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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Championship Preview - Part 1

The 2012-2013 Football League campaign is due to kick-off on Friday. Vital Posh looks at the sides in the Championship and rates their chances for the coming season.

Cardiff City entertain Championship new boys Huddersfield Town on Friday evening in the season launching match.

The Championship seems to get tougher each season and this season is no exception with the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers dropping down from the Premiership while some former big names in Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield have made the step up from League One.

There are now just six Championship teams who have never played in the Premiership! They are Posh, Brighton and Hove Albion, Bristol City, Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Millwall.

It`s bound to be another action packed season with many ups and downs as well as some surprises. Last seasons Premiership sides will all want to bounce back at the first attempt, but as many teams have found out over the years, it`s not that easy!

There will be many battles at the top of the league as well as the bottom but yet again, there won`t be much of a difference between the teams.



BARNSLEY

Manager: Keith Hill

Nickname: The Tykes

Ground: Oakwell

Capacity: 23,009

Players In
NameFromCost
Ben AlnwickTottenhamFree
Lee CollinsPort Vale50,000
Tomasz CywkaReadingFree
Kelvin EtuhuPortsmouthFree
Marlon HarewoodFreeFree
Jacob MellisChelseaFree
MidoZamalekFree
Toni SilvaLiverpoolFree




Players Out
NameToCost
Jacob ButterfieldNorwichUndisclosed
David CotterillDoncasterFree
Nathan DoyleBradfordFree
Andy GrayReleasedReleased
Jay McEveleySwindonFree
David PreeceReleasedReleased
Alistair TaylorReleasedReleased


Key Player: Former Posh goalkeeper Luke Steele

Chances: Having just avoided relegation last season, Barnsley could yet again struggle to stay in the Championship. Keith Hill has signed some journeymen in an attempt to provide experience, but look where experienced journeymen got Doncaster last season! It could be a long season.

Position Last Season: 21st

Vital Posh Prediction: 23rd

Odds: 150/1





BIRMINGHAM CITY

Manager: Lee Clark

Nickname: Blues

Ground: St Andrews

Capacity: 30,009

Players In
NameFromCost
Darren AmbroseCrystal Palace280,000
Ben GordonChelseaLoan
Peter LovenkrandsNewcastleFree
David LucasRochdaleFree
Ravel MorrisonWest HamSeason Loan
Hayden MullinsPortsmouthUndisclosed


Players Out
NameToCost
Caleb FolanReleasedReleased
Ben FosterWBA4.4million
Luke HubbinsAFC TelfordFree
Cian HughtonReleasedReleased
Jordon MutchCardiff1.1million
Ashley SammonsReleasedReleased
Enric VallesReleasedReleased


Key Player: A tough decision as the squad looks strong. Peter Lovenkrands will be vital for scoring the goals but the key player is defender Curtis Davis who could be the difference between an automatic promotion place and a play-off spot.

Chances: Without the distraction of European football this season, the Blues have every chance on improving on their 4th place finish. Some quality players have been added to the squad alongside some unknown quantities. The only doubt is whether new manager Lee Clark can get them playing his style of football and whether it proves to be successful.

Position Last Season: 4th

Vital Posh Prediction: 2nd

Odds: 18/1





BLACKBURN ROVERS

Manager: Steve Kean

Nickname: Rovers

Ground: Ewood Park

Capacity: 31,154

Players In
NameFromCost
Leon BestNewcastle3million
Dickson EtuhuFulham1.5million
Nuno GomesBragaFree
Paulo JorgeFC Porto BUndisclosed
Colin Kazim-RichardsGalatasarayLoan
Edinho JuniorOlhanense500,000
Danny MurphyFulhamFree
Fabio NunesPortimonenseUndisclosed


Players Out
NameToCost
Zac AleyReleased Released
Myles AndersonAldershotLoan
Nick BlackmanSheffield UnitedUndisclosed
Ryan EdwardsRochdale6-month Youth Loan
Herold GoulonReleased Released
Vince GrellaReleased Released
Junior HoilettQPRFree
Jamie MacLarenReleased Released
Matthew PearsonRochdaleFree
Jackson RammColchesterFree
Michel SalgadoReleased Released
Jordan SlewOldhamLoan
Ayegbeni YakubuGuangzhou R&F1million


Key Player: Danny Murphy

Chances: Rovers have made some quality signings for the Championship but the pressure will be on manager Steve Kean right from the off. If things don`t go to plan, Kean could be one of the managerial casualties this season. The squad should easily be good enough to finish in the play-offs.

Position Last Season: 19th in Premier League

Vital Posh Prediction: 3rd

Odds: 10/1





BLACKPOOL

Manager: Ian Holloway

Nickname: The Seasiders, Tangerines

Ground: Bloomfield Road

Capacity: 16,220

Players In
NameFromCost
Jake CapriceCrystal PalaceFree
James CatonFree AgentFree
Adda DjeziriFree AgentFree
Tiago GomesFree AgentFree
Alberto NogueraFree AgentFree
Isaiah OsbourneHibernian250,000
Scott RobertsonDundee UnitedFree


Players Out
NameToCost
Daniel BogdanovicReleasedReleased
Matt HillSheffield UnitedFree
Stephen HusbandReleasedReleased
Lomana LuaLuaKarabuksporFree
Brett OrmerodWrexhamFree
Keith SouthernHuddersfield300,000


Key Player: Matt Phillips

Chances: No well-known names have arrived at Blackpool so it depends on how well they integrate with the rest of the team and whether they can improve on what they had last season. Made the play-offs last season but could miss out this time around.

Position Last Season: 5th

Vital Posh Prediction: 8th

Odds: 16/1





BOLTON WANDERERS

Manager: Owen Coyle

Nickname: The Trotters

Ground: Reebok Stadium

Capacity: 28,723

Players In
NameFromCost
Benik AfobeArsenalSeason Loan
Keith AndrewsWBAFree
Andy LonerganLeeds United280,000
Joe McKeeFree AgentFree
Matt MillsLeicester City2.2million


Players Out
NameToCost
Rhys BennettRochdaleFree
Robbie BlakeDoncasterFree
Mark ConnollyCrawleyFree
Sean DavisUnattached Released
Tom EckersleyAccrington StanleyFree
Dino FazlicUnattached Released
Ricardo GardnerUnattached Released
Jussi JaaskelainenWest Ham UnitedFree
Ivan KlasnicUnattachedReleased
Fabrice MuambaRetiredRetired
Tope ObadeyiRio AveFree
Nigel Reo-CokerReleasedReleased
Paul RobinsonUnattached Released
Gretar SteinssonUnattachedReleased


Key Player: Matt Mills

Chances: Dropping down to the Championship has seen a bit of a clear out with just a small number of players coming in through the door. A good solid squad should easily manage the weekly grind and make it back to the Premiership.



Position Last Season: 18th in the Premier League

Vital Posh Prediction: Champions

Odds: 7/1





BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION

Manager: Gus Poyet

Nickname: The Seagulls

Ground: American Express Community Stadium

Capacity: 22,374

Players In
NameFromCost
Wayne BridgeManchester CityLoan
Andrew CroftsNorwich CityUndisclosed
Tomasz KuszczakManchester UnitedFree
Bruno SaltorValenciaFree


Players Out
NameToCost
Tommy ElphickBournemouth Undisclosed
Jake Forster-CaskeyOxford United Loan
David GonzalezUnattachedReleased
Grant HallTottenham Free
Yaser KasimLuton Town Loan
Alan NavarroSwindonFree
Michael PokeTorquayFree
Leon RedwoodUnattachedReleased


Key Player: Vicente

Chances: Surprised many last season by sustaining their form throughout the season. They have an excellent manager in Poyet who is building an experienced team. Brought in Kuszczak as he looks to sort out his goalkeeping problems but having seen him perform for Watford in the latter half of last season, he may not be the solution.

Position Last Season: 10th

Vital Posh Prediction: 11th

Odds: 14/1





BRISTOL CITY

Manager: Derek McInnes

Nickname: The Robins

Ground: Ashton Gate

Capacity: 21,497

Players In
NameFromCost
Paul AndersonNottingham ForestFree
Greg CunninghamManchester City Undisclosed
Tom HeatonCardiff CityFree
Jody MorrisSt JohnstoneFree


Players Out
NameToCost
Danny BallBath CityFree
Jamal Campbell-RyceNotts CountyFree
David ClarksonBristol RoversFree
Marlon JacksonHereford UnitedFree
David JamesUnattachedReleased
Jamie McAllisterYeovilFree
Henry MuggeridgeUnattachedReleased
Christian RibeiroScunthorpeFree


Key Player: Albert Adomah

Chances: Struggled last season despite a change of manager. Very few players have arrived in the summer and it`s hard to see how they will avoid relegation.

Position Last Season: 20th

Vital Posh Prediction: 24th

Odds: 66/1





BURNLEY

Manager: Eddie Howe

Nickname: The Clarets

Ground: Turf Moor

Capacity: 22,546

Players In
NameFromCost
Joseph MillsReadingSeason Loan
Luke O`NeilMansfield220,000
George PorterLeyton OrientUndisclosed
Jason ShackellDerby County1.1million
Brian StockDoncasterUndisclosed
Sam VokesWolves558,000


Players Out
NameToCost
Andre AmougouReleasedReleased
Tom AndersonBarrowLoan
Clarke CarlisleReleasedReleased
Brian EastonReleasedReleased
Alex-Ray HarveyBarrowFree
Joe JacksonBarrowLoan
Dominic KnowlesReleasedReleased
David LynchReleasedReleased
Joe McKeeReleasedReleased
Jay RodriguezSouthampton7.6million
Ross WilsonReleasedReleased
Neil YadolahiReleasedReleased


Key Player: Charlie Austin

Chances: Will miss Rodriguez and will have to rely greatly on Austin to bag the goals. Howe possesses a good young squad and if they can find some consistency, they should improve on last seasons position.

Position Last Season: 13th

Vital Posh Prediction: 9th

Odds: 33/1





CARDIFF CITY

Manager: Malky Mackay

Nickname: The Bluebirds

Ground: Cardiff City Stadium

Capacity: 26,828

Players In
NameFromCost
Craig BellamyLiverpoolFree
Kim Bo-kyungCerezo Osaka2.6million
Heidar HelgusonQPRUndisclosed
Filip KissSlovan Bratislava 500,000
Joe LewisPeterborough UnitedFree
Jordon MutchBirmingham City1.1million
Etien VelikonjaMaribor 1.8million


Players Out
NameToCost
Alex EvansReleasedReleased
Anthony GerrardHuddersfield396,000
Tom HeatonBristol CityFree
Jon MeadesReleasedReleased
Kenny MillerVancouver 563,000
Lee NaylorReleasedReleased
Jon ParkinFleetwood Free
Paul QuinnDoncasterFree
Jordan SantiagoReleasedReleased
Aaron WildigShrewsburyFree


Key Player: Peter Whittingham

Chances: Have been there or there abouts for a number of years but could find it tougher this season. Despite adding a couple of decent players they could come undone if Joe Lewis claims the number one jersey!

Position Last Season: 6th

Vital Posh Prediction: 10th

Odds: 11/1





CHARLTON

Manager: Chris Powell

Nickname: The Addicks

Ground: The Valley

Capacity: 27,111

Players In
NameFromCost
Jordan CookSunderlandFree
Slaim KerkarRangersFree
Lawrie WilsonStevenage554,000


Players Out
NameToCost
Mikel AlonsoReleasedReleased
Gary DohertyWycombeFree
Jason EuellReleasedReleased
Conor GoughBristol RoversFree
Tosan PopoReleasedReleased
Freddie WarrenBarnetFree


Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Chances: Chris Powell will hope they continue the momentum from winning League One last season. Very few players have arrived as Powell is putting his faith in the players that got him promotion. This could be costly as Peterborough United found out three seasons ago when they only made a handful of signings as Darren Ferguson kept faith with his existing players. Posh came last in that disastrous season!

Position Last Season: 1st in League One

Vital Posh Prediction: 18th

Odds: 20/1





CRYSTAL PALACE

Manager: Dougie Freedman

Nickname: The Eagles

Ground: Selhurst Park

Capacity: 26,309

Players In
NameFromCost
Aaron MartinSouthamptonSeason Loan
Peter RamageFree AgentFree
Joel WardPortsmouth572,000
Aaron WilbrahamNorwich CityFree


Players Out
NameToCost
Darren AmbroseBirmingham City280,000
Calvin AndrewReleasedReleased
Jake CapriceBlackpoolFree
Nathaniel ClyneSouthampton2.8million
Anthony GardnerSheff WednesdayFree
Lee HillsStevenageFree
Charlie HolnessReleasedReleased
Antonio PedrozaMonarcas MoreliaUndisclosed
Nathaniel PinneyReleasedReleased
Sean ScannellHuddersfield985,600


Key Player: Wilfred Zaha

Chances: Done well to keep hold of Zaha but have lost some influential players. Could struggle this season but they should just escape the clutches of relegation.



Position Last Season: 17th

Vital Posh Prediction: 20th

Odds: 66/1





DERBY COUNTY

Manager: Nigel Clough

Nickname: The Rams

Ground: Pride Park

Capacity: 33,597

Players In
NameFromCost
Paul CouttsPreston167,200
Michael JacobsNorthampton554,400
Richard KeoghCoventryUndisclosed
James O`ConnorDoncasterUndisclosed


Players Out
NameToCost
Paul GreenLeeds UnitedFree
James SevernScunthorpeFree
Chris MaguireSheff Wednesday277,200
Lee CroftOldhamSeason Loan
Miles AddisonBournemouthUndisclosed
Jason ShackellBurnley1.1million
Callum BallCoventrySeason Loan


Key Player: Paul Coutts

Chances: Were comfortable mid-table last season and can expect more of the same.

Position Last Season: 12th

Vital Posh Prediction: 12th

Odds: 40/1



All odds obtained from Paddy Power



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The Journalist

Writer: mwl1967 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 17 2012

Time: 4:31PM

 

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