For all Championship clubs, the dream is to escape the second tier and earn access to the promised land that is the Premier League. Some clubs are promotion specialists, bouncing between the divisions like the proverbial yo-yo, whilst some are forced to wait longer intervals for their shot at the big time.
This season, several leading contenders have emerged in the promotion race, but there are a few names in the English Championship betting odds that have slipped under the radar and could spring a surprise when push comes to shove at the end of the campaign. Read on, as we look at a few teams hoping to punch above their weight and reach the Premier League.
In just their second season back in the Championship after years in League One and League Two, Coventry City supporters could hardly have expected their team to be challenging at the top end of the Championship. But, after 11 games so far this season, the Sky Blues find themselves in third place, just three points behind league leaders Bournemouth.
Coventry have clearly been buoyed by their return to the Ricoh Arena, after spending two seasons playing at Birmingham City’s St. Andrews Stadium. There is a feel-good factor around the place under Mark Robbins, and the team showed their character by responding to a 5-0 hammering by Luton Town midweek to defeat Fulham 4-1 at the weekend.
Coventry can currently be found at odds of 9/2 for promotion if you’re interested in Championship tips, but there’s a long season ahead, and it’ll take a monumental effort to keep up the pace until May.
Since their relegation from the Premier League in 2012, Blackburn Rovers haven’t shown too many signs of mounting a revival. However, they have shown some good early-season form and could be a decent outside shout for promotion. At the time of writing, Rovers are hovering just outside the play-off places, but we all know that a good run of form can quickly catapult a team up the Championship table.
Many felt that the loss of star striker Adam Armstrong to Southampton during the summer would be a major blow for Blackburn, but Tony Mowbray’s side have shown they are still a strong unit without him. Indeed, Mowbray is one of the longest-serving managers in the EFL, and that experience could pay dividends when the going gets tough.
Although Luton Town are currently in the middle reaches of the Championship table, they have shown glimpses of real quality so far this season. One such example was the aforementioned 5-0 crushing of Coventry, where the Hatters ran riot at Kenilworth Road.
The only criticism that can be levelled at Luton is that they have lacked consistency, but if Nathan Jones can get his side recording wins with a bit more regularity, then who’s to say they couldn’t go on a run in the second half of the season.
Kenilworth Road is one of English football’s great old grounds, and Jones and his team will be hoping to give the home crowd plenty to cheer in the coming months.