Championship Outright Winner

The Football League Championship Outright looks like an open market with the top 11 getting varying amounts of support on the exchanges. When compared with the 4-5 contenders in the Premier League, the Championship is far more difficult. However, with market favourite being 7/1, there is opportunity to make some serious money if you’re looking in the right direction!

Derby County looked comfortable at the end of last season, and even had a run of great form putting them into the top 10 in the World Form Guide for a number of weeks, outplaying all Premier League teams in their sustained performance. With their play-off performances behind them, there is real potential in building on their near-success. The 9/1 on offer looks really strong. Their 3-1 victory over Notts County shows their ability pre-season – and the less said about their draw with the local team, Mickelover Sports, the better. I’ve been to watch Mickleover a couple of years ago: a dodgy looking pitch at the side of a back-road, just outside of Derby. Hopefully they were playing blindfolded.

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Their market opposition, Fulham, scored only 10 points in the first 13 matches of last season, so backers of Derby will be hoping for a similar start to their season. Poor management and their flippant managerial history could create an unpredictable and uneasy season back in the Championship. Despite being Premier League quality last season, I couldn’t be sure they’re Championship winners this year!

The other real threat is Cardiff – the market leaders on 7/1. Again, another relegated team hoping to make the step back up to Premiership as soon as possible. A similar story to Fulham, with a controversial and very public manager sacking, throwing the team off-course for the season. It’d be difficult to see them making a great impression on the Championship this season either, especially considering their run of form.

On the strength of the squad and sustained performances of the past year, Derby County as the team to watch for Outright victory. A quick return to the Premiership within a year doesn’t look on the cards for Fulham or Cardiff, however much they would hope. 
William Hill

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