As domestic football makes way for the international break, it seems as good a time as any to take stock of the current Championship landscape and go over Betfred’s outright betting markets heading into the home stretch.
From outright winners to relegation candidates, this is the state of play in the English second-tier.
Sheffield United: 20/1
Barring an absolute disaster, like the implosion of the planet, Burnley will be playing Premier League football next season. Vincent Kompany’s Clarets lead second-placed Sheffield United by a whopping 13 points and, considering they’ve only lost twice all term, it’s inconceivable that they’ll throw away enough points between now and the end of the season to let the Blades slip in front of them.
Sheff Utd: 1/6
West Brom: 7/1
This is where the Championship gets really interesting. Sheffield United have one foot in the top-flight next term but will have to push themselves all the way until the bitter end with Michael Carrick’s Middlesbrough hot on their heels. The Blades currently hold a three point lead over Boro with a game in hand. They should see it through but they can’t afford many slip-ups; four defeats in their last seven league games could be cause for concern.
As for the play-offs, that’s anyone’s guess, with at least ten teams in with a shout for the end of season lottery. Boro, Luton Town, Blackburn Rovers and Millwall all occupy play-off positions at the moment but perennial yo-yoers Norwich City and Coventry City are just three points off the pace. West Bromwich Albion, who have a game in hand, and Watford trail by five.
Promotion might be a bridge too far for Preston North End and Sunderland who are both currently on 53 points apiece, but with plenty of games still to go, a decent run could put either side right back into the mix.
Wigan Athletic, Blackpool and Huddersfield Town’s survival hopes are looking bleaker by the week and each will need big turnarounds to avoid League One football next season. Hopes for the Championship’s current bottom three could look worse should Rotherham United and Cardiff City, four and three points above the drop zone respectively, win their games in hand. Things look particularly worse for the Latics who were handed a three point deduction this week for failing to pay players.
Speaking of Rotherham, the Millers have a tough set of fixtures to steer through to ensure they avoid dropping back down to the third tier, with games against promotion hopefuls Norwich, West Brom, Boro and Burnley still to come in their final eight fixtures.
Chuba Akpom: 1/16
Viktor Gyokeres: 10/1
Carlton Morris: 50/1
Nathan Tella: 66/1
Oscar Estupinan: 100/1
Tom Bradshaw: 150/1
Teemu Pukki: 150/1
Iliman Ndiaye: 150/1
Ben Brereton Diaz: 150/1
Zian Flemming: 150/1
Joel Piroe: 200/1
Like the Premier League, the race to become the Championship’s top scorer looks all but wrapped up with Middlesbrough’s Chuba Akpom currently six goals ahead of his nearest rival. The Nigeria international is in red-hot form with eight league goals in his last seven appearances.
One player who looks best suited to challenge Akpom is Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres. The Swede is in scintillating form himself with six goals from his last seven in the league. It’s very unlikely he can catch up with Akpom but it’s also definitely not beyond the realms of possibility.
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change