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Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Championship away days are here again!

It’s been a while, but we can finally look forward to some proper Championship away days next season - here are the three games that Paddy Hollis is looking forward to most!

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Promotion to the Championship means a great deal to Sunderland.

One of the biggest positives is, of course, that we won’t need to endure a fifth consecutive campaign in League One - something which even the most hardened fan would surely wince at the prospect of.

Another bonus is that we will get to face some of the top teams in the football league once again, and not be faced with the prospect of squaring up to the likes of Fleetwood and Shrewsbury again.

Instead, we’ll be tasked with heading to bigger, better and more iconic stadiums in different parts of the country, where there’s a bigger allocation for away fans, and the tickets won’t be quite like gold dust.

There are lots of exciting away day prospects on the cards, and here are my picks for the away matches I’m most looking forward to when the Championship fixtures are released next month.


Coventry City

Coventry City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Although Coventry are far down on the list of ‘clubs I like’ with the vast majority of Sunderland fans, they’re a club I’ve never seen as a rival.

They have a very good stadium, albeit it’s a bit of a pain to get to from the city centre, but it is a city I came to know well through my time at University and through having family live there. With some decent pubs and bars and a fairly central location, it’s an ideal fixture for exiled UK fans to get to.

The Sky Blues had a decent first half of last season but seemed to fall away in the new year - it will be one of many tough tasks ahead of us over the coming year.


Cardiff City

Cardiff City v Luton Town - Sky Bet Championship - Cardiff City Stadium Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

Sunderland are back facing Welsh opposition for the first time since 2018, and next season we will have two trips to Cymru in one season for the first time in eight years.

There’s a very likely chance I’ll be living in or around the Welsh capital during the 22/23 campaign and therefore having an away day on my doorstep is not something I’ll moan about.

The Cardiff City Stadium is still relatively new and looks like it would look great with a few thousand Mackems tucked in the corner.

Potentially living in South Wales would also make trips to Swansea City and Bristol easy to do, so I could hopefully have a few decent trips planned.


Queens Park Rangers

Queens Park Rangers v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Loftus Road, or the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as it’s known these days, isn’t a place that has any sentimental value for me - but it’s a proper footy ground.

At a time when each new stadium built seems to be taken from some relatively bland blueprint, this ground remains out there as a great place to visit.

Maybe I look at the home of QPR through rose-tinted glasses as my one and only visit was to watch us win 2-1, but for me, it is a great stadium and one which can make you feel as though you are right on top of proceedings.

Located in a pretty decent part of London and a ground that will host another side which I look upon as a decent club, I’ll be hoping to get my hand on a ticket to this one.

The Championship will be a big test, against clubs who have become established second-tier sides and some who have recently tested themselves against the best in the country in the top flight.

It will be enjoyable, and although we may come unstuck from time to time in the tougher division, we will at least have the chance to visit some clubs we haven't had the pleasure of heading to for years.

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