No backing for a City title bid

CHRIS LAKEY Bookmakers have consigned Norwich City to another season of mid-table mediocrity. The High Street bookies rate City's chances of winning the Championship as 25-1, with betfair giving them a 39-1 chance of landing the crown.

CHRIS LAKEY

Bookmakers have consigned Norwich City to another season of mid-table mediocrity.

The High Street bookies rate City's chances of winning the Championship as 25-1, with betfair giving them a 39-1 chance of landing the crown.

The skinniest odds are with Stan James, who are offering 20-1 that City will repeat the feat they achieved back in 2004.


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The consensus among the leading 16 bookmakers - including the online companies - is that City are 15th favourites to finish top of the pile next May.

That puts them just one place below Ipswich, and, more worryingly, just one ahead of newly-promoted Bristol City.

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It's no surprise that the three teams relegated from the Premiership are up there among the favourites - although the bookies say they won't have it all to themselves.

Charlton are rated as short as 11-2 by Stan James to take the title, although the longest odds are just 7-1.

But West Bromwich Albion - who lost the Championship play-off final to Derby County - and Wolves, losing semi-finalists and recent recipients of a cash windfall following Steve Morgan's takeover, are ahead of relegated Sheffield United and Watford.

If the title-wining odds are any indicator, then Southampton will occupy the sixth and final play-off spot.

Ipswich's odds range from 20-1 to 39-1, although the big three - William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral - all have them at 33-1, which is longer odds than they have for Norwich.

Down at the bottom, John Gregory's QPR, who pulled away from the relegation zone just in time last season, are expected to struggle again, with the bookies making them rank outsiders for the title, their odds as long as 100-1 with Ladbrokes - with Hull and Barnsley just above them.

t Norwich City have been linked with another target north of the border - this time from manager Peter Grant's old foes Glasgow Rangers.

Reports in Scotland say former Celtic star Grant is chasing midfielder Gavin Rae.

Rae has been told by manager Walter Smith that he is free to leave Ibrox, and although Hearts have admitted an interest in the 29-year-old, it is believed Norwich could pip them, and Nottingham Forest, to his signature.

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