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Top Championship Teams?
Written by JimmyJazz on Saturday, 30th Jul 2016 21:19

So we are mostly pessimistic about our chances next season. We are no match for Newcastle and other clubs who are spending money unlike us. Clubs like Blackburn are showing more ambition? Actually I disagree with the Blackburn point.

But, reading Harry's excellent club previews one thing stands out so far, a lot of clubs in this league feel the same way. The arrival of Newcastle, Villa and, yes, even that lot up the road as got most clubs running scared before the season even starts.

The fact we finished seventh last year despite being rubbish for most of 2016 I would say is down to the other clubs below us being just as poor.

My question is then, who are the clubs in this league who will leave us in their trails of dust?

For me Newcastle, Norwich and Derby will be very strong. Sheffield Wednesday, Brighton and possibly Villa will be behind them. Cardiff and QPR could be good outside bets.

Villa could find it tough, they are still moving out overpaid under-achievers and they could struggle at first like a few relegated clubs in recent seasons - Fulham, QPR etc.

I'm taking Sheff Wed and Brighton to continue last season's good form, but it could be a one-off, particularly in Brighton's case.

Will QPR be that much better than last season, without Phillips and Austin gone last January? They could be.

What of Cardiff? Still playing Pilkington as their only striker and trying to shift out the likes of Le Fondre and Macheda? Will a Premier League team come in for Marshall before the end of August?

So what else? I can only see the new boys being content to consolidate. Barnsley have added Moncur and Bradshaw - so good players from League One but never played in the Championship. For Wigan it's a similar story

Birmingham seemed to over-achieve last season but the addition of Vaughan who will likely be injured or suspended for a good chunk of the season a lot still rests on Donaldson's shoulders

Blackburn are in complete disarray if you ask me - next season's Bolton?

Brentford I'm not sure about, they should be top half at least and I think Hogan will have a good season, but they've lost Button, Bidwell and Swift from last season.

Bristol City should improve on last season, but not enough to challenge the play offs

Burton may find the season very tough going, they are adding experience in Dyer, Williamson and McFadzean but none of those inspire much

Derby under Pearson should finally get it right and they have the squad to even push Newcastle

Fulham? If McCormack leaves with Dembele already gone then I would say no chance. Those two kept them in the division last season

Huddersfield? They've signed a lot of foreigners who I've never heard of. They could be anything next season

Leeds have lost some key players and made some good signings. A lot depends on Garry Monk really, but i see the same as usual from them and a mid table team

Newcastle should blow everyone out of the water.

Reading have a new manager but they have Kermorgant leading the line and again a few new foreigners - not convinced

Preston did very well and I see more of the same for them

Forest could be a surprise package if Assombalonga is back to his best, or it could all fail spectacularly

The Scum up the road always seem to make life hard for themselves, so let's hope for that to continue

Rotherham? No Warnock, no Party - relegated

Finally Wolves, new owners, new manager with the season a week away but Dicko will be back. Think they will struggle at first.

So who is it we are so scared of? Forget Newcastle, Derby, Sheff Wed and maybe even the Scum. The rest we should be well able to compete with even if we make no more signings.

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Miles added 22:35 - Jul 30
We don't have the resources the bigger teams have which will make it even sweeter when we make the playoffs and win it. Being an Ipswich fan you always have to stay optimistic!

miltonsnephew added 13:51 - Jul 31
Get jack Harrison in from New York city fc where Lampard and Pirlo are playing, 19 and a Winger and English.

Looks a great prospect.

Nthsuffolkblue added 15:39 - Jul 31
I think Newcastle are likely to walk the division like they did last time they were in it.

Beyond that, everything is as wide open as it usually is. There is so little between the top and bottom. People undervalue the settled team and the fact our players will be used to playing together. The chance for youngsters like Bishop, Dozzell and those coming through should be exciting. My biggest fear is whether we can score enough goals which does seem crazy when we have Pitman, Sears, Murphy and McGoldrick.

TotalBlue added 13:41 - Aug 3
Nthsuffolkblue I fully agree well put. If we don't go up this year it will be down to lack of goals. I actually am more positive for this season that I have been for some time I dont think we will make top Two I think that will be Newcastle and Derby which sadly will mean a Playoff match against the guys up the road, but maybe its pay back time!! COYB!!!!

TotalBlue added 13:42 - Aug 3
and apologies JimmyJazz well written article

Nthsuffolkblue added 17:46 - Aug 4
TotalBlue I agree about Newcastle but second spot will be as open as it ever is in my opinion. Derby have spent too many seasons buying success only to blow it from a strong position at Christmas.
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