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Betting Guide to the English Championship

The second league of English football is not to be overlooked, with some of the young stars with the biggest potential trying to make their name on the big stage, and some older stars looking for playing time in the second league to try and rejuvenate their careers. This guide will give you all the information you need to bet on the English Championship league so that you can get started right away.

English Championship Football

The English Championship is the highest league in the English Football League. It is a professional league that is below the Premier League, and at the end of the season three teams from the Premier League are relegated to the Championship, as three from the Championship are promoted to the top flight.

The Championship is the wealthiest non first division in the world, and the ninth wealthiest division in Europe and with an average audience of over 20,000 per match, it is the most attended secondary division in the world.

There are lots of former Premier League teams who play in the Championship, and try to climb back into the top tier, these include; Fulham, West Bromwich, Stoke, QPR, and Cardiff amongst many others. The Championship is also a great place for the top tier to send their youth players on loan to get experience in the English game.

The Structure of the Championship League

The Championship comprises 24 teams, who all play each other twice, once at home and once away. At the end of the season, the top two teams are automatically promoted to the Premier League, and there are playoff games for a third team to secure promotion.

For the teams that fall 3rd to 6th at the end of the season, they will continue with a playoff, where the 3rd team faces the 6th and 4th plays against the 5th. There are two legs, in which both teams play home and away, with no away goal rule (where away goals are ruled in the event of a tie). If the second leg ends with no winner over the two matches, the teams play extra time and then penalties.

The victors of the first round of playoffs then face each other in a final match that is always held at Wembley, and the winner of the final secures the third promotion place.

Just as there is relegation in the Premier League, there is relegation in the English Championship, and the bottom three teams at the end of the season are relegated to the English League One. Likewise, there are three teams that are promoted from League One to enter the Championship.

Last year, the teams that were relegated to the English Championship were West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United and Fulham. Those who were promoted to the Premier League were Watford, Brentford and Norwich City.

Top Teams to Bet On

AFC Bournemouth

One of the teams relegated from the Premier League after playing there for five years, Bournemouth, are current leaders in the English Championship. Nicknamed “The Cherries”, they are managed by Englishman Scott Parker and boast a strong team with many former top tier players. Gary Cahill, Jack Wilshere and Dominik Solanke play here. Bournemouth also brought in Shane Long, the Southampton striker, on loan to bolster their squad depth.

Fulham FC

Nicknamed The Lilywhites, this west London team was in the top flight until 2014 when they were relegated. They were promoted again in 2019, under then manager Scott Parker, in a 2-1 win over Brentford at the playoffs final. They spent one year in the top division before being relegated back to the Championship. Now they are coached by Marco Silva, and with the highly rated Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, they are currently the highest scoring team in the league with a very good record of playing at home.

West Bromwich Albion

This Black Country based football club is in strong contention to be promoted. The Baggies as they are known, are one of the oldest clubs in England, and were amongst the first 12 to form the first league. Recently they played in the top tier from 2010-2017, and, like Fulham, were promoted in 2019 and relegated in 2020. After having to restructure their team, they have found their main goal scorer in striker Englishman Karlan Grant, who has yet to win a Championship.

Coventry City

Also based in the West Midlands, Coventry City spent 34 years in the top league from 1967 until 2001. They played in the Championship until 2012 when they were relegated to League One, and five seasons later were relegated further down to League Two. It would be three years before they were promoted back up to the Championship, where last year they finished 16th place. This year they have started the season well, despite their defensive issues, and have managed to hold onto a place in the top six.

Stoke City

The Potters, who play in red and white stripes, were founded in 1868, making them one of the oldest clubs in England. They had a run in the top tier from 2008 until 2018 when they were relegated. They started the season well, but were halted by Fulham in a 3-0 loss. They picked up some form afterwards but were beaten by current table leaders Bournemouth, and are trying to find their form again. Manager Michael O'Neill was brought in early last season when Stoke City won two from their fourteen starts. He brought Stoke around to retain their position in the Championship.

Other Teams Who Have Played In The Top Flight

The difficulty of putting a top four or six for the Championship is that the top teams change every year with the relegations and promotions, which resets the league each year. There are favourites, and teams who have a lot of experience in both leagues, having brief stints in either to be promoted or relegated to the other, examples in recent years include Norwich City, Fulham and Bournemouth. There are teams such as Huddersfield, Swansea, Sheffield United, Reading, Cardiff and Hull who have played in the Premier League but do not look like they are going to be plying their trade in the top tier for a while.

The Championship is also home to old clubs that have won the highest accolades but have fallen from grace over the years. One such team is Leeds, who were a powerhouse during the 1970’s, but over the years they fell from the higher echelons of English football and found themselves playing in the Championship. Here they regrouped, under manager Marcelo Bielsa, and with enough patience and shrewd business acumen, they worked themselves back up into the Premier League.

Another example of such a club is Nottingham Forest. Under brilliant manager Brian Clough this team won it all, including the First Division, English Cup and the European Cup in the late 70’s. In recent years they have been placing mid table and show no immediate signs that they will start climbing the table like Leeds did.

How to Bet On the English Championship

The English game is hugely popular and this is why you can find a number of betting markets available for the matches.

Outrights are a good option when a stronger team re-enters the league, and looks like it will spend the one season in the Championship before being promoted, but for the most part it is a difficult bet to make. There are plenty of up and coming teams that teams relegated from the Premier League may have never faced before. For this reason, you are bound to find far more favourable odds in this league, the sheer unpredictability makes it a great market for bettors who have the luck or the in-game knowledge to be able to predict an outright winner before the season starts.

Aside from outrights, there are plenty of markets for single matches; including main, goals, halves, corners, periods and specials.

The main will include full time result, both teams to score and double chance bets amongst others. The main bets are easy to pick up, and can be an excellent place to start for those who are new to the Championship.

For those who want to make more technical bets, you can find halves and periods, corners and specials. These bets focus on specific statistics in a game, you can bet on the number of corners that a team wins or concedes in a match, or a result after a certain period of time or even whether a team will win without conceding a goal.

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