The Championship is one of the toughest leagues to get out of, but which side are favourites to finish first and get back into the Premier League?
Picking a winner for the Championship can be very difficult. The favourites are always a mixture of newly relegated sides, along with those that just missed out on promotion the previous season.
The season lasts 46 games and a lot of the time, it is a matter of a few points between first and second. You can usually predict which sides will be up there fighting for it, but sometimes there can be a team that surprises you.
Last season, Norwich finished first on 96 points, six ahead of Watford. Reading set the record for the most points in a Championship season in 2006/07, when they got 106 points, losing just twice over the season. West Brom, Fulham and Sheffield United all went the other way and were relegated back into the Championship.
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Championship Winner Odds 21/22 (Betfair)
West Brom – 15/8 – 2nd place, 22 points
Another relegated side from last season are West Brom. They finished one point and one place below Fulham, but for some reason, never looked like staying up. Sam Allardyce was in charge who played a very negative style of football and has since left the club following his first-ever Premier League relegation.
Valerian Ismael is West Brom’s new manager after a successful spell at Barnsley. They finished one point off of relegation the season before he joined and then he took them to the playoffs in his first year.
Ismael has taken former Barnsley player Alex Mowatt with him to West Brom, but other than that, they have been fairly quiet. Matheus Pereira has left the club for a fee of around £16 million, which they will want to re-invest before the window closes.
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Fulham – 2/1 – 5th place, 20 points
The London side were relegated from the Premier League last season after finishing 17th, but are now the favourites in the Championship betting odds. At one point, it looked like they may escape relegation but ended up 11 points off. Manager Scott Parker left the club after two seasons in charge, a decision that was agreed between both parties.
Their new manager is Marco Silva, who has managed three times in the Premier League with Hull, Watford and Everton. He has been busy this summer, bringing in a number of players. Harry Wilson has been the marquee signing, joining for £12.6 million from Liverpool and he has a fantastic record in the Championship. Gazzaniga has also joined the club, with the majority of Fulham’s main players including Cairney, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Cavaleiro still at the club.
Fulham have started well and have good squad depth. They played good football last season and have a lot of players with Championship experience. To win the Championship you need to be consistent for the whole season, which is very hard to do and something they haven’t been in the last five games.
Bournemouth – 7/2 – 1st place, 25 points
The Cherries have been in the English Championship for two seasons now, after being relegated in 2019/20. Last season they finished sixth, with Jonathan Woodgate finishing the season in charge as the caretaker manager.
Ex-Fulham manager Scott Parker has taken over and this seems an exciting appointment for Bournemouth. He was tipped for some big jobs in the Premier League due to his style of play. Parker has brought in Gary Cahill, who is a very experienced signing and will still do a job in that league.
Bournemouth have lost Danjuma, who joined Villarreal for a fee of around £21 million. If this is spent correctly, they could definitely be aside to look out for.