The race for Premier League promotion is less than a month away, but will there be an immediate bounce back from those recently relegated? Or will a surprise candidate emerge and champion the Championship in 2021/22?
Find the latest Championship Winner odds* for the 2021/2022 season here:
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*You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (10:00, 23/07/2021). BeGambleAware.
Who are favourites to win the Championship?
It will come as no surprise to see the three relegated teams from the 2020/21 Premier League season all favourites to immediately bounce back. In the campaign just gone, Norwich City and Watford ensured their stints in the second tier were brief, gaining promotion at the first time of asking, while fellow relegated club from the 2019/20 season, Bournemouth, also made the play-offs.
All three clubs are also under new management, with former Everton boss Marco Silva replacing Scott Parker at Craven Cottage, while West Brom have drafted in revered Barnsley tactician Valerien Ismael, and Sheffield United have identified Slavisa Jokanovic as the man to replicate his 2018 promotion success with Fulham at Bramall Lane this season.
And beyond the Premier League’s fallen three?
Bournemouth, who finished sixth last season, are now under the stewardship of Parker. The former England international, of course, has previous in the Championship, winning the play-off final with Fulham in 2020, and he will be desperate to make an immediate return to the top-flight.
Perennial play-off candidates Swansea are naturally in the mix, having finished the last two seasons in the top six, though their dugout is currently unoccupied, with Steve Cooper recently leaving his position as head coach. Not ideal preparation for the club with the season’s start just a few weeks away.
Bookmaker’s dark horses for top prize in the Championship
Welsh rivals Cardiff also have a strong case to be among that band of promotion hopefuls. In Mick McCarthy, the Bluebirds have an experienced, pragmatic coach ruling the roost. He is also the proud owner of six Championship Manager of the Month awards, dating back to 2005. So yeah, experience in abundance.
Of course, it would not be a Championship season without Neil Warnock bellowing from the sidelines. The Sheffield soprano has the reins on Teesside and will be looking to end Middlesbrough’s four-year exile from the top flight, while Nottingham Forest under Chris Hughton also have a shot at glory.
Championship outright odds: Other markets
Of course, there are many more outright markets beyond just the Championship winner. On top of backing the team to gain promotion via a first-place finish, many bookmakers offer markets such as Promotion, To Finish In The Top Six, Automatic Promotion, To Be Relegated, To Finish In The Top Half, and even more player specific markets such as the Top Scorer.
Championship relegation odds
With the highs and euphoria of promotion, on the opposite end of the spectrum is dejection and heartache as relegation looms. It was a dramatic final day to the season in 2020/21, in which Derby County, Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday continually traded places between 21st and 24th, but it was the latter duo who ultimately joined Wycombe Wanderers in relegation to League One.
And just like the recently-relegated clubs being favourite for promotion, the recently-promoted clubs are favourite for relegation. League One conquerers Peterborough United and Blackpool are tipped by many bookmakers to do a Wycombe and go straight back down.
Winners Hull City are being backed to avoid the drop, while the likes of recent Championship strugglers Huddersfield, Coventry and Bristol City have shorter odds to exit the second division.
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