The Championship is a great and competitive league with some of the most passionate fans, best stadiums, and most dramatic games in the world. At the end of the day, all that matters is what’s on the badge. With the new season fast approaching, it is time to put all the clubs under the microscope. We asked all of our writers at Read Championship to make the league table, 1st to 24th, of how they think the table will play out come the end of the season. Following that, we found out the average position that all of us think the teams will finish.
In this article, we look at the predicted bottom half of the table for The 2nd Tier.
After being in the top half of the table for almost the entire season but not making the playoffs, Blackburn Rovers will be looking to take the next step. Entering their fourth season in the Championship, it is time to see some results. Our voters do not see this happening though. With Rudy Gestede on his way to Aston Villa and Jordan Rhodes possible going to Boro, the East Lancashire club will probably lack the goals required to go up.
After a lackluster 2014/15 campaign and finishing a lot closer to the relegation zone than they would have hoped, Reading will look to sustain a push towards the top half and perhaps even the play-offs in the upcoming season. However, positives can be taken from the past 12 months; an exciting cup run was embarked upon until eventual winners Arsenal knocked them out in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. After a cup run, they will turn their attention to the league. Our team of writers think they will do better than last year, but still stuck in mid-table with a 14th place finish predicted.
After relegation from the Premier League in 2013-14, Cardiff hoped for an instant return and to at least challenge in the Championship. Things didn’t go to plan and although they finished in the top half of the table and changed back to the much loved blue home kit, they lacked that extra bit of quality and finished off in 11th place, behind their pre season expectation. This season will be even worse according to us, with 15th place being our prediction. They have the quality, but something is not quite connecting in Cardiff right now. The Bluebirds will hope to prove us wrong this season.
After an extraordinary start to Championship life last season, the spotlight falls on Griffin Park to see if they can go one better and achieve promotion to the Premier League. It doesn’t look as likely though, with manager Mark Warburton gone as well as Alex Pritchard and Joe Toral returning from their loans. The bees could struggle this season, and our voters see Brentford limping down to 16th place this season.
Charlton Athletic finished the 2014/2015 in a very comfortable 12th position. Bob Peeters managed the side for the first four months and a had a few good wins at the club but didn’t manage to maintain results, concluding in him losing his job. Guy Luzon replaced Peeters in January and guided the club to 12th spot. They haven’t done a lot to strengthen their side, while the teams around them have. For this reason among others, our voters have the Addicks all the way down to 17th in our predicted table.
Nothing went wrong for Bristol City last season. They were unbeaten in their first 16 games, as well as in their last 15. They finished as League One Champions with 99 points. The lowest they went in the table after the first month of the season was second place. They were top of the league for 41 out of the 46 weeks of the season, had a +58 goal difference, and dominated everybody. It should be a much harder season in the Championship, but our team thinks they will be ok, with a comfortable 18th place predicted.
After reaching the foot of the Championship table and looking like major contenders for relegation, results picked up under Neil Lennon and made the Macron Stadium a hard place to play football, with the Trotters eventually finishing in a disappointing 18th. This season, another bottom half of the table finish is likely. Many fans will be annoyed as Bolton, who have a squad good enough to challenge, have been stranded in the middle of the table for 3 seasons. Many Bolton fans, who were seeing their team challenge in Europe not so long ago, couldn’t cope with another dull season and would hope for more for them to get back to their former selves, challenging at the top at least with them playing good and attractive football along the way. Although their past is full with greatness, our writers have voted Bolton staying around the same place they did last season.
Brighton and Hove Albion
A possible outcome for the Seagulls will be either having a season similar to last. Goals and attacking threat was a problem for Brighton last season, and that is shown as their top scorer was centre back Lewis Dunk with 7 goals. Sam Baldock one of the clubs main striker only achieved 4 goals, so definitely needs to be improved. They have signed Israeli striker Tomer Hemed from Almeria. He scored eight goals in twenty-six La Liga appearances last season. Chris Hughton has clearly identified a striker was needed and has brought in Hemed to add some firepower to the squad, but our voters think that’s not enough. In this tough league, goals are needed to achieve anything, and our writers think Hemed isn’t that answer.
This is a pivotal season for Huddersfield Town as a club. It is their third season up in the Championship after their epic penalty shootout win at Wembley in the 2011-12 League One Playoff Final. They survived relegation in 17th place in their first season up. The next season, they progressed by two points and up one place in the table. They can either continue to push up the table, or regress downwards near the relegation places. Many of our writers tip for The Terriers to stay in mid-table. Many of our writers predicted them to get relegated. The average of those two brought them 21st in the table, edging the hell of the relegation zone.
Preston North End
The obvious fear with many newly promoted sides is the thought of going straight back down again at the first time of asking, we have seen it plenty of times before and Preston North End fans will be hoping we don’t see it from them this year. More signings are expected to be made between now and the close of the window, and the quality of those joining the club could set a marker as to what the club are going to achieve this year. Although the positivity around the place is there for all to see, the grey clouds could soon loom large over Deepdale if they don’t start picking up points from vital games against the sides expected to in and around them. Our writers think that they’ll drop too many points and finish 22nd place, in the relegation zone.
After their extremely successful 2014/15 campaign, Karl Robinson’s MK Dons could have the belief that they can survive in the Championship under the guidance of the Englishman, who turned down a move to Birmingham City earlier in the season. MK Dons’ promotion wasn’t the biggest shock to the fans, as they have been competing around that area for the past few years. However, the 4-0 victory over world-renowned Manchester United in early September really set them in good stead and their run of good form never ceased. Unfortunately for them, our writers have predicted them to get relegated. Our writers think the newly promoted side doesn’t have enough quality to stay in this tough league.
A string of impressive signings that could have just as easily linked up with a team pushing for promotion has football fans questioning just whether Rotherham are seeking the top six finish, as out-of-this-world as that sounds, but now is their season shaping up realistically? Our writers don’t think so, as they finish dead last in our table. The Millers only finished five points above relegation, and it seems survival is the main priority this season.
That concludes our bottom half of the table, predicted by our writers. Did we miss anybody? Or maybe you think one of the clubs on this list should be in the top half? Leave a comment below with your thoughts on our prediction, and be sure to stay tuned as we unveil our top half of the table, which includes promoted and playoff teams, tomorrow.