The Championship has always been a favourite of the neutrals and the early stages in the battle for promotion have shown why this brutally tough division has so many fans.
Cardiff are currently the surprise leaders heading into the international break, with their five wins from as many games raising plenty of eyebrows. Neil Warnock promised success in his first full season in south Wales and 11/2 for them to finish top makes for a very tempting price.
Behind them Ipswich have also started well but their form has been a shock to many onlookers, including it seems manager Mick McCarthy. A sustained push could be beyond them and that is perhaps reflected in the 16/1 on offer for them to be promoted.
The same can also be said for Sheffield United, who still appear to be riding the wave of last season’s jump from League One but up the M1 in Leeds something appears to be stirring.
Eyebrows were raised with the appointment of Thomas Christiansen but he is still to taste defeat at Elland Road and despite the sale of Chris Wood, the Whites appear in great shape to be promoted at 33/10.
Wolves’ busy summer also seems to be paying off, with their classy squad gelling nicely under Nuno Santo’s expert tutelage. The Molineux club are the current 6/5 favourites for promotion, while they also perhaps rightly lead the way to top the standings at 11/4.
Middlesbrough, who are 7/1 to win the division, also appear to have bought well but Garry Monk’s tinkering seems to be hindering them somewhat. Monk is a good coach though and they will surely shoot up the standings once he settles on his best team.
The same can also be said for Aston Villa, who have a promotion specialist at the helm in Steve Bruce and are 7/2 to go up. The 56-year-old is another who seems uncertain on who to select and what formation to deploy but his track record is excellent and it would be a surprise should they fail to improve.
On the other side of the coin, Hull’s promotion hopes appear to further diminish by the day due to their willingness to sell their best players. Leonid Slutsky is clearly a brilliant coach but appears to be fighting a losing battle and the 7/1 on offer for them to be promoted is perhaps a touch generous.
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