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Championship: Derby to win and Cherries to reach play-offs

| 29.10.2014

With roughly a quarter of the Championship season gone the picture is starting to become a little clearer as far as predictions go.

There’s still a lot of football to be played and the table is extremely tight but those leaning toward league winner, promotion and relegation bets are in a better place to make solid picks.

Here Ladbroke News’ James Curtis highlights the best picks for each bet as it stands so far.

League Winner – Derby County @ 11/4

An obvious pick with the Rams sitting pretty at the top of the table but Steve McClaren’s men are looking down on everyone else for good reason.

Their 5-2 League Cup win over the rapidly-improving Fulham highlights their dedication and commitment to the cause.

What separates the winners and the also-rans in this league is an out-and-out goal scorer and with nine league strikes to his name already Chris Martin is certainly that.

The likes of Norwich and Watford will run the Rams close but at present it looks like the ‘wally with the brolly’ will be dancing in the sun come May.

Promotion – AFC Bournemouth @ 3/1

Given their recent exploits – an 8-0 win over Birmingham and a first ever League Cup quarter final berth – some fans with cherry-tinted glasses could be swayed on the 10/1 that says Bournemouth go up as champions.

However, the more realistic bet is the 3/1 that says the south coast club make it to the Premier League Promised Land by any means.

In Callum Wilson the Cherries have a man capable of firing them to the promotion mix but perhaps Eddie Howe’s side’s biggest asset is strength in depth.

Howe made 10 changes from the Birmingham game to the side that faced West Brom, with the likes of Dan Gosling, Brett Pitman and Junior Stanislas stating their claims for more game time.

Relegation – Birmingham @ 5/4

Blackpool look dead and buried already and are best avoided at 1/12 in this market but to get an odds-against price on Birmingham at present is a gift.

The recently-managerless Blues’ 8-0 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth means the St Andrew’s crowd has witnessed just one win in 25 games.

Home form is of paramount importance if survival is to be achieved and unless new boss Gary Rowett can perform a sharp turnaround the Midlands club could soon be in the third tier of the English game.

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

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.