Championship Betting Preview: Are Leicester City Set For A Premier League Return?

Leicester are the favourites to win the Championship title
11:02, 30 Jul 2023

The dawn of a new Championship season is now just a matter of days away and this, on paper, looks set to be the toughest Championship we have seen in several years. Leicester City, Leeds United and Southampton are contenders having been relegated, while Ipswich Town and Plymouth Argyle got 199 points between them on their way up from League One last term.

Below we’ve taken a look at the odds with Betfred to try to find you some value before the season kicks off. 

Outright winners

We begin with the title challengers, and Leicester City, now under Enzo Maresca, are short priced 7/2 favourites to win the league. As we saw with Burnley last time around, when a new manager gets things right with a relegated side, there is no stopping them. 

With the likes of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Patson Daka and Timothy Castagne all still at the club, and with the additions of Conor Coady, Harry Winks and Callum Doyle, they could take some stopping. They certainly look in better shape than second faves Leeds United, who don’t seem prepared for a Championship title tilt, even under promotion specialist Daniel Farke. 


Southampton at 15/2 could be tempting under Russell Martin, while if Michael Carrick keeps up his good work at Middlesbrough, the 9/1 on offer could be very generous. We are playing things extremely safe though, backing Leicester to romp to the title. 

Tip: Leicester City to win the Championship at 7/2

Top scorer

Now we are getting serious. The bookies seem all at ends here, with Jamie Vardy current favourite at 8/1, followed by Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho. The latter is likely to leave and the former is well past his best, so I wouldn’t be touching the Leicester lads. 

Chuba Akpom won last season’s Golden Boot and is expected to go well again at 10/1, especially if Carrick continues to trust him as the main threat without Cameron Archer. It’s a fairly good shout, while Joel Piroe of Swansea City is the same price.  

Southampton duo Adam Armstrong and Che Adams are 12/1 and both can score goals at this level as they have proven in the past. But what we are after is one main number nine. A player who is going to play almost every minute, and be trusted by his manager implicitly, with relatively little competition for his place. 

Ross Stewart at 20/1 is a good option but his injury issues may prevent him going all the way, so our pick is Ellis Simms at Coventry City. Brought in to replace the goals of Viktor Gyokeres, he was in fine form on loan at Sunderland before before recalled by Everton. Now he’s got a permanent home and an eye for goal, there’s no reason why he can’t exceed the 21 goals his predecessor scored for the Sky Blues last term. At 20/1, it feels like excellent value. 

Tip: Ellis Simms to win the Golden Boot at 20/1



If Simms wins the Golden Boot, Coventry are likely to finish in the top six, and a price of 13/2 is not to be sniffed at. However, we will look elsewhere for our pick. There are a couple of schools of thought for this one. 

The first is to back Martin’s Southampton. They have an excellent squad for this level and under his demands should be competitive as a top-four side. They are third favourites, 9/4 and would be my natural pick to finish second in the league. 

Let’s cast our eyes further down the pecking order. Ipswich Town at 9/2 peak my interest but it may be too much for them to climb into the top two, and there is the fear that if they are going well, Kieran McKenna may be poached by a Premier League club. 

The other contenders for me are Sunderland. A team who were so good last term under Tony Mowbray have a young core, and have made a couple of exciting additions, including Bradley Dack. They may have fallen short in the play-off semi-final against Luton Town, but even without Amad Diallo they have the right components to sustain a top-two challenge. 

So, Sunderland or Southampton? I’m playing it safe on this occasion by plumping for Martin’s men. 

Tip: Southampton to be promoted at 9/4

Top-six finish

For some reason the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City and Watford are all fairly high up in the market, which provides decent value in other areas. Hull City are set to have a positive season under Liam Rosenior and at 9/2 for a top-six finish, could spring a few surprises. 

Ipswich will be there or thereabouts, but 15/8 feels too short for a promoted side. Instead we are heading back to Coventry, who are undergoing a transformative summer. Milan van Ewijk and Simms are the eye-catching signings and even after the loss of Gyokeres and potential exit of Gustavo Hamer, they are a club on the up. The strength of the relegated Premier League sides will likely put the top two out of reach, but the losing play-off finalists may well go one better this time around. 

Tip: Coventry City to finish in the top six at 11/4 



Rotherham United are current favourites to go down but that feels a little harsh given the hard work Matt Taylor and his squad put in last term. They proved themselves to be a competitive Championship outfit and are far from the worst team at this level. 

Plymouth Argyle appear to have been plonked down there too, more based on the size of the club than their footballing ability. They won the best League One in terms of quality we have ever seen, and should be able to continue that upward trajectory this term. Huddersfield Town have a poor squad, but you can never write them off under Neil Warnock, who just keeps on going and going, while QPR’s form under Gareth Ainsworth makes them likely candidates at 3/1.

However, the sensible value pick looks to be Sheffield Wednesday at 7/2. They got promoted through the play-offs so preparation time has been minimal, and then they decided to sack Darren Moore and replace him with Xisco Munoz. Added to this, their summer business leaves a lot to be desired, including bringing in goal-shy Ashley Fletcher on loan. It looks like it’ll be a tough first campaign back in the Championship for the Owls. 

We’ll put them as our safe pick, but how about a long-shot? 16/1 for Norwich City to be relegated is far too long. They should be safe in lower mid-table, but this is a club that is regressing, quickly. Their summer signings have been safe rather than spectacular with Ashley Barnes and Shane Duffy coming through the door, and David Wagner is unlikely to last the season. There’s a sense of apathy around the club, Stuart Webber is set to depart mid-season, and they are far closer to League One than the Premier League, even though Betfred have priced them as fifth favourites. If it all implodes this season - we told you so. 

Tip: Sheffield Wednesday to get relegated at 7/2

Longshot: Norwich City to get relegated at 16/1

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