August 04, 2006

Championship Prediction 06/07

The Championship is a notriously unpredictable league. As such I have attempted to predict the outcome of the 2006/2007 season. Enjoy.

(1) Southampton

With a whole host of quality recruits and a manager to match Soton will be a force to be reckoned with in the Championship this season. Without doubt they will play good football, and if they hit their stride early there could be no catching them. In true George Burley style they will dispatch the better teams with ease, but their season could hang on their ability to break down the battlers.

(2) Sunderland

Relegated from the Prem with a record low points score it’s been all change on Weirside with Niall Quinn becoming chairman and then manager as well. Nevertheless Sunderland retain much of the squad with which they got promoted two years ago and Quinn could prove to be a managerial natural.

(3) Leeds United

Came close last year when dodgy tactics cost them in the playoffs, but massive home attendances have allowed them to splash the cash again over the summer. Transfers have been a bit slapdash with Livermore bizarrely arriving from Millwall only to head straight on to Hull, but the squad easily has the quality to mount another promotion.

(4) West Bromwich Albion

On paper West Brom have the strongest squad in the Championship this season. However they also have Bryan Robson in charge. By combining the two the Albion look to be sure–fire playoff contenders.

(5) Leicester City

Could be the surprise package of the season. Vastly underachieved with Craig Levin in charge. If Hume and Fryatt can hit it off up front Leicester should have enough elsewhere to sustain a playoff challenge.

(6) Norwich City

Only one summer signing in the shape of Man City’s Lee Croft, however there should be goals galore from a side that possesses both Robert Earshaw and Darren Huckerby. Boss Nigel Worthington though with start to feel the pressure if they have another slow start.

(7) Birmingham City

Have been spending big money, but the shock of being back in the Championship could hit the Blues hard. Jerome is a solid signing, but will the players relegated from the Prem last season be up for the fight?

(8) Ipswich Town

Swapped boss Joe Royle for rookie Jim Magilton and have been suspiciously quite in the transfer market. Nevertheless the squad is strong and with a few minor additions will go places. Despite having signed no forwards expect more goals than last year, especially if Forster and Lee stay fit.

(9) Derby County

After last years nightmare there is new hope at Derby with a new board and a new manager in the former of the talented Billy Davies. Steve Howard has been recruited to grab the goals and Idiakez is still a class act. Squad maybe a little too thin to reach the playoffs this time around.

(10) Crystal Palace

The £8.5m sale of Andy Johnson to Everton has provided new boss Peter Taylor with plenty of spending money, however it remains to be seen whether Taylor can prove himself at this level.

(11) Coventry City

Could reach the playoffs, however the decision to sign butterfingered former Norwich and Ipswich goalie Andy Marshall could prove fatal for their chances. Elliot Ward and Colin Cameron are stronger additions however , and providing the Sky Blues can hold onto Gary McSheffery they should do well.

(12) Stoke City

Despite a lack of obvious class Stoke will probably do unfeasibly well this season with Tony Pulis back at the helm. He is a specialist at mid–table finishes and after last years Dutch disaster Potters fans will be happy with a season of safe mediocrity.

(13) Luton Town

Losing star men Steve Howard and Kevin Nichols could prove damaging for Luton, however they should still have enough quality in the likes of Feeney, Coyne, Brkovic and Vine to finish well.

(14) Burnley

After losing Akinbyi to Sheffield United last Christmas the Clarets found results hard to come by. Andy Gray and Alan Mahon arrive at the combined cost of around £1m, but expect a similarly inconsistent season.

(15) Cardiff City

Cardiff’s success last season was based on the flair of Cameron Jerome and Jason Koumas backed up by the signing of experienced Championship campaigners. This time around Jerome and Koumas are potentially both gone and manager Dave Jones has brought in a lot of untested players. Accordingly they will finish considerably lower.

(16) Hull City

Phil Parkinson takes over from Peter Taylor and has made some decent signings, especially the highly promising Dean Marney from Spurs. Despite this it will still be a tough season for the Tigers.

(17) Preston North End

A lot of star names left Deepdale over the summer as did manager Billy Davies. For the coming season a lot depends on whether Nugent stays. If he does they’ll probably finish safely in midtable, if not nine months of struggle awaits.

(18) Wolverhampton Wanderers

As with Preston, Wolves have lost a lot of players over the summer, as well as manager Glen Hoddle. Not too many people will miss the former England boss, but new manager Mick McCarthy will have to make some significant signings if Wolves are to avoid dicing with the drop.

(19) Plymouth Argyle

Tony Pulis did well get so many wins out of a relatively weak Plymouth side last season. Unfortunately for the Pilgrim’s he is now gone, but new manager Ian Holloway should ensure that there is never a dull moment at Home Park. Whether he can ensure them enough points though, remains to be seen.

(20) Barnsley

Back in the Championship after four years away and despite coming up through the playoffs the Yorkshire side have bought shrewdly. Togewell and McIndoe will add to the squad, but the loss of former Leeds star Steve McPhail to Cardiff is a big one. Nevertheless of the promoted teams they probably have the best chance of survival.

(21) Southend

They stormed League One last season and have managed to hold onto all their stars and, most importantly, their manager Steve Tilson. If Freddie Eastwood keeps scoring they might just have enough to stay up.

(22) Queens Park Rangers

Turmoil in the boardroom, a rookie manager, awful form – the omens do not look good for Rangers. Manager Waddock has trawled the globe for new signings. Some of them need to pay off.

(23) Sheffield Wednesday

Paul Sturrock performed miracles last season to keep a very poor Wednesday side up. This season will be another struggle especially as England international goalkeeper Scott Carson will not be returning on loan. The Owl’s squad is also very light on decent strikers and as everyone knows scoring potential is essential in the Championship.

(24) Colchester United

With key men Neil Danns and Liam Chivers departing for Birmingham and Preston respectively and manager Phil Parkinson jumping ship to Hull, Colchester could be in for a very hard season. Another side with no obvious goal scorers.

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  1. Dave Sheffield

    Southampton, top? You have got to be joking. Bradley Wright Phillips is probably their only decent player and Ricardo Fuller is a bit of a joke up front – but having said that if they pull together they have a chance – just like the rest of the teams. Palace will definately finish higher than 10th.

    05 Aug 2006, 12:25

  2. Peter – the championship is horribly unpredictable, and i find myself disagreeing with your predictions. i think niall quinn will take time to find his feet in his dual role, and i doubt that southamptron will take the division by storm. I know you are a loyal tractor boy, but Ipswich in eighth? have you been drinking? i don't think jim will have that much early success.
    It is such a competitive division though – whatever you say is likely to be completely wrong. Much better entertainment than the Premiership.
    Here is my prediction –

    1. Birmingham City
    2. Leeds United
    3. West Brom
    4. Crystal Palace
    5. Sunderland
    6. Coventry City
    7. Wolverhampton Wanderers
    8. Southampton
    9. Norwich City
    10. Leicester City
    11. Plymouth Argyle
    12. Luton Town
    13. Derby County
    14. Ipswich Town
    15. Hull City
    16. Cardiff City
    17. Preston North End
    18. Burnley
    19. Stoke City
    20. Southend
    21. Sheffield Wednesday
    22. QPR
    23. Barnsley
    24. Colchester

    I'm sure that on the last day of the season I'll have egg on my face.

    05 Aug 2006, 16:28

  3. Dave Sheffield

    Great start for Coventry – and while I'm at it, Great start for Palace. If I don't do a bit of 'rubbing it in' now then I wont many other opportunities to do so.

    For promotion I say:

    Play offs:
    C Palace
    W Brom


    06 Aug 2006, 19:24

  4. Dave, have to admit Palace look alright. Wouldn't be surprised if you don't struggle for goals though if Taylor doesn't sign anyone. We gave you a thrashing in the first half, but forgot to create any chances. In the second Freedman came on and played well, but we giftd you the goals really. Interestingly Mark Kennedy played centre mid. Anyone any idea why?

    07 Aug 2006, 11:18

  5. By the way, Rob has already challenged my predictions, if anyone else feels up to the job please post them on the thread. We might use them on the show at some point.

    07 Aug 2006, 11:20

  6. Top of the league!!!!

    09 Aug 2006, 13:32

  7. Rob

    nice to see ipswich flying high in the league already pete – they are looking good for that eight place of yours after two defeats from two.

    09 Aug 2006, 18:53

  8. I prefer Pete's prediction the best, only cause he puts Burnley the highest (a foolish hope but hey, we've managed to survive so far selling our best players each year – Akinbiyi, Little, Chaplow, although they don't seem to do too well after they go). :P

    12 Aug 2006, 15:10

  9. Before anyone else mentions it, yes, at this very moment in time we are bottom.

    12 Aug 2006, 19:47

  10. 3 wins out of 3 and now Palace have beaten a team who are actually good!

    13 Aug 2006, 18:42

  11. Less of your cheek Sheffield!

    13 Aug 2006, 19:02

  12. how long before shouts of jim out! at portman road?

    14 Aug 2006, 18:11

  13. Matt

    I think that it will go like this:

    Crystal Palace

    For promotion it will be:

    For relegation it will be:

    15 Aug 2006, 00:19

  14. Rich Biddlecombe

    Aw come on the championship is unpredictable its hard to say but i think it will go like like this:

    Crystal Palace


    Ha Chew on that!

    21 Sep 2006, 21:50

  15. Rich Biddlecombe


    28 Sep 2006, 21:36

  16. Well rich i must say that you have made rather bold predictions (especially with a fifth of the season gone)

    what we must remember is that it is a marathon not a sprint and despite cardiff’s strong start they will do well to keep up their pace (and stop other clubs trying to nab dave jones)

    i feel that with their stong squads, southampton, birmingham and currently managerless west brom will be high in the table come the end of the season.

    norwich seem to be having a nightmare and it is going to take something special for nigel worthington to coax the canaries into the play-offs (if they don’t sack him)

    and you must be having a laugh to tip sunderland AND leeds for the drop. it hasn’t been a great start for either club, but i thing both will settle for a midtable finish.

    29 Sep 2006, 16:22

  17. Rich Biddlecombe

    Well Robert u have a valid point so far norwich are doin ok for the points but i still think they lack that certain something, today Saints played Cardiff and were doing well untill the 84th minute when Cardiff (as they do) stole the game away to go on and win 1-0 but i thought they did well considering!
    So far Sunderland are doing very well got themselvs out of Relegation thanks to Roy Keane and some insparation from Dwight York but i still think leeds will trail behind and will fight for survivor at the end of the season unless they have some new trick up thier sleeve!
    All the games dont really matter now, its the last 5 months of the season (eg January Onwards). thats when games will matter and points will turn from gold to Platinum.
    Let me know what you think Robert.
    Many thanks

    17 Oct 2006, 22:31

  18. gradderz

    ur all forgetin about sunderland…they will win the league 4 sure…i know they keep winning 2 then losin but we’ll find a run and be bak in the prem in no tym! i fink cardiff will keep winin till about january…they’ll go on a bad run and finish bout 9th, chopra will leave and they’ll go back 2 finishing 15th every season until they find sum1 lyk chopra agen.


    ply offs:


    04 Nov 2006, 11:47

  19. sorry it has taken me so hard to reply Rich but it is quite hard following the championship (and raw sport) from Italy. With a third of the season gone the table does make intereting reading, especially with cardiff and burnley up top when i thougth they’d be mid-table, colchester comfortable and leeds in deep trouble. Gradderz has made bold predictions about sunderland going up – i think it will be a transitional season for them, although they could push for the play-offs. and leeds should get out of trouble eventually, but i think denis wise might have been foolish to take on the job considering how well he was doing at swindon.

    the great thing about the championship is that it can all change so quickly – results from january will be the deciding factor.
    and finally, southampton could well go up but i don’t like them.

    06 Nov 2006, 15:08

  20. Rich Biddlecombe

    Well whats not to like about Saints they are a good honest team and are always and will be a Prem side ask anyone (apart from a Skate)
    At this point in time Saints are 5th with only 4 points from auto promotion BUT its still very early days and Saints need to keep this good run going! Now i can see Birmingahm going straight back to the prem and Sunderland…......well its the same stoty with them they get promoted THEN at the end good ol Relegation they cant do it anymore either stay down work on the footy then go up and kick some ass. Leeds (i cant stand them bastards) but i would like to see them safe after all who is gonna be the team that we all want to beat! Southend Utd are at hame against The Saints, Southend have not won a game in 17 lets hope we make it 18. All in all ITS ALL TOO CLOSE TO CALL WITH THE TOP!!!! But i will say this watch out for the 3 main headers Birmingham, Preston North End and Southampton and maybe Burnly if they keep it up. any feed back would be great. If we dont speak before Christmas then i hope EVERYONE has a Happy Christmas and a prosper New Year. :)

    09 Dec 2006, 13:41

  21. Nish

    Nice to see that a few people don’t think QPR are going down. Unfortunately i think they might this year. To get away with it by the skin of your teeth two years running is a bit much to ask. Here’s my prediction for the remainder.

    Champions – Birmingham City
    Runners Up – Preston North End

    Stoke City
    West Bromwich Albion

    The Drop
    Queens Park Rangers
    Southend United

    24 Jan 2007, 13:20

  22. Steve

    Well, Leeds 3rd, Colchester 24th.

    08 Feb 2007, 23:37

  23. ben glover

    The Rams

    Runners up:


    11 Feb 2007, 20:56

  24. ben glover

    i can’t understand why you guys don’t think derby will even come 3rd!

    11 Feb 2007, 20:56

  25. ben glover

    sorry i forgot to mention who will be relegated…


    11 Feb 2007, 20:58

  26. ben glover

    derby xi:


    Edworthy Leacock Moore McEveley

    Oakley Jones Pearson

    Teale Howard Fagan

    Substitutes: M.Johnson, Mears, S.Johnson, Bisgaad, Lupoli. (who needs a spare keeper!)

    11 Feb 2007, 21:05

  27. Rich Biddlecombe

    YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAH! Another brill win 4 the Saints against Barnsly, bout time we had some luck on our side after the dodgy refereeing against West Brom well my prediction now is:

    Champions: Derby (they are having a grest run and it shows when they play)
    Runners Up: Sunderland C’mon these guys have come from no where, they will suprise everyone)

    Play Offs:
    West Brom
    Peston North End
    I dont like to say who id want to win but C@MON U SAINTS

    The Drop:
    Hull City

    Sorry but South End i think will pull out i hope so a family member of mine plays for South End.
    Let me know ya thoughts Cio Mein :)

    19 Feb 2007, 19:57

  28. hjk

    COME ON YOU EAGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    03 Jun 2007, 12:20

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