The new Championship season kicks off on Saturday, August 7, with some stand-out fixtures getting the action underway. This is always a competitive league with clubs investing millions to try to reach the pinnacle of the Premier League and there are some big names in contention for promotion again this season.
The relegated teams are looking for an instant return
Fulham are favourites with Unibet at 5/1 to win the Championship and make an instant return to the Premier League after last season’s relegation. The Cottagers saw Scott Parker depart for Bournemouth in the summer, but they have appointed Marco Silva as their new head coach. He has achieved promotion before from this division with Watford.
West Brom have held on to Sam Allardyce despite him suffering his first ever relegation with a club last term. The Baggies are second favourites to win the Championship at 6/1, but Unibet are also offering 13/4 for them to gain automatic promotion.
Sheffield United endured a miserable season last campaign, finishing bottom of the Premier League with just 23 points. That poor season prompted the departure of the popular Chris Wilder, who has been replaced by Slavisa Jokanovic as the Blades’ new head coach. Unibet have installed them as 15/2 third favourites to win the Championship and 4/5 for a top six finish.
Who could make the play-offs?
Once again, we expect a very competitive season and there are plenty of clubs in with a chance of making the top six. Bournemouth, who will be under the guidance of Scott Parker this term, are even money odds with Unibet to reach the play-offs, while Cardiff are priced at 6/4 to achieve the same feat.
Swansea, last season’s beaten Championship play-off finalists, have only been priced at 9/1 for a top two finish, but look a decent price at 9/4 for a play-off place. Other contenders for the play-offs include Middlesbrough, Barnsley, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers.
Who might be in a relegation battle?
Two of the three teams promoted from League One last season are favourites to be relegated from the Championship this term. Blackpool, who won the League One play-offs, will have a fight on their hands to maintain their Championship status. Meanwhile, Peterborough are also tipped for a quick return back to third tier of English football.
Hull City won League One last season, making an instant return to the Championship, but Unibet expect them to finish clear of the drop zone. Derby County, however, survived the drop last season on goal difference, but now face significant financial problems and there are issues hanging over the head of their manager, Wayne Rooney. The Rams could be in for a battle again to stay in the Championship.
Other likely contenders for the relegation scrap include Huddersfield Town, Coventry City and Bristol City.
Previous winners of the Championship
There have been some famous names win the Championship in recent years, with most of them then being able to maintain their places in the Premier League. The last 10 winners of one of the richest prizes in world football are:
- 2021 Norwich City
- 2020 Leeds United
- 2019 Norwich City
- 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- 2017 Newcastle United
- 2016 Burnley
- 2015 Bournemouth
- 2014 Leicester City
- 2013 Cardiff City
- 2012 Reading