EFL essential reading: Predictions, previews, players to watch, features

The EFL is back – and we have got you covered with everything you need to know ahead of the 2018/19 season.

There are features, players to watch, predictions, season guides, interviews, and much more.

Here’s all you need to read ahead of the start of the season, which kicks off on Friday evening live on Sky Sports as Frank Lampard’s Derby take on Reading…

Season previews

Who’s tipped for promotion? Which sides could struggle? Who could be in the goals?

Gear up for the new term with our bumper guide for every division:

Sky Bet Championship: Season guide

Sky Bet League One: Season guide

Sky Bet League Two: Season guide

Why should you be excited?

Sure the World Cup was great and you might still be a bit disappointed that it’s over for another four (and a half) years, but there are plenty of reasons to look forward to the start of the EFL season.

There’s Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds, Frank Lampard at Derby, Saido Berahino at Stoke, a new era at Ipswich, and much more live action on Sky Sports, including all midweek matches on the red button.

These are the reasons to be excited for the 2018/19 season.

Blockbuster start to the season

Another reason to be excited? How about five live games on Sky Sports on the first weekend of the season.

It all starts with Reading v Derby on Friday evening before Sunderland v Charlton and Sheffield United v Swansea on Saturday.

Leeds face Stoke on Sunday before Hull take on Aston Villa on Monday evening.

What a way to start the season.

Reading vs Derby

August 3, 2018, 7:00pm

Live on

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S’land vs Charlton

August 4, 2018, 12:00pm

Live on

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Sheff Utd vs Swansea

August 4, 2018, 5:15pm

Live on

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Leeds vs Stoke

August 5, 2018, 3:30pm

Live on

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Hull City vs A Villa

August 6, 2018, 7:00pm

Live on

Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Ones to watch

“This could be a huge season for him – he could be in double figures for goals and assists and that would be an incredible output. It’s a player we can get really excited about in terms of England as well if he has a breakout season.”

Which young players are set to catch the eye in the Championship?

From Harvey Barnes to Mason Mount and Ollie Watkins, here are six that could impress.

Frank Lampard: The manager

After a hugely successful playing career with Chelsea, Frank Lampard is trying his hand at management.

And, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports ahead of Derby’s season opener against Reading on Friday, the 40-year-old talks candidly about his route into management, his reasons for choosing Derby, and what his style will be.

Read the interview here.

0:52 Frank Lampard discusses why he chose Derby for his first managerial role Leading Leeds

Is Marcelo Bielsa the man to return Leeds United to the glory days?

We have been behind the scenes in the build-up to the new season for an exclusive documentary ‘Leading Leeds United’, which you can watch On Demand.

Championship prediction

Who is going to be promoted to the Premier League? Who will make the play-offs? And who will be relegated?

Ali Maxwell and George Elek from the Not The Top 20 Podcast give us their predictions for who will finish where in the Sky Bet Championship this season.

See how they think the Championship season will unfold here.

4:55 Ali Maxwell and George Elek from Not The Top 20 Podcast pick out five things to know ahead of the new season Which rivals will come out on top?

The start of the new season means rivalries are ready to be renewed.

Frank Lampard’s Derby start the 2018/19 season at Reading, but the new Rams boss is sure to have circled the East Midlands showdown with Nottingham Forest on his fixture list.

From Sheffield to the Second City, we have taken a closer look at four crunch Championship derbies coming up this term and assess who is best-placed for success.

Head here to have a read.

Watch the start of the EFL season with five live games on Sky Sports, starting with Reading v Derby from 7pm on Friday.

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