- WBA lead table but are only favored second to finish on top
- Bielsa’s team remain most highly-rated by analysts although in third place
- Preston North End are the surprise contenders in second spot
West Bromwich Albion are the leaders of England’s EFL Championship but Leeds United remain the team considered most likely to win the title next spring.
After an unbeaten run of six matches, Albion have 33 points and are two points clear of both second-placed Preston North End and third-placed Leeds.
EFL Championship 2019-20 Odds
|West Bromwich Albion||+225|
|Preston North End||+1600|
Odds taken at Nov. 15.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds team have been defeated twice in the past eight games but have steadied their form over the last five matches to maintain their position as pre-season favorites to finish first.
They are priced at +100 to lift the title with WBA rated second favorites at +225.
Albion Beaten Just Once
Fulham – currently seventh and outside even the playoff positions – remain fancied as third favorites at +800. Preston, presently second, are rated at +1600.
WBA – beaten only once – offer better prospects than Leeds at their price. Fourth-placed Swansea City suggest a good outside opportunity because they are widely priced at +2500.
Leeds are one of the biggest and most historic clubs in England’s second-tier and narrowly missed promotion to the Premier League after a 15-year absence last season following a meltdown late in the campaign.
Despite the oddsmakers’ continued faith in them however, there remains a sense that they cannot quite establish the kind of consistency which would put them firmly in command of the table.
WBA are under the command of former West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic who took charge last summer following the Midlands outfit’s defeat in the semifinal of the promotion playoff.
ELLAND ROAD HOME OF LEEDS UTD.. https://t.co/QIVNGq3al3
— Steve Duggan (@SteveDuggan16) November 14, 2019
Leeds were +400 favorites for the title in the preseason,followed by Fulham at +700 and WBA at +900 and Cardiff City at +1000. Preston were not even priced in the top 10.
WBA are under the command of former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic who took charge last summer following the Midlands outfit’s defeat in the semifinal of the promotion playoff.
They have suffered just one league defeat in 16 fixtures while winning nine times and drawing on five occasions.
After occupying first place since a 4-2 defeat of Cardiff City on October 5, they currently look more consistent and better value at their price than Leeds.
In their last two matches, they have impressively won away from home twice – by 2-0 at Stoke City and then 1-0 at Hull City.
However, WBA’s only defeat came at the hands of Leeds by 1-0 on October 1.
Slipped to Fifth Place
Leeds slipped as low as fifth after losing at Millwall on October 5.
They last led the table on September 21 after a 1-1 draw at home against Derby County.
However, after successive home wins in their most recent two fixtures they have re-established their challenge – level on 31 points with second-placed Preston but behind them on goal difference.
— KY Filla (@kyfillagh) November 9, 2019
They beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0 and then won 2-1 against Blackburn Rovers.
Preston are the surprise package of the promotion zone after finishing 14th last season.
Preston were founding members of the Football League but last played in the top flight – the former First Division – in 1960-61
The historic Lancashire club have held on to second place for the last three rounds of fixtures in which they have won three times.
After a home 3-2 win against Blackburn Rovers, they scored a notable 1-0 away win at Charlton Athletic and followed up with a 3-1 home defeat of Huddersfield Town.
Preston were founding members of the Football League but last played in the top flight – the former First Division – in 1960-61.
Brentford Surprise Fancy
Brentford are surprisingly priced as fourth favorites for the title at +2000 even though they are ninth in the table – nine points behind the leaders WBA.
The modern game has invented some very strange penalty tactics ..
What do you make of this interesting technique from PNE's Gallagher?
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) November 11, 2019
Swansea City are in fourth place with 29 points. They are currently priced at +2500 for the title.
They are ahead of fifth-placed Nottingham Forest who are priced at +2500 and also ahead of sixth-placed Bristol City, who are rated at +3300.
Pick: West Bromwich Albion +225