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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.

Gianfranco Zola has told Inter striker Mario Balotelli that it would be in his interests to join West Ham United.

Hammers boss Zola is keen to strengthen his attacking options, with Carlton Cole currently his only available fit front man.

Dean Ashton is slowly working his way back to fitness, while David Di Michele and Diego Tristan left Upton Park at the end of last season.

Zola has now lined up a move for teenager Balotelli, who has struggled to make an impact for Inter since Jose Mourinho took over as coach.

“I have done everything I can to sign Mario,” said Zola.

“It would be in both our interests if he came to West Ham.

“There’s no place for him at Inter and he’s a natural talent.

“He is extroverted and knows his attitude can upset people, but he’s intelligent and still learning to handle situations.”

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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