The Championship kicks off this weekend as Victor Chandler make Bolton, Leicester and Wolves the teams to beat as punters look to take advantage of their newly released free bets offer on the football.
One of the most fascinating battles in English football is the one to win the Championship, thus securing automatic promotion to the Premier League.
With the standard set to be high, the 2012/2013 season could be one of the best yet in English football’s second tier. There are set to be several teams in the mix for the title and promotion in general, so a look at the candidates is very worthwhile.
The current favourites to secure 1st position are Bolton Wanderers. Fresh from relegation last season, they will be hoping to bounce back at the first time of asking and they are 7/1 to win the Championship title.
You can see why too. They haven’t panicked since relegation and having kept the majority of their squad together, should have one of the strongest starting elevens in the division. You don’t win anything on paper of course, but the Trotters are the current front runners.
They are closely followed by Leicester City, available at 8/1 for the title. It would be quite an improvement on last year if they did top the tree – they finished outside the play-offs in the last campaign – but there is a good feel to Nigel Pearson’s squad and this could be their year.
You then come to a small group of incredibly unpredictable teams, led by Wolverhampton Wanderers. As a recently relegated side, they are naturally one of the favourites for the title and can be backed at 9/1.
However, who knows how their new manager Stale Solbakken will find English football? They also look set to lose several of their key players, so not all is well. The squad has to unite and perform extremely well if they are to be the team to beat.
Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest definitely fit into the unpredictable bracket too. At this stage they are expected to be in the promotion mix, but whether they can sustain their form for long enough to win the title is very hard to say.
The rest of the Championship, as has been mentioned before, have a chance of play-off push. As far as winning the league goes though, it would be a massive surprise – even by Championship standards – if it came from beyond the teams already mentioned.