EFL fan Ben Levene (@benlevene96) has scoured the dozens of Championship specials markets and has shared his best bets ahead of the 2018/19 big kick-off.
WLB Season Preview 2018/19 | Championship: Specials
Daniel Farke’s first season in charge of Norwich can bracketed as ‘indifferent’.
The Canaries showed glimpses – especially in the cup competitions – avoiding defeat over three matches when at war with Arsenal and Chelsea.
It’s been a summer of change at Carrow Road. Star man James Maddison and Josh Murphy have departed, while key-cogs Angus Gunn and Harrison Reed have returned to their parent clubs.
The positive here, is that no sagas have emerged. Norwich have done their business early, and they know where they stand as they approach the new season.
Farke himself, has spoken honestly about adapting to life in England. He feel he’s better set for the upcoming campaign.
“Experience always helps – it is always good to feel the small of stadiums and the details of the pitch. Last summer I had 27 lads who had to get used to me and me to them. This pre-season I feel much more comfortable because I know what my players can give me.”
Norwich to finish in the top-six (3/1 Betfred)
Whilst talent has departed, incomings such as Jordan Rhodes, Ben Marshall, Teemu Pukki, and German duo Moritz Leitner and Felix Passlack give the Carrow Road faithful much to be excited about.
Rhodes needs little introduction – the striker is a serious goalscorer at Football League level. At the 2015 EFL awards he was selected in the team of the decade and at the age of 28, a fit-and-firing Rhodes can still make an impression at this level.
Nelson Oliviera's future is up in the air, but the Canaries have something to work with, and build on from a unit that boasted the bottom-half’s best defensive record.
Leitner featured in excess of 50 times for a strong Dortmund team, while Passlack has captained Germany at youth level. Two seasons ago Huddersfield proved how seamless the transition from German football to the English second-tier can be.
An attack of Marshall, Leitner, Pukki and Rhodes is exciting and at 3/1 (Betfred) there is mileage in backing the Canaries to soar into the top-six.
Leeds to finish in the bottom-half (9/4 William Hill)
The iconic Marco Bielsa will take to the Championship this season, but if last season at Lille was anything to go by, his tenure may not last long.
Last season, Bielsa nearly took Lille down. He's the oldest manager in the Football League, yet has the least experience. You get the impression the appointment has an air of non-footballing reasons about it.
Earlier in the piece we’ve seen Daniel Farke quite literally say adapting to life in the Championship as a foreign coach is tough.
The Argentine is known for has inventive tactics, but Leeds have been at their best in the apparent post-chaos era when robust and organised under Garry Monk.
Leeds’ strong position in the market is unjustified. Their squad is limited in terms of both ability and experience.
The Bielsa regime may be a hit, but it could equally end in tears. In reality, I have no idea how it pans out.
We’re going by odds, and Leeds look too short. Given the potential the whole regime has to implode, I’m happy to oppose at the prices.
It’s 9/4 (William Hill) Leeds are fixed in the Championship bottom-half after 46 games and I’m convinced there is more than a 30% chance of that happening for a second consecutive season.
2018/19 Championship – Norwich to finish in the top-six (3/1 Betfred)
2018/19 Championship – Leeds to finish in the bottom-half (9/4 William Hill)