Aston Villa, Derby or Wolves: Local Champ bragging rights up for grabs

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Of the 24 sides currently in the Championship, six are located in the Midlands. And with 15 points separating them, we’ve now opened a market concerning this mini-league.

As things stand, a whopping 15 points separate Derby in 7th place and Burton Albion in 21st.

In fact, the Rams are at least four points clear of all their local rivals as we approach the business end of the campaign.

But while Steve McClaren’s men are 4/9 favourites to outscore the rest of the Midlands sides in the points tally come May, we reckon the better value lies elsewhere.

While the table would suggest otherwise, our traders are certainly right to price up Birmingham City as 12/1 outsiders in this market.

There’s no doubting they’re a different team since they parted ways with Gary Rowett. In fact, since he left, Birmingham have picked up just two points from a possible 15.

Though it’s unlikely the Blues will find themselves in a relegation scrap, they are only 12 points clear of the bottom three, and show no sign of turning things around any time soon.

Their neighbours Aston Villa, on the other hand, can expect to find themselves there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

Much of their problem thus far has been a difficulty to turn draws into wins. But of the 11 Villa matches that have ended level, seven were under former boss Roberto Di Matteo.

Times are different now, and Steve Bruce’s men are a hard nut to crack, losing as many as league leaders Newcastle United.

And likely to flex their financial muscles more than their rivals in this transfer window, it’ll only be a matter of time before they find themselves firmly amongst the top six.

If you thought the 9/4 on them to finish as the top Midlands club in the league was good, you’d have to be tempted by the 9/1 on them going up.

Meanwhile, there could potential value in backing Paul Lambert’s Wolverhampton Wanderers at 12/1 – we’d certainly fancy them over Blues at the same price.

They’ll be buzzing off the back of their recent 1-0 win over Villa, which extended a run of consecutive clean sheets to three games.

It’s the kind of form they’ll need to maintain throughout the rest of the season if they’re to close the gap and leapfrog three of their local rivals to claim bragging rights.

Ladbrokes Latest Betting

Top Midlands Championship Club

Derby – 4/9

Aston Villa – 9/4

Wolves – 12/1

Birmingham – 12/1

Nottingham Forest – 100/1

Burton Albion – 500/1

Click here for a full list of Championship odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.