Saturday, November 28, 2020

Who are the favourites in the Championship’s promotion race so far this season?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Championship 9 Nov 2020

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Watching the likes of Reading really fall off the boil after a stunning start to the 2020/2021 campaign, all eyes are on the Championship and who can secure themselves a spot among England’s elite.

In a division that hosts a string of former top-tier outfits, there is only three points currently separating the top-six as we enter November’s international break for the next fortnight.

With the Championship table slowly starting to take shape and many expecting a promotion chase that appears to be too close to call, we have taken a look at the three teams who are the bookmakers’ favourites.

Watford – 5/4 with 888sport

While Watford might be going about things in a difficult fashion since sacrificing their Premier League status over the summer, the Hornets have been pencilled in by the bookies as a clear favourite to bounce back at the first attempt this time around.

Now under the guidance of another new boss in the shape of Vladimir Ivić, the Serbian tactician saw his side manage to pick up back-to-back rollercoaster 3-2 victories against Stoke and Coventry over the past week.

Collecting 21 points from their opening 11 Championship appearances so far this season, the Hornets have also done an impressive job of keeping hold of some of their biggest stars.

While Abdoulaye Doucouré might have secured a move to Everton over the summer, Watford do still have the likes of Troy Deeney, Étienne Capoue, Will Hughes and most importantly attacking talisman Ismaïla Sarr still in their ranks.

Bournemouth – 11/10 with Betfair

Much like Watford, also losing their Premier League status despite closing the extended 2019/2020 campaign with a 3-1 win away at Everton, Bournemouth have begun life without former long-standing boss Eddie Howe in their dugout.

Handing Jason Tindall a promotion after serving as Howe’s right-hand man at the Vitality, the Cherries managed to pick up a 3-1 victory against Birmingham over the weekend and the South Coast outfit are a side seeking some second-tier stability.

With a growing reputation from across the Championship for being a stalemate specialist, Bournemouth have had to settle for a single point in five of their opening 11 appearances so far this season.

Nevertheless, while Tindall might have seen now-former attacking talisman Callum Wilson secure a £20million move to Newcastle over the summer, the Cherries have mustered up 20 points and it is no secret that an automatic Premier League return at the first attempt is top of Tindall’s agenda.

Brentford – 7/4 with Unibet

Hit with real heartbreak after watching West London rivals Fulham beat them in the summer’s play-off final at an empty Wembley, the Bees have struggled to lay down an early marker so far this season.

Electing to stick with Head Coach Thomas Frank, Brentford have managed to win just one of their previous five Championship appearances, including back-to-back stalemates against Middlesbrough and Swansea.

Nevertheless, despite what was has been a far from ideal start for them, Brentford are still seen as one of the teams to beat and there is no doubt that summer arrival Ivan Toney will lead their charge for the Premier League.

Despite watching both Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins secure their own top-flight moves before the window slam shut, the Peterborough recruit has already notched a very impressive 10 Championship strikes already this year.


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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