The bookmakers have made Sunderland the third favourite to win promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs later this month.
The Black Cats defied the odds to finish in sixth on the final day of the season with a 3-0 win over Preston North End, while Millwall’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers saw the Wearsiders creep over the line on goal difference. Tony Mowbray fielded the youngest average starting XI on a number of occasions this season, with their fearlessness coming in for plenty of praise.
However, according to oddschecker, the Black Cats are 11/4 outsiders to win the play-offs at Wembley later this month. The favourites are none other than North East rivals Middlesbrough.
Boro come in at 13/8 to win promotion under the Wembley Arch, with boss Michael Carrick in line for his first promotion as a manager. The former Manchester United midfielder took over the helm from Chris Wilder earlier this season and took the Teessiders from the relegation zone to fourth in a remarkable turnaround.
Luton Town, who boast one of the smallest budgets in the Championship and finished third this season, are the bookies second favourite to win promotion. Rob Edwards will be hoping to go one better than former boss Nathan Jones who guided the Hatters to the play-off semi-final last season, where they were beaten by Huddersfield Town.
Edwards’ men are 5/2 to win promotion, leaving Coventry City as the outsiders. Like Carrick, Sky Blues boss Mark Robins has taken his side from the relegation places to the top-six.
It’s a remarkable rise for City who were winning promotion from League Two this time five years ago. Despite off the field troubles, Robins has guided them to a top-six finish and they’re 7/2 outsiders.
*Odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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