Which Championship clubs can secure a place in the promise land?
With the first 2014/15 Championship game ready to get underway at Ewood Park on August 8th, Coral take a look at some of the most likely candidates to reach the promise land of the Premier League this season.
Always hotly fancied for promotion to the top-flight are the previous season’s relegated teams. Cardiff City, Norwich City and Fulham have all added to their squads in search of an immediate return, and have clearly identified scoring goals as the most important commodity.
The Cottagers have shelled out an incredible £11m on last season’s Championship top marksman Ross McCormack, who managed to net 29 times in a struggling Leeds United outfit.
However, after a series of senior departures, including captain Brede Hangeland, manager Felix Magath may well find English football’s second-tier a difficult place to breed in his much admired youngsters. Fulham are third-favourites with Coral for promotion at 3/1.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Cardiff top the market with Coral at 12/5 after adding a plethora of attacking options to their ranks.
Despite losing key players like Steven Caulker, Jordan Mutch and Fraizer Campbell, the Bluebirds have added Federico Macheda and Adam le Fondre, alongside Kenwyne Jones, Joe Mason and Nicky Maynard to give them plenty proven sources of goals.
Beaten play-off finalists Derby County are second-favourites for promotion at 13/5, after Steve McLaren’s men painfully lost a match in which they dominated against QPR.
Although George Thorne’s knee injury has dealt the Rams’ promotion bid a big blow, McLaren has seemingly managed to keep together his team from last year featuring the likes of young prodigy Will Hughes, who should be stronger a year on.
Watford are a team who have also acquired mass firepower in their quest to reach the top-flight. A lot shall depend on their resolve to keep last season’s top goalscorer Troy Deeney, but the return of former prolific partner Matej Vydra has given renewed optimism of a promotion push that never quite materialised last term.
Coral have the Hornets at 7/2 for promotion, ranking them as sixth-favourites in the division.
An outsider for promotion looking to follow in Norwich and Southampton’s recent footsteps with back-to-back climbs, is Brentford.
The Bees have excited fans with their attacking play in League One the past few seasons and finally got their reward last term by finishing champions.
Although they’ve lost star striker Curtis Donaldson to Birmingham City, the west Londoners have shown to be very shrewd in the loan market and will trouble teams going forward. Coral price Mark Warburton’s men at 11/1 for promotion.