Thursday, 4 August 2016
Football League Preview 2016/17
The Championship this season looks harder than ever. Some heavy hitters and big names now clog up second tier of English football. With so many teams that have tasted top flight football, whose looking like they will make a return to the top flight. Here's my preview of what should be a very competitive season.
From the teams relegated from the Premier League last season Newcastle look the most likely to make an instant return. I would be shocked if Newcastle doesn’t win the league by at least 8 points. Rafa has the skills to do one job and focus on one thing, get them back up. They have enough about them to bounce right back to the top flight. Some smart Championship buys in Grant Hanley, Matt Ritchie & Dwight Gayle they should win the league quite comfortably. Then it’s just the massive scrap for the rest.
Aston Villa also went down last season they were pretty horrendous from start to finish. Players were not focused and enjoyed more of their holidays, smoking, drinking and Twitter posting than anything else. Villa were a joke, some may say they still are. Roberto Di Matteo could have quite a job trying to get this teams harmony back as Villa were quite rotten. I can see them getting into the play offs but they will be a team everyone wants to beat so it will be a tough season.
Norwich also went down however, they already look set for a top 6 finish. Some proven Championship players like Jonny Howson, Wes Hoolahan, Steven Naismith, Matt Jarvis you know these players will a job in this league. They could be a little light up top though.
Brighton are expected to improve on their unexpected success last season with a good manager in Chris Houghton they should be in the mix again. The one thing about the Championship if you have a proven scorer and a half decent midfield it gets you far. Nobody can really defend well. Brighton picked up Glenn Murray on loan from Bournemouth he will do well. Another side who may have been punching above their weight last season were Brentford this time around I think they will finish a little lower than last year's 9th.
Cardiff City also had a good season but a lack of budget and with big money being thrown around at the top of the Championship this year they may slide back down to mid-table. Derby always seems to be up there all season but always find a new way to mess it up. Even with Nigel Pearson at the helm I think Derby will still won't win promotion.
A dark horse this year could be Leeds, getting Garry Monk in could be a stroke of genius. Kemar Roofe who banged in the goals for Oxford, he arrived this summer. The owner is a bit crazy & has promised the Leeds fans money back if they don’t make top 6! I think Leeds if they get a good start and the fans start flooding back it could be a very good season at Elland Road.
Money bags Wolves expect the unexpected at the Molineux now. Unless they do miracles personally I can’t see them doing much this season. From the rest QPR will be quite interesting this season. Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink had basically a free hit last season did what he wanted. Now QPR have got their books in order (ish) the bad eggs have gone so what next? QPR do have one of the best keepers in the league (Alex Smithies). The defence is solid, but like I have mentioned, you need a goal scorer in this league. QPR have still not replaced Charlie Austin, Conor Washignton needs to step up this season after a very quiet start in front of goal. Tjaronn Chery as long Rangers don’t foolishly play him on the wing could be very good this year.
Sheffield Wednesday are another side I think can do really well. A big support, lost out in the play off final last season. A strike force of Steven Fletcher & Gary Hooper if they click could be one of the best in the league.
So my picks for the Championship this season are:
1. Newcastle United
2. Sheffield Wednesday
5. Aston Villa
1. Scunthorpe United
Follow me for more football chat this season. Also my Premier League and European preview coming soon