2011/12 Championship Favorites
I think we are going to be in for a treat next season in the Championship. These are not official favorites, but here is my take on who I think has to be in with a chance of promotion. You may be surprised not to see Cardiff in my prediction however I feel that with their losing mentality now they could collapse. I say this from experience as a Preston North End fan, we was in the play-offs 3 seasons out of 5 and narrowly missed out on the others, and now look at us! Anyway these are the teams I think have a strong chance of winning the League and being promoted;
WEST HAM UNITED - although they are going to lose a bunch of quality players, you have to feel that with the young players there that we know are going to stay, they have to be one of the favorites. With the likes of Jack Collison and Zavon Hines there, already with premier league experience, they will cause many championship defences problems. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see them make an instant return.
BLACKPOOL - as a lilywhite, it pains me to admit this, but should Blackpool keep hold of Ian Holloway and continue to play their style of football, they are most likely favorites for the league title. I hope I am wrong and that they lose all their major assets including Holloway, and that football manager 2011 has got it right and they plummet down the leagues!
BIRMINGHAM CITY - I'm not too sure about Birmingham's chances, sure they have the investment, and there is the immediate attraction of playing in Europe. This however could hurt them in the league, what is already a small squad and will get smaller when some of the bigger players leave, they are going to have to contend with 46 league matches alongside the dreaded Europa League, something which Premier League sides are often effected by, and they have 8 league matches less. Due to the investment however, the are strong favorites, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish mid table, even more so if they lose the services of Alex McLeish.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST - Forest are now a very good team, but have a manager jinxed in the play-offs. However, should they add a few more players, they are more than capable of automatic promotion.
LEEDS UNITED - Should Leeds add a few more players to their already impressive squad, their fan base and manager should give them the edge next year to make the play-offs at least.
LEICESTER CITY - I won't go into too much detail as I will be writing a report on Leicester's spending power soon. They have to be title contenders, already with a number of proven premier league players on their books, they are looking to add and Sven has been told to spend his way to the promise land. Recent weeks they have been linked with Beckham, Heskey and many more proven players. Although these players are aging and their golden years are behind them, it is a clever move by Leicester City as not only should it give them a much better chance of getting promotion, they will make profits on replica shirts too, which will of course make the wages all that more affordable, and lets face it, with the investment or not, Leicester's fan base proves they can.
OUTSIDE SHOT -
HULL CITY - as we always see, one team comes out of the blue, and for no specific reason, I am going to have a punt at Hull regaining their Premiership status.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think someone else is in with a chance? Leave a comment.