BBC Sport
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help

Last Updated: Monday, 1 August 2005, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Championship fans' predictions
BRIGHTON by Seagulls fan James Blake

Boss Mark McGhee performed a miracle to keep Albion up last year and a similar battle against the odds looks on the cards for this season too.

Much will depend on new front pairing Leon Knight and Colin Kazim-Richards - if they can gel another safe finish should be achievable.

Player to watch: Colin Kazim-Richards
Optimistic finish: 12th
Realistic finish: 21st
Championship winners: Leeds United

BURNLEY by Clarets fan Paul Banister

Last season's comfortable mid-table position exceeded all realistic expectations and we hope to achieve a steady improvement on last term.

Boss Steve Cotterill has raided his old club Stoke bringing in some physical presence in Wayne Thomas and Gifton Noel-Williams, while the two Bournemouth acquisitions, Wade Elliott and Garreth O'Connor should help boost the goals for column.

Player to watch: Wade Elliott
Optimistic finish: Eighth
Realistic finish: 12th
Championship winners: Wolves

CARDIFF by Bluebirds fan Rich Smith

Massively in debt, all the best players sold and a new manager in place, yet Cardiff will surprise people this season.

New boss Dave Jones has made some clever transfers and pre-season form is good - an outside chance for a play-off spot beckons for the Bluebirds.

Player to watch: Cameron Jerome
Optimistic finish: Top six
Realistic finish: Top half
Championship winners: Reading

COVENTRY by Sky Blues fan Gareth Canvin

The Sky Blues will have a moderately good season, creeping into the play-offs in the final week.

Playing more direct football than under previous managers, Micky Adams' team will battle, but not make the Premiership.

Player to watch: Stern John
Optimistic finish: Sixth
Realistic finish: 10th
Championship winners: Norwich

CREWE by Railwaymen fan Philip Raiswell

The Alex know they need to step up a gear, after last season's disastrous run of form after Christmas nearly resulted in relegation.

Goal-scoring should not be a problem with the addition of Juan Ugarte to the squad, but concerns remain about the quality in midfield and the robustness of the defence.

Player to watch: Juan Ugarte
Optimistic Finish: 14th
Realistic Finish: 20th
Championship winners: Norwich

CRYSTAL PALACE by Eagles fan Kate Payne

With Iain Dowie at the helm, Crystal Palace stand an excellent chance of promotion and perhaps more important than the acquisitions made by Dowie is the fact that Andy Johnson remains an Eagle.

Being only narrowly relegated and with key players staying, Palace fans are optimistic about their chances of success.

Player to watch: Ben Watson
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Top six
Championship winners: If not Palace, Southampton

DERBY by Rams fan Clive Collings

An established manager (George Burley) and five players have left and an inexperienced boss (Phil Brown) and two players have come in.

Yet Pride Park is confident provided Grzegorz Rasiak and Inigo Idiakez stay - Brown appears astute and will be the signing of the summer.

Player to watch: Grzegorz Rasiak
Optimistic finish: Second
Realistic finish: Sixth
Championship winners: Wolves

HULL CITY by Tigers fan Paul Bryant

Following back-to-back promotions, the Tigers have a tough task during their long-awaited return to the second tier of English football.

However, if Stuart Elliott can reproduce his form of last season and the five new signings add the strength they promise then a mid-table finish is well within reach.

Player to watch: Stuart Elliott
Optimistic finish: Play-offs
Realistic finish: Mid-table
Championship winners: Wolves

IPSWICH by Tractor Boys fan Ian Johnson

After a summer of departures, optimism isn't running high at Portman Road - our poor defence is the same as last year, minus a great keeper and our midfield is still very one paced.

On the bright side, our FA Youth Cup win shows that the club has some talented youngsters and they will be crucial to our season.

Player to watch: Sam Parkin
Optimistic finish: Play-offs
Realistic finish: Ninth
Championship winners: Wolves

LEEDS by Whites fan Steve Reddy

A top-six finish looks assured for a Leeds side that now has a squad with depth in all areas of the field blending experience and exciting young talent.

We now have options out wide thanks to the signings of Steve Stone, unfortunately out for the first three months through injury, and Eddie Lewis, while Rob Hulse, Robbie Blake and David Healy will provide the firepower to ensure a successful season

Player to watch: Robbie Blake
Optimistic finish: Second
Realistic finish: Fifth
Championship winners: Wolves

LEICESTER by Foxes fan Jon Eudall

Manager Craig Levein has brought together a good blend of youth and experience and the defence is looking much stronger with the additions of Nils-Eric Johansson and Patrick Kisnorbo.

But I just do not see Mark De Vries scoring 20 goals - we will be better than last year but we will not score enough or be consistent enough to be in play-off contention.

Player to watch: Richard Stearman
Optimistic finish: Fourth
Realistic finish: Eighth
Championship winners: Wolves

LUTON by Hatters fan Michael Cleaver

We have an extremely challenging opening five games, but manager Mike Newell has made two shrewd signings in Carlos Edwards and Warren Feeney.

The core of the team has been together for four years, but lack of a decent stadium will mean if we get in trouble we will struggle to fund a way out of it.

Player to watch: Curtis Davis
Optimistic finish: Sixth
Realistic finish: 14th
Championship winners: Wolves

MILLWALL by Lions fans William Davies

We have got rid of all our top players and we have only brought in Sammy Igoe but we have some top quality young players that are willing to work.

A lack of experience within the team means we will not get into the play-offs, but we have the quality to avoid relegation.

Player to watch: Barry Hayles
Optimistic Finish: Play-off spot
Realistic Finish: Just above relegation
Championship winners: Crystal Palace

NORWICH by Canaries fan Tom Hunter

We have avoided losing our best players in the close season which is a massive bonus - Dean Ashton, Leon Mckenzie, Darren Huckerby and Robert Green will be key in the coming season.

New signing Jason Jarrett should shore up the midfield while in defence our current resources will prove strong in the Championship.

Player to watch: Darren Huckerby
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Fourth
Championship winners: Crystal Palace

PLYMOUTH by Pilgrims fan Tom Graham

If midfielder Akos Buzsaky stays all season we will be all right as he is the best player I have ever seen at Argyle.

Defence is a worry though, especially away, and swapping the rock Graham Coughlan for Taribo West is not inspiring - stability should be our aim.

Player to watch: Akos Buzsaky
Optimistic finish: 10th
Realistic finish: 15th
Championship winners: Crystal Palace

PRESTON by Lilywhites fan Danny Philipson

After a disappointing showing in last season's play-off final, North End's major battle of the summer was won in keeping hold of manager Billy Davies.

With the squad bolstered by the signings of Danny Dichio, Joe Ansinyah and Dave Hibbert, expect us to be play-off contenders once more.

Player to watch: David Nugent
Optimistic finish: Second
Realistic finish: Eighth
Championship winners: Leeds

QPR by Hoops fan Kevin Cole

QPR made a solid return in their first season back in English football's second tier.

Several promising signings, such as Ian Evatt, Tommy Doherty and Stefan Moore suggest further improvement, but the play-offs may just be out of reach.

Player to watch: Danny Shittu
Optimistic finish: Fourth
Realistic finish: Ninth
Championship winners: Norwich

READING by Royals fan John Crowter

The dead wood has gone (Andy Hughes, Paul Brooker and Lloyd Owusu) and has been replaced by exciting youth (Kevin Doyle, Stephen Hunt and Leroy Lita).

This may be one season too early for automatic promotion but the play-offs must be within our grasp.

Player to watch: Kevin Doyle
Optimistic finish: Second
Realistic finish: Fifth
Championship winners: Norwich

SHEFFIELD UNITED by Blades fan Ian Boyden

This could finally be 'the' season for United - the board have actually backed a promotion push by giving manager Neil Warnock some money to spend.

Paul Ifill, Craig Short, Danny Webber, Neil Shipperley, Lilian Nalis have been added to a good team to make it now a team to challenge at the top of the Championship.

Player to watch: Paul Ifill
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Second
Championship winners: Wolves

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY by Owls fan Samuel Winnard

Back in the Championship after two long seasons in League One, Sheffield Wednesday will be battling to maintain Championship status this season.

Hence, boss Paul Sturrock has chosen to spend wisely in the transfer market on defensive and midfield players to bolster the Owls' line up.

Player to watch: John-Paul McGovern
Optimistic finish: 12th
Realistic finish: 20th
Championship winners: Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON by Saints fan Tom James

A decimated squad, low morale and the arrival of a failed rugby manager: but I still believe we can bounce back.

Boss Harry Redknapp has guided a team (Portsmouth) out of the Championship before and we have to believe he can do it again.

Player to watch: Dexter Blackstock
Optimistic Finish: First
Realistic Finish: Fifth
Championship winners: Norwich

STOKE CITY by Potters fan Matthew Jones

At Stoke, we have only one striker on the books (currently injured), a new (unknown) foreign manager in Johan Boskamp and an Icelandic board reluctant to invest.

New signings Peter Sweeney (Millwall) and Mamady Sidibe (Gillingham) will be the ones whom City fans will be watching over, alongside youngster Martin Paterson.

Player to watch: Martin Paterson
Optimistic finish: Pushing for play-offs
Realistic finish: Just above relegation
Championship winners: Crystal Palace

WATFORD by Hornets fan James Hewitt

A new-look team and manager has made many fans optimistic - manager Adrian Boothroyd has bought in several new signings including Marlon King and Jordan Stewart and a few unknowns.

I think, as do many, that we will definitely fair better than last season.

Player to watch: Al Bangura
Optimistic finish: 11th
Realistic finish: 16th
Championship winners: Norwich


Wolves should finish in the top four if the improvement made last season under Glenn Hoddle can be maintained.

When most teams were going through the motions at the end of the season, Wolves were beating promotion hopefuls - and the Jackie McNamara signing is inspired.

Player to watch: Joleon Lescott
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Third
Championship winners: Norwich


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport