While the English Premier League is probably the best league in the world, the English Championship is no less compelling. . To get you ready for the season ahead, here are the 10 teams most likely to gain promotion to the Premier League this season.
It’s been a slow and steady climb up the Championship for Bristol City the past few seasons. In fact, a couple of years ago, they beat multiple Premier League teams, including Manchester United, on their way to the EFL Cup semifinals. After an eighth-place finish last season, the Robins have a strong chance of at least reaching the Promotion Playoffs in 2020.
The Bees finished a solid 11th in the Championship last season, but they’re eyeing a big leap this year. Diminutive French forward Neal Maupay holds the key to making that happen. He scored 25 goals for Brentford last season and may be able to carry the club to promotion if they don’t lose him to a transfer.
The Bluebirds were one and done in the Premier League last season. But they’re sticking with manager Neil Warnock, who’s been with the club since 2016, to immediately get them back to the top flight. Scoring goals was Cardiff’s biggest problem a year ago, and they are hopeful the signing of German striker Robert Glatzel can change that.
The Rams have gotten to the Promotion Playoffs in two straight years, so they are knocking on the door of the Premier League. There’s definitely enough talent in the squad to get back to the playoffs again. However, the question is whether Dutch manager Phillip Cocu can adjust to managing in England for the first time and pick up where Frank Lampard left off.
Fulham was terribly disappointed to be immediately relegated out of the Premier League last season. But Scott Parker was retained as manager, and the Cottagers should have no problem scoring goals with Aleksandar Mitrović back and a couple of summer signings that should improve the midfield. Many consider them favorites to win the Championship, but they have to defend a lot better than they did in the Premier League last season.
There’s a lot of buzz around Leeds this year. They have Jack Harrison on loan from Manchester City. They retained Jack Clarke on loan after selling him to Tottenham. Plus, aging Spanish striker Pablo Hernández continues to lead the charge. They fell short in the Promotion Playoffs after finishing third in the Championship last season, so they’ll be eager to get a chance at redemption.
Boro is just a few years removed from being in the Premier League, and they’ve finished fifth and seventh in their two seasons back in the Championship. Jonathan Woodgate, who was a player at Middlesborough as recently as 2016, is taking over in his first-ever job as a manager. He’s the biggest question mark, although the squad should have enough talent to compete for a spot in the Promotion Playoffs.
The Reds will be interesting to watch this season. Significant changes were made after Sabri Lamouchi was appointed as the new manager in June. However, Forest improved from 17th to ninth in the Championship over the past two seasons. Similar improvement this year could put them in the hunt for promotion.
In less than five years, the Potters went from ninth in the Premier League to 16th in the Championship. But Stoke City isn’t messing around. They made a handful of notable signings over the summer and have somehow managed to keep goalie Jack Butland. If Peter Coates can figure out how the puzzle pieces fit together, Stoke will be in the mix for a promotion spot.
West Bromwich Albion
Former West Ham manager Slaven Bilić has come to the Hawthorns to bring the Baggies back to the Premier League. However, West Brom will need Danish striker Kenneth Zohore to immediately fill the shoes of Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle. Otherwise, the Baggies won’t score enough goals to get promoted.