The Championship is underway once again and despite a slow start Aston Villa will be hoping to improve on last season’s finish and secure a place back in the Premier League. The Villans squad looks like they have a lot more depth now and they will hopefully be one of the clubs pushing for the title or at least knocking on the promotion spot’s door.

The Championship has always been a very competitive league, and the gruelling 46 game season pushes the player’s endurance and stamina to the max.

Steve Bruce knows the fans demand promotion.Villa is the second favourite to take the title this year behind Middlesbrough and manager Steve Bruce will be expecting big things from this group of players. The popularity of football betting in the Championship has grown enormously in recent years and is often a better way to get more bang for your buck than the Premier League.

Aston Villa is 7/1 while Middlesbrough is 6/1, which is a fantastic value. Compare this with the 17/10 for Premier League favourites Manchester City, and you can see why more and more people are having a punt in England’s second-tier of football.

Every team at the start of the season dreams about promotion from the Championship and what might be, but who will be Villa’s main rivals in trying to win the title and get them back where they want to be?

Big money signing for MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough is looking like tough competitors this season and is probably the most likely of the three relegated clubs to jump straight back up. Manager Gary Monk has been very busy in the transfer market this year and made some shrewd investments. None more than the signing of Britt Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest for a fee in the region of £15 million. The striker scored 30 goals in 47 appearances for Forest and now that he’s back to full fitness after some troubling injuries, he will be a dominant force in front of goal this season.

Another club that will be in the mix is Fulham. Manager Slavisa Jokanovic has made six new additions to strengthen his squad after a number of players left the club due to various reasons. Forward Aboubakar Kamara is definitely an exciting signing after joining the Cottagers from French side Amiens. He scored 11 times in 29 appearances and helped the club gain promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time in the club’s history.

The new look team looks more threatening than last year and they will be extremely motivated to guarantee their promotion spot and secure their fate. They know all too well how cruel the playoff spots can be after finishing sixth last year, only to lose to Reading 2-1 on aggregate in the first round.

Neves shocked the Championship when he joined WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers is the third team that will be no doubt pushing for the trophy. After a disappointing Championship campaign, last season the club have broken their transfer record by signing defensive midfielder Ruben Neves from Porto for a reported £16million.

They have also made other key additions to the squad and Manager Nuno Espírito Santo has made his intentions quite clear that this is a team that means business.

Villa has a long run ahead and will need all the new squad members hit the ground running. In what will be a gruelling and testing title challenge, the club must pull together and focus on each game as it comes. It the Villan’s can do this they will no doubt be in the mix com to the end of the season.

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