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Championship Preview - Part 1

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.


Manager: Keith Hill

Nickname: The Tykes

Ground: Oakwell

Capacity: 23,009

Players In
Ben AlnwickTottenhamFree
Lee CollinsPort Vale£50,000
Tomasz CywkaReadingFree
Kelvin EtuhuPortsmouthFree
Marlon HarewoodFreeFree
Jacob MellisChelseaFree
Toni SilvaLiverpoolFree

Players Out
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


Manager: Lee Clark

Nickname: Blues

Ground: St Andrews

Capacity: 30,009

Players In
Darren AmbroseCrystal Palace£280,000
Ben GordonChelseaLoan
Peter LovenkrandsNewcastleFree
David LucasRochdaleFree
Ravel MorrisonWest HamSeason Loan
Hayden MullinsPortsmouthUndisclosed

Players Out
Caleb FolanReleasedReleased
Ben FosterWBA£4.4million
Luke HubbinsAFC TelfordFree
Cian HughtonReleasedReleased
Jordon MutchCardiff£1.1million
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


Manager: Steve Kean

Nickname: Rovers

Ground: Ewood Park

Capacity: 31,154

Players In
Leon BestNewcastle£3million
Dickson EtuhuFulham£1.5million
Nuno GomesBragaFree
Paulo JorgeFC Porto BUndisclosed
Colin Kazim-RichardsGalatasarayLoan
Edinho JuniorOlhanense£500,000
Danny MurphyFulhamFree
Fabio NunesPortimonenseUndisclosed

Players Out
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&F£1million

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


Manager: Ian Holloway

Nickname: The Seasiders, Tangerines

Ground: Bloomfield Road

Capacity: 16,220

Players In
Jake CapriceCrystal PalaceFree
James CatonFree AgentFree
Adda DjeziriFree AgentFree
Tiago GomesFree AgentFree
Alberto NogueraFree AgentFree
Isaiah OsbourneHibernian£250,000
Scott RobertsonDundee UnitedFree

Players Out
Daniel BogdanovicReleasedReleased
Matt HillSheffield UnitedFree
Stephen HusbandReleasedReleased
Lomana LuaLuaKarabuksporFree
Brett OrmerodWrexhamFree
Keith SouthernHuddersfield£300,000

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


Manager: Owen Coyle

Nickname: The Trotters

Ground: Reebok Stadium

Capacity: 28,723

Players In
Benik AfobeArsenalSeason Loan
Keith AndrewsWBAFree
Andy LonerganLeeds United£280,000
Joe McKeeFree AgentFree
Matt MillsLeicester City£2.2million

Players Out
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


Manager: Gus Poyet

Nickname: The Seagulls

Ground: American Express Community Stadium

Capacity: 22,374

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

Players Out
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


Manager: Derek McInnes

Nickname: The Robins

Ground: Ashton Gate

Capacity: 21,497

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

Players Out
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


Manager: Eddie Howe

Nickname: The Clarets

Ground: Turf Moor

Capacity: 22,546

Players In
Joseph MillsReadingSeason Loan
Luke O`NeilMansfield£220,000
George PorterLeyton OrientUndisclosed
Jason ShackellDerby County£1.1million
Brian StockDoncasterUndisclosed
Sam VokesWolves£558,000

Players Out
Andre AmougouReleasedReleased
Tom AndersonBarrowLoan
Clarke CarlisleReleasedReleased
Brian EastonReleasedReleased
Alex-Ray HarveyBarrowFree
Joe JacksonBarrowLoan
Dominic KnowlesReleasedReleased
David LynchReleasedReleased
Joe McKeeReleasedReleased
Jay RodriguezSouthampton£7.6million
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


Manager: Malky Mackay

Nickname: The Bluebirds

Ground: Cardiff City Stadium

Capacity: 26,828

Players In
Craig BellamyLiverpoolFree
Kim Bo-kyungCerezo Osaka£2.6million
Heidar HelgusonQPRUndisclosed
Filip KissSlovan Bratislava £500,000
Joe LewisPeterborough UnitedFree
Jordon MutchBirmingham City£1.1million
Etien VelikonjaMaribor £1.8million

Players Out
Alex EvansReleasedReleased
Anthony GerrardHuddersfield£396,000
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


Manager: Chris Powell

Nickname: The Addicks

Ground: The Valley

Capacity: 27,111

Players In
Jordan CookSunderlandFree
Slaim KerkarRangersFree
Lawrie WilsonStevenage£554,000

Players Out
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


Manager: Dougie Freedman

Nickname: The Eagles

Ground: Selhurst Park

Capacity: 26,309

Players In
Aaron MartinSouthamptonSeason Loan
Peter RamageFree AgentFree
Joel WardPortsmouth£572,000
Aaron WilbrahamNorwich CityFree

Players Out
Darren AmbroseBirmingham City£280,000
Calvin AndrewReleasedReleased
Jake CapriceBlackpoolFree
Nathaniel ClyneSouthampton£2.8million
Anthony GardnerSheff WednesdayFree
Lee HillsStevenageFree
Charlie HolnessReleasedReleased
Antonio PedrozaMonarcas MoreliaUndisclosed
Nathaniel PinneyReleasedReleased
Sean ScannellHuddersfield£985,600

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


Manager: Nigel Clough

Nickname: The Rams

Ground: Pride Park

Capacity: 33,597

Players In
Paul CouttsPreston£167,200
Michael JacobsNorthampton£554,400
Richard KeoghCoventryUndisclosed
James O`ConnorDoncasterUndisclosed

Players Out
Paul GreenLeeds UnitedFree
James SevernScunthorpeFree
Chris MaguireSheff Wednesday£277,200
Lee CroftOldhamSeason Loan
Miles AddisonBournemouthUndisclosed
Jason ShackellBurnley£1.1million
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


twitter Follow me on Twitter: @mwl1967

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Friday August 17 2012
Time: 4:31PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 45 29 10 6 97 44
2 Bolton 45 24 11 10 83 29
3 Fleetwood 45 23 12 10 81 21
4 Scunthorpe 45 23 10 12 79 24
5 Bradford 45 20 18 7 78 19
6 Millwall 45 19 13 13 70 8
7 Southend 45 19 12 14 69 16
8 Rochdale 45 19 11 15 68 9
9 Oxford 45 19 9 17 66 11
10 Bristol Rovers 45 18 12 15 66 -1
11 Peterborough 45 17 11 17 62 3
12 MK Dons 45 15 13 17 58 -1
13 Walsall 45 14 16 15 58 -4
14 Charlton 45 13 18 14 57 4
15 Wimbledon 45 13 17 15 56 -3
16 Northampton 45 14 10 21 52 -13
17 Oldham 45 12 16 17 52 -13
18 Shrewsbury 45 13 12 20 51 -15
19 Bury 45 13 11 21 50 -11
20 Gillingham 45 12 13 20 49 -20
21 Port Vale 45 12 12 21 48 -25
R Swindon 45 11 11 23 44 -19
R Coventry 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Chesterfield 45 9 10 26 37 -34
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