The race for a place in the Premier League is hotting up with the Championship reaching the business end of the season in the next few weeks.
Like most divisions across Europe, a whole host of Africans are plying their trade in the Championship and have their targets set on a place in the English top flight next term.
Defeated in the play-offs last time around, Brentford currently occupy second—behind only runaway leaders Norwich City—as we head into gameweek 33.
The Bees had lost three on the bounce, but responded strongly with a 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday to stay ahead of Watford.
While Said Benrahma’s departure for West Ham United cost them a key offensive threat heading into 2020-21, the likes of Bryan Mbeumo (Cameroon) and Tarique Fosu-Mensah (Ghana) will be desperate to make up for last year’s disappointment.
Relegated last term, Watford are handling expectations well this season, and remain firmly in the hunt for automatic promotion.
It certainly helps that they kept hold of Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr, who has scored eight goals and contributed four assists in 28 outings so far this term.
The likes of Adam Masina, Jeremy Ngakia, Nathaniel Chalobah and Tom Dele-Bashiru are other figures of African interest, and Nigeria’s William Troost-Ekong has settled well after arriving from Serie A last year.
#3 Swansea City
Firmly in the race for the title, Swansea City have two games in hand on leaders Norwich City, and would be only two points behind them if they can win both of those outstanding matches.
They’re in strong form, winning four of their last five, and will be stronger for their experience of last season—when they were defeated in the playoffs.
Andre Ayew has remained at the club and knuckled down, despite being linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain during the summer, and has registered nine goals so far this term.
Reading are faltering in the race for the top flight, and having lost four of their last five, they’ll be desperate to return to winning ways away at Rotherham United this weekend.
While Ovie Ejaria and Michael Olise haven’t been able to improve the Royals’ fortunes over the last month, they’ve been two of their star performers this term, and both have attracted interest from bigger clubs.
Ejaria, eligible for Nigeria, has established himself as one of the Championship’s finest dribblers, while Olise—nine assists so far—is a bona fide game-changer.
#5 Cardiff City
The in-form team in the division, Cardiff have won all of their last six, and are unbeaten since January 20.
They needed an upturn in fortunes, having lost their six in a row in all competitions from late December to late January, but if they can maintain their recent form, they’ll definitely be in the mix.
Anglo-Nigerian wideman Sheyi Ojo, now 23, has had a hand in 11 goals so far this term as he looks to convince parent club Liverpool that he still has something to offer.
This is the winger’s sixth loan move away from Anfield.
Back-to-back defeats have seen Bournemouth dropping out of the playoff positions, but head coach Jonathan Woodgate surely has the talent at his disposal to see the Cherries turn things around.
Dominic Solanke has been the south-coast club’s star performer this season, scoring 10 and weighing in with a further four assists as he’s demonstrated the talent that had too often been absent in the Premier League.
However, can Solanke prove that he can do the business during the latter stages of the season in order to fire Bournemouth back to the top tier?
Premier League Betting
While the race to the Premier League starts to reach boiling, so too does the betting as to who will be promoted or reach the play-offs in the Championship this season.
<According to the latest odds at freebets.com, Norwich are the red hot favourites to win the division at 2/5, while Brentford are 4/7 for promotion along with Watford at 4/5.
A whole host of bookmakers are already offering a whole host of free bets and bonuses on the end of the football season, especially for new customers who can look forward to an eventful summer of football at the rescheduled Euro 2020.