EFL Championship Predictions & Betting Tips 2017/18

With the Championship just a few days away, football fever is starting to grip the UK once again. The action gets underway on Friday evening as recently-relegated Sunderland take on former top flight regulars Derby County, and two-time former European champions Nottingham Forest host Londoners Millwall at the City Ground.

But who will win the battle to rise to the elite of English football this term?

The first name that springs to mind is Middlesbrough. The recently relegated club are looking to bounce back with a vengeance and have assembled a decent looking squad who will be guided by former Swansea and Leeds United boss Garry Monk.

The northeast club struggled for goals last season but are taking no chances this time round having forked out more than £30m on three new forwards. Britt Assombalonga has been drafted in from Nottingham Forest for a fee in the region of £14m. The Congolese player netted 30 goals in 65 appearances for Forest. He has been joined by former West Ham and Manchester United striker Ashley Fletcher and Danish international Martin Braithwaite, who arrived from Toulouse in a £9m deal. What’s more, Boro have also retained the services of Rudy Gestede and Patrick Bamford, leaving them with plenty of options up front.

Other additions include full-backs Cyrus Christie and Connor Roberts, goal-scoring midfielder Jonny Howson and keeper Darren Randolph. Under the direction of Garry Monk, you have to feel that this squad are genuine title contenders.

Aston Villa were unspectacular to say the least last term but Steve Bruce has wasted no time in overhauling his squad. John Terry, Chris Samba, Glenn Whelan and Ahmed Elmohamady will bring a wealth of experience – however, they are still lacking up front and may need to enter the market once again before the window shuts.

Derby County will come close again but while others have strengthened, the Rams appear to have weakened their hand by offloading some key players including Will Hughes, Cyrus Christie and Tom Ince. Curtis Davies and Tom Huddlestone will add some steel to the central areas but they could miss the flair of those departing players.

Reading were a penalty shootout away from the top flight last season and wasted no time in pinning Jaap Stam to a new two-year contract. They are well-placed to compete again but maybe not for the automatic promotion places. However, if they can land a prolific front man before the end of the window, that could all change.

Other contenders for the top two place include Fulham, providing they can retain the services of Slavisa Jokanovic, who has been openly critical about the clubs transfer policy – and Sheffield Wednesday, who have added Jordan Rhodes to their ranks. Those extra goals could be enough to push the Owls over the play-off line once again. In fact, they could pip Fulham and Reading to third spot.

EFL Championship 2017 top 6 predictions and title odds:

  1. Middlesbrough 13/2
  2. Aston Villa 13/2
  3. Sheffield Wednesday 11/1
  4. Fulham 15/2
  5. Reading 18/1
  6. Derby County 14/1

All prices quoted are courtesy of Betfair, our recommended bookmaker for all EFL Championship betting.

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