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The English Championship League is the second tier of English football but through revenue, coverage and quality can rightly be considered a respectable, international class competition in its own right.
Many well-known international managers and players compete in this division and the difference between the EPL and the Championship is not that wide.
This is one of the toughest leagues in the world, with the pressure on players and managers significant owing to the financial boost a club can receive should they be promoted into the richest league in the world.
The Championship is officially the richest of all second tier leagues in the world and the seventh richest in Europe.
Football prediction sites take a host of variables into consideration when deciding on providing forecasts with historical data calculated alongside recent ratings.
Ratings are essentially the current variables such as player departures, injuries, new signings and management.
Many heads were turned when Newcastle United were demoted a few seasons back, with legendary manager Rafa Benitez choosing to stick to the Magpies in the Championship. He guided the side right back into the premiership at the first attempt and this proved the adage that class is permanent.
Football predictors would have taken note of the former Liverpool manager’s presence in the dug-out when Newcastle were relegated and adjusted their forecast accordingly.
The sides that finish in the top two positions at the end of each regular season are automatically promoted while the clubs finishing 3-6 take part in a play-off.
Last season saw Wolves and Cardiff make a welcome return to the EPL outright, while former Premiership club Fulham survived a rigorous play-off to once again enter the realms of giants.
What goes up must go down, and each season three clubs will have to pack up their bags and head off to League 1 (third-tier). Former EPL sides Barnsley and Sunderland were relegated alongside Burton Albion.
This is the second successive drop for Sunderland, after an exit from the EPL two years back.
The Championship is home to some famous clubs once again this season with former European stalwarts like Leeds United, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest all trying to fight their way to the upper echelons once again.
The punters must always be careful when making predictions in this league as sentiment sometimes tops smarts, with many newcomers especially drawn to the likes of Villa when it comes to weekly bet fixtures. This is one of the reasons soccer prediction sites are important indicators of events as they take all current factors into consideration, and not just rank according to historical data alone.
There are also many teams in this league that just can’t find their way higher up the soccer chain with the likes of Millwall, Brentford and Preston North End failing to deliver despite promising signs.
This is where historical analysis could be handy as these clubs are not known for their EPL experience. This despite all three of these clubs finishing just outside of the play-off positions in the last campaign.
The Championship will see the return of Swansea City, Stoke City and West Brom for the new campaign and all three must automatically start as league favourites given the quality of their squads, and financial clout.
Stoke and West Brom in particular have been consistent EPL sides in recent years and should make a decent run at promotion.
In the past campaign Wolves romped to the title, finishing nine points clear of second place Cardiff and 11 clear of the third placed Fulham. The Championship may be a tough league but soccer predictors are accurate and the better teams normally make the leap.
Will the new campaign see the likes of Millwall or Preston finally make the big push over the top or will the relegated teams from the EPL storm back up? Follow the sports predictors for early season indications and place your bets accordingly.