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English Championship

Teemu Pukki in a Norwich's transition play during a Championship match

One of the most popular leagues in the world, not just the second most popular in England, the Football League Championship is so very competitive and attracts a huge amount of betting. The ultimate prize for victory, second-place or play-off winner is promotion to the Premier League and matches in the best stadiums in the country.

English Championship Background And Format

24 teams compete in a 46-game season, often playing two games in four days, to gain promotion to the top league, where they will be odds-on for relegation. Initially known as the English Second Division, it was renamed Division One when the Premiership came into existence in 1992/93 and received its current name in 2004. Teams are relegated from the Championship into what is now known as League One, which provides three new teams per season.

Championship Winners History

Incredibly, and somewhat against the odds, the last six winners in England of the Championship still play in the Premier League: Leicester City were promoted in 2013/14, were almost relegated from the top league in 2014/15 and famously won the title in 2015/16; AFC Bournemouth pipped Watford (also still in the Premier League) to the title in 2014/15; Burnley returned to the top tier at the first attempt in 2015/16, as did Newcastle United in 2016/17; Wolverhampton Wanderers ran away with the title in 2017/18, while Norwich City did the same in 2018/19.

Championship Teams To Watch

As it stands, the odds are on Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion returning to the top tier; currently Marcelo Bielsa manages Leeds United while former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic takes charge of WBA. Swansea City, Hull City and Stoke City are all teams which have until recently been in the Premier League. 

Stoke’s team contains players from their stay in the top division, including midfielder Joe Allen and goalkeeper Jack Butland. Jarrod Bowen was playing so well for Hull this season that West Ham snapped him up in January 2020.

Leeds United’s goalkeeper Kiko Casilla signed from Real Madrid, while their star midfielder is North Macedonian international Ezgjan Alioski. Serbian star Aleksandar Mitrovic has 23 goals for Fulham, while Ollie Watkins has been prolific for Brentford.

There are many teams from the North of England in the Championship, including Preston North End, who failed to lose a game in the 1888/89 First Division, and Huddersfield Town, legends of the 1920s. Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers have bounced in and out of the Championship, while European Cup winners Nottingham Forest are pushing for promotion.

As well as Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Brentford and Millwall are all London-based stalwarts of the second tier. Betting on teams in London is prudent, given that these teams can attract great players from abroad due to the temptations of the big city.

England’s Championship Betting Tips By BetGold

The 2019/20 season has been paused, so check back when the season starts up again over summer in order to enjoy betting on the Championship, where anyone can beat anyone. 

Historically the second tier of English football has been won seven times each by Manchester City and Leicester City, while Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City are all on five. Betting on the latter two teams can be done with BetGold as they currently compete in England in the Championship. 

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