Who are the bookies' favourites to win next season's Championship title?
With a week to go until next season's fixture lists are released the latest betting odds for the Championship paint an interesting picture.
Many teams have already started to prepare for the new campaign by recruiting new players and setting up their pre-season schedules.
It is very difficult to predict who will be successful at this early stage with so much yet to be sorted, but what are the odds on both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United ahead of next season?
Wednesday supporters will be hoping it is third time lucky next season after suffering two play-off defeats in two years under Carlos Carvalhal. The Owls will be looking to go one better next year and gain automatic promotion next season to avoid a similar play-off heartache. They are currently backed as one of the favourites to gain promotion to the Premier League. Some bookies are offering odds as good as 7/2 on the Owls to be promoted. For those who are more confident, odds of 12/1 are available on Carvalhal's men lifting The Championship league title next May.
Sheffield United will be looking to build on what was a superb season last time out under the management of Chris Wilder. The Blades lifted the League One title to end a six year absence from The Championship. Wilder has already boosted his squad ahead of next season and is unlikely to settle for just remaining in the division. The best odds available on the Blades gaining back to back promotions are 10/1. For those who think that Wilder's men might lift their second league title in as many years, odds as good as 33/1 are available.
The bookies have the likes of Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Norwich City, Wednesday and Derby County as the favourites to be promoted next season. Both Boro and Villa have very strong squads with a wealth of talent at Championship level. They also have very good managers in Garry Monk and Steve Bruce. Fulham were unlucky to miss out in the play-offs last year and will be looking to better that next time out. Norwich and Derby were the main underachievers in the league last season as their campaigns were overshadowed by managerial changes.
At the other end of the table, the current favourties with the bookies to be relegated next season include Burton Albion, Barnsley, Millwall, Bolton Wanderers, Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers. Odds of 7/1 are available are available on an immediate return to League One for Sheffield United. In comparison, odds as big as 40/1 are available on Sheffield Wednesday to be relegated next campaign.
It will be interesting to see how both Wednesday and United perform in The Championship next season. There is so much yet to be sorted before the new season kick-offs in August in regards to new signings making it very difficult to predict how both will get on.
How do you think Wednesday and United will perform in 2017/18 Championship campaign?