EFL Championship Round-Up - Bilic Off to a Flyer at Watford, Norwich Overcome Blackpool and Sheffield United Drop Points Against Birmingham City

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A clearer picture is now emerging with regards to which teams are well placed to secure a route to the Premier League and which teams are struggling to keep themselves away from the relegation zone. 

Some of the key teams are now stepping up their respective games, and others are having to fire managers in order to make last-ditch attempts to salvage their seasons. 

All of this should feed into your EFL Championship betting strategies as you look to secure a payout on your wagers. It is, of course, worth remembering that life in the English second tier is not a sprint but a very long, very bruising marathon, and we are now nearing a quarter of the way through the campaign.

Watford Buzzing

Slaven Bilic is a manager with a good CV, and bringing him to push Watford back towards the promotion picture may well be a very wise choice. It’s already started in spectacular fashion, with the Croatian boss seeing his side secure a rampant 4-0 win away at Stoke City.

Such a result will certainly please Bilic, who has previously taken charge of West Ham and the Croatian national team, with Ismaila Sarr among the scorers in a win that lifts the Hornets just outside the play-off picture.

If the club were looking for a change in fortunes since axing Rob Edwards then it’s fair to say that the road ahead looks far rosier. Now might be the opportune time to jump all over a bet on Watford securing promotion, with BoyleSports offering a very tempting 5/2 on such an eventuality. 

Canaries Singing

Norwich City didn’t start the season well but are very much in a purple patch, and that fine form continued with a narrow win at Bloomfield Road. Teemu Pukki scored the game’s only goal, and the win takes Dean Smith’s side a point behind leaders Sheffield United.

The Canaries have now won seven of their last eight games, drawing the other, and look very comfortable right now. Smith commented on the need for a strong team spirit as his side seeks to make an immediate return to the Premier League.

“It keeps our unbeaten run going; it’s another clean sheet, and the momentum and the belief is still there.”

“We’re facing a big challenge in the Championship this season, but I think we are seeing the players standing up to it and wanting to play. Sometimes performances haven’t been where we want them to be, but sometimes we’re unplayable.”

Sheffield United Held by Birmingham City

Sheffield United had won their previous four games and would have expected to ease past struggling Birmingham City on their own patch, but Troy Deeney levelled an Oli McBurnie opener to give the away side a deserved point at Bramall Lane.

The draw is enough to keep Paul Heckingbottom’s side at the top, and if you wish to back the Blades to secure promotion, you can get 8/11 from Grosvenor Sports, which is enticing given that the club have been in excellent form ever since the former Hibernian and Leeds United manager took charge last November. 


A poor run of form that saw Middlesbrough win just two out of 11 games this season has led to the sacking of manager Chris Wilder. The former Sheffield United manager didn’t last a year at the club, and they’ll face Birmingham City in midweek without a full-time replacement, and with goalkeeping coach Leo Percovich placed in temporary charge.

Paul Ince’s Reading continues to impress, and the Royals’ 3-1 win over Huddersfield keeps the team up among the leaders. 

Wins for QPR and Blackburn Rovers, against Bristol City and Millwall, respectively, push them into the play-off positions, while Vincent Kompany’s sixth draw of the season, away at Cardiff City, leaves the Clarets in the fourth spot.