The 22/23 Championship campaign is almost underway. The action begins this coming Friday and I cannot wait. I’m not usually one to make league standing predictions but this season I fancied a change. Let’s have a go at it.
First up are the bottom three teams:
24th: Rotherham United. I love Paul Warne and the business they’ve done in recent years, but they have lost 30 goals in Ladapo and Smith this summer. They’ve also lost their best defender Ihkiewe too. They haven’t replaced that quality so far.
23rd: Wigan Athletic. Won the league by 2pts last season and scored a bucket load of goals. Club top scorer Will Keane scored 26 last season, that was League 1 though. Keane has only managed 8 goals in total in the Championship in his career. The manager is also unproven at this level. I think they will struggle desperately.
22nd: Birmingham City. Finished 10pts above the drop zone last season. They now have new owners. They also have a new manager, and an inexperienced one in general as the number one coach. Not impressed with the squad depth either and I think this is the season they’ll finally drop into League 1 after many consecutive seasons just above the relegation dotted line.
Here is my 6th-3rd prediction:
6th: Boro. 7th last season, can go one better this season with Wilder having a full season. One of the better managers in the league. Decent enough defence last season and further strengthening it with Lenihan and Steffen in goal. Struggle to see where goals come from hence why I predict 6th.
5th: Norwich. Last time they were relegated back to the Championship they won the league with 97pts. Big difference here is they don’t have Buendia anymore and Dean Smith is in charge, not Farke. Good squad but don’t think Smith is as good as Farke personally.
4th: Luton. Huge fan of Nathan Jones, personally think he’s one of best EFL managers of all time with what he’s done at Luton. Finished 6th last season. Great summer. Scored 63 goals last season, adding Freeman, Woodrow and Morris could improve that number.
3rd: Swansea. Finished 15th last season. There is usually a surprise team every Champ season it seems. Martin’s side will be that team this season. Play great football. Couple of good signings this summer. Full season of Piroe + Obafemi as well, 43 goal contributions last season.
I refuse to give a play-off winner prediction because the play-offs really is anybodies to win.
Finally, here is my automatic promotion predictions:
2nd: Watford. They have a new manager but an incredibly strong squad. The loss of Sissoko in midfield will be a big miss. So will Cucho and Josh King up front. But added 2 new ST’s this summer.
1st: Blades. Much improved under Heckingbottom last season. Sneaked into the play-offs in the final few weeks despite having several injuries to key players. Added really well this summer. No Gibbs-White this season but overall a much stronger squad than last.