CHAMPIONSHIP 2016/17 OUTRIGHT BETTING PREVIEW
Championship Winner and To Be Promoted predictions & betting tips
Newcastle are understandably huge favourites to win the Championship after putting together an impressive squad of players since dropping down from the Premier League. The Magpies signed players such as Grant Hanley, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle, kept the likes of Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and Shelvey a lot of other regulars from last season. And with Moussa Sissoko expected to leave soon for in excess of £20 million, Rafa Benitez will surely strengthen his squad yet further this summer.
Apart from Nathan Redmond, Norwich haven't lost too much of their Premier League squad and kept manager Alex Neil. With the likes of Cameron Jerome and Steven Naismith up front they have an impressive firepower. If they manage to keep a tough defense, the Canaries will be a strong contender.
Aston Villa seem a club on a downward curve and don't look like one with the togetherness and right attitude among the players to get out of the Championship at the first opportunity. Anyway, the signing of Ross McCormack will be a huge boost for the Villans. Manager Roberto Di Matteo can galvanise this particular fallen giant.
Brighton may struggle to repeat last season's impressive third place, where they were only denied automatic promotion on the final day but then were hit by an injury crisis in their play-off semi-final with Sheffield Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday, beaten 1-0 by Hull in the play-off final last year, signed Steven Fletcher from Sunderland to partner their star striker Fernando Forestieri. Carlos Carvalhal’s well-supported side have the potential to do even better this term but, like Brighton, may have to settle for a top-six place.
Derby County have been perennial Championship promotion hopefuls in recent times, but have struggled to get over the line at the business end of the season. The appointment of Nigel Pearson could bring about an end to that run. The Rams have obvious class amongst their ranks in the likes of Tom Ince, Jeff Hendrick and Andreas Weimann, and Pearson’s added discipline will prove invaluable.
QPR had designs on the top half of the Premier League only a few years ago but there have been a series of issues at the club since. Many of those look to have been sorted so they can finally concentrate on matters on the pitch. They have got an exciting manager in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and could be the surprise package of this year's Championship.
|OUR PICKS||BEST ODDS||BOOKMAKER|
|Newcastle to win the Championship 2016/17||2.90|
|Sheffield Wednesday to be promoted||6.00|
|QPR to be promoted||12.00|
Championship 2016/17 Relegation predictions & betting tips
Newly promoted Burton Albion, Wigan and Barnsley are the obvious candidate for a prompt return in League One. Of that trio, the Latics are expected to fare best and a comfortable finish somewhere in the mid-to-lower regions appears a fair assessment. The other two we can expect to both be among the sides struggling around the foot of the table for most of the season.
Wolves, owned by a Chinese consortium, have sacked the savvy Kenny Jackett in favour of a ‘big name’ in Walter Zenga. Anyway, we expect them to navigate in the bottom half of the standings.
Blackburn have been on a downwards trajectory for a number of years now. Their squad looks anything like convincing and Owen Coyle has had his issues in the Championship previously so it looks like a very tough season ahead for Rovers.
With the Frenchman Philippe Montanier newly in charge Nottingham Forest are an unknown quantity but Fawaz al-Hasawi has made it clear he wants to sell the club and a possible relegation dalliance cannot be discounted.
Fulham could also be in for a disappointing season after they managed to avoid relagation, finishing 20th last season thanks to goals from Moussa Dembele and McCormack. Anyway, the former joined Celtic and the latter moved to Aston Villa.
Neil Warnock managed to keep Rotherham United up after a crazy run of good results in the final part of last year's season. This year will be their time to drop back into the third tier though. Alan Stubbs, their new manager, will surely require the very best of luck after succeeding the architect of last spring’s great escape.
|OUR PICKS||BEST ODDS||BOOKMAKER|
|Burton to be relegated||2.10|
|Blackburn to be relegated||5.00|
|Fulham to be relegated||11.00|
|Fulham to finish bottom||41.00|
|Burton to finish bottom||4.50|
Championship 2016/17 Top Goalscorer predictions & betting tips
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored nine times in the Premier League last season, despite playing in a struggling side and adapting to a new country. He looks sure to start the majority of the matches (he only need to avoid red cards) while the other berth will be occupied by Dwight Gayle or Ayoze Perez.
Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede is a similar ram-raider of a striker and the Frenchman has experience at this level but the former Blackburn Rovers star is not guaranteed game time under new manager Roberto Di Matteo. The Benin international will be joined at Villa Park by Ross McCormack who knows exactly how to score goals in the Championship and those two have the makings of a deadly strike partnership.
Glenn Murray netted 30 times for Palace the last time he played in English football's second tier before his first season in the Premier League was ended prematurely due to injury.
Norwich City's striker Cameron Jerome is anorther popular selection having netted 18 times when the Canaries won promotion in 2015.
Steven Fletcher managed just 23 goals in 93 matches in the top flight, never managing more than 11 in a single season. He enter this season on the back of two disappointing years and could struggle to find the scoring form he had a couple of years ago.
Looking for a long shot? Will Grigg could carry on his goalscoring form from League One into the Championship and could be a tempting option at big odds.
Steven Naismith may thrive at Championship level, expecially if Norwich City play an offensm3ive football while Derby County's Chris Martin, who missed nine matches due to injury last season but still scored 14 goals, will be the Rams main goal threat this year.
Bristol City's Jonathan Kodjia scored 18 goals in the league last year and with Lee Tomlin supplying him, he will be even better this season.
|OUR PICKS||BEST ODDS||BOOKMAKER|
|Aleksandar Mitrovic top goalscorer||17.00|
|Glenn Murray top goalscorer||21.00|
|Steven Naismith top goalscorer||81.00|
|Ross McCormack top goalscorer||13.00|
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