The upcoming Championship season looks set to be the finest we’ve ever seen, as the second tier plays host to some of the biggest names in English football.
The last time Newcastle were in this division they won it by an incredible 11 points, losing just four games and scoring 90 goals in the process.
Though the Magpies are favourites to top the table come next May, there are several clubs in the Championship who’ll be looking to cause a shock.
Today we’re looking at three teams who you can expect to see in this year’s title race.
Aston Villa (9/1)
This is Villa’s first campaign outside of the Premier League, and although the club itself has no experience at Championship level, there’s no doubting the talent that new manager Roberto Di Matteo has at his disposal.
And with a new owner in place, it seems that good times are ahead for the Villans, who have already been active in the transfer market, adding Tommy Elphick, Aaron Tshibola, and Pierluigi Gollini to their squad list while the return of fan favourite Stiliyan Petrov is sure to boost morale in the Midlands.
With all the focus in this year’s Championship on Newcastle and Villa, Norwich have gone under the radar – and that absence of pressure might just suit them.
But this is a team who know how to mount a promotion push.
In fact, their last three campaigns in the Football League have ended with promotion, winning League One in 2009-10, finishing second in the 2010-11 Championship and winning the 2014-15 Championship play-offs.
Not to be pushed aside, this Norwich side, like Villa, on paper boast more than enough quality to challenge the Magpies for the title.
Brighton & Hove Albion (12/1)
In a season where it seemed almost certain the Seagulls would end up in the Premier League, Chris Hughton’s men ended up being the unfortunate side who missed out on automatic promotion by goal difference.
But having topped last season’s scoring charts alongside eventual league winners Burnley with 72 goals and recording an unbeaten run which stretched as long as 14 games at the tail end of last season, Anthony Knockaert and co. will be confident they can go one further this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.