Championship preview: The Best Bet in the race for the title

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West Ham may be an unimaginative selection to win the Championship this season, but it is hard to look beyond a squad that is full of Premier League experience.

Whether Scott Parker stays beyond the end of the August transfer window will have a large bearing on their chances, but even if the England midfielder does depart, 4/1 may still be reasonable value on West Ham claiming the title.

Manager Sam Allardyce may have been quick to recruit players that he has worked with previous, but Kevin Nolan and Matt Taylor will certainly improve the midfield, while Abdoulaye Faye can provide some valuable defensive experience.

If Allardyce is able to call upon Nolan and Parker, it is a central midfield definitely good enough to compete for a top-half Premier League finish and should be too much for most Championship opposition.

The only logical question mark over West Ham is whether they have a striker who will score regularly in the Championship, with Carlton Cole in particular liable to waste chances and go through hit-and-miss patches of form.

One team that should certainly have no troubles scoring goals are Cardiff, now they have proven scorers Rob Earnshaw and Kenny Miller in their ranks.

If this pair repeat their previous form of old, 20/1 could be massive value for a team that reached the play-offs last season.

After a summer of heavy spending, Leicester have to be considered, particularly as Sven-Goran Eriksson has attempted to correct their poor defensive record last season by buying four new defenders.

Leicester are the other joint favourites at 4/1 to win the Championship.

Elsewhere, Brighton and Southampton may be fancied to gain back-to-back promotions after their League One exploits last season and are both available at 18/1 to win the Championship this season.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.