Who will win the Championship?

by Russell Hill

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

When it comes down to it, there are several categories which are splitting the Championship equally. The resurgence of the newly promoted teams is wowing everybody and shows that you do not have to spend large sums to get success. Unlike their Premier League counterparts, they do not have millions to spare and could prove to be tricky. The likes of Southampton and Brighton are currently knocking in goals left, right and centre. Combine this with the relegated teams (West Ham, Blackpool and Birmingham) from the Premier League last season and the 2011/2012 Championship is more than likely going to be the most memorable. However, I see the Championship as falling into three categories; no hopers, would be’s and possibilities.

The no hopers are those who have started brightly but thanks to their early energy they will fall by the wayside later on in the campaign. As you look at the table right now, there is probably the chance that you reckon those at the top will stay there. Are you out of your mind? The season is forty six games long (or 138 points). For a single team from this league to be champion’s means they will lose on average around six or seven games. For this reason alone, the no-hopers in the Championship would have to be Crystal Palace, Peterborough and Derby. This group score a couple of pretty goals but that’s about it; all mouth and no trousers. As I write this, Peterborough have just lost to Brighton, Crystal Palace drew with Blackpool and Derby succumbed to the mighty Burnley. Not exactly impressive form is it?

What about the would-be’s? This would have to be Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest and Leeds. Clubs living on past glory, Portsmouth were the only team to recently achieve something remarkable thanks to their splendid FA Cup win in 2008. The other two will try their best and be supported in the turnstiles by die-hard fans but they will revert to quoting past glories of more than a decade ago to uphold their credentials.

Which brings me to the possibilities. Including in this group are the likes of Blackpool, West Ham and Middlesbrough. A mixture of recently relegated teams and giant clubs whose stadium size is bigger than most, the history of these teams will urge them on. West Ham still seem likely to land the Olympic Stadium so there is added pressure. Blackpool have the taste of Old Trafford and Anfield in their mouths and they are strong favourites to go right back up. As for Middlesbrough, it’s high time they achieved something special and this could be their year.

But my favourite to win? Cardiff. Why? The likes of Earnshaw will score in bountiful supply this season and with their rivals Swansea bettering them they’ll want to earn further Taff points and have the first modern-day Premiership Welsh derby. Bring it on!

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  • James Young

    You dummy! Cardiff because of Earnshaw, if he had what it takes to get a team into the the prem then why did forest fail to get there last year. Also don’t try to make out a welsh derby in the prem would be a good thing, it’s the ENGLISH premier league, they shouldn’t even be in the championship.

  • http://goalagoal.blogspot.com goalagoal.blogspot.com

    This is going to be the most memorable championship ever. And the teams look very ready for the challenge. West Ham, Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Birmingham all have good chances. Its going to be exciting long season. with lots of twists and turns.

  • Matt Quinn

    Leicester. Sven and his millions will ensure they are there or there abouts. Beckford should get the goals to push them to the top.

  • costahammer

    Cardiff!!!…Cardiff!!!…….i want some of what your smoking pal!!

  • Letsby Avenue

    A couple of early front runners in recent years, have hung around and got automatic promotion or a play-off place at the end.

    By ‘front-runners’ – I mean after about 8-10 games.

    Take Doncaster – without Sharp – a real false position I think.

    Take Cardiff with Earnshaw – a disappointing position I think 🙂

    Leicester – Forest stumbling and tripping over themselves.

    Mowbray and Allardayce have got it sussed, and are steady at their helms. Not trailblazing, but prepared for the long haul. In recent years we’ve seen teams shoot up and hold an automatic promotion place most of the season. This year I think it will be tighter and closer, with only a few points between perhaps the top 6 or 8 teams come the run-in.

    Blues (with European matches), Sky Blues (with board contamination), Forest with a love-me or else, manager, Southampton, Derby and Brighton with squads that can’t survive injuries and suspensions – leaves the canny managers to ease forward.
    Mowbray, Allardyce and Holloway.
    With Sven spending a bit more in January to keep up.

    Out of those 4 I’d think.

    Substance, managerial abilty and funding.

    Personally not one of them I’d like to see go up – but,
    there you go 🙂

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