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Newcastle are the bookies’ favourites to win the Championship but relegated clubs have a very poor record of bouncing straight back – Simon Hopper analyses the best ante-post bets ahead of the new season.

Tottenham have agreed a deal with Portsmouth to sign striker Peter Crouch for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old, 6ft 7in England international returns to the club where he began his career as a trainee.scored 16 goals in all competitions for Pompey last season.

“He is different to almost anyone else in the league in terms of his size and the way he plays the game,” said Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp.

The fee is believed to be in the region of £10m and the contract reported to be for five years and worth £70,000 a week.

“We now have four top strikers which is what you need at every club and so I am delighted to have Crouchy,” added Redknapp.

“We now have four strikers as it looks like Darren Bent could move,” stated Redknapp. “I believe he is close to doing a deal with Sunderland.

“With Crouch, Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko we have a good strikeforce.”

The England international has been a target of Sunderland – the team Crouch turned down last week – after indicating a desire to remain in the south.

Crouch scored 16 goals in all competitions for Portsmouth last season and, in a club statement, Pompey acknowledged thy had to cash in on the striker.

“His sale was necessitated by the club’s commitment to repay scheduled debts while we are in a transitional period of completing the takeover,” said a spokesman on the club’s website.

Newcastle are the bookies’ favourites to win the Championship but relegated clubs have a very poor record of bouncing straight back – Simon Hopper analyses the best ante-post bets ahead of the new season.

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