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Championship 2012-13 promotion tips - Neil Warnock can take Leeds up

Neil Warnock at a QPR press conference at Loftus Road in London on August 18, 2011 (credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Neil Warnock can make his last big challenge a successful one by guiding Leeds United to promotion from the Championship in 2012-13.

The veteran manager has said he wants one last crack at taking a team up to the Premier League before he retires and could not have picked a higher-pressure task than the one he faces at Elland Road.

Successful in his last Championship campaign at QPR, Warnock is a top-class operator in tier two and was unlucky to lose his job so soon at Loftus Road where he was a victim of the club’s takeover.

Inevitably he did not have to wait long to get back into work and Leeds looked a perfect fit for the man who enjoyed so much success at Sheffield United.

There was no immediate turnaround in the second half of last season as the Whites actually dropped away from the play-off zone under Warnock, but he wasted no time this summer in revamping his squad.

Defence has been a particular area where the manager has been keen to strengthen and the signings of Jason Pearce from Portsmouth, Lee Peltier from Leicester and Adam Drury from Norwich look shrewd, while goalkeeper Paddy Kenny’s arrival was widely predicted given his previous Warnock connections.

David Norris and Paul Green look solid acquisitions in midfield, while up front Luke Varney was a third player pillaged from cash-strapped Portsmouth and he will compete for a place with Luciano Becchio, Ross McCormack and Andy Gray.

With the Warnock knowhow and players who have what it takes at Championship level, Leeds look well worth backing at 5/1 to return to the Premier League.

Elsewhere on BettingPro I have nailed my colours to the Cardiff mast for the Championship title, while Bolton should also be up there having surprisingly been relegated from the Premier League last season.

Wanderers look the pick of the three that came down for Blackburn cannot be fancied under the regime that is running the club, while Wolves are best left alone until we know exactly how new manager Stale Solbakken will adapt to English football.

Blackpool should be somewhere around the play-off zone again, while Brighton, Middlesbrough and Hull City are others to consider at decent odds when planning your promotion wagers.

But Leeds look to have that something extra in both their manager and squad and can get back to the Premier League after a decade away.

Recommendation: Leeds United – 5/1 (Stan James)

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Championship 2012-13 promotion tips - Neil Warnock can take Leeds up

Neil Warnock can make his last big challenge a successful one by guiding Leeds United to promotion from the Championship in 2012-13.

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