Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Football League Preview and Picks 2014/15

It's known as one of the hardest leagues in Europe easy to slip into hard to get out of, the 'English Championship'.18 of the 24 teams have tasted Premier League football which 3 will be the lucky ones to return to the top table. 

From the 3 sides that went down last season all could make a challenge to get back up at the first time of asking. Cardiff City who won the league last time they were here have brought in Le Fondre & Macheda but the losses of Caulker, Campbell, Mutch & Medel could be more of an issue. Norwich City I think are in the best shape to return. Their team on paper already is stacked with players who are more than capable of doing a job in the Championship. Hoolahan, Johnson, Howson & Pilkington should control most games from midfield, Grabbon will also get a lot of goals in this team. If Gary Hooper decides to turn up it could be a partnership like Ings & Vokes of Burnley last season, look how that ended.

Fulham were the third team to go down it will be interesting to see how they cope after an extended stay in the Premier League. Now with a young squad, Eisfeid is a good signing from Arsenal and the likes of Taggart, Dembele & Woodrow should get more playing time. The pressure will be on Ross McCormack with his £11m price tag over his head an instant return to the top league will be the only way to justify that ridiculous fee. I don't think they will make it though. Derby felt that heartbreak of the play-offs McClaren's men will be hoping to go that one step further. They have kept pretty much the same team that were beaten by QPR at Wembley Stadium and the manner of the loss is all the momentum they will need this season. 

Nottingham Forest were a tip I would have gone with and had a good chance of a play-off spot with Pearce in charge. However it looks like off the field antics could once again distract Forest. Wigan were a popular pick last season especially for the play-offs but they lost out to QPR in the semi finals. Uwe Rosler has a tag of a quality manager, he did well in League One but he has to prove he can take this very talented Wigan side up now for me to be impressed.

There's always a team that take the momentum of promotion the previous season to the next level, I think Wolves will be that team. They are too big for League 1 and with Kenny Jackett at the helm a manager who knows this league well they should have a comfortable season.

Blackpool look doomed really with a hard summer trying to find players you have to say they look like their heading for the drop already. Same goes for Brentford a team that were too good for League One with their brand of football, but its quite a leap as the those Premier League clubs slide down their home form will be key to their survival and if Mark Warburton can cope with the Championship as its a league were even the most trusting of chairman get itchy trigger fingers. I must add though scoring goals in the Championship gets you far so Blackburn and Watford could have good season with Rhodes and Vydra respectively. 

Millwall & Charlton tend to struggle most season but do just enough to escape the drop. Leeds were treading on the thinnest of thin ice last season, if it went on a few weeks more they could have gone. Play-Off winners Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield will be in the mix too.

So my picks, for the Championship

Blackburn (Play-Offs)



League One

Preston North End
Sheffield United

Port Vale

League Two 



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