The 2019/2020 Favourites for Promotion from the Championship
13 August 2019
The beginning of August is a time where hope springs eternal for the average football fan as a summer of waiting comes to an end. It really is a glorious feeling but for some, that euphoria is short-lived as it becomes quickly apparent that their team is in awful shape for the upcoming season and all of a sudden, the next ten months look like a real slog.
For others, however, a confident start can mean the beginning of a wonderful season that delivers far more ups than downs. In the English Championship, it’s best not to read too much into the opening day results given this league spans four seasons and a whopping 46 games. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a fairly good idea of who will be there or thereabouts come the spring of 2020, here are the three best-tipped teams to keep an eye out for.
You can’t start anywhere else other than Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United and that’s because are they the favourites to not only get promoted but win the league at odds of 11/4 in football betting. A confident display on the opening day of the season away from home against Bristol City was a sure sign that Bielsa ball is back, and this time, it’s personal.
Leeds should actually be starting the 2019/2020 season in the Premier League but found a way to throw away promotion at the end of last season’s campaign, where for 40 games, the Whites blitzed the league. This time around, Bielsa has identified what went wrong and is confident Leeds can now go one better and win promotion by converting more of the chances they create. The Championship is notoriously hard to predict but Bielsa’s Leeds shouldn’t drop the ball this time around.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 4, 2019
West Brom just have the look of a team that will be far more consistent this time around and since appointing Slaven Bilic, the Baggies appear to be a more settled unit. Last term, West Brom leaked goals at a frightening rate despite managing to make the playoffs. It was this poor defence that eventually cost Darren Moore his job and West Brom a shot at going up automatically.
Bilic may favour a high defensive line but that doesn’t mean his side are vulnerable to conceding given he insists on ball retention and not counter-attacking, which Moore preferred. This is a crucial change to a West Brom team that is better suited at build-up play and an impressive 2-1 win away at Nottingham Forest on the first day of the season is an encouraging sign of things to come. Given that the Baggies finished in fourth place after an indifferent 2018/2019 season, now that they are far more streamlined, automatic looks a very distinct possibility.
Wigan are more of a value punt for promotion but there’s mounting evidence that they can make the play-offs. The Tics are at 16/1 to be promoted but have now gone six games unbeaten in the Championship after finishing last season on a high, with impressive wins against Leeds United as well as holding eventual league winners Norwich to a stalemate at home.
That was then and this is now you say, well, not quite actually. Wigan beat recently relegated Cardiff 3-2 on the opening day of the season which suggest that Paul Cook has found a winning formula. Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds were tipped to steamroll Wigan but once again Cook found the secret ingredient to dish up another upset.
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) August 3, 2019
This is bound to be a season where Wigan punch above their weight and if you are looking for an outsider to come storming through the pack, it’s Wigan Athletic.