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Championship: Wolves and Terriers among pack of true title challengers

Wolves and Leicester both possess Championship title crudentials

"Despite managerial upheaval Stale Solbakken looks to have galvanised the squad and their recent win over Blackburn shows they will be a real threat as the season continues."

As the Championship reaches the ten-game water mark Christian Crowther separates the likely title contenders from the pretenders...

Ten games into any league is usually long enough to assess a side's title credentials but with this year's Championship so concertinaed it's more difficult than ever to ascertain who is the real deal.

Just six points separate the top 11 sides in England's second tier, a league where consistency equals a two-game run at present, though many will fade sooner rather than later.

Here is a quick take on who may be flattering to deceive and who may possess the minerals to mount a serious challenge for the Championship crown.

Contenders:

Cardiff - 5.24/1
It's well documented Cardiff have been perennial promotion fluffers though they have all the infrastructure and backing needed to play in the Premier League. Craig Bellamy is a cut above in this league and given the absence of an outstanding team the Bluebirds will have their best chance to date.
Leicester - 5.24/1
Another team with investment which is crying out for a return to the fabled top flight and this season may just have the personnel to do it. The Foxes have a top goalkeeper, some really promising English talent and in David Nugent a proven goal-getter at this level.
Wolves - 10.09/1
Despite managerial upheaval Stale Solbakken looks to have galvanised the squad and their recent win over Blackburn shows they will be a real threat as the season continues. Lots of invaluable Premier League experience.
Huddersfield - 50.049/1
Great to see a promoted side starting so well in this league and after the exploits of Norwich two seasons ago - finishing four points off the top - why shouldn't the Terriers fearless attitude carry them through. Wins at Blackpool and Birmingham show the Yorkshire side are capable.
Blackburn - 14.5n/a
Even though Rovers are rudderless at present a new manager's imminent arrival should have a galvanising effect and if it does this is still the best squad in the Championship.
Brighton - 13.012/1
Another blistering start from Gus Poyet's stylish side but unlike last season this time around they should have learnt the lessons of a midseason burn-out. In Craig Mackail-Smith they have one of the best strikers in the league.
Leeds - 14.013/1
Neil Warnock's a man who knows how to get a team promoted out of this league and the recent result against Everton showed what this side are capable of. Leeds are really hard to beat at Elland Road - just one loss in five - and their home form could be key.

Pretenders:

Blackpool - 23.022/1
Really unlucky not to secure promotion last season and tellingly managed to retain their best players. However, Ian Hollaway's side's have always been vulnerable at the back and this will prove to be their achilles heel once again.
Crystal Palace - 32.031/1
The Eagles have displayed a great turnaround in form recently but lack the depth in the squad to maintain a title tilt.
Hull - 28.027/1
Four losses already shows their defensive vulnerability, play-offs will be the target.
Middlesbrough - 28.027/1
A decent looking side under Tony Mowbray but inconsistency will keep them away from the top spots.

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08 October 2012

Championship

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