Pandora Hughes brings us all of the latest betting picks for the 2021/22 English Championship.
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The English Championship is the most fiercely contested second-tier competition in European football and it’s not hard to see why. With promotion to the Premier League being worth more than $200 million, there’s a lot riding on this. The 2021/22 competition looks as competitive as ever, with recently relegated Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United battling a host of second-tier clubs with serious top-flight ambitions. So who will come out on top?
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Who Do Bettors Favor for the 2021/22 Championship?
Teams that are relegated from the Premier League can enjoy a significant advantage in the Championship, thanks to the ‘parachute’ payments that they are granted by the Premier League to enable them to adjust to the lower level.
So it is no surprise to find that two of last year’s relegated sides, Fulham and West Brom, are topping the betting lists for this year’s tournament, and the strong start that both have made to their Championship campaigns has cemented their positions. Another recently relegated side, Bournemouth are leading the chasing pack, according to bettors, which includes the improving QPR, Sheffield United, and Championship regulars Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Stoke.
Which Team will win the Championship in 2021/22?
Fulham have clearly geared themselves up for an immediate return to the Premier League. Not only have they recruited a good managerial replacement for Scott Parker in Marco Silva, they’ve also made shrewd acquisitions in Harry Wilson and Paulo Gazzaniga. Crucially, they’ve retained the services of the prolific Aleksandr Mitrovic, and they will take some stopping this season.
The Cottagers’ biggest rivals are likely to be fellow relegated side West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies turned to promising young manager Valerian Ismael, who performed remarkably in the Barnsley hot seat last season. In addition to retaining most of their top talent, they’ve also recruited experienced Championship players Adam Reach and Alex Mowatt. Fulham just have the edge on them, but Albion will be disappointed with anything less than automatic promotion.
Bournemouth will be aiming to bounce back to the top flight at the second attempt, and in Scott Parker, they have a young ambitious manager who has already demonstrated he can guide a team out of the Championship. But made a slow start and may need more rebuilding and both Albion and Fulham have the potential to run away with it this season, so will need to both find their form and hope that one of the big two experience a major loss of form.
Which Teams will make the Championship Play-offs?
With only two teams guaranteed to earn a Premier League place, the next best hope of promotion lies in the four-team playoffs, so the battle for a top-six spot each year is usually fierce.
Sheffield United were the other team to be relegated from the Premier League last season, but they went down in poorer shape than West Brom or Fulham and although they’ve appointed the experienced Slavisa Jokanovic as a coach, the impression left by their poor start to the campaign is that they may need a while to rebuild and regroup, and in highly competitive competition, they may end up having to scrap hard for a top-six spot.
Stoke City have made a strong start to the season but the loss of Nathan Collins leaves them looking a little weak upfront, so they look overrated in the market currently. A better option for those looking for a solid top-six candidate could be Middlesbrough. No current manager has a better record than Warnock when it comes to earning Premier League promotion, and the veteran boss has recruited extensively as he bids to pull off a fifth promotion to the top flight.
Mick McCarthy’s return to the Championship with Cardiff produced swift results as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season and this vastly experienced manager will know exactly what is needed to improve on that this time around, so they look a good bet to be involved in the top six, as do Millwall, who have been around the play-off fringes for two seasons and will be boosted by the return of George Saville, who did so well in his first spell at the Den.
Outside Bets for Championship Promotion in 2021/22
Every year the Championship produces unlikely promotion candidates and there are a couple of options to consider this season if you’re looking for bigger-priced wagers.
Luton were written off last season but young manager Nathan Jones worked wonders to get them into the top half and with the addition of Cameron Jerome and Henri Lansbury, their squad looks even stronger this season. They have a realistic chance of getting into the top six, though they will need some luck with injuries.
Another option at big odds is Blackburn. A typical Tony Mowbray side, they are capable of playing delightful football, yet have a tendency to leak goals, which has often cost them. The departure of Adam Armstrong to Southampton was a blow, but they are just the type of team that can thrive if they can start to build momentum and that gives them a chance at the playoffs.
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