The Championship is often cited as one of the most difficult leagues in the world, with England’s second tier often competitive from the very top to the bottom.
Each season represents a fierce battle for Premier League promotion, and the lucrative rewards that come alongside a place in the top-flight.
As we approach the half-way point of the Championship campaign, we’ve decided to look at the leading contenders to reach the promised land of the Premier League. For those of you interested in a footballing flutter and keen to utilise the Best Gambling Sites, here are the five favourites to win promotion from the Championship.
West Brom – 6/1
West Brom are sat fifth in the Championship table and are the fifth favourites for promotion with the bookmakers.
The Baggies have spent the majority of their history in the top division, but have been without Premier League football since relegation in 2020/21. Initially backed to bounce back, West Brom have finished ninth and 10th across the last two second-tier seasons.
Having inherited a team in the relegation places last season, Carlos Coberan has overseen a remarkable turnaround. A top-half finish last season has been followed with a push for promotion, despite just two permanent arrivals – Josh Maja and Ruben Shakpoke – last summer.
Southampton – 13/8
Southampton’s 11-year spell in the Premier League came to an end last season, but the Saints look well-placed for an instant return.
Despite the big-name sales of James Ward-Prowse, Romeo Lavia and Tino Livramento, Southampton have retained a core of players with good experience of this level.
Adam Armstrong has been in fine form since the drop into the second tier, with his 12 goals only eclipsed by Blackburn’s Sammie Szmodics. The 26-year-old has scored 68 goals in 216 games at this level during his career to date.
Leeds – 8/15
Leeds United’s long-awaited return to the Premier League lasted just three seasons, as Marcelo Bielsa’s exit began a turbulent period at Elland Road. Relegated last season, the Whites are rebuilding once again.
A new-look forward line has clicked for Leeds, with Daniel James, Crysencio Summerville and Joel Piroe having combined for 25 goals. Elsewhere, Georginio Rutter has found his feet after a difficult adaptation last season, with nine assists.
Leeds are now under the management of Daniel Farke, who has twice won promotion from this division with Norwich. His experience, alongside a squad with real quality in attacking areas, gives Leeds a great chance of an automatic top-flight return.
Only Southampton have taken more points than Leeds (17) across the last eight league games.
Ipswich – 2/5
Ipswich Town are flying this season.
The Tractor Boys were promoted from League One last season, but a record-breaking start has seen Kieran McKenna’s team push for back-to-back promotions.
Ipswich are second in the table, three points behind leaders Leicester, with the two teams having made the best-ever starts to a Championship campaign. Ipswich have taken 52 points from their 22 games to date, making it the second-best second-tier start of all time.
Of the 15 best ever starts to a Championship campaign, every team has gone on to promotion. It’s a remarkable achievement from ex-Manchester United coach McKenna, who is bidding to return Ipswich to the Premier League for the first time since 2001/02.
— Sky Bet (@SkyBet) December 11, 2023
Leicester – 1/16
Leicester are the league leaders and odds-on favourites for Premier League promotion. The Foxes’ relegation last season was a huge shock given recent achievements, having finished no lower than ninth in the top flight in the previous five seasons.
Under former Manchester City coach Enzo Maresca, Leicester have taken the Championship by storm. The table-toppers have won 55 points from their 22 games and are on course to smash the second-tier record points total. Leicester will reach 114 points if their current trajectory is maintained, obliterating the current landmark held by Reading (106).
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has been arguably the player of the Championship season to date, with seven goals and nine assists from midfield. The 25-year-old has helped fill the void vacated by James Maddison’s move to Tottenham last summer.