Championship Title Hunt 2014
The markets are already active for the 2013/14 Championship outright winner betting. Heading up the market is QPR, who took on a lot expense to try and maintain their Premier League status last term. That didn’t work out for boss Harry Redknapp and some of the big signings that the club pulled in during the January transfer window, but the bookies are suggesting that Rangers have the best chance of winning the Championship next term and make a swift return to England’s top flight. However, even Redknapp himself said that the club may need some consolidation before realistically making a Championship winning side. Condemning words from the boss, who failed to pull off an escape act.
Reading, who were relegated along with Rangers, were sitting in joint second favourite position in ante post 2013/14 Championship betting. The Royals ran out of steam last term, but did produce a solid patch of form which really should have seen them get safe. But they gave up in their quest for survival early when they sacked Brian McDermott with a good portion of the season to go, totally undermining the work that had been done. However, the Royals don’t have a bad squad and could have the fight and talent within to make a realistic shot at the title. Reading were early priced alongside Leicester, who lost in the play off semi finals last season after just scraping into the top six. That could have been good experience for the Foxes to build on.
Surprisingly in early ante post offerings, Watford were only being offered around 16/1 to win the Championship next season, despite being one of the most impressive sides of last term. Gianfranco Zola’s side had one of the best offences across the league, but they just couldn’t get over the line, losing in the Championship play off final to Crystal Palace. The Hornets just ran out of steam at the end of the season and were outworked in the big match finale. Bookmakers are just thinking that they perhaps missed out on their chance of getting to the top flight. However, on the other side of the coin there could be the thinking that they have the experience to go one extra step further given the solid base they have to work from.
Other contenders in the mix realistically should be Bolton, Leicester, Nottingham Forest and Brighton, the latter of which who, like Leicester, lost in the Championship play off semi final. The Seagulls were a very solid all round side last term and they were the best defensive side in the entire Championship last season, better than even Championship winners Cardiff. They could be one of the better outside shots to creep their way to the title, because they seem to have a great resiliency in their ranks. The fluctuating Leeds United have taken some early interest, along with Ipswich and Wigan. The Latics perhaps make the most interesting of cases, arguably they’ll be able to produce some of the best technical football, but with Roberto Martinez gone, what identity will they take on?