Championship League Preview
With the start of the new season in England’s Championship just a few short weeks away the bookies are close to formulating their opinion of exactly who they think will be challenging for the promised land of the Premier League and who will be plunging to the periphery of League 1. Astute punters have a great chance to make a few quid by navigating the famously unpredictable waters of England’s second tier and calling the winners and losers right.
As most fans would expect, the bookies are strongly backing last year’s relegated teams to bounce back at the first time of asking. Despite the car-crash of last season Queen’s Park rangers are favorites to be promoted at 7/4. It would still be fairly brave to back them outright, considering the utter turmoil of the club. The sheer quality of the squad and Harry Rednkapp’s experience may see them over the line however.
Reading, a much more stable outfit, under the stewardship of the superb Nigel Adkins may be a slightly safer bet at 11/4. Recently relegated Wigan are placed at 7/2 to go back up, and Bolton (10/3), Leicester (3/1), Nottingham Forest (3/1) and last season’s play-off losers Watford (9/2) are all backed as likely contenders.
In terms of outsiders, Leeds could surprise a few people this season by mounting a promotion push and are backed at 6/1. Other tempters are Middlesborough at 11/1 and Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich, priced at 7/1.
The bookies are in no doubt about who is in for a relegation scrap with new boys Yeovil, lacking in stature and quality at this level favorites for relegation at 8/11. Other teams in danger according to the odds are Doncaster (5/4), Barnsley (9/4) and Millwall (7/2), who will have to steady the ship after long standing manager Kenny Jackett was replaced by Steve Lomas in the close season.