Championship preview: The season ahead

Click to follow
The Independent Football


In: O Sodje (York, free).

Out: H Muller (Mainz, £600,000), D Souza (Qatar, free), D Leon (Palmas, free), M Van Homoet, K Letheren (both released).

Manager: Simon Davey. Key man: Brian Howard

Last season: 20th. Title odds: 101-1 (Ladbrokes). Prediction: 22nd. The Tykes may lack the inspiration and goals to stay up.


In: J Euell (Southampton, free).

Out: S Barker (Derby, undisclosed), S Green (Wycombe, free), D Fox (Colchester, free), M Broomes (released).

Manager: Ian Holloway. Key Man: Paul Rachubka.

Last season: 16th. Title odds: 126-1. Prediction: 23rd. Holloway must settle fast to give the Seasiders any chance.

Bristol City

In: L Nyatanga (Derby, undisc), D Haynes (Ipswich, undisc), P Hartley (Celtic, free), D Gerken (Colchester, undisc), D Clarkson (Motherwell, free), A Blackman (Portsmouth, free).

Out: I Irekpen (Hamilton, free), D Adebola (Nottm Forest, free), C Weale (Leicester, free), J Myrie-Williams (Dundee Utd, free), S Murray (Yeovil, free), P Styvar (Xanthi, loan).

Manager: Gary Johnson. Key man: Nicky Maynard.

Last season: 12th. Title odds: 29-1. Prediction: 14th. Mid-table finish beckons as Robins lack real quality in key positions.

Cardiff City

In: M Chopra (Sunderland, £4m), A Gerrard (Walsall, undisc), P Quinn (Motherwell, undisc), M Hudson (Charlton, undisc), D Marshall (Norwich, undisc).

Out: R Johnson (Birmingham, £5m), D Dennehy (Hereford, loan), D Purse (Sheffield Wed, free).

Manager: Dave Jones. Key man: Ross McCormack.

Last season: 7th. Title odds: 23-1. Prediction: 7th. Keeping hold of McCormack could prove vital.

Coventry City

In: S Clingan (Norwich, undisc).

Out: S Dann (Birmingham, undisc), D Fox (Celtic, £1.5m), S Fraser (Falkirk, free), R Simpson (Huddersfield, undisc), D Simmonds (released).

Manager: Chris Coleman. Key man: Keiren Westwood. Last season: 17th. Title odds: 81-1. Prediction: 18th. Goalkeeper Westwood must continue his excellent form to ensure safety.

Crystal Palace

In: S John (Southampton, undisc), D Ambrose (Charlton, free), F Sears (West Ham, loan).

Out: R Wiggins (Norwich, undisc), P Ifill (Wellington, free), J Scowcroft (Leyton Orient, free), C Fletcher (Plymouth, free), S Flinders (released).

Manager: Neil Warnock. Key man: Shaun Derry

Last season: 15th. Title odds: 34-1. Prediction: 16th. Play-offs a pipedream for Warnock's men.

Derby County

In: S Barker (Blackpool, £1m), D Moxey (Exeter, undisc), J Buxton (Burton, undisc), B Pringle (Ilkeston, undisc), L Croft (Norwich, free).

Out: T Mears (Burnley, undisc), L Dickinson (Brighton, undisc), L Nyatanga (Bristol City, undisc), E Villa (Cruz Azul, undisc), A Todd (Perth Glory, free), L Price (Brentford, loan).

Manager: Nigel Clough. Key man: Giles Barnes.

Last season: 18th. Title odds: 21-1. Prediction: 8th. Exciting blend make the Rams an outside bet for playoffs.

Doncaster Rovers

In: None.

Out: R Wellens (Leicester, £1.2m), J Price (Millwall, free), G Greer (Swindon, free).

Manager: Sean O'Driscoll. Key man: Brian Stock

Last season: 14th. Title odds: 67-1. Prediction: 20th. Home form crucial to survival chances.

Ipswich Town

In: C Healy (Cork, undisc), L Martin (Man Utd, undisc), D Delaney (QPR, undisc), S O'Connor (Liverpool, free).

Out: J Rhodes (Huddersfield, undisc), D Harding (Soton, free), D Haynes (Bristol City, free), T Miller (Sheff Wed, free), M Richards, I Campo, C Casement, K Robinson, D Bowditch (all released).

Manager: Roy Keane. Key man: Richard Wright.

Last season: 9th. Title odds: 11-1. Prediction: 6th. Tractor Boys should motor into play-offs with Keane momentum.

Leicester City

In: R Wellens (Doncaster, £1.2m), D N'Guessan (Lincoln, undisc), J Hobbs (Liverpool, undisc), W Brown (Hull, free), C Weale (Bristol City, free), R Neilson (Hearts, free), A Ajdaveric (Liverpool, free).

Out: P Kisnorbo (Leeds, free), B McKay (Northampton, free), B Hayles (Cheltenham, free), J Cobb (Wycombe, free).

Manager: Nigel Pearson. Key man: Matt Fryatt

Last season: 1st (League One)

Title odds: 23-1. Prediction: 12th. Mid-table finish should be certain.


In: D Coyne (Tranmere, free), M Yeates (Colchester, undisc).

Out: S Downing (Aston Villa, £12m), R Turnbull (Chelsea, free), G Owens (Kilmarnock, free).

Manager: Gareth Southgate. Key man: David Wheater.

Last season: 19th (Premier League). Title odds: 7-1. Prediction: 2nd. Southgate's young side need to adapt quickly.

Newcastle United

In: None.

Out: O Martins (Wolfsburg, £9m), M Owen (Man Utd, free), D Edgar (Burnley, free), M Viduka, P Lovenkrands (both released).

Manager: Chris Hughton (caretaker). Key man: Steven Taylor.

Last season: 18th (Premier League). Title odds: 11-2. Prediction: 1st. Toon should still gain promotion, despite off-field woes.

Nottingham Forest

In: C Gunter (Spurs, £1.75m), P McKenna (Preston, £750,000), P Anderson (Liverpool, £250,000), J Lynch (Brighton, £200,000), D Blackstock (QPR, undisc), L Camp (QPR, undisc), D McGoldrick (Southampton, undisc), D Adebola (Bristol City, free), R Majewski (Warsaw, loan).

Out: H Bencherif (Macclesfield, free), M Thornhill (Brighton, loan), M Byrne (Rushden and Diamonds, loan), S Redmond (Burton, loan), J Reid (Rushden and Diamonds, loan), J Heath (Lincoln, loan), B Moloney (Notts County, loan), L Hook, R Whitehurst, R Tait, T Sharpe, E Sinclair, A Newbold, P Gamble, I Breckin (all released).

Manager: Billy Davies. Key man: Chris Gunter.

Last season: 19th. Title odds: 17-1. Prediction: 9th. Could be a danger this season.

Peterborough United

In: D Mills (Crawley, undisc), R McCrae (Crawley, undisc), T Rowe (Stockport, undisc), L Frecklington (Lincoln, undisc), T Diagouraga (Hereford, undisc), K Pearce (Birmingham, loan).

Out: C Westwood (Wycombe, free), S Rendell (Torquay, loan), A Potter (Oxford United, loan).

Manager: Darren Ferguson. Key man: Craig Mackail-Smith.

Last season: 2nd (League One). Title odds: 34-1. Prediction: 15th. All eyes will be on Ferguson as his youthful Posh look to continue their rapid rise.

Plymouth Argyle

In: R Johnson (Amiens, undisc), B Wright-Phillips (Southampton, free), C Fletcher (Crystal Palace, free), K Arnason (Aarhus, free).

Out: J Easter (MK Dons, undisc), Mpenza (Sion, free), R Douala (released).

Manager: Paul Sturrock. Key man: Roman Larrieu.

Last season: 21st. Title odds: 67-1. Prediction: 21st. Lack of funds signals a season of stuggle.

Preston North End

In: None.

Out: P McKenna (Nottm Forest, £750,000), C Neal (Shrewsbury, free), S Whaley (Norwich, undisc).

Manager: Alan Irvine. Key man: Neil Mellor.

Last season: 6th. Title odds: 29-1. Prediction: 13th. Loss of captain McKenna leaves play-offs chances looking remote.

Queens Park Rangers

In: A Pellicori (Avellimo, free), A Taarabt (Spurs, loan).

Out: D Blackstock (Nottm Forest, undisc), L Camp (Nottm Forest, undisc), D Delaney (Ipswich, undisc), J Cole (Barnet, free), Z Rehman (Bradford, free)

Manager: Jim Magilton. Key man: Damion Stewart.

Last season: 10th. Title odds: 19-1. Prediction: 10th. Pressure will be on Magilton if expectations exceed results.


In: None.

Out: K Doyle (Wolves, undisc), M Hahnemann (Wolves, free), M Duberry (Wycombe, free), S Golbourne (Exeter, free), D Spence (Salisbury, free), McCarthy (Yeovil, loan).

Manager: Brendan Rodgers. Key man: Stephen Hunt.

Last season: 4th. Title odds: 15-1. Prediction: 5th. Hunt brothers at heart of push for promotion.

Scunthorpe United

In: A Boyes (York, undisc), R Jones (Hibernian, undisc), M O'Connor (Crewe, undisc), J Wright (Charlton, free).

Out: None.

Manager: Nigel Adkins. Key man: Matt Sparrow.

Last season: 6th (League One). Title odds: 101-1. Prediction: 24th. Relegation favourites will struggle to survive with small squad.

Sheffield United

In: C Evans (Man City, £3m), L Williamson (Watford, undisc), A Taylor (Tranmere, undisc), R France (Hull, free), K Reid (West Ham, free), K Treacy (Blackburn, loan), K Walker (Spurs, loan).

Out: K Naughton (Spurs, undisc), K Walker (Spurs, undisc), J Anderson (Rotherham, free), N Law (Rotherham, free), A Chapman (Oxford, £15,000), K Quinn, B Starosta, D Webber, U Ehiogu (all released).

Manager: Kevin Blackwell. Key man: Ched Evans.

Last season: 3rd. Title odds: 12-1. Prediction: 3rd. Arrival of Evans will sharpen the Blades' promotion efforts.

Sheffield Wednesday

In: D Potter (Wolves, undisc), T Miller (Ipswich, free), D Purse (Cardiff, free).

Out: K Lunt (Hereford, free).

Manager: Brian Laws. Key man: Marcus Tudgay.

Last season: 11th. Title odds: 34-1. Prediction: 17th. Owls supporters likely to languish in neighbours' shadow.

Swansea City

In: N Dyer (Southampton, £400,000), J Lopez (Real Mallorca, undisc), S Dobie (Queen of the South, free).

Out: J Scotland (Wigan, £2m), O Tudor-Jones (Norwich, undisc), C Jones (Grimsby, free).

Manager: Paulo Sousa. Key man: Ferrie Bodde.

Last season: 8th. Title odds: 34-1. Prediction: 11th. High-profile exits likely to hamper their promotion hopes.


In: J Travner (CMC Publikum Celje, undisc), D Graham (Carlisle, free), S Severin (Aberdeen, free).

Out: T Robinson (Huddersfield, undisc), L Williamson (Sheffield United, undisc), S Searle (MK Dons, free).

Manager: Malky Mackay. Key man: Jay DeMerit.

Last season: 13th. Title odds: 51-1. Prediction: 19th. Another transitional year.

West Bromwich Albion

In: S Cox (Swindon, £1.5m).

Out: S MacDonald (Germinal, £650,000), Kim Do-Heon (Suwon Samsung Bluewings, £360,000), L Daniels (Tranmere, loan), P Robinson (Bolton, loan).

Manager: Roberto Di Matteo. Key man: Jonathan Greening.

Last season: 20th (Premier League). Title odds: 7-1. Prediction: 4th. May just miss out.