The Championship: Winners and losers from Saturday fixtures

Ross Jackson
Stoke kicked off their season with a win
Stoke kicked off their season with a win / Ashley Allen/Getty Images

It's back, babyyyyyy!

Little more than two months since we said goodbye to the best league in the world, the Championship is back and we're in for another ten months of constant drama, excitement and probably heartbreak.

The majority of the 2021/22 second-tier alumni have already kicked off their league campaign so it seemed appropriate to dip in immediately and see who the early runners and riders are in 90min's famed 'winners and losers' series...

Let the Championship dissection begin...

1. Winners - Hull

What a way to introduce yourself back to the Championship.

Goals from Keane Lewis-Potter, Richard Smallwood, Josh Magennis and Andy Cannon handed Grant McCann's side the win against Preston, though what's perhaps even more impressive is that they fell behind early on and showed the character to come back and claim a 4-1 victory.

Preston are an experienced Championship side and McCann will be delighted to have got three points on the board away from home in Hull's first game of the season.

2. Losers - Preston

Well there's no point beating about the bush so let's get straight to the team Hull beat.

Preston have been lingering in midtable for a good few years now and they look to be slowly sliding down the table as the seasons go by.

Frankie McAvoy will have been hoping to inject some life into his side and kick off with a good start that could potentially lead to a successful campaign, so getting hammered by a newly-promoted club on the opening day is the worst thing that could have happened.

Hull truly outclassed Preston - mustering more than double the amount of shots on goal as the home side - and it really is a worrying start.

3. Winners - Luton

Nathan Jones is doing some job at Luton.

Having led them to a superb 12th-placed finish last season - after they'd scraped their way to survival the season prior - the Hatters have now kicked off their campaign with a thumping 3-0 win over Peterborough.

Alright, we know Darren Ferguson's side are newly-promoted and so we shouldn't get too excited, but we've not got much to go off here given it's only week one.

Goals from Elijah Adebayo, Harry Cornick and Fred Onyedinma were enough to secure the three points for the home side, and Luton may well be a decent outside bet for a place in the play-offs.

4. Losers - Swansea

Russell Martin suffered defeat in his first game as Swansea boss
Russell Martin suffered defeat in his first game as Swansea boss / Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Swansea are starting a new chapter after manager Steve Cooper and talisman Andre Ayew both left the club over the summer, so an opening day 2-1 defeat to Blackburn is not ideal.

Many have tipped Tony Mowbray's side to struggle after their alarming slide down the table in the second half of last season, but goals from Sam Gallagher and international superstar Ben Brereton earned them the win; Jamie Paterson's second-half goal failing to spark a comeback for the Swans.

5. Winners - Stoke

You can't underestimate what an impressive result this is for Stoke.

Having looked odds on for a place in the play-offs last campaign, many people had Reading down as potential contenders again this season - but they just couldn't shake off a Stoke side determined to get the three points.

The Potters twice took the lead and twice they were pegged back, but with just five minutes to play new signing Sam Surridge popped up with a winner to make it 3-2 to Michael O'Neill's side.

A lack of firepower possibly prevented Stoke from mounting a promotion push last season, and with three goals on the board in the first game and a goal for their new striker, the Potters can be delighted with their efforts.

6. Losers - Peterborough

Darren Ferguson's side suffered a heavy defeat on Saturday
Darren Ferguson's side suffered a heavy defeat on Saturday / James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

We're not going to be too tough on Peterborough given that this is their first game back in the second tier, but a 3-0 defeat is not the way you want to kick off life back in the Championship.

The Posh mustered just a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes at Kenilworth Road and their heavy defeat looks even more concerning given fellow promoted side Hull's impressive victory.

It's early days of course but this is by no means a great start.