The 2014/15 Championship has all the ingredients to be the most exhilarating yet as the scramble to reach the Premier League intensifies by the year.
Big clubs have invested big money in the hope that this term will be their last in the second tier and with the green flag being waved this week, news.bwin.com/en/ are laying their cards on the table having marked them with our three best league-winner punts for the campaign ahead.
Fulham – 9/1 to win the Championship
The Cottagers have made something of a statement in forking out £11m for last season’s second-rung leading scorer Ross McCormack and, with a Bundesliga-winning boss at the helm in Felix Magath they must be the team to beat before a ball is kicked.
He joins an attack that contains talents of Bryan Ruiz’s calibre, while Scott Parker in midfield adds concrete to a team oozing goalscoring prowess.
Several potential-loaded academy players will also be afforded the opportunity to showcase their stuff too.
Wigan – 10/1 to win the Championship
Had it not been for an iffy pre-season managerial appointment and an ill-advised Europa League tilt, the Latics would’ve almost certainly be preparing to return to the top-flight this summer based on their end of season form.
A late surge under the guidance of Uwe Rosler saw them edged out of the play-off semi-final to eventual victors QPR, but they’re well-equipped with the tools and ethos to challenge once more.
They’ve lost just twice at home in the whole of 2014 and a full pre-season with Rosler at the helm it’s difficult to imagine them failing to contend.
Nottingham Forest – 16/1 to win the Championship
Given the unpredictable nature of the division, it’s always worth picking a selection located in the left-field.
They threatened the upper echelons sporadically last season and have bolstered their ranks with some solid second-tier players such as David Vaughan, Lee Peltier and Matty Fryatt.
There’s plenty to be said about Stuart Pearce’s managerial abilities too, or so his exploits with England at the European Under-21 Championships in 2009 suggest.
His junior Three Lions side only lost the final 4-0 against a German contingent that contained approximately half of the team that would lift the World Cup five years later, defending himself against their blades, bullets and weapons of mass destruction with the likes of Scott Loach, Martin Cranie and Nedum Onuoha.