The Championship: Who are the Promotion Contenders?
September 13, 2015
While all eyes were on the Premier League this weekend, the Championship also got underway before the eyes of the nation. In many ways this provides even greater entertainment than the EPL, as so a huge number of teams compete to win promotion to the top flight or battle against the threat of relegation. There was drama at both ends of the table on the final day of last season in the Championship, and it appears likely, like every other year, that this will be the case again this time around.
So who exactly are the main contenders for promotion in the Championship this season? Our experts at BetHut take a closer look…
Under the stewardship of the talented Sean Dyche, Burnley flirted with Premier League survival last season before ultimately dropping into the Championship. They showcased considerable consistency and tenacity in the EPL, however, while also deploying an energetic and attacking style of play that is suited to the second tier of English football. The fact that Dyche has experience of the league and has managed to retain the core of his squad (aside from the departing Danny Ings) also stands the Clarets in good stead, and they are well placed to mount a challenge for automatic promotion this season.
Led by the calm and composed Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough came within a whisker of returning to the EPL last season before losing to Norwich City in the play-off final at Wembley. They are set to go one better this year, however, combining their rock-solid defence with discipline and a constantly evolving attacking ethos. While on loan forward and top scorer Patrick Bamford may have departed for Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough should have enough experience and quality to challenge come May.
While the Brighton may currently top the Championship table, it is Wolves that get our vote for dark horses for promotion. The club performed well last season and narrowly missed out on a play-off place, with manager Kenny Jackett boasting an impressive group of forwards including the talented winger Bakary Sako. Provided that Wolves can keep hold of the wide man, alongside the outstanding Benik Afobe and Nouha Dicko, they have every chance of challenging in the year ahead. They are certainly worth backing for anyone who likes to enjoy the occasional flutter, so it is important to get in early before they make their ascent up the table.