September Championship preview: Key month for Leeds United; do or die for Derby County

Leeds United East Stand

Leeds United, Derby County and Rotherham United have a big month ahead in the Championship.

Time for Leeds United to prove promotion credentials: 

After recording four draws and one win from their opening five Championship matches, Leeds go into September as one of just three teams to remain unbeaten. 

A last minute winner away at promotion rivals Derby County was enough to inspire supporters to believe that this season could be the one that sees them win promotion to rejoin the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League. 

Uwe Rosler's side are in for a tough month, with three of their four games coming against promotion rivals in Brentford, Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough, so it should be the perfect test for the Whites to show just how far they have come since last season. 

An impressive opening month is certainly an ideal stepping stone, but critics will argue that this is the month that will make or break Leeds' promotion hopes this season.

Do or die for Derby County as they look to play catch up: 

After failing to register a win from their opening six matches in all competitions, the Rams will be hoping for a perfect September to get their promotion push up and running. 

Since the loss at home to Leeds, Paul Clement has spent big in the transfer market and brought in exciting midfield duo Jacob Butterfield and Bradley Johnson in the hope of inspiring his side into the form that made them the early favourites for the Championship title prior to the season starting. 

With three of their four games in September away from home, it could be hard for the Rams to build momentum. However, if they are to win promotion this season, it will be something they need to overcome. 

Another slow month could see them trailing the top clubs in the division by more than 10 points and make the mountain to climb in order to achieve automatic promotion too large.  

Big month for Rotherham in order to avoid 'whipping boys' tag: 

Out of all the sides in the division, Rotherham will be the most disappointed with their start to the season and will be desperate to avoid a similar run of form this month. 

Like Derby, the Millers have just one game at home and will be looking to pick up a minimum of two wins in order to pull themselves out of the bottom three before October. 

It is likely to be a tough ask, especially as the home match is against high flying Cardiff City, but it is imperative that Steve Evans' side gets points on the board to avoid being dubbed the division's whipping boys, in a similar light to Blackpool last season. 

The South Yorkshire club have enough quality in their side to put up a fight to stay in the Championship. However, with just one point from a possible fifteen so far, it's plausible that confidence is already low and in danger of dropping even lower. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch