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Championship Ante-Post Tips 2022/23

Friday 5th August 20:00

WhichBookie football expert Liam Johnson provides a preview for the upcoming 2022/23 EFL Championship season along with sharing his ante-post bets for various markets.

Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Norwich 16/516/5 Ante Post
League Winner
Place BetPlace Bet
Watford 7/17/1 Ante Post
League Winner
Each Way
Place BetPlace Bet
Luton 5/65/6 Ante Post
Top Half Finish
Place BetPlace Bet
Birmingham 2/12/1 Ante Post
To Be Relegated
Place BetPlace Bet
Reading 2/12/1 Ante Post
To Be Relegated
Place BetPlace Bet
Blackburn 11/111/1 Ante Post
To Be Relegated
Place BetPlace Bet
Emmanuel Dennis 25/125/1 Ante Post
Top Scorer
Each Way
Place BetPlace Bet
Vakoun Issouf Bayo 20/120/1 Ante Post
Top Scorer
Each Way
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 26/07/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (15:00 26/07/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

EFL Championship Ante-Post Tips
Championship WinnerTop Half Finish
To Be RelegatedTop Scorer

Norwich, Watford and Burnley will replace Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest in the upcoming season of the EFL Championship in what is one of the most competitive leagues in English football.

I’ll be taking a look at potential league winners, top scorers and the teams I think have the best chance of dropping down into league one.

Championship Winner Prediction

Although I do think that a few of the existing Championship teams from last season will be in the mix, those that made the drop from the top-flight will stand the best chance of heading straight back up.

First up is Norwich who won this league both in 2018/19 and 2020/21. They were extremely poor in the Premier League last season after failing to strengthen their squad to Premier League standard. However, that does pose an advantage for the Canaries now that they’ve been relegated as it means that few of their players have moved on and they’re able to retain a squad that is comfortable with each other and who are willing to fight once again to return to the top-flight.

Overall, I think Norwich are good enough defensively at Championship standard to keep it tight at the back. They also have enough players to score goals which together, could see them top the league and give the top-flight another crack in 2023.

Teemu Pukki is a proven scorer and despite turning 33 before the end of the upcoming season, is the bookies’ favourite to bag the most goals in the league. The clubs signing of Isaac Hayden from Newcastle is a smart one and the midfielder will definitely improve their squad and provide more stability in the centre of the field.

Next is Watford who were relegated along with Norwich after finishing second-bottom, collecting just 23 points from 38 games.

After several changes of management last season, the club has brought in Rob Edwards who won League Two with Forest Green. They have seen players leave the club this summer with the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Ben Foster, Joshua King and Juraj Kucka all exiting. However, the Hornets have also recruited well, bringing in Ivory Coast centre-forward Vakoun Bayo and striker Rey Manaj. We could see more players arrive at Vicarage Road before the transfer window closes and I’m confident that come the start of the season, they’ll have a strong enough squad to challenge for the title.

Prediction:

  • Norwich @ 6/1 with Vbet
  • Watford E/W (3 Places 1/4) @ 7/1 with Betfred
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Top Half Finish Prediction

The Championship can often be quite an open league, especially in the middle of the table and there are multiple teams who could finish the season in the top 12.

One team I fancy to do well is Luton who finished the 2021/22 season in sixth place with 75 points.

The Hatters are a best price of 5/6 with Betfred to finish in the top half of the table which I think is a very solid bet. They’re a team which is often overlooked but they’ve made some additions to their squad in preparation for the new season and if they perform like they did in the last one, they should be well in the mix for the playoffs and at very least, in the top 12.

Prediction: Luton @ 5/6 with Betfred

Relegation Prediction

Two teams stick out to me as obvious relegation candidates but unfortunately, the bookies also agree.

The first of those is Birmingham who have finished between 17th and 20th place for the last six seasons. Lee Bowyer, who was in charge of the Blues throughout last season, has been replaced with ex-QPR assistant manager John Eustace and other than a couple of loan signings with defenders Auston Trustly (Arsenal) and Dion Sanderson (Wolves) joining the club, transfer activity has been rather quiet and the squad lacks both quality and depth.

The second team I think may struggle is Reading who finished four points above the drop zone last season. They were handed a six-point deduction last season for breaching profit and sustainability rules and will receive another deduction of the same number of points if they fail to comply. That means that the club is limited to signing free agents and players on loan and with the squad already lacking depth, it’s not a great situation for them to be in, especially if the squad suffers a number of injuries.

If you’re looking for a long-shot in this market, Blackburn at 11/1 with LiveScore Bet to make the drop. Rovers finished the season in a respectable 8th place last year but won just 6 of their last 22 games and scored only 16 goals in 2022. Ben Brereton finished the season as the joint-third highest scorer in the league but his goals dried up throughout the season with the Chilean finding the net just two times from Christmas onwards. There is a chance that they could struggle this season and if so, could find themselves in a relegation battle.

Prediction:

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Top Scorer Prediction

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrović smashed records in the Championship last season by finding the net an impressive 43 times. Previously, Ivan Toney held the record for the most goals in a Championship season with 31 the season before. However, Mitrović knocked Tony from the top spot with 14 games of the season remaining and went on to score a dozen more goals.

With Mitrović moving up into the Premier League along with Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke who netted 29 times last season, the focus moves to the likes of Ben Brereton of Blackburn Rovers  and Swansea’s Joel Piroe who both scored 22 times in the 2021/22 campaign to finish as the leagues joint third highest scoring players.

However, it’s Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki who is the bookies’ favourite to bag the most goals in the coming season following his sides relegation into the Championship. Pukki scored just 11 goals in the top-flight last season which was just shy of half of all Norwich’s league goals. However, the Finnish striker has had much more success in the Championship having bagged 26 goals in 2020/21 and 29 in 18/19.

Pukki is currently priced at 8/1 but given that he could potentially be replaced on occasion by Adam Idah, I don’t see much value in those odds.

Sunderland’s Ross Stewart should be considered if you are looking for an outsider. The Black Cats striker found the net 24 times last season to propel his side back into the Championship but it remains to be seen how he’ll cope with the improved standard of defending in the league above.

Another player to consider, but who has more Championship experience, is Dwight Gayle who has made the move from Newcastle United to Stoke recently. Gayle has played little part in the Magpies recent campaigns and is a player who looks much more suited to the league below. He found the net 23 times in both his last two stints in the Championship with Newcastle and West Brom but at the age of 32, there may be some concerns that his best days are behind him.

The Top Scorer market in the Championship is a lot more open compared to the Premier League and so there are some tempting prices available. I’m expecting Watford to do well this season and so my selection for Top Scorer is centre-forward Emmanuel Dennis. The Nigerian scored 10 of Watford’s 34 goals last season and is 25/1 to top the scoring charts in the coming campaign. However, Dennis is on the radar of clubs such as Everton and so I’d recommend holding off placing your bet until transfers have concluded. If he does move on, I’d take a punt on his teammate Vakoun Issouf Bayo @ 20/1 who moved from Belgium club RSC Charleroi this summer.

Prediction: Emmanuel Dennis Each Way @ 25/1 / Vakoun Issouf Bayo @ 20/1, both with Bet365

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