clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Big Championship Preview

New, comments

The only one you'll possibly need.

Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Football is nearly back!

Yes everyone, after what feels like an eternity of us all just meagrely sitting around, twiddling our thumbs, getting annoyed or getting excited at our clubs transfer dealings, the Championship is now only a mere few days away.

So, as seems to be standard tradition across the internet, we've only gone and done a preview for the 2015/16 Championship season. However ours, with no detail left unturned and opinions from a supporter of every single club in the league, is the only Championship preview you could possibly ever need.

Birmingham City

Manager: Gary Rowett

INS:

Adam Legzdins (Leyton Orient - free)

Jacques Maghoma (Sheffield Wednesday - free)

Tomasz Kuszack (Wolves - free)

Alex Jones (West Brom - free)

Maikel Kieftenbeld (FC Groningen - Undisclosed)

Jon Toral (Arsenal - loan)

OUTS:

Darren Randolph (West Ham - free)

Nikola Zigic - (Released)

Amari'i Bell (Fleetwood Town - free)

Colin Doyle (Blackpool - free)

Will Packwood (Released)

Gavin Gunning (Released)

Callum Reilly (Burton Albion - free)

Summary:

I believe Birmingham City will be this season's surprise package, and they will be the ones who just nick 6th place ahead of two of the relegated sides. The reason for this line of thinking is mainly due to Blues manager Gary Rowett. He came in last season to take over from the utter joke that is Lee Clark, Birmingham were looking favourites for relegation when he returned to the club, but he came in and led them to a very respectable 10th place finish. I rate Rowett very highly and expect him to take City to even loftier heights this coming season. They've kept hold of star players such as Clayton Donaldson and Demarai Gray, and they've also had a solid summer adding depth and experience to the squad. They could really surprise a few this year.

A Fan's Thoughts with @Blake2108:

"I'm hoping Blues can keep the momentum from last season under Gary Rowett, especially the latter stages, although I'm concerned as we've failed to clinch a number of the loanees who were influential in that period (Kiernan to Rangers, Fabbrini to Boro, Robert Tesche) but having the likes of Caddis, Grounds and more importantly Gray and Donaldson committing their futures to the club I'm hopeful we'll have another good season, steering far clear of the relegation places we constantly flirted with under Lee Clark. Despite the lack of new faces so far in the transfer window Rowett has my full trust and he's made fans of the club enjoy the game again!"

Where They'll Finish: 6th

Blackburn Rovers

Manager: Gary Bowyer

INS:

Sacha Petshi (CA Bastia - free)

Fode Kotiá (Caen - free)

David Raya (South Port - free)

OUTS:

Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa - £6m)

Tom Cairney (Fulham - £3m)

Josh King (Bournemouth - free)

Luke Varney (Released)

David Dunn (Oldham - free)

Paul Robinson (Released)

Leon Best (Released)

Jordan Slew (Cambridge United - free)

Josh Morris (Bradford City - free)

Jack O'Connell (Brentford - Undisclosed)

Anthony O'Connor (Plymouth Argyle - Undisclosed)

Summary:

The dingles from down the road have had it quite tough this summer. Being placed under a transfer embargo due to the increasingly obtuse and increasingly farcical Financial Fair Play rules, means Gary Bowyer has been very restricted in what he could do in the transfer window, even more so than Neil Lennon. A pair of players from France on frees are all they've managed to bring into combat the losses of star players Tom Cairney, Rudy Gestede, Josh King and no doubt Jordan Rhodes before the window shuts. They'll probably stay up as a few good players remain at Ewood Park, but I predict a disappointing and soul crushing season very similar to ours last year for them.

A Fan's Thoughts with @MikeyDelap:

"Heading into the new season as a Rovers fan is in complete contrast of the last one. Long gone is the heightened optimism of the 2014/15 season, in its place is a colder, reality gripped pessimism bought about by a continued transfer embargo and player departures that leaves Gary Bowyer's squad looking thin on quality, if not on youthful endeavour. With a huge debt to bring down and a need to raise money fast it wouldn't be a shock to see one or two more leave and incomings to be restricted to the young and unproven, with a few freebie punts along the way. Heading into the new season, it's difficult to envisage anything more than a "transitional" season. One we probably need rather than one to be desired. I'd suggest a lower mid-table dwelling for the new campaign. Hopefully steering clear of any serious trouble down the bottom."

Where They'll Finish: 16th

Bolton Wanderers

Manager: Neil Lennon

INS:

Derik Osede (Real Madrid Castilla - free)

Ben Amos (Manchester United - free)

Gary Madine (Wednesday - free)

Jordan Lussey (Liverpool - free)

Jon Ceberio (Real Sociedad - free)

OUTS:

Adam Bogdan (Liverpool - free)

Matt Mills (Forest - free)

Alex Baptiste (Middlesbrough - £80K)

Andy Lonergan (Fulham - free)

Craig Davies (Wigan - free)

Eidur Gudjohnsen (Everbright - free)

Jermaine Beckford (PNE - free)

Sanmi Odelusi (Wigan - £50K)

Conor Wilkinson (Barnsley - loan)

Rob Hall (Barnsley - loan)

Keith Andrews (Released)

Adam Le Fondre (Loan expired)

Summary:

The success of Bolton Wanderers' season depends on several factors, unfortunately, most of them are off the pitch instead of on it. Our finance situation is now beyond dire, making it difficult to even sign Stephen Dobbie, Lawrie Wilson and Emile Heskey. Making it almost impossible to add quality and depth to the squad. Fans dream and hope of the return of Adam Le Fondre, in any capacity, but we just can't afford it. All of our best players: Zach Clough, Mark Davies, David Wheater, Josh Vela, Max Clayton, all seem, to varying degrees of severity, very injury prone. Along with the rest of our squad, Tim Ream aside. I have never known a club to suffer as many injuries as us, it's got to the point where most supporters just laugh at the cruel, receptive joke. That makes it hard for us to ever grow any momentum, as it's rare that we can ever name an unchanged XI. Finally, whether or not we can keep Neil Lennon. There were fears that his former club, Leicester City, would come in for him this summer, but instead they opted for Claudio Ranieri. The clueless Italian will no doubt be sacked by the New Year, and then it'll make perfect sense for them to hire our manager. If we lose him then I fear for our survival. Despite all that though, I do believe we have a squad capable of finishing in the top half. Ben Amos is one of the best goalkeepers in the league, new signing from Real Madrid, Derik Osede, is looking promising, as is, much to everyone's surprise, Gary Madine. Zach Clough will be one of the best players in the league next season, and Josh Vela ain't too bad either. We've got a squad that has a good blend of youth and experience. The only problem is most of them can't stay fit and we're lacking depth in some key areas. We'll probably limp to an underwhelming 16th place finish.

A Fan's Thoughts with: @eddieskelly:

"As a Bolton fan, I think it's better to be pessimistic rather than optimistic. If the squad we have now stays fit, I believe that a mid table finish is the best we can expect. Add a proven goalscorer like Adam Le Fondre and we might sneak into the Play-Offs. That would still depend on players like Clough, Vela, Mark Davies and Darren Pratley staying injury free. Any of those could be the difference between relegation and the Play Off's, especially Clough. It's a big ask for such a young player, however I'm sure our new number 10 will thrive under the pressure."

Where They'll Finish: 15th

Brentford

Manager: Marinus Dijkhuizen

INS:

Andreas Bjelland (FC Twente - Undisclosed)

Philipp Hofmann (Schalke - Undisclosed)

Konstantin Kerschbaumer (Nordea Admira Modling - Undisclosed)

Josh McEachran (Chelsea - £750K)

Jack O'Connell (Blackburn Rovers - Undisclosed)

Lasse Vibe (IFK Gothenburg - Undisclosed)

Yoann Barbet (FC Niort - £500K)

Akaki Gogia (Hallescher FC - free)

Ryan Williams (Morecambe - free)

OUTS:

Stuart Dallas (Leeds - £1m)

Jonathan Douglas (Ipswich - free)

Emmanuel Oyeleke (Exeter City - free)

Nick Proschwitz (SC Paderborn 07 - free)

Will Grigg (Wigan Athletic - £900K)

Tommy Smith (Released)

Tony Craig (Millwall - free)

Alfie Mawson (Barnsley - free)

Summary:

Brentford's season really could go either way and it's set to be one of the most intriguing stories of the coming season. After choosing to let go of hero manager Mark Warburton at the end of last season, in favour for a more European approach, the board have piled tonnes of pressure upon themselves. It's a risk, but if you look towards Southamtpon's success after sacking Nigel Adkins in favour Mauricio Pochettino, it's hard to say it's not one worth taking. They've made some really interesting signings this summer, but much like the club its self, they could all go either way as only a couple of them have Championship experience. I at one time had Brentford to just miss out on second and win the play offs, but my opinions have changed now with strong rumours linking several of their best players, Stuart Dallas, Andre Grey, Moses Odubajo, away from the club have me concerned. I still reckon they'll have another great season, but with the year being a transitional one, they'll miss out on promotion once more.

A Fan's Thoughts with @TRMaxtoneSmith:

"We're entering the unknown, so to speak, so no Brentford fans really have any idea what to expect. But last season wasn't a flash in the pan at all - we're a genuinely excellent side, and we've spent relatively big. No Brentford fans were happy about Warburton going - he could hardly have done any more in his 18 months as manager. But Dijhkuizen seems like a decent appointment - he's young, hungry, did well in Holland on a small budget and seems likeable. Alex Pritchard going back to Spurs will be a blow - there were times last year when we relied on him completely for creativity, but we've bought a couple of possible players to replace him (Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Akaki Gogia - both bought through our 'moneyball' system'). Also stars from last year like Jota, Stuart Dallas, Toumani Diagouraga and Alan Judge are still here. There are rumours at the moment that Hull are in for Andre Gray, who bagged us 17 league goals in his first FL season last year. That would be a massive blow if he left - he gives us so much more than just goals and is one of the hardest-working players I've ever seen. Even if the fee is big he'll be hard to replace. But in general I like our transfer policy - when you see the fees English players go for nowadays it's easy to feel quite smug when we're signing one of the Eredivisie's best CBs for just £2.1m, and the Swedish league's top scorer for half that. But most of our new signings are completely unknown, so there's a lot of risk in what we're doing. I'd say we'll be around the play-offs. However, we could storm the league, and we could be solidly mid-table. It's very hard to predict."

Where They'll Finish: 5th

Brighton & Hove Albion

Manager: Chris Hughton

INS:

Bobby Zamora (QPR - free)

Gaeten Bong (Wigan - free)

Tomer Hemed (UD Almeria - £1m)

Liam Rosenior (Hull City - free)

Jack Harper (Real Madrid - Undisclosed)

Niki Maenpaa (VVV-Venlo - free)

Vahid Hambo (FC Inter - Undisclosed)

OUTS:

Aaron Hughes (Melbourne City - free)

Paddy McCourt (Luton Town - free)

Summary:

Although the return of legend Bobby Zamora will galvanise the club, I fancy Brighton to be relegated come May. They've been on a steady decline for some time now and I really do not see much quality in their squad, and even less in the manager. Whilst I'm very excited to see if new signing from Real Madrid, Jack Harper, will get much game time for the 'Gulls, he probably won't be enough to keep them afloat.

A Fan's Thoughts with @Kevintice83:

"With the squad as it stands at present we'll be looking at around 15th, if we're lucky. Hopefully we'll do some more business in the next few weeks and get some offensive quality in and another centre back. If the club can pull it off then the window will have been a success, if they can't then another season of struggles lies ahead."

Where They'll Finish: 23rd

Bristol City

Manager: Steve Cotterill

INS:

Jonathan Kodija (SCO Angers - £2.1M)

OUTS:

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (QPR - free)

Wade Elliott (Retired)

Dave Richards (Released)

Summary:

I'm glad Bristol City are back in the Championship, their fans were hilarious last time they visited the Macron/Reebok, as they all kicked off and started fighting policemen when we scored a last minute winner after once being two goals down. However, I don't think their return to the second tier will last longer than a year. They've done very well to keep hold the vast majority of the squad that emphatically won League One last season, so I predict they'll carry on that momentum into the Championship for a short time. But the real lack of reinforcements and Championship level players into the very thin squad will quickly see them slide back down the table. They'll no doubt be hoping that £2 million forward Jonathan Kodija will score the goals to keep them up, but they need to bring in more bodies if they are to do so.

A Fan's Thoughts with @ben_pring

"Having only made one signing so far this summer, I'm starting to get a bit worried, but Steve Cotterill certainly knows what he's doing. Luckily Luke Freeman, Joe Bryan, Aden Flint and Jonathan kodjia (our new signing) are all going to be key to us getting mid table/top 6. We are being heavily linked with Ben Reeves (MK Dons) and Jamie Murphy (Sheffield United) so if we could sign these two, plus a few others, I think we could be real contenders. As you may have gathered, I have strong hopes for us this season, using our momentum from last season to push us up the Football League and help us secure a top half or even top 6 finish. However, If we rush in to the transfer market and sign below average/average players then we could be going straight back down, I'm afraid to say. Although I do think we have what it takes to compete with the 'big guns' in this league. A lot of people are writing us off very early, and very naively so."

Where They'll Finish: 22nd

Burnley

Manager: Shaun Dyche

INS:

Jelle Vossen (Genk - £2.5m)

Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa - £1m)

Chris Long (Everton - £1m)

Tendayi Darikwa (Chesterfield - Undisclosed)

Dan Agyei (Stevenage - £100K)

OUTS:

Danny Ings (Liverpool - Tribunal fee)

Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur - £3.5m)

Jason Shackell (Derby County - Undisclosed)

Ross Wallace (Sheffield Wednesday - free)

Cameron Howieson (St. Mirren - free)

Alex Cisak (Leyton Orient - Undisclosed)

Steven Reid (Retired)

Summary:

It's a big season for the recently relegated Burnley. They've lost three key players this summer but, for the most part have replaced them well, but the replacements will have to live up the quality of their predecessors if Burnley are to succeed. Kieran Trippier's replacement Matt Lowton from Villa. I'm a big fan of Lowton but he's hardly kicked a ball for Villa in the past two season and it remains to be seen if he's still as good as he first promised. The really interesting signing from Burnley this season has been Jelle Vossen. The Belgian spent last season on loan at Boro, scoring ten times whilst mostly being played out of position. Vossen has been brought into replace the goals that Danny Ings brought to the side, whilst I think Vossen will be a success in that regard, I'm not sure he'll be able to replicate the energy and press that Ings brought to the side. But time will tell. Burnley have also sold captain Jason Shackell back to Derby this summer, with Ben Mee, Michael Keane and Michael Duff they still have enough at the back, but another centre back of Shackell's quality could still be added. Whilst the Clarets have replaced well, the board haven't really invested the money made back in the squad, meaning they haven't really improved where as every promotion rival has. So with that in mind, despite keeping Dyche and still having good players at this level, I think Burnley will just miss out on the play offs. I just hope Lukas Jutkiewicz has a good season. Scratch that, a terrible one so we can sign him back on loan would be grand.

A Fan's Thoughts with @KieranDAL_

"So far in the transfer window we have been average, Vossen is a risk at 2.5 million, that's nearly our record transfer fee and the last time we paid that much for a player we signed Lukas Jutkiewicz, who still hasn't even scored in a competitive fixture for us. Matt Lowton has been a perfect replacement for Trippier, but Shackell will be missed the most. How we will do this season will all depend on how we replace our former captain, and how well we do with transfers from now until the window shuts. I'm hoping that we will reach the play-offs and think we will do if we bring in the right players. However, reistically I can't see us getting in the right men and will fall short, probably finishing about 8th.

Here's our strongest line up: GK: Heaton - best keeper in the Championship without a doubt. RB: Lowton - it's never easy to replace a player like Trippier, but I think in Lowton we've done the best we possibly could and at 1 million we found ourselves a steal, similar type of player as well. CB: Mee - Centre back by trade and will be given a chance there this season, was immense when played there at Newcastle, but we could still do with another centre back just in case. CB: Duff - seems to be getting better each year even as he approaches 38-years old, however could become injured and another reason to buy another CB. LB: Ward - another who has been good when played, was missed hugely last season and is better than Mee at Left back, his experience will be key as well. RW: Boyd - My player of the season last season, had all the qualities for a winger and never seen a player work harder for the club, certain to tear this league a new one. CM: Marney - every team needs a Marney, personally I would have him captain, and I'd imagine a lot of Claret fans would agree. He's a leader, knows how to pick up games by scruff of neck, the heart beat of the team, and again immense work rate. CM: Jones - Jones' job goes unnoticed, solid in midfield and very rarely loses control of the ball, him and Marney together were a huge impact on the squad when we got promotion two years ago and it is vital we keep them together this season. LW: Arfield - Arfield was unlucky last season as in the first few games he looked our best player, but after the penalty miss at Sellhurst Park he went a bit quiet, then as he was coming back into it Marney was out for the season and as for some bizarre reason we didn't sign a back up midfielder. Arfield was forced to play there and wasn't very good but I'm hoping to see him back to his 13/14 form where he hit 8/9 goals playing on the wing. ST: Vossen - not quite sure what to make of him. Had a great goal scoring record at Genk and scored 10 goals for Boro when played out of position in CF, Boro fans reckon he will score plenty when played as a striker so we will see, and he fits into he dyche mould in terms of work rate. ST: Jukkiewicz - he was dreadful every time I saw him last season and couldn't hit a barn door even when he got chances but I think he just isn't good enough for the Prem, Bolton fans seem to love him and Dyche wouldn't spend 2.5 million on someone if they didn't have something about them so I hope he proves us wrong.

Other players - This year is a big year for Michael Keane, looked alright when he played for us last season but looked shaky at times, especially with the ball at his feet. He was thought highly of at United so hopefully if he gets a decent run of games he will really kickstart his career this year. Another one to look out for is Freddy Ulvestad. I've only seen him play once (villa away) where he looked quite good, he's had a good pre season so far as well and a lot of fans are hoping he has a good season. And finally, Sam Vokes. Vokes was another unlucky one last season, he was magnificent in the promotion season but got hit with a tough injury. Then he was thrown into the deep end later on in the prem season where he wasn't able to play like he had been doing in the season prior. But I'll put anything on him bouncing back This season."

Where They'll Finish: 8th

Cardiff City

Manager: Russel Slade

INS:

Semi Ajayi (Arsenal - free)

Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle United - loan)

OUTS:

Adam Le Fondre (Wolves - loan)

Kevin Theophile-Catherine (Saint-Ettiene - £1.5m)

Kevin McNaughton (Released)

Nicky Maynard (Released)

Danny Gabbidon (Released)

Tom Adeyemi (Leeds - loan)

Summary:

I fully expect Cardiff City to finally implode in on themselves this season. The tension has been slowly building for years now and no amount of going back to blue will quell it. With hardly any new additions to the squad and the exits still not finished, all along with inept Russell Slade in charge, it'll be a long, hard season for the Welsh side.

A Fan's Thoughts with @roathboy:

"Hold your horses! My hope is that Cardiff don't sack the manager in September again and write off another season. My thoughts are that they have a squad capable of challenging for promotion, but my prediction is they will just miss out on the play-offs."

Where They'll Finish: 17th

Charlton Athletic

Manager: Guy Luzon

INS:

Naby Sarr (Sporting - £1.75m)

Patrick Bauer (Maritimo - £1m)

Christian Ceballos (Tottenham - free)

Ahmed Kashi (FC Metz - Undisclosed)

El-Hadji Ba (Sunderland - Undisclosed)

Zakarya Bergdich (Real Valladolid - Undisclosed)

Simon Makienok (Palermo - loan)

OUTS:

Joe Gomez (Liverpool - £3.5m)

Neil Etheridge (Walsall - free)

Tal Ben Haim (Maccabi Tel Aviv - free)

Simon Church (MK Dons - free)

Christophe Lepoint (Zulte Waregem - free)

Rodger Johnson (Released)

Oguchi Onyewu (Released)

Lawrie Wilson (Released)

Yoni Buyens (Standard Liege - end of loan)

Frederic Bulot (Standard Liege - end of loan)

Summary:

Charlton are another side I expect will surprise a few this season and will have a really strong year. The losses of Yony Buyens and Frederic Bulot will no doubt be felt, but the signings of Ba, Bauer, Cebelios, Makienok and others will no doubt make up for it. Tying midfielder Jordan Cousins down to a new long term contract is also a massive boost for the Addiks. Manager Guy Luzon did very well when he came in part way through last season, and with a full pre-season behind him I expect the London club will push on next season.

A Fan's Thoughts with @RogDog_CAFC:

"Charlton have made wholesale changes this summer. The new signings have been of good quality bringing in Makienok, a physical 6ft7" striker, who comes from Serie A side Palermo, Patrick Bauer, a 6ft4" centre back From Maritmo, And Naby Sarr, a 6ft5" centre back from Sporting CP to name but a few. It's clear that Luzon is looking to be a physical threat in the championship this season and he's not been afraid to put his stamp on the side. This will be his first full season in charge so it is his chance to prove how good he really is having brought some good results since he became manager. I think many Charlton fans are not knowing exactly what to expect with such a significant change in personnel, but it's clear that the club are willing to spend some cash to try and mount a play off push this season. I believe with the likes of Gudmundsson signing a new 4 year deal and with Watt and Vetokele developing a solid partnership spearheading our attack, we are well set to push on this season. Cousins is a real talent in centre midfield and will be a key player. Gomez going to Liverpool was a blow but it seems we have brought in some solid replacements. I'm going to say play off push this season but it's abit of a stab in the dark with the amount of changes there have been this summer. We will see."

Where They'll Finish: 10th

Derby County

Manager: Paul Clement

INS:

Tom Ince (Hull City - £5m)

Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa - £2.5)

Darren Bent (Aston Villa - free)

Alex Pearce (Reading - free)

Chris Baird (West Brom - free)

Scott Carson (Wigan - free)

Jason Shackell (Burnley - free)

OUTS:

Shaun Baker (Released)

Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest - free)

Zak Whitbread (Released)

Raul Albentosa (Malaga - loan)

Conor Sammon (Sheffield United - loan)

Summary:

With the money they've spent, Derby County simply have to win the league. It will be a complete embarrassment if they don't, and if they fail to gain promotion all together? Well that would be hilarious. They've spent bucket loads both on transfer fees and wages this summer, recruiting Darren Bent, Tom Ince, Andi Weimann, Jason Shackell, Chris Baird, Scott Carson and Alex Pearce, all really excellent and clever signings in their own way. Their squad is by far the strongest in the Championship, containing the best attacking line, the best midfield and the best defence. The only question mark remains over the head of new manager Paul Clement. Whilst the former Real Madrid assistant does have plenty of experience in the game, none of it as a manager, and whether or not he can lead his expensively assembled squad to glory does remain to be seen. But even Dougie Freedman would be able to win the league with that team, so it's not really much of an excuse.

A Fan's Thoughts with @derbydaniel:

"Following last season's capitulation, the board decided to make a change at the top, bringing in Paul Clement as manager. The new head coach, who strikes me as an impressive figure, has been significantly backed in the transfer market, bringing in seven new players. The theme running through the new arrivals has been leadership, something that was lacking at the tail end of last season. The club did most of their business early, giving them time to gel in pre-season. Having sold just over 22,000 season tickets, last season's collapse hasn't dampened enthusiasm but many are cautious to see how they respond. Most outsiders have Derby down as the team to beat next season. I can understand this, due to the money spent and calibre of players that have arrived. However nothing can be taken for granted in this league, last season the players crumbled under the pressure and with the expectation for next season even greater, it'll be interesting to see how they cope with it. I think a top 6 finish should be the target at the start, if we've been near the top for a while by the turn of the year then maybe expectations will change."

Where They'll Finish: 1st

Fulham

Manager: Kit Symons

INS:

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers - £3m)

Jazz Richards (Swansea City - £500K)

Sakari Mattila (Aalesunds - £140K)

Andy Lonergan (Bolton - free)

Ben Pringle (Rotherham - free)

Jamie O'Hara (Blackpool - free)

Luke Garbutt (Everton - loan)

OUTS:

Patrick Roberts (Manchester City - £5-11m)

Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon - £700K)

Adil Chihi (Released)

Tim Hoogland (VfL Bochum - free)

Gabor Kiraly (Szombathely - free)

Maarten Stekelenburg (Southampton - loan)

Hugo Rodallega (Released)

Summary:

Fulham have actually made some interesting signings this summer, albeit largely unspectacular. Tom Cairney, Ben Pringle and Luke Garbutt should all improve the current side quite a lot, and with more incomings rumoured it has been a good summer for the Cottagers. It's just a shame that their manager, Kit Symons, is pretty dreadful. They'll have a solid mid table finish. Nothing more, nothing less. However, if they finally got Ross McCormak firing on all cylinders, and maybe even got Kostas Mitroglou in the side (never going to happen, I know) then they may even climb a bit higher.

A Fan's Thoughts with: @Fulham_Adam:

"After a terrible season last year I go into this season with hope rather than expectation. Whilst we've made some good signings in Cairney, Pringle, O'Hara and Garbutt we still look suspect in the centre of defence and will concede goals. On the other hand we will also score goals. Expect McCormack to be up there amongst the top goalscorers in the league, and Smith compliments him well. In Christensen, Hyndman and Dembele we also possess some of the best young talent in the league. Whilst we're still not good enough to compete for an automatic spot, I feel with the team we have a playoff spot is realistic."

Where They'll Finish: 12th

Huddersfield Town

Manager: Chris Powell

INS:

Kyle Dempsey (Carlisle United - £300K)

Jordi Hiwula (Manchester City - £150K)

Martin Craine (Barnsley - free)

Jason Davidson (West Brom - free)

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough - free)

OUTS:

Conor Coady (Wolves - £2m)

Anthony Gerrard (Released)

Oscar Gobern (Released)

Martin Paterson (Released)

Jon Stead (Notts County - free)

Summary:

Huddersfield are one of the boring clubs this season. They'll no doubt somehow survive relegation despite having a poor manager and losing one of their better players, Conor Coady, in the summer. A 19th place finish is inevitable. It will be interesting to see how newcomers Kyle Dempsey and Jordi Hiwula do, however, both are promising youngsters who've been signed fairly cheap.

A Fan's Thoughts with @HTAFCPodcast:

"Like many fans the hope is to go one better than last season, in our case that would be a higher finish up the table since the play-offs seem like trying to climb Mount Everest in this division. 15th would be perfect for most fans.

However, the financial disparity In this division due to sides not stick to FFP and parachute payments means that finishing in mid table would be a huge achievement. Furthermore as a club we've not addressed our main weakness at the back. I fear that the lack of quality will show this season, especially if the likes of Joel Lynch get injured.

Unless one or two players of good quality in the right positions are signed in the coming weeks, then sadly I believe Huddersfield Town may be staring down the barrel of relegation this season. Whilst our squad may be better, so is the quality of opposition in this division. It's going to be a struggle ahead for us Town fans."

Where They'll Finish: 19th

Hull City

Manager: Steve Bruce

INS:

Sam Clucas (Chesterfield - undisclosed)

Ryan Taylor (Newcastle - free)

Chuba Akpom (Arsenal - loan)

Isaac Hayden (Arsenal - loan)

OUTS:

Tom Ince (Derby - £5m)

Steve Harper (Released)

Paul McShane (Reading - free)

Stephen Quinn (Reading - free)

Liam Rosenior (Brighton - free)

Maynor Figueroa (Released)

Yannick Sagbo (Umm Salal - Free)

James Chester (West Brom - £8m)

Robbie Brady (Norwich - £7m)

Summary:

The Tigers have had a great summer, not entirely due to their incomings but more because they've generated a massive sum of money from departure. Between the sales of Tom Ince, James Chester and Robbie Brady they've some how managed to rack up £20m in sales. That money can now be reinvested into the squad with some late summer spending, with reports linking them to Brentford's best players. Whoever they choose to spend their bounty on, they'd be joining the really smart signings of the promising Sam Clucas, experienced Ryan Taylor and highly rated Chuba Akpom. With Steve Bruce at the helm, a manager with the know how to get out of the division, Hull will definitely be up there and challenging towards the end of the campaign.

A Fan's Thoughts with @J_Lester94:

Hull have lost quite a few players, Brady and Chester appear to be the latest two after releasing defensive stalwart Paul Mcshane, experienced Steve harper, Steven Quinn and Tom Ince. But if we can keep a good basis to build on with the likes of Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson, both who have expressed desire to stay and fight in the Championship, with Diame, Snodgrass to come back, the promising Andrew Robertson and new signings Sam Clucas and Ryan Taylor, there is an excellent blend of youth, experience and just plain talent/ability to be able to haul us out of the league. Most fans will feel hard done by without at least a crack at the playoffs!"

Where They'll Finish: 4th

Ipswich Town

Manager: Mick McCarthy

INS:

Jonathan Douglas (Brentford - free)

Jacob Knudsen (Esbjerg - £350K)

Larsen Touré (Avignon free)

Giles Coke (Wednesday - free)

Josh Yorwerth (Cardiff - free)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal - loan)

Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth - loan)

Brett Pitman (Bournemouth - free)

OUTS:

Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth - £8m)

Paul Anderson (Bradford - free)

Stephen Hunt (Released)

Noel Hunt (Released)

Summary:

I really like Mick McCarthy, who doesn't? I feel he is a highly underrated boss who works extremely well in the Championship. However, I just can't see him being able to repeat the success he had last season with the Tractor Boys in this current campaign. Despite selling Tyrone Mings for an obscene £8 million, the club have hardly reinvested that back into the team at all; only spending £350K all summer with the rest of the incomings being either free transfers or loans. Whilst I think they have done some good business in that regard in capturing the likes of Jonathan Douglas, Ryan Fraser and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, I just don't believe they've added enough quality to their squad to compete with the teams who have spent money this summer. McGoldrick, Murphy and Sears will no doubt be amongst the goals again and youth products like Teddy Bishop will probably still make great strides in the league, but I really do see Ipswich slipping away from the play offs this year.

A Fan's Thoughts with @twoglassknees:

"In July 1999, Ipswich Town sold the brightest prospect in English league football to Newcastle United, having been knocked out of the Division One playoffs by Bolton Wanderers: Town's third successive failure.


Kieron Dyer's career then saw him travel to World Cup 2002 & Euro 2004 before retiring after suffering with a string of leg injuries. Ipswich Town, however, managed to achieve promotion the year after they sold Dyer, and finished fifth in their first top flight season. How is this relevant to the coming season, you ask?

Tyrone Mings.

Dyer's departure for a large fee allowed George Burley to strengthen other areas of his squad; to plug the gaps, if you like. In came John McGreal from Tranmere for £665k to shore up the backline and provide cover for the aging Tony Mowbray. In came Jermaine Wright from Crewe (£525k), and perhaps more notably, in came Marcus Stewart for the second half of the season from Huddersfield (£2.89m) & Martijn Reuser from Ajax (£700k). These players all came in and finally saw the Tractor Boys over the line in May 2000.

With the sale of Mings, some fans expected that Ipswich's 2015/16 season should have been a mirror image of the century-turn. However a string of solid-if-unspectacular signings have left some quarters fearing that Ipswich have gone backwards in terms of strength compared to the rest of the league owing entirely to a reluctance to spend. Derby were probably the most similar to Town last season and they've gone out to spend good money on Tom Ince, Andreas Weimann & (presumably) Darren Bent. Brentford are the same: their new regime has seen fit to drop over £3m on new signings from the continent.

How much have Ipswich spent? Remember they received a figure in the region of £8m for Tyrone Mings:

£350k on Jacob Knudsen from Esbjerg. And that's it.

Who knows? Perhaps Super Mick has a starting XI he's happy with already, and will just plug gaps as and when required. We must remember that Marcus Stewart only joined in the early part of 2000 to supplement David Johnson's goalscoring heroics up front. One would suggest that up front is the area of the field where Ipswich are stronger than any other Championship team this season: it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Town could field a front four of Brett Pitman, Daryl Murphy, Freddie Sears & David McGoldrick in some fashion.

However a perennial weakness of Town's in recent years has been at full back. Roy Keane brought Carlos Edwards to the squad and played him out of position at right back for many years, as did Paul Jewell. Nowadays it's our new Club Captain Luke Chambers that's tasked with manning that part of the field, despite his glaring weaknesses and unsuitability. There remains the hope amongst many fans that he will be moved across into the middle and the versatile Jonny Parr will take up the mantle, with the aforementioned Knudsen filling Tyrone Mings' position on the other side of the back four.

"Jonathan Douglas is the most Ipswich Town signing of all time." - Unknown, Twitter, August 2015.

Once again Mick McCarthy has seen fit to utilise the loan market and free transfers to build his squad. Just this week he has claimed the group of players at his disposal is stronger than this time last year, and Brentford's ex-captain Douglas will at 33 most likely be asked to lead the squad and nurture the likes of Teddy Bishop (in trouble with The FA earlier this summer for betting) and mould them into proper professionals. Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday's Giles Coke and Avignon's Larsen Touré have been signed to deals on the eve of the season, and seem unlikely to feature for some weeks as they work up to fitness. It wouldn't be unfair to say Town are a little light on quality in the middle of the park, despite the swelling numbers: it's no surprise to hear that fans are again calling for the loan signing of Jonny Williams for the fourth time. Ryan Fraser, meanwhile, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles for that matter, will be champing at the bit to be let loose on full-backs up and down the country, with both looking like excellent prospects in pre-season.

One feels as though Ipswich are a top-half-of-the-league goalkeeper short of challenging, Bialkowski you always feel has a mistake in him, and Gerken apparently has trees for legs because he stays on his line in even the most precarious of situations. In short: Ipswich have the frontline to score 60+ goals next season, the midfield to create enough chances to score 25+ and the back five to concede around 30-odd. There just isn't the confidence that we will keep more than 10 clean sheets.

As for an outlook for the season ahead: play-offs again would be great, there's just the niggling thought in the back of the mind that a team that's greater than the sum of its parts will just not match up to teams that have been constructed for millions. Mick has proved to have the Midas touch so far at Ipswich, it remains to be seen if he's got enough nous (and financial clout) to really make it count.

We were relegated in 2002, and have gone nowhere fast since. It'd be nice to go up one of these years, just to freshen up the away days!"

Where They'll Finish: 11th

Leeds United

Manager: Uwe Rosler

INS:

Stuart Dallas (Brentford - £1m)

Lee Erwin (Motherwell - free)

Charlie Horton (Cardiff - free)

Ross Turnbull (Barnsley - Undisclosed)

Chris Wood (Leicester City - £3m)

Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff - loan)

Sol Bamba (Palermo - Undisclosed)

OUTS:

Rodolph Austin (Released)

Michael Tonge (Released)

Stuart Taylor (Released)

Aidy White (Rotherham - free)

Loads of expired loans. Loads.

Summary:

Who can possibly predict what will happen at the constant calamity that is Leeds United? Everything so far this summer points towards an improvement on last season, the signings of Chris Wood, Sol Bamba and Stuart Dallas all add quality to the squad and they actually have a real manager in charge now too, albeit one with a mixed pedigree. They really could push on this season. But since it's Leeds something will inevitably go wrong and they'll be the embarrassment of the football league again.

A Fan's Thoughts with @TIAT_LUFC:

"I'm hopeful that Uwe Rosler will bring a level of coaching that Whites fans haven't seen in a long time. I hope the experience of guys like Chris Wood and Sol Bamba will translate into the fantastic youngsters. We have a good group of forwards, as well as good skill in between the pipes, and the defence is looking promising too. It's been a tough time for Whites fans, but the preseason matches were very promising, albeit they were mostly losses against fantastic teams overseas. We look forward to watching this team grow, and hopefully earn a promotion to the Premier League."

Where They'll Finish: 14th

Middlesbrough

Manager: Aitor Karanka

INS:

Stewart Downing (West Ham - £5m)

Alex Baptiste (Bolton - £80K)

Tomas Kalas (Chelsea - loan)

Diego Fabbrini (Watford - loan)

OUTS:

Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth - £3m)

Dean Whitehead (Huddersfield - free)

Emanuel Ledesma (Rotherham - free)

Jelle Vossen (loan expired)

Summary:

Much like with Derby County, it will be an utter embarrassment if Boro don't gain promotion to the promised land this season. They've spent big with brining Stewart Downing back to the club, who is a brilliant addition, with forwards Christian Stuani and Jordan Rhodes both set to join too, goals will no doubt be flowing at the Riverside in the coming months. If Aitor Karanka is really as good as he's been built up to be, then he should get his team promoted automatically this year.

A Fan's Thoughts with @_JoshFrankland:

"At this minute in time, we've improved our squad and expect us to finish around 2nd/3rd. Possibly win the league if we do sign Jordan Rhodes. Hopefully, we'll go up automatically this time, can't be dealing with the play offs again, haha! Everyone is expecting automatic. The return of Stewart Downing has got everyone excited."

Where They'll Finish: 2nd

MK Dons

Manager: Karl Robinson

INS:

Sergio Aguza (Real Madrid Castilla - free)

Simon Church (Charlton - free)

Dale Jennings (Barnsley - free)

Christian Benavente (Real Madrid Castilla - free)

Cody Cropper (Southampton - free)

Joe Walsh (Crawley - Undisclosed)

Rob Hall (Bolton - loan)

Sam Gallagher (Southampton - loan)

Matt Upson (free)

OUTS:

Danny Green (Luton - free)

Will Grigg (loan expired)

Dele Ali (loan expired)

Summary

The team from Milton Keynes may not have spent a penny this summer, but unlike the other promoted sides, they have brought in a number of new bodies and with that, they may well be the only new comer to the league to remain in it. Former Real Madrid pair Sergio Aguza and Christian Benavente will be the signings who'll bring excitement to the Dons fans, along with loanees Sam Gallagher, who'll be looking to impress after a season of injury last term haltered his progress, and Rob Hall, who impressed whilst on loan at the Stadium MK last year. Matt Upson brings a wealth of experience at the back and the risky signing of Dale Jennings could go either way, although it is far more likely to be a failure. They have lost experienced striker Will Grigg and youngster Dele Ali, but by virtue keeping the majority of their promotion winning squad and having a young, exciting manager in Karl Robinson, I reckon they'll beat the drop.

A Fan's Thoughts with: @HarryWright27:

"As a newly promoted team, recruitment is key. I'd be happy with 21st. Does Karl Robinson want that? No. Has his recruitment showed that? No. No money spent, and no proven Championship experience brought in, potential has definitely been recruited with the signings of Cristian Benavente and Sergio Aguza from Real Madrid, but no proven Championship quality. The Dons season is hard to predict and I think will go one f two ways. If Robinson's transfers come off, Dons could be mid table. If not, it could be straight back to league one."

Where They'll Finish: 18th

Nottingham Forest

Manager: Dougie Freedman

INS:

Jamie Ward (Derby - free)

Matt Mills (Bolton - free)

Ben Hamer (Leicester - loan) or maybe not?

Daniel Pinillos (Cordoba - free)

OUTS:

Greg Halford (Rotherham - free)

Jamie Mackie (QPR - free)

Louis Laing (Motherwell - free)

Danny Collins (Rotherham - free)

Summary

Forest's season could go one of two ways. 1) They keep Dougie Freedman for the long haul, and come disastrously close to relegation, if not actually do go down. 2) They sack ol' Dougie by about November after an appalling start, finally hire a good manager and finish a respectable 13th after being bottom when Dougie was binned off. I predict, unfortunately, that the latter is what will happen. Forest have a decent squad with promising youngsters and deadly wingers in Michail Antonio and Chris Burke, a squad that Freedman will no doubt void of all confidence and drastically underperform with. He's signed reasonably well, albeit not much and also albeit going against his words of "not liking to shop at his former clubs" when he brought in Matt Mills. Jamie Ward is another decent winger to add to the list too, after he signed from rivals Derby. They have to choices this season Forest, I pray to all the gods that they pick the first one.

A Fan's Thoughts with @InTheTopOne_

"Last season, man...you wouldn't know - you weren't there man.

It was a turbulent and traumatic one. When Mr Freedman came in and started winning games, we thought we were over Stuart Pearce but then when he started losing games by the bucketload, we realised that the mourning process was going to be longer, deeper and harder than we imagined.

If this all sounds a little self-indulgent, myopic and like Morrissey in his pomp, then that's fair enough since for all the bad vibes about the season ahead, the club still possess a very decent squad. At the back, there's experience and pace in Jack Hobbs and Michael Mancienne. Matt Mills has also ambled into the dressing room - but you know all about him. The Dougster fancies Mancienne in midfield though, allowing Mills to hold hands with Hobbs creating a long lost 80s buddy cop drama called Hobbs and Mills in which the pairings' maverick approach to detective work causes endless grief for their close to retirement Captain who wishes they'd just do things by the book, goddamit. Eric Lichaj is vastly improved at right back but we are still desperately trying to fill the void that has been swallowing poor unfortunate souls since Pearce left for Newcastle. Danny Fox is the latest to blunder around in this area.

But in midfield, there is - whisper it - something approaching strength in depth. Henri Lansbury offers a little bit of quality on his day, Robert Tesche is as neat and tidy as an OCD convention and Ben Osborn is just delightful. David Vaughan is not a bad option on the bench either. Out wide there's solid and dependable Chris Burke and the waspish impudence of Jamie Ward has been added too. And then there's Michail Antonio who needs little introduction to your defenders.

Up front...ah. Time to play the 'did you know that Britt Assombalonga is ruled out long term?' card. Without him, well, neither Dexter Blackstock nor Matty Fryatt seem able to clamber down from the treatment table without stubbing their toe or something. Tyler Walker offers hope - yes, his dad is called Des.

So, when Britt, Andy Reid and Chris Cohen come back...if they come back... we'll be right as rain. Until then, it's anyone's guess.

If Freedman can get this bunch of ne'er do wells passing the ball to each other and scoring goals then there is cause for optimism but he rather blotted his copybook by playing loan players at the expense of young uns but again, you'd might already know all about that. That is a smidgen unfair since he did give Tyler Walker his debut and gave Oliver Burke a run out but these were fleeting appearances in a side that had little to play for.

The dark cloud of FFP and transfer embargoes lingers over the club like a bad smell, bringing into question the general management strategy or Mr Fawaz al-Hasawi. No manager has yet to complete a season under his watch and each new incumbent is given a bucket load of cash to spend on new players - this strategy rarely ends well and only leads to the curious situation of having spent lots of money but being no better off than you were. There is an argument that sanctions arising from FFP will force the club to develop a coherent strategy whereby stability allied with youth development will come to fruition. This would be nice. But trying to predict what Fawaz will do next is a risky business and although his heart is clearly in the right place, perhaps he curries favour with what the fans want at the expense of actually running the club in a prudent manner. There are regular complaints of late payments from a variety of disparate individuals and groups. Don't mention his name in front of Darragh MacAnthony.

So what I'm trying to say is that although it's not as bad as it may seem on the pitch, it doesn't feel like it will be our season for a variety of reasons - some valid and others simply borne of weariness and lacking foundation. But maybe the lack of pressure and expectation will count in our favour as not many seem to be talking our chances up. So, mid-table it is then."

Where They'll Finish: 13th

Preston North End

Manager: Simon Grayson

INS:

Jermaine Beckford (Bolton - free)

Paul Gallagher (Leicester - free)

Will Keane (Manchester United - loan)

Greg Cunningham (Bristol City - Undisclosed)

Jordan Pickford (Sunderland - loan)

OUTS:

Kevin Davies (Released)

Thorsten Stuckmann (Doncaster - free)

David Buchanan (Northampton - free)

Lee Holmes (Exeter - free)

Keith Keane (Cambridge - free)

Scott Laird (Scunthorpe - free)

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Chesterfield - free)

Scott Wiseman (Scunthorpe - free)

Jack King (Scunthorpe - free)

Summary

I initially had Preston North End down to stay up, just a gut feeling more than anything. I really did at one point think they could do it. But after seeing the summer they've had, I've now put them down to finish bottom. It was all going swimmingly earlier this summer, on-loan heroes Jermaine Beckford and Paul Gallagher both signed presently with the club with out hesitation, and Manchester United striking prospect Will Keane soon joined on a season long loan. But fast forward a month or so later and they've failed to sign two of their biggest summer targets, Sam Johnstone Tendayi Darikwa. With a wafer thin squad short on Championship experience and a manager who isn't the best at this level, they'll be relying on Beckford and Joe Garner to replicate their League One form in the Championship. Whilst I expect Garner to do that with ease, all us Bolton fans know how bad Beckford is in this league, and it'll be up to him to continue the rapid momentum he built up in the lower division. If they don't deliver I find it impossible to see PNE surviving, and I find it hard to see them surviving even if they do.

A Fan's Thoughts with @OllyDawes:

"After the jubilation of winning at Wembley and ending the play-off curse, it's been something of a quiet summer for Preston. Just four signings have been made this summer, with two of those ending last season on loan at Deepdale anyway. The team doesn't look any stronger, but North End have managed to keep hold of Paul Gallagher, Jermaine Beckford and Joe Garner, who will be hoping to continue their League One exploits into the Championship this season. Simon Grayson needs those three players to be firing on all cylinders, with a relegation battle almost a certainty unless more signings are made - and most fans would take survival right now."

Where They'll Finish: 24th

Queens Park Rangers

Manager: Chris Ramsey

INS:

Tjarron Chery (FC Groningen - £2.3m)

Sebastien Polter (Mainz 05 - £1.5m)

Jamie Mackie (Forest - free)

Jay Emmanuel Thomas (Bristol City - free)

Massimo Luongo (Swindon - undisclosed)

Ben Gladwin (Swindon - undisclosed)

Axel Prohouly (Monaco - free)

James Perch (Wigan - undisclosed)

Paul Konchesky (Leicester - loan)

OUTS:

Steven Caulker (Southampton - loan)

Alex McCarthy (Crystal Palace - £3.5m)

Richard Dunne (Released)

Bobby Zamora (Released)

Adel Taarabt (Benfica - free)

Shaun Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls - free)

Joey Barton (Released)

Rio Ferdinand (Retired)

Mauricio Isla (Loan expired)

Nicko Kranjcar (Loan expired)

Eduardo Vargas (Loan Expired)

Summary

Much like fellow relegated side Burnley, I see QPR just failing to reach the play offs this year, mostly because they've signed a lot of players this summer, many of whom haven't played much in the Championship, and this season is very much going to be a transitional period. That and they have Chris Ramsey in charge. However, if they somehow manage to keep hold of Charlie Austin, then forget all that as his goals alone will get them in the top six. QPR have spent over £3m this summer on just too players, and it'll be very interesting to see how Tjarron Chery and Sebastian Polter do for the Rs. With the likes of Rob Green, Karl Henry, Matty Phillips, Nedum Onouha and more, they do have a decent amount of experience and quality in their squad. So with all that in mind I do expect a strong season from Rangers, and they'll miss out on the play-offs by a fraction.

A Fan's Thoughts with @HarveyStevens_:

"With relegation last season and the FFP malarky, any sort of consolidation would be good. The signing of Tjaronn Chery is exciting and we have a young, talented squad. It's important not to be unrealistic. Mid-table would be nice, but playoffs is certainly achievable. We can't expect to go straight back up, especially after losing so many players, but this squad should certainly be challenging for the top six."

Where They'll Finish: 7th

Reading

Manager: Steve Clarke

INS:

Orlando Sa (Legia Warsaw - £1m)

Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan - free)

Stephen Quinn (Hull - free)

Paul McShane (Hull - free)

Lisandro Semedo (Sporting Lisbon - free)

OUTS:

Adem Federici (Bournemouth - free)

Danny Guthrie (Released)

Alex Pearce (Derby - free)

Jem Karacan (Galatasaray - free)

Stephen Kelly (Released)

Yakubu (Released)

Summary

I do not expect an awful lot from Reading this season. I do not rate Steve Clarke as a manager at all, but I reckon they'll avoid the drop by the skin of their teeth due to the fact they do have a few good individual players in the side. Their summer of dealings has been solid, Hull City pair Paul McShane and Stephen Quinn, and former Wanderer Ali Al-Habsi will make for a dependable spine for the team, the rest of their campaign depends on the success of £1 million signing Orlando Sa. The striker has a decent record in both Greece and Poland, so whether or not he can score goals in England will be the question on the lips of every Reading fan.

A Fan's Thoughts with @TheTilehurstEnd:

"It's hard to know how to look back on a 2014/15 season that saw our greatest cup run of the modern era tapered with the worst league campaign in more than a decade. What's certain is that the club's owners and Steve Clarke won't settle for such Championship mediocrity again.

Several long-serving players like Alex Pearce, Jem Karacan and Adam Federici have been allowed to depart on free transfers, plus less successful Premier League era signings like Danny Guthrie and Stephen Kelly. Solid Championship performers in Stephen Quinn, Paul McShane and former Wanderer Ali Al-Habsi have been brought in to shore things up while there's optimism that some of the Academy graduates that have debuted over the past couple of seasons will go on to truly establish themselves.

Tarique Fosu is probably the brightest of those prospects alongside Michael Hector while the wild card of our summer spending is Orlando Sa, who has been brought in to replace the goals we've lacked since Adam Le Fondre left last year.

With a month of the window to go it's hard to know exactly how strong we'll be but if the players mentioned above plus established names like Danny Williams and Garath McCleary deliver the form they're capable of then there's no reason we can't make a play-off challenge. My gut feeling is that we'll end up around 8th but nothing would surprise me in the Championship!"

Where They'll Finish: 21st

Rotherham United

Manager: Steve Evans

INS:

Greg Halford (Forest - free)

Grant Ward (Tottenham - loan)

Emanuel Ledesma (Middlesbrough - free)

Aidy White (Leeds - free)

Chris Maguire (Wednesday - free)

Lewis Buxton (Wednesday - free)

Danny Collins (Forest - free)

Tom Thorpe (Man United - free)

Joe Mattocks (Wednesday - free)

Farrend Rawson (Derby - loan)

Kelle Roos (Derby - loan)

OUTS:

Rob Milsom (Notts Country - free)

Ben Pringle (Fulham - free)

Craig Morgan (Wigan - free)

Summary

Rotherham United seem to be everybody's tip to go down, this being their second season in the Championship, but I think they'll survive again, y'know. Their signings this summer may not be the most spectacular, but they are plentiful, have tonnes of Championship experience, specifically in not very good sides, and do add quality to a team that was largely lacking it last year. The standouts being Chris Maguire, Emanuel Ledesma and Lewis Buxton, all very capable players in this division who'll add some quality to the side. Then you have the added experience of Danny Collins, Greg Halford and Joe Mattocks and the potential of Aidy White, Tom Thorpe and Grant Ward, which is the making of a good team. The losses of captain Craig Morgan and Ben Pringle were no doubt blows, but they've replaced them really well and should be looking to kick on this summer - they could take a few teams by surprise early on. I've only predicted them to finish 20th, but I think they'll avoid relegation comfortably and prove a lot of people wrong.

A Fan's Thoughts with @Jordan_Rufc:

"Judging by the signings we've made, I think we`ll be mid table, and we will definitely improve on last season. The signings we`ve made this summer have been miles better than last year, the likes of Emmanuel Ledesma and Grant Ward, to Brandy and Hall, much better! I did think we would struggle as we got rid of key players like Morgan, Arnason and Pringle. Basically my hopes would be just stay clear of relegation with the squad Evans has built this season I believe we will. I must add that despite his conversional appearance, Evans has done a fantastic job for us in the past three seasons and we continue to prove people wrong, I love it! I hope this season as well as a good season we go on a decent cup run, we haven't really had that since Evans took over, although we had Villa away! But Evans hasn't quite mastered at what he did for Crawley in the cup. The guy has doubters but we`ll keep proving people wrong. It also felt last season people were against us but that's a different matter. I as a fan feel there is finally a positive buzz about the football in Rotherham and apart from a few games we was very competitive last season. Here`s to another good year."

Where They'll Finish: 20th

Sheffield Wednesday

Manager: Carlos Carvalhal

INS:

Marco Matias (Nacional - £2m)

Lewis McGugan (Watford - £300K)

Lewis Price (Crystal Palace - free)

Ross Wallace (Burnley - free)

Jack Hunt (Crystal Palace - loan)

Vincent Sasso (Braga - loan)

Alex Lopez (Celta Vigo - loan)

Darryl Lachman (FC Twente - undisclosed)

Modou Sougou (Marseille - free)

Lucas João (Nacional - undisclosed)

OUTS:

Kamil Zayatte (Raed - free)

Lewis Buxton (Rotherham - free)

Chris Maguire (Rotherham - free)

Joe Mattocks (Rotherham - free)

Giles Coke (Released)

Rafael Floro (Belenenses - free)

Rhys McCabe (Released)

Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham - free)

Gary Madine (Bolton - free)

Chris Kirkland (Released)

Summary

Yorkshire club Sheffield Wednesday is another team who I feel will surprise a few this season. They've actually spent money on players for the first time in years with additions Marco Matias and Lewis McGugan, and I rate Jack Hunt very highly. They, like Brentford, have gone the European route this summer by hiring Carlos Carvalhal as their new boss. Whilst play-offs may just be a stretch too far, I feel Wednesday are in for a very exciting season which will see them improve massively on last year.

A Fan's Thoughts with @YICETOR:

"We're the all new Sheffield Wednesday show so it's difficult to tell how we're going to do this season. We're going to take sometime to settle the new management and coaching structure and the influx of new players. For the first time in years we've been able to spend some money on transfers. Winger Marco Matias is our most expensive signing since the late 90's at £2.5m. With the additions of Lewis McGugan, Ross Wallace and more importantly retaining goalkeeper Kieren Westwood we're building on last year's defensive team. Watch this space it could go either way for the Owls this season depending on Carlos Carvalhal's 'attacking' philosophy."

Where They'll Finish: 9th

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Manager: Kenny Jackett

INS:

Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff - loan)

Conor Coady (Huddersfield - £2m)

Jed Wallace (Portsmouth - £200K)

Sylvain Deslandes (Caen - free)

Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool - loan)

OUTS:

Bakary Sako (Released)

Sam Ricketts (Coventry - free)

Jake Cassidy (Oldham - free)

Tomasz Kuszcsak - (Birmingham - free)

Leon Clarke (Bury - free)

Summary

Finally, we come to the last team. The Championship is a hard as balls league to accurately predict. Just one signing by one club can change your entire out look. Wolves did that with Adam Le Fondre. Adding him to an already deadly front line of Benik Afobe and Nouha Dicko is a stroke of genius from manager Kenny Jackett, and I see them being the third promoted team this season, probably through the play-offs but maybe even second place. Other additions Conor Coady and Sheji Ojo will add more talent to an already very young and talented squad, and they will score goals galore.

A Fan's Thoughts with @TJWWFC:

"After a good season last year, some may say over achieved, all Wolves fans thought that we would use the momentum from last season in this season. Ee already knew we'd lose Sako, bit of a kick in the teeth to Albion, if it happens. Losing Jacobs and possibly losing Henry, just sounds like same old story for us. So far we've signed three players Wallace, Cody and deslsndes (under 21's). All Wolves fans are a bit concerned that we aren't strengthening where we need to, we have no back up for strikers or wingers now. Hopes is to kick on for one of the three promotion places, however, if we don't strengthen I can honestly see us finishing around 8th to 10th place, with no plan B and no impact subs, it's going to be a shit season.

Where They'll Finish: 3rd

Lets hope the season is a good one!

All transfers correct at time of wring.