The battle for the Championship title is in the early stages, but in such a competitive division, it looks like the race for the trophy could go right down to the wire.
Fulham, West Brom, and Bournemouth are all striving for promotion back to the Premier League and it looks like the trio will be the ones competing for silverware at the end of the season.
No Early Bolters
Often, punters see a side fly out of the traps in the Championship, but that’s not been the case so far this season. Fulham are the 6/4 title favorites in the EFL Championship betting odds, but after the first seven games of the season, the Cottagers held just a one-point lead at the top of the table. The Championship predictions show how competitive this division will be once again over the duration of this campaign. After those first seven matches, just three points separated the top six teams in the table.
The Championship has established a name for itself as the kind of competition where anyone can beat anyone, and that trend looks firmly set to continue this term. Not only does it seem like the battle at the top will go down to the wire, but those teams looking to avoid the drop look set for what will likely be a very nervy end to the campaign.
Fulham Showing Title Credentials
With manager Marco Silva at the helm, Fulham have made a positive start under the former Watford and Everton boss. The Portuguese tactician scooped the EFL Championship Manager of the Month award for August after leading the Cottagers to 13 points from their first five games of the season and introducing 11 fresh faces to the squad, shortly after arriving at the side.
Despite losing manager Scott Parker to Bournemouth over the summer, Fulham have been able to keep hold of many of the players who were relegated from the Premier League last season. The Cottagers would have fended off interest for the likes of forward Aleksandar Mitrovic and midfielder Tom Cairney, but the fact they have stayed surely stands Fulham in good stead.
Baggies and Cherries in the Mix
West Brom and Bournemouth have also shown early signs that they can compete for the Championship title. The Baggies were able to keep hold of key personnel following their disappointing season in the Premier League last term.
Midfielder Robert Snodgrass and keeper Sam Johnstone stayed for the start of the Championship season, despite interest from the top flight. The West Midlands outfit have also recruited well, with former Leeds United and Barnsley midfielder Alex Mowatt already impressing at the Hawthorns.
After missing out on promotion via the playoffs last season, Bournemouth are ready for another bite of the cherry this term. In manager Parker, they have a coach who knows the Championship well and what it takes to get out of the division. The Cherries team is littered with quality players, who will harbor ambitions of finishing top of the table.
With the likes of Fulham, West Brom, and Bournemouth competing, and a handful of other teams looking to spring a surprise, it looks set to be another intriguing battle for the Championship trophy.