4th Aug 2018 | Championship
Championship Outright Tip: Aston Villa
Last season's play-off losers have slipped down the betting because they had a worrying summer and lost some players. But billionaire investors have arrived and still have time to add quality. Bruce has what it takes at this level.
We’ve enjoyed a good run for our money tipping the champions of the Championship in the past three years. Burnley put us nicely in profit topping the table at 14/1 in 2016 before Brighton and Fulham followed them to the top flight as the two most recent runners-up.
For 2018-19 it looks another tough call with the bookies siding quite firmly with Stoke at 5/1 for the most part. But over the past decade only 4 out of 30 sides relegated from the Premier League have bounced back by finishing in the automatic promotions spots, and just 9 of 30 overall.
So if we use that as a reason to swerve Stoke at a small price then the same logic applies to West Brom. Instead Middlesbrough will be in the mix with Pulis, but summer recruitment hasn’t left them looking like winners.
The same could be said of Aston Villa but at a best price of 14/1 with Ladbrokes they are worth a punt, not least because two new billionaire investors still have time to make their mark. If they are in the shake-up at halfway, expect more funds to be made available in January.
But ably led by Steve Bruce, who knows this division better than most, the Villains may not need too much more to get back to where they feel they belong.
They had the best defence behind promoted Wolves and Cardiff last term and of the non-promoted teams only Hull scored more.
Villa claimed 83 points last season and when you consider they started with just 1 win in 7 attempts, that means they were effectively title-contenders once they got over the disappointment of relegation. They know what it takes now and a vociferous Villa Park could make the difference.
Odds correct at time of publishing: 10:03 4th Aug, 2018 but subject to change