish striker hasn’t found goals as easy to come by this season, scoring just twice in the league for his new club. While McCormack has struggled for goals since his big-money move, Britt Assombalonga has flourished since making his £5+ million switch from League One Peterborough United to Nottingham Forest, scoring eight goals and establishing himself as the early-season favourite to finish the year as the division’s top scorer.
But with a long way to go between now and May, the Championship top scorer picture could look a lot different than it does right now by the time the end of the season comes around. So let’s have a look at the leading runners and riders in this season’s race.
Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest)
Despite scoring 23 goals for Peterborough last season, many viewed Nottingham Forest’s decision to spend over £5 million on Assombalonga as an extremely risky piece of business. With eight league goals to his name after 11 appearances, the 21-year-old has already gone some way to repaying a large chunk of his fee. If the striker can score the goals that see Forest reach the Premier League, a fee that could reportedly rise to £8 million will be seen as a real bargain. In a side that is currently creating plenty of chances for their strikers, it’s unsurprising to see Assombalonga as the firm BetFair favourite to finish the season as the Championship leading scorer.
Lewis Grabban (Norwich City)
Grabban’s 22 league goals for Bournemouth last season saw him earn a move to recently-relegated Norwich City, and the 26-year-old has picked up from where he left off last year with an impressive start to life at Carrow Road. Grabban wasted little time in winning over his new supporters by scoring four goals in his first four appearances, including the only goal in the 1-0 victory over bitter rivals Ipswich. With Norwich many people’s favourites for promotion this year, Grabban is expected to be in with a real chance of bettering his 22 goals from last season, and the striker could be a great shout to finish as the league’s golden boot winner.
Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)
While Blackburn Rovers may not be many people’s tip to be challenging near the top of the table this season, Jordan Rhodes is expected to have a great chance of being the division’s leading scorer. With four goals already, the Scottish forward is already on his way to scoring the 25-plus league goals he has recorded in the previous two seasons since his arrival at Ewood Park from Huddersfield. Rhodes has been the subject of plenty of speculation over the past few transfer windows and there’s a strong chance Premier League clubs will come a calling again in January. As long as he’s still a Championship player in January, there’s a decent possibility Rhodes will be right up there with the leading scorers at the end of the season even if Blackburn are not.
Cameron Jerome (Norwich City)
Cameron Jerome has been a lot of things throughout his career but prolific has never really been one of them. That is until now, however. Since his arrival at Carrow Road from Stoke City, Jerome has looked as good as any striker in the division, scoring six league goals in his opening seven appearances for the club. Playing alongside an equally prolific Lewis Grabban, Jerome’s goals have been a big factor behind the Norwich climbing to the top of the Championship table after 11 games of the campaign. If Jerome can continue scoring as he has been doing, there’s a very good chance the Canaries will still be there come the end of the season.
Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City)
Another former Stoke City frontman who may have ‘found his level’ could be Kenwyne Jones. The Trinidad and Tobago international only managed one goal for Cardiff as they slipped out of the Premier League last year but has started life back in the Championship with five goals in his opening 10 games. While Cardiff’s tough start to the new season cost Ole Gunner Solskjaer his job, Jones’ goals have played a part in keeping the club from slipping too far off the pace. Very much a confidence striker, an in-form Jones could be crucial to the Welsh club’s hopes of bouncing back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Ross McCormack (Fulham)
With an £11 million price tag on his head, the pressure was always going to be on McCormack’s shoulders this season and it seems to be playing a part in the Scottish striker’s quiet start to the new season. Another important factor in McCormack scoring just two league goals so far this season has been the dismal form in which Fulham have started life back in the Championship. McCormack’s 28 league goals for Leeds United last season single-handily kept the club in the Championship, and it could be that the forward is relied upon to score the goals that stop Fulham from finding themselves in another relegation battle this season. A brace against Nottingham Forest saw McCormack open his league account for the year and you’d be a brave soul to rule out the former Cardiff hit-man from going on a scoring run when the season gets backs underway following the international break.