Of course there is still the small matter of this season’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Huddersfield Town and Reading to come. One of those will remain in the league next season, but William Hill have already laid out a market for who may win the division in the 2017/18 campaign.
Now we’ll give you a few minutes for you to decide who you think may come out on top. Perhaps Sheff Wed or Fulham on the back of their play-off failures? Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull all coming down from the top flight? Norwich and Derby will be aiming to improve? Well, we haven’t even mentioned the favourite yet!…………….It’s Aston Villa.
Why Aston Villa I hear you cry? Well, why Aston Villa indeed. With league sponsors Sky Bet, they are priced at 8/1 to win the league title outright for the 2017/18 campaign. Now this is subject to change depending on if Huddersfield or Reading remain at this level. Fulham are priced at 9/1 to avoid a play-off hangover under Slavisa Jokanovic. Norwich City may be without a manager but they are priced 10/1 to be successful and finish in top spot. Middlesbrough have their own managerial doubts but they too are 10/1. There is then a flurry of clubs available at 12/1, those being Sheff Wed, Hull City, Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
So as we mentioned a little earlier, why Aston Villa? Well, there is no doubt that they remain one of the biggest clubs in the league. They are still an attractive draw to many players wishing to further their career. They could still get players from the Premier League to probably drop down to try and help them out of the Championship. There is also the Steve Bruce factor, someone who knows what it takes to get out of this league. It was only two years ago he guided Hull out of the play-offs. A big summer rotation of players is likely at Villa Park. A retained list has yet to be confirmed but many are unlikely to remain on the books. A transformation is needed but there is still the nucleus of a strong squad. Jonathan Kodjia, Mile Jedinak, James Chester and Henri Lansbury are just some of those names, plus the likely new faces too. So, there you have it, Aston Villa are favourites to win the league. Weren’t they one of the favourites last season too?