Who are the favourites to win the EFL Championship next season? Paddy’s odds for 2022/23

Here we go again!

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

It feels like the dust is only just settling on the season and it’s already time to start looking ahead to the next. No sooner have the players swapped the training ground for the beaches of Mykonos than they are straight back into their gruelling pre-season regimes in preparation for another long, arduous campaign.

With the 2022/23 Premier League fixtures having just been announced and the Championship’s soon to follow, anticipation is building and clubs up and down the country will be eyeing up their opening games, local derbies and glamorous away trips.

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The Championship has earned a reputation as one of the toughest, most exciting and most unpredictable leagues in Europe and those who drop into it from the top flight often find it incredibly hard to get back out of again. Just ask Leeds.

Here, we assess the chances of some of the division’s big hitters as they set out on their quest for one thing and one thing only – the Premier League.

Who will take the Championship title is anyone’s guess but this lot are the most likely candidates. These are the contenders to be crowned 2022/23 EFL Championship winners…

Norwich

Ah, yes. What better place to start than with NORWICH, the league’s perennial ‘yoyo’ club. Seemingly too good for the Championship but never quite good enough to stay in the top tier when they get there. In the last 10 seasons, they’ve had four separate stints in the Premier League while in each of the last four campaigns, they’ve either finished top of the Championship or bottom of the Prem. 

You wouldn’t put it past them to continue the trend. In Dean Smith, they have a manager with top-flight experience who’s already tasted promotion before with Aston Villa while keeping hold of Finnish front-man Teemu Pukki could also be key. The striker has been Norwich’s main goal threat ever since he signed in 2018 and already has a Championship golden boot to his name. With 29 and 26 goals respectively in his two seasons at this level, keeping him fit and firing will be vital to the Canaries’ title charge. If they can do that, they could well be in and around top spot again and could well be worth a punt. 

11/2
Norwich Outright Winner 2022/23

Watford

Another side that can’t quite decide where they belong are WATFORD. Their last three seasons have seen them be relegated, get promoted and then be relegated again and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them up the top end of the table once more. However, they are taking a slight step into the unknown this season as veteran coach Roy Hodgson makes way for the far more inexperienced, albeit promising, Rob Edwards. 

Fresh from guiding Forest Green Rovers to the League Two title, Edwards is a high-regarded managerial prospect but does only have one season of experience as a manager in the Football League. It could be a big step up for him and a lot will depend on their summer transfer business. Bigger clubs will be keeping tabs on the likes of Emmanuel Dennis, Joao Pedro and Ismaila Sarr, keen to secure cut-price deals and the reinvestment of the money could be make-or-break for Edwards’ first season at this level. If they keep hold of their big players or if they spend their money well, they could be serious contenders again.

4/1
Watford Outright Winner 2022/23

West Brom

So far, this list could just as easily be entitled ‘England’s biggest yoyo clubs’. There’s a reason for that though; experience gets you a long way in the Championship. It’s a long, tough season in this league and knowledge of how to get out of it stands you in good stead. WEST BROM, and Steve Bruce, certainly have that. 

Bruce’s start to life at the Hawthorns didn’t exactly go to plan, as the Baggies slipped down the table and out of play-off contention. However, they’ll no doubt be more settled now and a pre-season on the training ground could do them a world of good. In Karlan Grant, they’ve got one of the best forwards in the league; only five players managed more than his 18 league goals last season. Bruce will likely bring in some tried and trusted reinforcements and if he can get them gelling, the Baggies could well be a force again. 

17/2
West Brom Outright Winner 2022/23

Sheffield United

The appointment of Paul Heckinbottom proved a catalyst for SHEFFIELD UNITED last season. When he took over, the Blades were 16th and flirting with the idea of back-to-back relegations. His arrival saw a major improvement though and they ended up, miraculously, finishing fifth, losing out to Nottingham on penalties in the play-offs. They’ll be looking to carry that momentum into the new season and will have their sights set on a swift return to the top-flight.

A key question is where the goals will come from. Billy Sharp delivered again last season, netting 14 in the Championship, but they can’t rely solely on the timeless 36-year-old and Morgan Gibbs-White, who netted 12 goals from midfield, will return to Wolves after his loan expires. Heckingbottom will be tasked with reinvigorating the fortunes of Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie, who cost the club a combined £40million and registered a total of three goals between them last season. Many of the side who thrived under Chris Wilder are still at the club and they know how to win in this league. If they can harness that experience and get their big money signings firing, they could be well in with a shout.  

8/1
Sheff Utd Outright Winner 2022/23

The Rest

There are a number of other sides that may be worth a look at. BURNLEY, with Vincent Kompany at the helm, could be an interesting proposition although it may be too early to tell with a manager who’s never managed, or played, in this league.

13/2
Burnley Outright Winner 2022/23

MIDDLESBOROUGH are another who could surprise some punters under Chris Wilder. They have a good balance of experience and youth and Wilder can get them playing how he did with Sheffield United, they’ll certainly be a team to be wary of. 

9/1
Middlesbrough Outright Winner 2022/23

 

SUNDERLAND are back in the Championship are looking to make up for lost time. Alex Neil has already guided Norwich to a promotion at this level in 2015 and will be hopeful of working the same trick again. Interestingly, LUTON look to be decent odds, especially given their impressive run to the play-offs last season. Time will tell whether that near-miss leads to a hangover or a motivational boost. 

33/1
Sunderland Outright Winner 2022/23

25/1
Luton Outright Winner 2022/23

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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