The 2018 – 2019 EFL Championship, which kicks off on Friday, August 3 with Derby County’ s visit to Reading, promises to be an open competition this season, with few stand-out teams. Latest English Championship betting tips, odds and predictions can be found below.
The early bookies’ favourite to win promotion straight back are Stoke City who are playing in the second tier of English football for the first time in ten years.
It seems to be a good call. The club have recruited ex-Derby coach Gary Rowett as manager, and have already signed striker Benik Afobe from Wolves and Tom Ince from Derby County, as well as experienced winger James McLean from West Bromwich Albion, whilst they continued to be linked with Welsh international defender james Chester.
Latest Football English Championship Betting Tips Here:
Birmingham v QPR Betting Tips:
Birmingham to win: 21/20 (bet365)
Preston v Bolton Betting Tips:
Bolton to win: 13/2 (bet365)
Millwall v Swansea Betting Tips:
Millwall to win: 6/5 (bet365)
Influential midfielder Joe Allen has signed a new four year deal, and although they are likely to lose goalkeeper Jack Butland, Adam Federici has been brought in from Bournemouth as cover and they look to have the strongest squad in the division.
The other two relegated clubs, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion are also being tipped for an immediate return to the top flight, but that optimism may be misplaced.
Swansea are now managed by Graham Potter, who did so well at Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League last season but is completely inexperienced at this level. They have already lost goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianski to West Ham and Andre Ayew to Fenerbahce on loan, whilst centre-half Alfie Mawson and forward Jordan Ayew have both been linked with moves to Premier League teams.
If they lose too many more stars they may struggle to find quality replacements and may have to settle for a season of consolidation.
A similar story can be found under West Brom now under the full-time charge of Darren Moore, who did so well for them in a caretaker role at the back-end of last season.
Again, there have been a number of high profile departures, with experienced goalkeeper Ben Foster and centre-back Jonny Evans securing moves back to the Premier League, and James McLean opting to join Stoke City.
Young goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has been signed from Manchester United, and Kyle Bartley’s arrival from Swansea will help strengthen their defence, but Premier League clubs are circling around the likes of their striking duo of Salomon Rondon and Jay Rodriguez, and, if they are sold, it is hard to see where the team will find enough goals to mount a sustained challenge.
A better bet may be Middlesbrough, now managed by Tony Pulis. They reached the play-off semi-finals last time, only narrowly losing to Aston Villa, and may be poised to go one better this time round. Well-organised in defence and efficient, they may not be the easiest team on the eye, but could prove to be hard to beat.
It is difficult to know how Villa will perform because they have had a turbulent post-season off-the-field.
Having invested heavily last season in a failed gamble to get out of the Championship, they found themselves struggling to meet the requirements of FFP (Financial Fair Play), and saw Chief Executive Keith Wyness depart after a payment to HMRC (the UK tax authority) was missed.
Facing severe financial difficulties, the club was facing administration or even liquidation, and was faced with having to sell its best players at cut-prices, including star Jack Grealish, heavily linked with a move to Spurs.
However, the club has now announced a substantial investment from a new group, which means that they may be back on a sound financial footing after all, and able to compete at the top-end of the table.
Sheffield United may be a team to watch. At one stage last season they were in the automatic promotion places before a late season fade, but, under manager Chris Wilder, they have another season under their belts, and could go the distance this time round.
Brentford could be another dark horse in the EFL Championship after a late run last time round almost saw them move into the play-offs. This year could see them go one better.
A lot of interest will be on Derby County because they are now managed by former England and Chelsea player Frank Lampard. Derby have made the play-offs for three of the past five seasons but have never progressed beyond that.
Lampard’s efforts to improve on that are hampered by the fact he has little money available to invest in the transfer market, so has had to rely on loan moves for the likes of Harry Wilson from Liverpool and Mason Mount from Chelsea, but the impending arrival of striker Martyn Waghorn from Ipswich may add some much needed fire power. Still, a mid-table finish may be in store according to our experts’ English Championship betting tips.
Leeds United also will attract their fair share of interest with their new manager, the former Argentina and Chile national coach Marcelo Bielsa. A controversial figure, with a history of violent disagreements with the boards of the clubs he has managed, it will be fascinating to see if he can last at a side notorious in recent years for hiring and firing managers. Equally, interesting will be to see if Leeds can adapt to his high tempo, pressing style of football.
Another England man in the Championship is former England manager Steve McClaren, now in charge at Queens Park Rangers. A lower reach side for the past few seasons, a similar outcome may be expected again this season.
At the bottom, newly promoted Rotherham will struggle, because they do not have the squad or budget to compete against some of the other teams in the League. Bolton only escaped relegation right at the end of last season; it will be a struggle again for them this season. Equally Birmingham City have flirted with relegation for the past few campaigns, and may teeter over the edge finally.
Reading, under former Real Madrid coach and Swansea manager Paul Clement may also find it difficult this year, as will Ipswich, who have lost long-standing manager Mick McCarthy, and are strapped for cash, evidenced by their need to sell Waghorn, who scored 16 goals for them last season, to Derby County.
Here’re the latest English Championship betting odds for the 2018-19 season:
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