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OUR 2016-17 CHAMPIONSHIP OPPONENTS: PART TWO

24 June 2016

In-focus: our rivals for the 2016-17 season

WITH the 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship fixtures released this week, we profile the teams Norwich City will face over the course of the season. Here, we bring you Part Two.

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

Manager: Chris Hughton
Home: The Amex Stadium
2015-16: 3rd
Twitter: @OfficialBHAFC

Fact
: Brighton scored a joint-high 72 Championship goals last season, matched only by Brentford and Burnley.

Brighton can consider themselves unfortunate to not be in the Premier League this season, having been edged out on goal-difference by Middlesbrough for the second automatic promotion spot.

They faced the ultimate show-down with Aitor Karanka's side on the final day, but a draw at the Riverside was enough to take Boro into the top-flight by the most slender of margins.



Reacting to that disappointment proved testing, and after a long season the Seagulls ran out of steam when they came up against Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off semi-finals.

Chris Hughton's men will be eager to regroup in order to give themselves the best chance of going one step further this time around, possessing a decent blend of defensive and offensive qualities.


BRISTOL CITY

Manager: Lee Johnson
Home: Ashton Gate
2015-16: 18th
Twitter: @bcfctweets

Fact
: Lee Johnson's father, Gary Johnson, managed the Club between 2005 and 2010.

Hovering just above the relegation-zone for much of the season, Bristol City rallied in the latter stages to eventually end up 12 points clear of the drop.

The Robins' survival hopes looked to in serious jeopardy at the start of February, but the appointment of Lee Johnson as manager proved to be the catalyst required to ensure safety was achieved.



They collected 24 points from 16 under Johnson, as well as winning 1-0 at then relegation rivals Charlton Athletic with the former Barnsley boss watching on before formally taking charge of first team affairs. 

Following in the footsteps of father Gary at Ashton Gate, the 35-year-old looks to have the potential to emulate that success given his impressive start to life at the helm.


BURTON ALBION
  
Manager: Nigel Clough
Home: Pirelli Stadium   
2015-16: 2nd (League One)
Twitter: @burtonalbionfc

Fact
: The Canaries will meet Burton Albion for the first time in a competitive fixture during the 2016-17 season.

Burton Albion will be playing in the second tier for the first time in their history this season, following back-to-back promotions from League Two.

Their rise to the Sky Bet Championship has been almost meteoric, as the Club enjoyed an exclusively non-league existence up to the 2009-10 season.



throughout history, and their maiden trip to the Pirelli Stadium is set to take place on Saturday, February 18. never met the Brewers in a competitive fixture City have

A series of smart managerial appointments have been key factors behind their success, with Gary Rowett and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink both contributing before Albion icon Nigel Clough returned last December.

CARDIFF CITY

Manager: Paul Trollope
Home: Cardiff City Stadium
2015-16: 8th  
Twitter: @CardiffCityFC

Fact: Cardiff's Paul Trollope spent two years as a coach at Carrow Road between 2012 and 2014.

Cardiff City responded to missing out on the play-offs by adjusting their coaching structure and replacing manager Russell Slade with Paul Trollope, who was previously working as Head Coach.

Slade initially moved into a Head of Football role with the Bluebirds, but left after just 28 days ahead of being named as the new boss at Charlton Athletic.




Now with greater responsibility placed upon him at club level, the 44-year-old will be eager to reestablish himself as a manager in his own right.

Trollope, who spent five years in charge of Bristol Rovers between 2005 and 2010, brings experience, having formed a key part of Chris Coleman's coaching staff which took Wales to the Euro 2016 Finals.

DERBY COUNTY

Manager: Nigel Pearson
Home: iPro Stadium
2015-16: 5th 
Twitter: @dcfcofficial

Fact
: There are currently five former City players in the Derby ranks; Alex Pearce, Bradley Johnson, Chris Martin, Jacob Butterfield and Jason Shackell.


Pearson's arrival came just ten days after the Rams were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Hull City in the play-off semi-finals; a fightback from 3-0 down after the first leg eventually proving to be in vain.
Derby County ended a period of uncertainty over who would be in charge this season when former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson was given the job towards the end of May.



Academy Director Darren Wassall oversaw those matches, having been in caretaker charge of Derby since the departure of Paul Clement in February.

With a manager now in place who many argue laid the foundations for Leicester's remarkable Premier League triumph, County are expected to be among the front-runners for promotion.


Look out for Part Three soon, featuring Fulham, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Leeds United and Newcastle United.



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