Championship latest odds, news and free bets

This season’s English Championship has a typically wide-open look about it, with West Ham and Leicester failing to justify favouritism last season, although the Foxes have been installed at the head of the market twelve months down the line

Nigel Pearson could not steer City into a play-off position after taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson last term although he will now embark on a first full season and Leicester are an 8/1 chance (Sportingbet free bets) to win the second flight.

It remains to be seen whether Jermaine Beckford will remain at the King Power Stadium with a return to Leeds United in the offing, although a top-six finish seems very much on the cards for the east Midlands team who signed Jamie Vardy from Fleetwood during the summer.

Even so, it is Bolton Wanderers who have leapfrogged Leicester in the betting ahead of the new season and Owen Coyle has kept the nucleus of his squad at the Reebok Stadium despite the Trotters being relegated last term.

Kevin Davies was a handful at Premier League, while Mark Davis and Keith Andrews could form a successful partnership in midfield and they are now a best price 15/2 (Betfred bookmaker) to claim a title victory.

Wolves are the third team at the head of the market and the west Midlands outfit will be led into battle by Ståle Solbakken who has managed FC Copenhagen in the Champions League, with the Norwegian resigned to losing Steven Fletcher even if the club will accrue £12 million from Sunderland.

Wanderers are 9/1 (Paddy Power) to make an immediate return to the top flight by winning the Championship, although we are talking about a wide open division where a number of teams could amass a similar number of points.

That includes Cardiff City who will be looking to avoid the play-offs as they always get beaten in this end-of-season finale and Leeds United who have the experienced Neil Warnock at the helm and it could be a match made in heaven for the Elland Road club. Warnock has steered QPR and Sheffield United to promotion and the Yorkshire club are 12/1 to win the league.

Blackburn Rovers will hope to add Jordan Rhodes to their striker roster ahead of the new campaign although Huddersfield are standing their ground when it comes to the talented striker, while Nottingham Forest have potential money to spend although Sean O’Driscoll didn’t seem like a particularly inspired managerial appointment.

Perhaps it makes sense to think outside the box when it comes to Championship bets and Brighton seem to fit the bill on the basis that they consolidated very nicely and have a talented manager in Gus Poyet who could steer them to the promised land.

The same applies to Charlton Athletic who walked League One last term and will now be bidding to ‘do a Southampton’ and achieve a double promotion.

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