The 2022/23 Championship campaign is nearly upon us and out of the 24 clubs involved who will be targeting promotion and who could be fighting for survival?
The new season fires into action on Friday evening as last season's beaten play-off finalists Huddersfield Town entertain Vincent Kompany's Burnley, who are under new management after suffering Premier League relegation last term.
In recent seasons the market has been a good guide to this division, with the favourites in each of the last three years storming to the title, which bodes well for 11/2 Norwich City, who are hoping to bounce back as champions at the first time of asking.
But there have been a host of surprises, too, down the years, so expect plenty of drama to unfold as the season develops.
|Where:||England and Wales|
29th July 2022 - 6th May 2023
|How to watch:||Sky Sports|
Norwich 11/2, Watford 7/1, West Brom 9/1, Middlesbrough 9/1, Sheffield United 10/1
Parachute payments mean relegated clubs have had a sizeable advantage over the rest in recent Championship seasons, so it is no surprise to see Norwich, Watford and Burnley fill three of the top six places in the title betting.
Last season Fulham were crowned champions having been relegated the campaign before and Norwich, who won the Championship title in both 2018/19 and 2020/21, will be hoping to follow in their footsteps.
The Canaries have a manager in Dean Smith who has previous in the Championship, having guided Aston Villa to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2019, while they have also been able to keep hold of Teemu Pukki, Milot Rashica and Josh Sargent and have managed to draft in Isaac Hayden from Newcastle United.
Watford, who are 7/1 to take the title, have opted for a change in approach with the appointment of manager Rob Edwards from Forest Green Rovers.
The Hornets have seen some experienced players depart and keeping hold of Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis may prove troublesome, but enough quality remains to suggest they should have their say.
Burnley outperformed Norwich and Watford in the Premier League last term, but there have been some big changes at Turf Moor.
Kompany has arrived from Anderlecht as manager and has vowed to play a more attractive brand of football, but the departures of goalkeeper Nick Pope and defenders Nathan Collins, Ben Mee, James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil could take some adjusting to.
The Clarets may thrive under the transformation, but there is plenty to prove and they are 12/1 to win the title.
Sheffield United finished in the play-off positions last season, while Middlesbrough fell just one place short and hopes will be high that both can make a strong push for promotion.
The Blades improved markedly under Paul Heckingbottom last season and could take another leap forward, particularly if they keep hold of influential midfielder Sander Berge.
United were beaten on penalties by Nottingham Forest in the play-off semi-final last season and, if they can find some greater firepower, they could go well at 7/2 in the battle for promotion.
Boro also progressed last season under the guidance of Chris Wilder, only narrowly missing out on a top-six finish, and they have recruited well this summer and are 5/2 to go up.
Last season was a miserable one for West Brom, who were considered strong candidates for the Championship title yet finished 10th, some eight points off a play-off place.
However, they took 10 points from their final five games last season and Steve Bruce has recruited shrewdly, adding creativity to their midfield with the arrivals of John Swift from Reading and Millwall's Jed Wallace.
With Karlan Grant, Daryl Dike and Callum Robinson in attack, goals look assured so they shouldn't be underestimated at 9/1 for the title and 11/4 for promotion.
Reading and Birmingham City finished directly above the relegation zone last term and another season of struggle looks likely for both sides.
The Royals, who only avoided the drop because of Derby's points deduction, have been weakened by the departures of Josh Laurent, Andy Rinomhota, Swift and Michael Morrison and are looking seriously dependent on the goals of Lucas Joao.
Paul Ince's side leaked 87 goals in 46 games last season and are 15/8 to go down, while Birmingham - who are 6/4 for the drop - also look in trouble under their inexperienced manager John Eustace.
The Blues have not finished higher than 17th in their last six Championship seasons and appear severely short on quality.
Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic blazed a trail in the Championship scoring charts last season, netting 43 times in 46 games to finish 14 clear of Bournemouth ace Dominic Solanke.
Swansea City's Joel Piroe and Blackburn Rovers' Ben Brereton-Diaz finished tied for third with 22 goals and both clubs may struggle to fight off the attention of their promising youngsters.
With Norwich star Pukki now 32 and Stoke's new recruit Dwight Gayle having to show he can stay fit, Baggies duo Grant (16/1) and Dike (16/1) could be worth consideration.
Another big season can also be anticipated from Luton Town's Elijah Adebayo, who netted 17 goals in 42 appearances last season and who is still only 24 years of age.