Matheus Pereira scored one and provided three assists as West Brom moved back above Leeds United to the top of the Championship with a 5-1 thrashing of Swansea City.

The Baggies recorded their biggest win of the season - and of Slaven Bilic's time in charge - having been set on their way by Semi Ajayi's 25th-minute header.

Pereira then swept in his fifth goal of the season and though Sam Surridge reduced the deficit by poking in from on the line, Pereira released Hal Robson-Kanu to make it 3-1 before half-time.

A delicious chip from Pereira led to Matt Phillips heading in a fifth 20 minutes from time and West Brom's Brazilian playmaker also teed up substitute Kyle Edwards to get in on the act in a sixth successive win.

West Brom returned to the top of the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 victory over struggling Stoke City on Monday.

Slaven Bilic's side had watched on over the weekend as Swansea City, Leeds United and then Preston North End all usurped them in the standings, leaving them in fourth at kick-off.

However, the Baggies are once again sitting pretty at the summit after brushing aside a Stoke team who had caretaker boss Rory Delap in charge for the first time.

Matt Phillips put the visitors ahead when he converted Grady Diangana's cross in the eighth minute and they rarely looked in danger of letting their advantage slip against opponents bereft of confidence.

Diangana was also heavily involved in West Brom's second, as he was fouled by Cameron Carter-Vickers inside the penalty area. Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu converted from the spot just six minutes after replacing Charlie Austin.

Defeat means Stoke - who fired Nathan Jones last Friday - remain stuck at the bottom, six points from safety.

Neil Warnock insisted the 2019-20 season is "absolutely" his last as a football manager as he prepared for a return to the Championship, where his Cardiff City side will battle for promotion in a division of contrasting football philosophies.

Former Leeds United boss Warnock will relish the Bluebirds' games against his old club more than ever as he pits his wits against Marcelo Bielsa following a turbulent first season in England for the former Argentina coach.

Slaven Bilic will embark upon his first adventure as a Championship boss as he aims to steer West Brom back into the Premier League, while Fulham's Scott Parker, Derby County's Phillip Cocu and Charlton Athletic's Lee Bowyer all make their managerial debuts in the division.

West Brom, Derby and Leeds come into the new season still smarting from play-off disappointment in 2018-19, while Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Cardiff arrive having tumbled out of the top flight last term.

Luton Town, Barnsley and Charlton are the newcomers from League One and all three will fancy their chances of causing more than a few surprises as they take on a division that looks wide open.

BIELSA IS BACK FOR A SECOND CRACK

Leeds fans breathed a sigh of relief when Bielsa agreed a one-year extension to his Elland Road contract, having seen their side transformed under the 63-year-old's guidance in 2018-19. While 'Spygate' and Leeds' play-off defeat to Derby dominated the headlines last season, they played some of the most attractive football in the division with veteran playmaker Pablo Hernandez instrumental in attack.

They acquired Helder Costa from Wolves and Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion, while losing centre-back Pontus Jansson to Brentford, but Leeds will rely on many of the same faces that helped them finish third last term. Bielsa's ability to get the best out of his resources - particularly influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips - should ensure they challenge for promotion once again.

WARNOCK TO HAVE ONE MORE GO

Last season was a difficult one for Cardiff, the disappointment of relegation put into context by the tragic death of Emiliano Sala before he even played for the club. The experience left Warnock shaken as he reflected on his bond with Bluebirds fans, and he has promised a title tilt to bring the curtain down on his long career.

Aron Gunnarsson and Victor Camarasa have departed, but Warnock has brought in Will Vaulks from Rotherham to reinforce his midfield, while £5.5million forward Robert Glatzel will be expected to deliver goals.

BEES AND ROVERS HARBOUR TOP-HALF HOPES

Brentford finished 11th last season after manager Dean Smith joined Aston Villa in October, but Thomas Frank got them playing attractive football again as they won four of their final six games. Said Benrahma and Neal Maupay will be out to fire the Bees up the table and turn Griffin Park - where they have lost just one league game in 2019 - into a fortress.

There is similar optimism around Ewood Park, where Blackburn Rovers lost just one of their final five Championship games last term, and where former Southampton striker Sam Gallagher will hope to rediscover the goalscoring touch he showed in a loan spell in Lancashire in 2016-17.

FULHAM AIM TO BOUNCE BACK, BAGGIES REINFORCED

Anthony Knockaert knows all about Championship promotion pushes, having starred in Brighton's ascent in 2016-17, and his creativity and goals could be vital to Fulham's hopes of bouncing straight back after he signed on a season-long loan.

The Championship's bargain hunters are West Brom, who have signed Romaine Sawyers, Darnell Furlong and Semi Ayaji for less than £6m combined, but the £8m capture of forward Kenneth Zohore from Cardiff is a real statement of intent.

West Brom have signed Kenneth Zohore from Cardiff City for a reported £8million, the Danish striker replacing the departed Salomon Rondon after his move to China.

Zohore, who scored a single Premier League goal in 19 top-flight appearances for the relegated Bluebirds last term, has signed a four-year contract with Slaven Bilic's side.

"He is a player who has got more than a bit of everything, he's strong, he has pace, he has good skill," Bilic told West Brom's official website.

"He knows the league, he knows the country, he's already got good experience but he's still got room to improve. He's not the finished article. I hope he's going to be a very good player for us."

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