Monday, 31 July 2017

FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2017/18 PREVIEW


In what's known as the toughest league of the world to get out of, the Championship this season is looking like a real battle, to just survive never mind winning it.

Here's my preview on what will once again be a bumpy ride of a season, The 46 game slog-fest starts on Friday night when Nottingham Forest face Millwall & Derby travel to newly relegated Sunderland. So who will live up to the pre season hype? Who will flatter to deceive? And who will be the shock team of the season?

Middlesbrough have spent big, splashing out £9m on Martin Braithwaite from Toulose & Britt Assombalonga £15m from Forest. Gary Monk is in as new manager,  surprising he left Leeds, but it's a unstable situation there. At The Riverside Boro' look the best bet to go straight back up at the first time of asking.

Sunderland who also went down look like there in a bit of a mess and things could get even worse. There better players have all jumped ship. The big earners who have done nothing (Rodwell comes to mind) they can't shift, With off the field matters growing over The Stadium of Light and a disgruntle fan base, the Black Cats could well bomb through the Championship if there not too careful. The Chairman also wants too sell up. Hull City have brought in no one of great importance player wise for me. They have got in a new Russian face in Leonid Slutsky as manager.

Also in with a chance this season, Derby they should do better this year with Gary Rowett. They have re-signed Tom Huddlestone which is good, but have lost Tom Ince and Will Hughes though. Fulham who just missed out in the play-offs I expect to be up there again. Also for me the likes of Norwich City should challenge a lot stronger this season.

The surprise pack of the season could be Wolverhampton Wanderers.This summer they have landed Ruben Neves from FC Porto for a whopping £15 million, Diogo Jota from Atletico Madrid on loan and John Ruddy on a free. A new manager in the hot seat too, as Nuno Santo takes over at a very exciting time at Wolves. Elsewhere in the Midlands exciting times at St Andrews to. Harry Redknapp after keeping Birmingham in the Championship (just about) decided that he's back and ready for full time employment. He was up to his usual tricks being linked with Ashley Cole, Stewart Downing and Robbie Keane this summer. Classic Redknapp that, Birmingham fans it will not be boring. Staying in the Midlands and over to the biggest club there Aston Villa. All eyes were on them this summer as they brought in Mr Popular John Terry. Pressure will be on Steve Bruce to finish a lot higher then 13th. He is banking on experience bringing in Chris Samba (remember him) Glenn Whelan and Ahmed Elmonhamady. Scott Hogan and Jonathan Kodija up top, Grealish should have a bigger role to play this year too. Aston Villa are looking in very good shape.

Again there's a strong Yorkshire contingent in the Championship this year, for me Sheffield Wednesday should do the best.

Down in London I mentioned Fulham already, as for QPR there looking in solid danger this season. Rangers only just about survived last term and that was because the teams behind them just ran out of games to catch them. Only one new face through the door so far, Josh Scowen from Barnsley. In a team that struggled so badly last season they struggled to score and let them in at the back for fun. So the team needed investment, help and new faces. However QPR are not spending like they once did. The feel good factor could wear off with Holloway very quick if QPR have a bad start. Millwall up form League 1 will be near the bottom half for most of the season but I don't think they will go down. Brentford much like Fulham easy on the eye and play good football. They should finish around mid table once again.

Its easy to say the promoted clubs will struggle but Sheffield United and Bolton should have just about enough to survive. The likes of Ipswich Town and Barnsley could struggle this season, and get caught in a bit of a mess this season due to just a lack of investment. You have seen the amount of cash some clubs are spending even if the Championship its big numbers. Reading were punching above their weight last season, this year I can't see them as high. So for me I will go for:
Championship
Winners - Aston Villa
Promoted - Wolverhampton Wanderers, Middlesbrough
Relegation - Burton, Ipswich, Barnsley (I can't write QPR)

League One
Winners Wigan
Promotion Portsmouth, Bradford
Relegation - Blackpool, Walsall, Gillingham, Plymouth

League Two
Winners - Coventry
Promotion  -Luton, Swindon, Wycombe
Relegation -  Morecambe and Newport

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