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Forest should be backed for promotion over being champions

| 08.07.2013

Given that the Championship is played over a 46-game season, punters could be forgiven for not taking too much notice of the league table after just six fixtures of a new campaign.

However, looking at the last five seasons, this would have proved a foolish mistake, as nine of the 10 clubs to secure automatic promotion from the Championship in this time have started positively.

Eight promoted sides have taken a minimum of 13 points from the first 18 available, while one exception Norwich did secure 10 points from their opening five fixtures.

Reading’s title-winning side of 2012 are the only big anomalies, but recovery for them meant that they had to triumph in 15 of their final 17 games to confirm promotion, which is not a run that a team can be expected to embark on often.

Therefore, a team with a penchant for starting seasons well would be a good starting point for those looking for a team to back in the competitive Championship to either top the table or to simply achieve promotion.

This is not great news for Nottingham Forest, as not only does the club usually get off to an average start at best, but manager Billy Davies has hardly built a reputation for getting early points on the board.

In their five Championship seasons since securing promotion from League One, Nottingham Forest have only taken more than seven points from their opening six games once and that was when they managed 10 last season.

Davies has never won more than one of his opening five games of a new season in any of his managerial stints at Forest, Preston or Derby and in his previous spell at the City Ground in 2011, he took maximum points from just two of his first 11 fixtures.

This would suggest that Forest have their work cut out in winning the Championship, which can be backed at 10/1.

However, the 7/2 on offer that they gain promotion should not be written off, as although they may struggle to go up automatically on the basis of their record in early-season fixtures, there is the added option of winning the play-offs.

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



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.