Thursday, 1 August 2013
Football League 2013-14 Preview and Picks
In one of the toughest leagues in the world to get out of, it looks like a burial ground of ex Premier League clubs. 18 of the 24 sides have played in the top flight and will be looking to get back to the promise land. The favourites, the richest and the ones that will be looking for an instant jump back is QPR. After gambling on the big names, big money deals and wages Rangers 2 year stay in the top flight ended in humiliating fashion last year. They need to go up first time of asking, as a lot of players are on silly money with years to go on their contracts. They can’t get them all out so promotion is the number one target for the west London money bags, no matter what the chairman says. They have done well to shift some of them out the door but a lot of players who let QPR down last year will still be around come kick off. A strong start will be vital so they can sake off the negative energy of last season.
I expect Reading to be up near the top of the table, there in a much better state then the rest of the teams who went down, with a good manager in charge I think they will challenge. I feel Leeds will finally challenge properly this season, if they get a good start the fans will flock in and come those cold winter months Elland Road could be a very difficult place to go. Their transfer budget is tight but with a group of decent Championship level strikers they should be near the top. Watford look to have collected most of the loan stars from last season on permanent deals, it will be interesting if they have such a big impact this time around.
As you know with the Championship it can be very random and anyone could pop up with a challenge the surprise package could be Nottingham Forest with fan favourite Billy Davies in charge they do have a few good players at this level and could break into the top 6. Mick McCarthy has the experience for getting teams up from this league, Ipswich ended last year well and have a chance of reaching the play-offs. Blackburn Rovers could also have a good season, Jordan Rhodes is the best finisher in the league so if the other Rovers players get their act together they could be near the play off zone.
Runners Up: QPR
Play-Offs Winners: Leeds
Wolves are the heavy favourites for League One and rightly so. After bombing through the Championship in one year there the big fish in the League One pond. They should win the league with ease, however if you look at Sheffield United how have been messing around in this league for way to long, if they don't do it straight away it could be a long road ahead. They have the stadium and fan power to dominate this league, automatic promotion is the minimum.
The way Brentford sensational blew the chance of promotion TWICE says to me they will really want to avenge those mistakes. However is it the case of they blew the best chance they will ever get? Peterborough are the case of too good for this league, not good enough for the Championship they will be near the top. MK Dons could be ones to watch out for having just missed out on the play-off last season also relegated Bristol City should be around the top 6.
Runner Up: Peterborough
Play-Off Winner: MK Dons
Similar to League One with Wolves, Portmouth are heavy favourites to win this league. Their fall from FA Cup winners has been epic, I don't see them winning the league. Cheltenham and Northampton missed out in the play-offs last year and they could make it one step further and grab an automatic promotion place. Southend also have a good season with experienced manager Phil Brown in charge.
Promoted: Portsmouth, Cheltenham
Play-Off Winners: Southend