Thu, Jan 18, 12:41pm by Staff Writer
Whilst the EPL title looks comfortably in Manchester City’s hands, there are several clubs in the league below fighting it out to gain promotion. The eyes of world football often remain on the top divisions, but the English Championship has plenty of clubs with Premiership pedigree hoping to get back for the 2018/19 season. With two automatic positions available and one via the playoffs.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are clear favourites to win the league and with it a place in the EPL. They currently sit ten points clear at the top of the table and are in the midst of a 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo has revitalised the club since taking over from Paul Lambert at the end of last season. They stand at $1.05 to secure the title.
Their closest rivals on the ladder are Derby County, who are looking for a return to the EPL for a first time since the 2007-08 season. They are well off the pace for the title, however, priced at $21 but look good for promotion at $1.91. Derby have a prestigious history in English football and will be aiming to be back in the top flight next year.
Aston Villa were founding members of the EPL but had to endure relegation in the 2015/16 season. They have entrusted a manager with plenty of experience in leading sides back to the EPL, Steve Bruce. Although it will be tough for them to make the automatic promotion spots as they sit 4th and are priced at $34 to win the league. Promotion appears a realistic hope at $2.88.
3rd placed Cardiff are priced at $34 to be Champions but $3.10 to be promoted. They have, however, lost four of their last five games with victory over Sunderland ending that run of losses. Neil Warnock is another man who has led sides into the EPL before and will be backing himself to do it again.
Bristol City ended Manchester United’s League Cup hopes at the quarter final stage and will be hoping to face them again next year in the EPL. They currently sit joint 4th with Villa on the ladder after a run of three straight defeats. If they can turn it around though in the next few weeks they stand at $3.30 for promotion but unlikely Champions at $61.
Outside of the top five the fight for playoff places gets extremely tough. With only four points separating 6th placed Sheffield United and 12th placed Ipswich Town.
Of the sides sitting in those positions only Brentford ($9.50) and Preston North End ($15) have not previously been in the EPL. It is, therefore, an open contest for any of those clubs to hit a run of form or spot of luck when the playoffs come around to gain promotion.
Any of Fulham ($6), Middlesborough ($6), Sheffield United ($7), Leeds ($9.50) and Ipswich ($61) have the resources to cause a surprise and fight their way in the Premiership.
EFL Championship Outright Betting 2017-18
Aston Villa $34
Bristol City $61
English Championship Promotion 2017-2018
Aston Villa $2.88
Bristol City $3.30
Sheff Utd $7
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