It’s likely to be a competitive tussle at the top of England’s second tier next season as a number of teams battle for a place in the Premier League. There are no dominant side in the Championship winner betting odds this season with both Aston Villa and Fulham joint 7/1 favourites with William Hill for the forthcoming season. We’ll assess the chances of some of the possible players in the promotion picture.
Who are the main Championship promotion contenders?
Outright Price – 7/1 with William Hill.
Promotion Price – 5/2 with Betfred.
Villa have hit the headlines this summer with the signing of John Terry from Chelsea. The former Blues captain should add some stability at the back and could be joined by beanpole striker Peter Crouch who has also been linked with the club. Villa didn’t have a problem with conceding goals towards the end of last season but their failure to notch more than a single goal per game held them back. They netted exactly one goal in six of their last seven games last season although only conceded twice in their last three.
Steve Bruce has a proven track record with getting sides promoted from this level and there was a noticeable improvement once the former Birmingham and Sunderland boss took over last season. They only lost one of their last eight home games last season and their performances at Villa Park will once again be pivotal to their chances of securing Championship promotion.
There is a tremendous pool of talent in this squad with Connor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury, Scott Hogan, Jonathon Kodjia and James Chester all on their books from last season. I think they will do it but given their ability to disappoint I’d rather take the 5/2 on promotion than bank on them winning the league so that's the first of my Championship promotion predictions for next season.
Outright Price – 9/1 with Ladbrokes (best price).
Promotion – 10/3 with BetStars.
If you believed the betting markets, Fulham were expected to stroll through last season’s play-offs but they fell at the first hurdle. Slavisa Jokanovic has remained at the club for another tilt at promotion and Tom Cairney’s commitment to the club is a huge boost ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
The Cottagers were devastating in front of goal last season but there are still a couple of defensive issues to be ironed out. Whether the addition of Marcelo Djalo can help matter remains to be seen but Ragnar Sigurdsson should continue his improvement as he acclimatises to English football.
The energetic bursts of Ryan Sessegnon are likely to be a theme of next season and the unpredictability of Floyd Ayite and Stefan Johansen should give Fulham the edge over many teams around them. Another striker is definitely required if they are to secure Championship promotion and they’ll need to retain the services of their manager, especially if West Ham dispense Slaven Bilic.
Outright – 9/1 with 888Sport (Best Price).
Promotion – 11/4 with William Hill.
Garry Monk takes over at the Riverside and Middlesbrough will be many people’s fancies to bounce straight back to the Premier League. They were held back by the negativity of Aitor Karanka in the first half of last season before the appointment of Steve Agnew failed to ignite much response.
Monk almost guided Leeds to the Play-Offs and seems a very astute operator. He’s added Cyrus Christie and Johnny Howson to the Middlesbrough ranks although how Adam(s) Forshaw & Clayton, Marten De Roon, Grant Leadbitter and new recruit Howson are going to fit into the side will be one of Monk’s many decisions.
Patrick Bamford has previous at this level and if they can keep hold of either Ben Gibson or George Friend they will have an excellent chances of bouncing back. They weren’t too bad at the Riverside last season and they will need a packed out crowd to roar them on to success.
Under their new manager, I think they stand an excellent chance of success and could sneak into the automatic spots once again and ultimately gain Championship promotion.
Outright Price – 10/1 with Betfair.
Promotion Price – 7/2 with Bet365.
Daniel Farke is the new man in charge of Norwich and he is aiming to follow in the footsteps of fellow German boss, David Wagner. The Canaries were generally considered to have one of the strongest squads in the division last season but underachieved.
They’ve lost Johnny Howson and Graham Dorrans but some eye-catching additions should help their cause. Angus Gunn joins on loan from Manchester City and Mario Vrancic is certainly an exciting prospect. Christoph Zimmerman is aiming to play the Christopher Schlinder role at the back with Marley Watkins proving his effectiveness at this level.
The Murphy brothers are capable of moments of magic and if Nelson Oliveira is in the mood, he could get bags of goals for the Canaries. There’s plenty more to come from James Maddison and the ability of both Alex Pritchard and Wes Hoolahan should make for some exciting afternoons at Carrow Road.
I’m backing the Canaries to go all the way they’re my best bet in my Championship promotion predictions for next season!
Other Championship Promotion Contenders
Derby will be much stronger under the likeable Gary Rowett and although they’ve lost Tom Ince and Will Hughes, Rowett will not tolerate any below-par performances from his side. I’m really not sure what we’ll get from Hull City whilst Sheffield Wednesday just seem a little too fragile to secure promotion and their away form is sometimes a little patchy. Leeds may need a year to adapt under Thomas Christiansen but given time, he could work wonders at the West Yorkshire club whilst Cardiff have gone about their business quietly but effectively under Neil Warnock and the additions of Callum Paterson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing could be very interesting. Wolves have spent big and look interesting at a bigger price.
Championship Promotion Predictions
Open a new Betfred account and bet £10 on any of our Championship promotion predictions or any other sports bet. Win or lose you will get a free £60 credited automatically to your new account, just use the steps below.
How to get the Betfred £60 free bet:
2. Bet £10 on any football tip for next season
3. Win or lose you get a £60 free bet automatically