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Soccer Saturday Posted 3rd August 2013 view comments

Paul Jewell on Joey Barton's triumphant return for QPR

QPR 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday: Read our match report here

"You can't keep Barton out of the action; he got booked for a reckless tackle, but he is a clever player and kept drifting into pockets of space after starting wide on the right. He has got quality and can see a pass, so if he stays and gets his head down he will be one of the best players in the Championship.

"Rangers did look a threat going forward, too, with Junior Hoilett causing problems and Andy Johnson and Charlie Austin looking sharp, so they do have a real goal threat - but when you are used to losing games, like QPR are, then winning the first game of the season is a massive help, so this will take a lot of the pressure off.

"I think Sheffield Wednesday will feel hard done by, though, because they should have had a penalty which could have possibly made it 2-2 and always looked threatening on the break. Wednesday have pace in Jermaine Johnson, Michail Antonio, Jeremy Helan and Jacques Maghoma, but I think they are short of a clinical goal-scorer."

Iain Dowie on Wigan's eye-catching thrashing of Barnsley

Barnsley 0-4 Wigan: Read our match report here

"Wigan tore Barnsley apart for the first 15 minutes of the second half with the likes of Ben Watson - who appears to have kick-started his career - and James McCarthy popping it around, the ball sticking with Grant Holt up front, and a bit more intent to get to the ball in the box from wide positions than we are used to seeing. Plus, Callum McManaman's cameo was sensational.

"I like the look of James Perch alongside Leon Barnett at centre-half, too, and when you consider they have Emmerson Boyce and Stephen Crainey in the full-back positions, options on the bench, and lots of game-changers like McCarthy and James McArthur. I think they will do well and if you finish above Wigan you might be champions.

"It looks like it could be long season for Barnsley, though, as defensively they didn't look great and strikers Chris Dagnall and Chris O'Grady, who are usually quite bright, did not get any service at all. Their home form has been fantastic but they were right off the pace today and didn't get into Wigan's faces at all."

Tony Cottee on Reading's "spluttering" victory over Ipswich

Reading 2-1 Ipswich: Read our match report here

"Reading dominated most of the possession but they spluttered, created few chances and weren't particularly good to watch, and if I was Nigel Adkins I would be slightly worried by the lack of support for Adam le Fondre up front. So Reading made hard work of it but come the end of the season I think they will look back at this game simply as' three points won'.

"Royston Drenthe came off towards the end but he did alright; he was given a free role and roamed around, popping up on the right and left, and he has got good skill - but I'm sure he will get better as the season goes on. Ipswich, meanwhile, defended well, but Daryl Murphy was starved of service up front and I think they will struggle to do better than top 10 unless they bring people in."

Paul Walsh on the encounter between Middlesbrough and Leicester

Middlesbrough 1-2 Leicester: Read our match report here

"Leicester were poor in the first half but there was a lot more application and aggression in the second half and David Nugent linked up well with Jamie Vardy when he came on. They grew as the game went on and Middlesbrough fizzled out, despite some early promise from Marvin Emnes and Mustapha Carayol.

"I don't think Leicester are automatic promotion candidates -though you never really know in the Championship - so I think the realistic expectation from the fans should be play-offs again, but they did deserve this victory as Middlesbrough resorted to some desperate, long-ball stuff."

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