WHILST the majority of attention is, understandably on the Premier League, the fight for promotion and survival in the English Football League (EFL) adds even more intrigue and excitement.
With 72 member clubs across three divisions, the EFL is the world’s original league football competition.
It is the largest single body of professional clubs in European football and is responsible for administering and regulating the Sky Bet EFL, Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, as well as reserve and youth football.
The EFL, EFL Trust and member clubs are at the heart of communities across the country, providing shared experiences for all and using the power of sport to improve lives.
At the end of the day, however, it is all about what happens on the pitch. And this season promises to be as exciting and fascinating – across all divisions – as ever.
Much of the EFL focus will be on the Championship as a host of massive clubs, many with great history, look to restore former glories.
Just like Newcastle last season.
None more so, perhaps, than Aston Villa (former European champions) who are desperate to get back to the top flight under manager Steve Bruce and new signing John Terry – both pictured.
So what do the bookies think – who are they predicting to be among the promotion contenders. Let’s have a quick check at the early odds…
Middlesbrough have been installed as pre-season favourites at 6/1, but what about the other contenders?
Aston Villa 7/1
Sheffield Wednesday 11/1
From left to right: Mark Cooper (Forest Green Rovers), Joe Thompson (Rochdale), Andreas Weimann (Derby County), Kevin Phillips (Derby County), John Terry (Aston Villa), Steve Bruce (Aston Villa), Christian Doidge (Forest Green Rovers), Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) and Shola Ameobi (Notts County).