The Championship: A League Full of Surprises

The Stats

Here’s an interesting statistic, and one to bear in mind in your search for quality football tips. According to that well-known source of online information, Wikipedia, which world football league had the 4th highest total attendance in 2013-14 after the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Spanish La Liga (and the 9th highest in any sport)? The answer. The English Football League Championship, or simply ‘The Championship’ as it is known to English football supporters and purveyors of the finest football tips. Nearly nine million spectators saw a live match in season 2013-14, while the end-of-season Championship playoff final attracted an audience of 85,656 , according to the same source – the 4th highest domestic club championship event attendance anywhere in the world. Statistics for the most recently completed season are yet to become available, but these are some numbers considering it is a ‘second-tier’ competition, although as regular viewers will know, it regularly features some of the most exciting and unpredictable matches around, all the more reason to seek football tips from the professionals. Here are a couple of key match-ups from this weekend’s round of opening fixtures that are sure to feature heavily in football tips on Betadvisor.com.

Brighton V Nottingham Forest

The opening fixture comes on Friday night at the Falmer stadium, where two of last season’s strugglers meet for the first three points on offer. It is a long time ago that Nottingham Forest graced the English top-flight, and even longer still that Brian Clough’s team secured back-to-back European Cups (something inconceivable nowadays), but Forest remain a big fish in the Championship, and boast some of the division’s best talent in young striker Brit Assombalonga, ex-Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury and ex-Chelsea and Hamburg defender Michael Mancienne. Boss Dougie Freedman, who took over from Forest-legend Stuart Pearce after his sacking in February, will be looking for a vast improvement on last season’s 14th placed finish. Seagull’s boss Chris Hughton, who only himself took over from Sami Hyypia in December 2014, will be looking for an improvement after the threat of relegation engulfed the club for much of last season’s campaign. The return of Bobbi Zamora and the addition of ex-Hull and Wigan full back Liam Rosenior will boost his squad, but whether that will be enough to overcome Forest, only the Gods of Football (and professional football tipsters) may know. Check out football tips now at Betadvisor.com.

Brighton 2.20, Draw 3.20, Forest 3.40 (odds courtesy of bet365)

Preston V Middlesbrough

It’s a story of play-off joy and play-off heartbreak at Deepdale on Sunday. Boro boss Aitor Karanka was so close to taking his side to the Premier League last season, losing out in the decider against Norwich at Wembley in May. Preston, meanwhile, were comfortable victors over Swindon Town in the League 1 equivalent. Expectations will be differing for the two sides this season, with Boro joint favourites for the title with Derby (6.50), while Preston will be looking to consolidate their position in the second-tier, to which they return after 4 years. Likewise in the transfer market, the North-East side have been able to entice former player and Ex-England winger Stewart Downing to drop down a league, and have been linked with a £12m move for Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes. Preston, however, are bound by a much tighter budget and have so far stuck to free transfer and loan signings (ex-Everton striker Jermaine Beckford amongst the most notable). For the best football tips and predictions on this game and many more, visit Betadvisor.com.

Preston 3.00, Draw 3.25, Middlesbrough 2.37 (odds courtesy of bet365)

By: Steve Paget

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