At 20/1, we have recently promoted Sheffield United, and Birmingham City. Both sides had very contrasting seasons last year, with Sheffield United lifting the Sky Bet League One title, and Birmingham City narrowly escaping relegation on the final day of the season. Sheffield United are expected to do well in the second tier, and under Harry Redknapp Birmingham are predicted a much stronger season.
Leeds United are down at 16/1 to lift the Sky Bet Championship title this coming season. Garry Monk’s side finished seventh in the league this year, narrowly missing out on the Play-Offs. It was a significant improvement by the Yorkshire club, but can they match it next year?
At 14/1 we have the first of the teams who were relegated from the Premier League. Sunderland have gone down from the top flight rock bottom of the table, and have offered very little all season. They’re expected to lose a couple of their main players, and the bookmakers are predicting them to struggle in the Championship next season.
At 12/1, we have four teams. These teams are Derby County, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday, and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Derby County have had an indifferent season due to changing of managers, but with Gary Rowett in charge, they’re predicted a much more consistent campaign. Hull City were relegated from the Premier League this season, and amid a lot of speculation about the future of their manager, are not up there with the favourites to make an immediate return to the top flight. Sheffield Wednesday lost in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi Finals against Huddersfield, with Forrestieri missing the decisive spot kick in the shoot-out. This is the second year in a row that they have lost in the Play-Offs. It is difficult to say what Wolves’ chances are like next year, as no-one knows who their manager is going to be. Paul Lambert is currently in charge, but a number of different managers has been linked with his job. Whoever is in charge will have a lot of money to spend, and that could be crucial in mounting a challenge at the top of the table.
Norwich City and Middlesbrough are both 10/1 to win the Sky Bet Championship next season. Norwich are currently without a manager, and are in the process of completely rebuilding their squad, many of whom were relegated from the top flight in 2015/16. Middlesbrough suffered relegation from the Premier League last season, but are much fancied to bounce back. They’ve got a good financial backing, and with a solid squad, they are in a good position to at least challenge the top two.
Second favourites for the title are currently Fulham. The Cottagers lost in the Play-Off semi finals against Reading, but are currently 9/1 to win the league next year. Their chances next season may depend on whether or not they can keep hold of their prize assets, such as Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon, both of whom have been linked with a move to the Premier League.
The favourites for the Sky Bet Championship title next season is currently Aston Villa. The Midlands side had a disappointing campaign last time round, but having spent over £50 million last summer, they’re expected to mount much more of a challenge this time round. Steve Bruce has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but he has done it before with Hull City. Villa are 8/1 to lift the trophy next May.