The Championship Play-Off Race


English Football League


The Championship playoffs begin this weekend, with four teams chasing the dream that is the Premier League. Fulham, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Derby are the four teams involved, and out of those only Derby doesn’t have significant Premier League experience as a club. 

Fulham head into the playoffs as favourites for promotion after a great campaign that nearly saw them bag automatic promotion. However, a loss on the final day of the season stopped them from having a chance, and they were beaten to the final automatic spot by Cardiff. They are 13/8 favourites to grab the final promotion spot with Ladbrokes, a price that will appeal to many based on how good they have looked during the season. However, we have seen in the past that those finishing third and missing out on automatic promotion have often struggled in the playoffs, and Fulham are going to be interesting this season, they have the quality, but do they have the mental strength to bounce back and win?

Their semi-final is against Derby, with the first leg taking place at Pride Park on Friday night before the return leg in London on Monday. Home advantage is likely to play a big part here, and Fulham can keep things tight before finishing Derby off at Craven Cottage on Monday night to book their place at Wembley. Derby have not been anywhere near their best in recent weeks, and this looks like being a step too far for them.

Pride Park Derby Football Club


The second semi-final looks to be very even with Aston Villa taking on Middlesbrough. The first leg is played up in Middlesbrough on Saturday evening, while the return leg will be at Villa Park on Tuesday night. There is little to choose between these two, but Aston Villa have a squad full of big game experience and players like John Terry are going to be a huge help to them in the next few games. He and many others have played in some of the biggest games in the world, experience that will see them through.

Should Villa get through the tough test of Middlesbrough then they look to have a great chance of making it back to the Premier League. They are a best price 3/1 with Black Type to get back into the Premier League, and their big game experience can take them there. There is no doubting that Fulham have the quality in their team to challenge, and seeing them at Wembley would be no surprise. However, they have had their chance and missed out on automatic promotion, something that is very difficult to bounce back from. The experience that Aston Villa have can come out on top here, and take them back up to the Premier League, a place where they have created many good memories for their fans.

The Riverside Stadium Middlesbrough


As ever, expect to see five very tight games in the playoffs this season, but I am backing Aston Villa to come out on top, and they are priced up at 3/1 with Black Type to do so.

Top 20 Betting Offers

Copybet
Copybet
Bet £10, Get £50 in Free Bets Claim Offer

Full T&Cs apply. New UK customers only. The qualifying bet should be either a single or multiple bet, start at £10, and have 1.9 or greater odds. 5 Free bets include: 1 x £10 Free bet on horse racing, 1 x £10 Free bet on football, 2 x 10 Free bet in-play, 1 x £10 Free bet Acca. Max payout – £500. 7 day expiry. 18+ only. BeGambleAware.org.

Betfred
Betfred
Bet £10 and get £50 in Bonuses Claim Offer

New customers only. Register (excl. 13/04/24) with WELCOME50. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get Free Bets: £20 In-Play, £20 Acca & 50 x £0.20 (£10) Free Spins on Fishin’ Frenzy within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply.

William Hill
William Hill
Bet £10, Get £40 in Free Bets Claim Offer

18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £40 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad

Virgin Bet
Virgin Bet
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free bets Claim Offer
£10 min deposit. First bet mins odds 1.5 placed within 14 days of sign-up. 2 x £10 in Free Bets: valid for 7 days, free bet stakes not returned. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+ T&Cs apply.
talkSPORT BET
talkSPORT BET
Get up to £40 in football free bets Claim Offer

18+ New customers only. Opt in & bet via mobile up to £40 (min. £20) on any football market at odds of 2.00+, in 7 days. Get up to £40 in free bets on selected markets. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments & Apple Pay only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly.

Bzeebet
Bzeebet
Bet £10, Get a £10 Free Bet Claim Offer

18+. New Customers Only. Max one £10 Free Bet. Qualifying bets at Odds of 1/1 or greater. Paid as Bonus Token Min 4/5 Odds Req. Skrill, Neteller, Paypal not eligible. T&Cs Apply

LiveScore Bet
LiveScore Bet
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets Claim Offer

*New members. £10 min bet on sportsbook (ex. virtual) 1.5 min odds, settled in 14 days of sign-up. Free Bets: accept in 7 days, valid 7 days on sportsbook (ex. virtual). Stake not returned. Full Terms apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+

FafaBet
FafaBet
Sports Offer - Free Bet up to £50 + 20 Casino Bonus Claim Offer

New Customers only. Deposit and bet on any Sportsbook Markets with min odds of 2.0. Get 50% Back of your first days' losses as a Free bet up to £50+£20 Casino Bonus.

Coral
Coral
Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets Claim Offer

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 1 x 20 free bet. Stake not returned. Free bets expire in 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

BetMGM
BetMGM
Bet £10, Get £40 in Bonuses Claim Offer

New cust only. 7 days to opt in by placing a £10 qualifying bet at 1/1 (2.0) odds or greater, to receive 4 x free bets. 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder, 1 x £10 Acca and 1 x £10 Football. 7 day expiry. Exclusions apply. Stake not returned. T&Cs apply.

Bet365
Bet365
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets Claim Offer

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required

32Red
32Red
150% Casino Bonus up to £150! Claim Offer
18+. BeGambleAware.org. New accounts only. Min. £10 deposit, debit card only. Up to 50x wagering, game contributions vary, max. stake applies, 7 day expiry. See full terms. #AD
Ladbrokes
Ladbrokes
Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets Claim Offer

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £5 free bets. Stake not returned. Restrictions + Free bet T&Cs apply.

BetVictor
BetVictor
Bet £10 Get £30 Claim Offer

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 6x £5 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. 7 day bonus expiry. Debit Card / Apple Pay payments only. Click for T&Cs. Please Gamble Responsibly.

SBK
SBK
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets Claim Offer

Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5 and get £10 upon settlement. Further £10 Multiple token will be credited after 24 hours and a further £5 Horse Racing Multiple token and a £5 Football Bet Builder token will be credited after 48 hours. Full T&Cs apply.18+. BeGambleAware.org.

BetZone
BetZone
Up to £60 in Free Sports Bets Claim Offer

Promo Code: NEWWELCOME60. For NEW UK customers only, deposit using UK debit card, and certain qualifying bets of Evens or greater. Terms apply 18+

NetBet
NetBet
Bet £5 Get £10 Claim Offer

New Customers, deposit and place a qualifying bet with bet builder, min stake £5, min odds 3/1 (4.0). Receive a £10 free bet, valid for 7 days. Full Terms apply, 18+ begambleaware.

Bresbet
Bresbet
50% Bonus up to £25 Claim Offer

T&Cs apply. 18+ New customers only. You must place 3 x £10 sportsbook bets to qualify. Money back as free bets up to £25. Must use code welcome25afs when creating an account.

SportingIndex
SportingIndex
Bet £10 Get £20 Claim Offer

New customers place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets. 18+ begambleaware

BetUK
BetUK
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets Claim Offer

New customers, Deposit & Place a bet of £10 at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Free bets expire in 7 days. Stake not returned. T&C’s Apply. 18+ begambleaware.