Baggies Hoping to Bounce Back

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Bournemouth and West Brom kick off the Championship campaign with both looking to make an early promotion statement.

New West Brom boss Valerien Ismael

West Brom will be hoping to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt and they have the opportunity to get an early win on the board at Bournemouth on Friday.

The Championship is always a tough division to call but Bournemouth and West Brom can make an early statement when they square off at the Vitality Stadium.

Bournemouth, who finished sixth last term, can be backed at 9/1 to win the title, while West Brom are 13/2 to end the campaign at the top of the standings.

Fulham are the 5/1 favourites with Sheffield United priced at 15/2 after suffering relegation from the Premier League last term.

Value Lies With Baggies

Bournemouth were in the mix for a playoff spot throughout the 2020-21 campaign, never sitting any lower than seventh, and they managed to finish in sixth spot despite limping over the line with three successive defeats.

That lack of form was likely their undoing as they went down 3-2 on aggregate to playoff winners Brentford in the semi-finals.

After drafting in Scott Parker over the summer, hopes are high for the upcoming season and the former Fulham boss faces a stern test in his first Championship outing.

West Brom, who appointed Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael during the off-season, visit the south coast on Friday to raise the curtain.

The Cherries are priced at 27/20 to make a winning start with the draw available at 23/10, although the value looks to be with visitors West Brom at 41/20.

Opening games can often be tough to gauge but, with energy levels high and optimism from both clubs, goals tend to be on the cards.

Both teams to score could be the way to go at 5/6 and a West Brom win with both teams to score is priced at 5/1.

Bluebirds Can Take Flight

Mick McCarthy took charge of Cardiff in January with the club sitting 15th after five successive defeats and he got them back on track immediately.

They went on to lose just a further three times and finished the campaign in eighth after flirting with a place in the playoffs.

McCarthy, who has won the Championship on two occasions, will be targeting a top-six spot this time around and a home meeting with Barnsley on Saturday provides a great chance to put three points on the board.

Cardiff lost only two of 10 home engagements after McCarthy arrived and they can be backed at 13/10 to pick up a win when the Tykes come to town.

Barnsley were the surprise package last term, finishing fifth, but Ismael’s departure could see them struggle to repeat that feat with new boss Markus Schopp at the helm.

Ricoh Return Can Yield Win

Coventry have spent the past two seasons playing their home games at Birmingham’s St Andrew’s but they return to the Ricoh Arena this campaign.

With fans back in attendance, it’s likely to be a raucous and celebratory atmosphere and the Sky Blues can feed off that when Nottingham Forest visit on Sunday.

The addition of Martyn Waghorn, who is 13/5 to score anytime, looks to be shrewd business from Mark Robins and the ex-Derby man will surely be relishing the chance to bag on his league debut against old foes Forest.

It has been somewhat of a frustrating summer for Forest boss Chris Hughton with a lack of business in the transfer market leading many to suggest they could struggle this term.

They are 2/1 to pick up a victory at the Ricoh Arena but the feeling is with Coventry to get off the mark at 6/4.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Bobbie is a big football fan across all levels, and he also has an impressive background in martial arts and is a regular provider of quality boxing and UFC content.

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