Betting Special: Could Mick McCarthy pick up his third Championship winners medal?

The Tractor Boys would have been in last season's play-offs had their current boss been in command from the beginning, and Al Hain-Cole is backing him to lead them to glory
The long journey back to the promised land of the Premier League gets underway on Saturday, with the kick-off of the new Championship season.

After their manager failed to live up to his reputation as Harry ‘Houdini’ Redknapp in last year’s relegation fight, QPR are favourites at 6/1 (7.00) with bet365 to bounce straight back as champions.

Championship Winner 2013/14

Odds from bet365
QPR 6/1
Reading 8/1
Bolton/Watford 9/1
Nottingham Forest 10/1
Wigan 11/1
Ipswich Town 20/1
On the other hand, Nigel Adkins was appointed at Reading seemingly with promotion in mind just eight games before the end of last season, and you can back him at 8/1 (9.00) to accomplish that task by taking home the trophy.

Bolton finished last season as one of the division’s form teams, and you can get odds of 9/1 (10.00) on them picking up where they left off to finish top of the pile next campaign.

Billy Davies had Nottingham Forest performing at a similarly high level after returning to the City Ground in February, and the Kuwaiti-backed club’s investment in the transfer market this summer should ensure a serious title challenge, making odds of 10/1 (11.00) well worth considering.

Having eventually succeeded in turning a number of last season’s loan deals into permanent transfers, Watford look in a strong position to banish the memories of their play-off heartbreak by ending the season in pole position, at odds of 9/1 (10.00).

Wigan will have European football to contend with after winning the FA Cup last season, and new boss Owen Coyle’s chances of balancing that with a successful title push are currently rated at 11/1 (12.00).

Leicester barely scraped into the play-offs after collapsing in the second half of last season, and do not inspire much confidence at 14/1 (15.00), while Brighton are something of an unknown quantity at 12/1 (15.00) after replacing the ousted Gus Poyet with exciting young Spanish coach Oscar Garcia.

This is not an issue for Ipswich Town, who are under the steady command of a manager who knows better than anyone how to conquer this division.

Mick McCarthy already boasts two Championship winners medals from spells at Sunderland and Wolves, and has been gradually building a team in his image during his nine months in Suffolk, taking over when The Tractor Boys were mired in the relegation battle and leading them to the comfort of mid-table.

His record at Portman Road would have been enough to secure a play-off spot had he been in command for the whole season, and with a full pre-season under his belt and a few canny acquisitions in the transfer market, his side could be a lucrative choice at 20/1 (21.00) to be crowned champions come next May.

Ipswich Town to win the 2013/14 Championship title at 20/1 (21.00) with bet365

Sign up with bet365 for up to £200 in free bets

Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.