Who will be the Sky Bet Championship's top scorer for the 2016/17 season?

NORWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his team's second
Image: Who will be the Sky Bet Championship golden boot winner for the 2016/17 season?

With the Sky Bet Championship season fast approaching, we take a look at the contenders to finish top scorer in the Championship.

It's set to be a fascinating campaign in English football's second tier with Newcastle, Aston Villa, Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday among the big-name clubs going head-to-head for promotion to the Premier League. 

But to get there you need a top goalscorer, as Burnley's Andre Gray proved with his 25-goal haul helping Burnley into the top flight in 2015/16.

So who are the contenders for this year's top scorer prize and what are their odds with English Football League sponsors Sky Bet?

Ollie's Championship predictions

Ollie's Championship predictions

Ian Holloway predicts the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship table

1. Dwight Gayle - Newcastle (Sky Bet odds 8/1)

Dwight Gayle unveiled as Newcastle United player
Image: Dwight Gayle arrived at Newcastle United last month from Crystal Palace

One of Newcastle's new faces is the favourite to bag the most goals this season.

Gayle made the move to Newcastle in July 2016, after an injury-hit three seasons in south London with Crystal Palace. The striker often had an impact from the bench for Palace, though, most famously netting a brace to break Liverpool hearts in the famous 3-3 draw in 2014/15. He ended his time with the Eagles with 25 goals in 75 appearances. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Dwight Gayle of Crystal Palace celebrates his second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace v Stok
Image: Gayle netted 25 goals in 75 appearances for the Eagles during his three seasons at the club

Now under the guidance of Rafa Benitez, the striker has already scored twice in pre-season and is looking to hit the big 20-goal barrier in the Sky Bet Championship. 

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"Most strikers want to get in the 20-goal bracket and hopefully I can do that this season," Gayle told The Chronicle. "We will see where we go from there."

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= 2. Ross McCormack - Fulham (Sky Bet odds 10/1)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12:  Ross McCormack of Fulham celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Bri
Image: Ross McCormack came in second behind Andre Gray for the Golden Boot last term

While rumours continue that McCormack could be moving elsewhere, he currently remains a Fulham player and fans will certainly be wanting to keep him around. 

He ended in second place for the top scorer accolade behind Gray last term - scoring 21 times - with former strike partner Moussa Dembele finishing with 15 goals to his name. 

Fulham season preview

Fulham season preview

Transfer news, fan's views, predictions and odds ahead of Fulham's 2016/17 campaign

Overall, Fulham had a rather underwhelming and turbulent season but captain McCormack was the shining light and is being tipped by Sky Bet to dazzle again this term.

= 2. Rudy Gestede - Aston Villa (Sky Bet odds 10/1)

Rudy Gestede of Blackburn celebrates after scoring against Blackburn
Image: Rudy Gestede is already a proven goalscorer in the Championship after his spell with Blackburn

Gestede arrived from Championship side Blackburn last summer and the club will be hoping he can recreate his super scoring form for Rovers at Villa Park.

He's been there and done it in the tough second tier, netting 35 goals in 73 games during his 20-month spell at Ewood Park. 

Aston Villa season preview

Aston Villa season preview

Transfer news, fan opinion, predictions and odds ahead of Aston Villa's 2016/17 campaign

Gestede managed six in 25 appearances for Aston Villa in all competitions last term but the Sky Bet Championship will perhaps prove to be better territory for the striker, who won the league title with Cardiff in the 2011/12 season. 

3. Aleksandar Mitrovic - Newcastle (Sky Bet odds 12/1)

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United celebrates
Image: Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates his equalising header against Sunderland last season

With Newcastle the favourites to bounce straight back into the Premier League, the fiery Mitrovic is being backed for a shot at the Sky Bet Championship top-scorer prize this season. 

The Serbia international netted nine times in 36 appearances for the Magpies last term, including an iconic header against Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby, where he was booked for an emphatic shirt-removing celebration. 

Newcastle season preview

Newcastle season preview

Transfer news, fan's views, predictions and odds ahead of Newcastle United's's 2016/17 campaign

Although he is suspended for the first four games after a red card in the final day win over Tottenham, there will still be plenty of time for the striker to hit his stride. 

Watch all 90 of Newcastle’s goals from their 2009/10 Championship winning season - can Mitrovic and Co follow in their footsteps?

Who else is in the running? 

Glenn Murray - Brighton (Sky Bet odds 16/1)

Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray celebrates his goal against Manchester City
Image: Glenn Murray has a great scoring record in the Championship, helping Crystal Palace to promotion in the 2012/13 season

Another player who has been there and done the job in the Championship is Murray. His 30 goals in 42 appearances for Crystal Palace in the 2012/13 season secured their promotion to the Premier League.

The striker has now gone on a season-long loan to former club Brighton from Bournemouth, with the mission of helping the Seagulls go one better than their heart-breaking last-day defeat to miss out on an automatic promotion spot and eventually the play-off semi-finals.

Murray will be hoping to make his mark once again.

Brighton season preview

Brighton season preview

Transfer news, fan opinion, predictions and odds ahead of Brighton's 2016/17 campaign

Cameron Jerome - Norwich (Sky Bet odds 16/1)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Cameron Jerome of Norwich City (10) scores their first goal past gaolakeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos of Middlesbrough during t
Image: Cameron Jerome scored for Norwich in the 2015 Championship play-off final against Middlesbrough to see them promoted

Second time lucky for Jerome? He has already tasted Sky Bet Championship success with Norwich, winning the play-off final in the 2014/15 season, where he scored the opening goal and picked up the man of the match award. 

However, he only managed three goals in 34 Premier League appearances last season as Norwich slipped back into the second tier and will be looking to replicate his play-off winning form again this term. 

VOTE: 2016/17 Championship table

VOTE: 2016/17 Championship table

Who'll finish where in this season's Sky Bet Championship? Rank the teams ahead of the big kick-off

Scott Hogan - Brentford (Sky Bet odds 16/1)

Although he had an injury-hit 2015/16 season, Scott Hogan did score seven goals in the seven Sky Bet Championship games he appeared in and if he remains fit, could be a big player for the Bees this term. 

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Scott Hogan of Brentford celebrates scoring during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Fulham at Griffin Pa
Image: Scott Hogan netted seven goals in seven games during the 2015/16 campaign

Other notable mentions

Chris Martin - Derby (Sky Bet odds 20/1)

Fernando Forestieri - Sheffield Wednesday (Sky Bet odds 20/1)

Britt Assombalonga - Nottingham Forest (Sky Bet odds 20/1)

Live EFL

Jordan Ayew - Aston Villa (Sky Bet odds 25/1)

Will Grigg - Wigan (Sky Bet odds 28/1)

Tune in to Sky Sports this weekend as the Sky Bet English Football League kicks off, with Fulham v Newcastle on Friday 5 August with QPR v Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa on Sunday 7 August live on Sky Sports.

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