The Championship season is now 11 matches in and we have a better idea of how teams will shape up this season. As we enter an international break, I’ve taken a look at the current state of affairs to pick out a couple of tips from the promotion market, based on what we have seen so far.
Ipswich Town to be promoted @ 4/5
Leicester City have had the best start to a Championship season in history, winning ten of their first eleven matches. The Foxes, with their strong squad, have been exceptional under Enzo Maresca and as a result, are now as short as 1/5 to be promoted this season.
However, just two points behind them are Ipswich Town. Newly promoted this season, they’ve been nothing short of phenomenal since Kieran McKenna took charge, and having amassed 98 points in League One last term – look like they could do exactly the same in the Championship this time around. The attacking style of football has seen them score 25 goals in 11 matches so far, the highest total in the division.
Meanwhile, the step up in opposition hasn’t impacted them at all, as they continue to batter opponents for 90 minutes. What we’ve witnessed has seen Ipswich go from hopefuls to genuine contenders for the top two. Now having languished in League One for four years, they are the second favourites to secure promotion to the Premier League, in what would be a truly great footballing tale.
Leeds United to be promoted @ 6/5
Leicester and Ipswich already look like they are charging towards automatic promotion, but a few of the chasing pack are beginning to find their feet behind them. After three defeats on the bounce, Preston look like they are tailing off after a surprisingly good start, while Birmingham City are up in 6th, but look to be swapping John Eustace for Wayne Rooney.
The two contenders worth considering currently in the top six in my opinion, are Sunderland and Leeds United. The Black Cats are a huge 6/1 to be promoted which feels generous given they finished in the top six last season and currently sit fourth in the league. However, after a 4-0 hammering at home by Middlesbrough, and a tough next four fixtures, it may be worth seeing how Tony Mowbray’s men fare after the international break.
Meanwhile, everything about Leeds United would suggest they should be challenging for automatic promotion this season. They’ve got the right manager in charge in Championship specialist Daniel Farke and a squad that most in the division would kill for. They currently sit fifth, but with the likes of Joel Piroe, Dan James and Ethan Ampadu, they have players a level above the second tier. The underlying numbers look positive, and they should come good this term.
If you fancy Rooney to take Birmingham to new heights, the Blues can be backed at 16/1 to get promoted. Meanwhile, Coventry City, who have only lost twice so far this season may not be flying at the moment, but they are 10/1 to go up, which seems generous for last term’s losing play-off finalists. Middlesbrough, who have won their last five after an awful start are also worth considering at 11/2, while Swansea have won their last four under Michael Duff, and are a massive price at 20/1.