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Bookies tip Norwich for automatic promotion

PUBLISHED: 07:45 04 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:18 06 July 2010

Norwich City are being tipped for an immediate return to the Championship by most High Street and online bookmakers. City and Leeds United are the teams tipped for automatic promotion, with the likes of Charlton, MK Dons and Huddersfield fighting it out for the play-off places.

Norwich City are being tipped for an immediate return to the Championship by most High Street and online bookmakers.

City and Leeds United are the teams tipped for automatic promotion, with the likes of Charlton, MK Dons and Huddersfield fighting it out for the play-off places.

Ladbrokes and Coral both have City at 15-8 to go up - 6-1 at champions - with Leeds 10-11 favourites, while William Hill have them at 8-11 and 5-2 respectively.

SkyBet have Leeds at 8-13 and City at 9-4 - and the pattern continues throughout the major gambling outlets.

Coral and Ladbrokes have Leeds at 7-2 to win the League One title, with William Hill giving odds of 3-1, while City are between 6-1 and 7-1.

Dale Tempest, SkyBet's PR chief, says Leeds and Norwich are head and shoulders above the rest in a poor quality division.

“I think Norwich are perfectly rated as second favourites in what is a very weak division,” he said. “They have had a really positive pre-season with some good results and there is obviously a good feeling about the place, and that is what you need if you are to get off to a good start.

“They look like they'll be playing in front of 20,000-plus crowds again this season and that is a massive advantage. Them and Leeds are way ahead of the rest.

“Last season Leeds had 17 home wins, including the last 11. Simon Grayson came in and he has kept hold of some good players and if they repeat the form they showed after his arrival they have to be right up there.”

Summer recruit Grant Holt top-scored in League Two with Shrewsbury last season and is tipped to bang them in again this campaign, with the three big mainstream bookies offering odds of 16-1 that he finishes as leading marksmen.

However, it's Leeds who supply the big guns, if the bookies are to be believed. Jermaine Beckford is clear favourite, his odds ranging from 5-1 to 7-1, with team-mate Luciano Becchio close behind.

Southampton's Marek Saganowski is being offered at 12-1 by William Hill and 16-1 with Ladbrokes and Coral, although Saints are rated no better than play-off dark horses.

Charlton, MK Dons, Lee Clark's Huddersfield, Brighton and Millwall are expected to battle it out for places three to six, with the 10-point administration penalty imposed on Southampton for the start of the season clearly working against them.

As far as relegation is concerned, it's not looking good for some of the teams that City face in August. Stockport 4-5 on with a number of bookmakers, with Yeovil - who City face in the Carling Cup next Tuesday - Hartlepool, Walsall and Exeter all expected to be down in the lower reaches.

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