How will Burnley, Watford and Norwich City fare on their return to the second tier?

It’s hard to believe that the 2022/23 football season is already on the horizon, but with the World Cup due to take place in Qatar throughout November and December, leagues around Europe are going to get back underway sooner than usual — with the English Championship due to kick off on July 29th.

Due to its high standards and the sheer unpredictability of results leading to chaos in the football betting odds, the Championship is undoubtedly one of the best second-tier divisions in world football and with games coming quick and fast — often twice a week for much of the season — it can also be unforgiving.

Having experienced the ups and downs of the Championship, Watford, Norwich City and Burnley, who were all relegated from the Premier League last season, will be well aware of the tough task facing them this campaign and will know that a return to the promised land of top flight football is no guarantee at the first time of asking.

But how will each of them fare in their respective bids to climb back to the pinnacle of the English football pyramid in this coming season? Read on as we take a look.

Burnley

Kicking things off with Burnley, there will be a fresh face in the dugout at Turf Moor this season — as former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been confirmed as the permanent successor of long-time servant Sean Dyche, who was sacked after 10 years back in April.

Still a relatively inexperienced manager after just two years at Belgian side Anderlecht, expectations don’t seem too high for the Clarets — with promotion back to the Premier League looking unlikely in the betting markets.

And with the departures of crucial players like Nick Pope, James Tarkowski and Ben Mee, it will certainly be interesting to see how this new-look Burnley gets on.

Norwich

Becoming something of a yo-yo club alongside current Championship holders Fulham and fellow promotion hopefuls Watford, Norwich are the favourites to win the title this season — which would make it three second tier successes in five seasons for the Canaries.

New manager Dean Smith knows what it takes to be successful in the Championship, having won the play-offs with Aston Villa back on 2019, but he’ll be hoping to go the easier route of automatic promotion this time.

The arrival of Gabriel Sara from São Paulo and the apparent ability to keep hold of key players like Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell could also be key.

Watford

With the weight of guiding Watford back to the Premier League on his shoulders and a trigger-happy board at Vicarage Road, new Hornets boss Robert Edwards will be well aware that he needs to enjoy a good start to the season in Hertfordshire if he wants to see Christmas.

Despite winning League Two with Forest Green Rovers last season, the 39-year-old decided to take the demanding Watford job — with the lure of the Championship and the potential of a promotion to the Premier League on his CV too much to keep him at the world’s greenest club.

There hasn’t been too much movement in the market, with Rey Manaj and Vakoun Issouf Bayo coming in to replace Joshua King and Andre Gray, but the fact they have so far kept hold of Ismaïla Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis will be huge in their promotion bid.  

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