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Big spending Middlesbrough among early favourites for Championship

| 07.07.2010

Middlesbrough have been made 8/1 favourites to win the Championship this season, as the Teesside club accelerates their recruitment drive.

Kris Boyd has just signed from Rangers, and the Scottish striker joins a bulging strike force, with Scott McDonald, Leroy Lita, Lee Miller, Chris Killen and Marvin Emnes already at the Riverside.

Manager Gordon Strachan is also poised to sign Celtic defender Stephen McManus in a deal worth around £1.8m.

Having found the net on 164 occasions for Rangers and Kilmarnock, Boyd is the leading goalscorer in Scottish Premier League history, and his goals could prove invaluable to a Middlesbrough side that struggled to score last season.

Another team available at 8/1 to win the Championship is Nottingham Forest, who lost to Blackpool at the play-off semi-final stage last season.

Polish playmaker Radoslaw Majewski has signed permanently following an impressive loan spell last season, and if Billy Davies can add depth to a squad which already blends youthful prospects with seasoned Championship campaigners, Forest will be strong contenders.

Losing play-off finalists Cardiff City, meanwhile, are 14/1 to recover from their Wembley heartache by securing the Championship title.

The Bluebirds’ financial worries seemed to have been eased by a recent takeover from a Malaysian consortium, though doubts about the club’s fiscal stability resurfaced when they were handed a fresh transfer embargo.

With out of contract midfielder Joe Ledley set to leave, it is particularly important that Cardiff stabilise their finances, as they are a couple of signings away from being strong title contenders.

One club with no such financial difficulty are QPR, who have a number of wealthy businessmen backing their bid for promotion to the Premier League.

Neil Warnock’s side are priced at 8/1 to go up as champions, and having already snapped up Leon Clarke, Shaun Derry, Jamie Mackie and Paddy Kenny, the Hoops seem to be building a squad with the required nous and experience to prosper in the Championship.

Who do you think will claim the Championship title this season? Burnley are 10/1 to return to the Premier League as champions. See the full Championship market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.