The 2021/22 Championship fixtures are out in the final week of June, and the anticipation is already building ahead of the new campaign in one of the most unpredictable leagues in world football.
With the transfer window now open and the managerial merry-go-round in full flow, it’s set to be another hectic summer in the second tier.
Here’s our look at the early Championship betting heading into the new campaign…
EFL Championship Predictions 2021/22 | Early State of Play
With squads still taking shape, things could yet change in the Championship outright betting, but unsurprisingly it’s the relegated Premier League trio that lead the betting to land the 2021/22 Championship title.
2021/22 Championship Predictions | Promotion Contenders
Two of the three relegated EPL sides returned to the top flight at the first time of asking last season, and even an inconsistent Bournemouth weren’t too far away from sealing their place back in the big time.
However, things could be a little more unpredictable in 2021/22 with Fulham (11/2), West Brom (13/2) and Sheffield Utd (9/1) all set to enter the new campaign with new managers. Of the three, it could actually be the beleaguered Blades who get off to the best start despite finishing bottom of the pile in the top flight last season.
Utd were relatively quick out the blocks in appointing Slaviša Jokanović at the end of May. With a full pre-season under his belt, the Serbian looks in a strong position to mount a third promotion charge after success with both Watford and Fulham.
Bournemouth (9/1) are also being backed to bounce back from play-off disappointment and may be stronger for the experience of a season back at this level despite the likely need to cash in on big earners, while you can never write off an old stager in this division.
Cardiff City (16/1), Nottingham Forest (16/1) and Middlesbrough (17/1) all look interesting value away from the obvious frontrunners. Mick McCarthy, Chris Hughton and Neil Warnock all know exactly what’s required to thrive in this most relentless of leagues and could sneak into the reckoning with canny recruitment this summer should the favourites falter.
2021/22 Championship Predictions | Play-Off Picks
Barnsley had a legitimate claim to be given top of the class billing last season after an incredible run under Valérien Ismaël to snatch a stunning sixth place.
The Tykes could find it tricky to replicate that form with the Frenchman now consistently linked with bigger jobs and American loanee Daryl Dike departing the club, while fellow play-off cohorts Swansea will be looking to make it third-time lucky after two play-off near-misses under Steve Cooper.
Reading also looked serious contenders for large parts of the 2021/22 campaign before fading in the final months of the season. They might just benefit from a rare summer of stability at the Madejski with Veljko Paunović the first Royals boss to complete a full season since Jaap Stam in 2017/18.
Of the mid-table sides expecting better in 2021/22, both Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City could be teams to keep an eye on, with both underperforming expectations last season.
2021/22 Championship Predictions | Relegation Candidates
Derby County survived by the skin of their teeth last season, but there could be more pain in prospect for Wayne Rooney’s men with the club’s takeover saga rumbling on and the club locked in a legal wrangle with the EFL that could yet see the club facing a points deduction.
The promoted clubs from League One could create havoc in the fight for survival, with the lively trio of Hull City, Peterborough and Blackpool possessing plenty of attacking threat that should help them pick up where they let off, while Huddersfield Town and Bristol City both need big summers after treading water for much of the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
Better Odds Mean Bigger Winnings.
EFL Championship Outright Winner
Here are the early prices with Marathonbet for the 2021/22 Championship outright winner market:
- FULHAM – 11/2
- WEST BROM – 13/2
- BOURNEMOUTH – 9/1
- SHEFFIELD UTD – 9/1
- SWANSEA CITY – 14/1
- CARDIFF CITY – 16/1
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST – 16/1
- MIDDLESBROUGH – 17/1
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.