The Championship is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. Now more than ever, the gap is closing between the top sides of the second tier and the coveted Premier League.

That’s why heading into FM21, which is still available for £29.99, we recommend managing in this hotly contested division.

Here are the best Championship teams to manage on Football Manager 21:

5. Luton Town

Little old Luton defied all the odds to secure Championship safety last season and have started the 20/21 season in fine form; sitting in a comfortable 5th place. While a Premier League charge may be some way off, the Hatters are the Championships favourite underdog. Led by Pelly Ruddock and Harry Cornick, Luton’s squad should be an interesting one in FM21, with some space for big improvements. It’s a long-term save for the more expert fans as you try to guide the boys of Kenilworth Road clear of the bottom half and into the big time.

4. Watford

Watford were relegated on the final day of the 19/20 Premier League season at the hands of Arsenal and now face their first season in the Championship for five years. It also sees their old rivalry with fellow team on this list; Luton. Watford will be demanding promotion at the first time of asking and have a fantastic squad of Premier League quality including the likes of Ismaïla Sarr, Christian Kabasele and captain Troy Deeney. This is a squad destined for the big leagues but, as always, it’s easier said than done in the Championship.

3. Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday narrowly missed out on my Top 5 teams overall to manage on FM21. They are a team truly in the darkest of days. A 12 point deduction following the breaking of spending rules and key players leaving meant that many predict Wednesday could be League One bound in 2021. If you’re a player who loves a hardcore challenge, this is easily the most difficult challenge on this list and it could be you to do the impossible and save one of England’s oldest clubs into the freefall of the English third tier.

2. Nottingham Forest

Forest haven’t been in the top flight since 1999 and haven’t made the Championship playoffs since 2011. One of England’s most successful clubs and the definition of a sleeping giant. Following a hugely promising 7th placed finish last season, FM21 is the platform to finally secure Forest’s place back amongst the English elite. Top scorer Lewis Grabban will be crucial to your success alongside midfielder Joe Lolley and, with some smart additions, you could be the one to replicate the legacy of the great Brian Clough and guide them out of the second tier and beyond.

1. Brentford

Brentford are perhaps one of the most fascinating teams to manage in FM21. It feels like the birth of a new era for the team who have become the staple for many well-run clubs across England. Star striker Ollie Watkins has gone but has been astutely replaced with Peterborough ace Ivan Toney. However, more importantly, Said Benrahma, David Raya and Rico Henry all look set to stay for at least another year at the Bees. Brentford are no longer satisfied with Championship familiarity. An unlucky Play-Off defeat to Fulham, a brand new stadium and a squad full of quality shows that Brentford are going places – and you could be the man to take them there.

And once you’ve taken on one of the best Championship teams to manager on Football Manager 21, check out the 10 Wonderkids To Look Out For On Football Manager 21 to bolster your squad.

Think we missed someone? Have any questions? Message myself or the page on Instagram as always.

Thanks for reading.