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dhickl

Is this the strongest Championship for a while?

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Looking at the changes this season:

In / Out

Sunderland / Newcastle

Middlesbrough / Brighton

Hull / Huddersfield

Sheffield United / Blackburn

Bolton / Wigan

Millwall / Rotherham

I would say, other than Sunderland/Newcastle, in each case the championship team that is coming in is stronger than the one leaving. Add to that, some teams that have had financial backing, such as QPR, Wolves, Derby, possibly Leeds with the new owner. Do you think that this is the strongest Championship for a few years?

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A stronger middle and top talf maybe. Don''t think the top 2/3 will be as strong though. Think next season will be similar to our last promotion season where the teams in the automatics and play offs change all throughout the season and whoever has the strongest finish will go up. I don''t see a standout team like Newcastle this year and nobody else has been just missing out on the automatics each season while continually improving their squad like Brighton did, Wednesday maybe but I can''t see them being as consistent or solid as Brighton were this year.

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I would say Boro and Villa for automatics. Hull and S''Land are in a bit of a mess.

For play off rivals Derby, Fulham, Weds, Forest (since new take over and Warburton steadying the ship) and potentially a charge from one of the L1 promoted, maybe Sheff Utd.

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Not going on the evidence of last year, no.

Newcastle and Brighton were miles better than anyone else but both will struggle next season in the PL without huge investment. The teams in the playoffs were pretty poor. Huddersfield got promoted by two shootouts; Reading and Sheffield Weds in particular were poor teams.

Fulham should have gone up - they were the best of the rest and I think they''ll win it next year.

I expect Villa to be strong and take the second auto spot but don''t think Sunderland or Hull will challenge. Sheffield Utd could be good. The rest will be the usual suspects - us, Middlesbrough, Derby, Leeds etc.

I think we''ll have a similar season to be honest - anywhere between 7th and 10th again.

Like to think that Ipswich will have a relegation battle.

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I don''t think it''s the strongest the league has been but I can see it being the most competitive it''s been in ages as I can''t see any team pulling away and could quite easily see the champion only having around 80 points at the top 10 being within 10-15 points of each other and I''d have a punt and Sheffield united being top 6.

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With the obvious ingredient of players leaving/arriving, I think it is too early to call, but what I will forecast, is that the Binners will be bricking it!

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Looking at the swapover at the top, Newcastle are clearly stronger than the teams coming down.  Brighton did very well last season.  Hull and Boro are typical teams that spent one season in the Prem, probably weaker than the average relegated team from the Prem.  Sunderland are in a right mess.  So no obvious evidence it will be stronger as a division after these changes, if anything the opposite.

 

At the bottom end, there''s no reason to think the 3 teams coming up will do better than the average promoted teams from L1.

 

Within the division, it seems Villa may be getting their act together.  As usual we have some teams with foreign owners looking to make a big impact.  Time will tell how many actually deliver.

 

So pretty much business as usual but lacking any relatively big fish coming down from the Prem (who would be instant favourites to go back up).  People love to say "the Champs will be stronger than ever this year" which they said last year and it turned out to be a pretty weak division.  Often the initial forecasts about who will do well are way off, because some teams self-destruct like we did last year and there''s plenty of scope for a Huddersfield to over-perform.

 

My answer to the OP is, no, I don''t think it''s a particularly strong division this year and we have a real chance of getting promoted if we get our act together.

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Not an answer to the OP but it is something that puzzles me. A few on here and people that I have spoken to have said that they think Villa will either win the league or achieve an automatic spot.

I''m just curious as to why people think this? Villa have shown nothing to suggest they will achieve great things as of yet. I guess people will say they have loads of money which is true, but they had loads of money last year and tbf spent it on players we all would have thought are good championship players like Lansbury, hohrihane etc.

They may do well this year but so might any other team. For me I can only see them doing slightly better than last year

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There''s lots of clubs with a bigger transfer fund then we will have.

We''re going through so,e major changes and to think we''ll just do a Huddersfield this season might be a tad short sighted.

For me Villa & Fulham will be strong, Reading building on this season, Sheffield clubs both will be there about sand then you have Hull & Boro, both up there.

Then we have the likes of us, Leeds, Derby all thinking we should get top 6, so that''s a dozen teams all capable of promotion.

Yes it''s definitely the most even for the top half as I can''t see any teams breaking away like Brighton & Newcastle this season.

Yes strongest in terms of pick 3 from probably 12.

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Darth - undoubted quality in the squad, including two top Championship centre forwards, a couple of excellent January additions, a manager that has an unmatched record in the division (three promotions) and coming into April, until their season burnt out when they had nothing to play for, they were the form team in the division.

Obviously there are no guarantees but if I was a bookmaker I would be nervous about giving 8/1.

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I think the Championship gets stronger year on year regardless, and that''s down to the incoming quality of players rather than which clubs are in it.

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My admit I was just thinking to myself recently how weak the upcoming Championship looks.

Hull and Sunderland are both likely to massively struggle next season. Boro have a good Championship squad, but it was a team built to play only one way, and now Karanka has gone they might struggle to adapt. Think this is the weakest collection of relegated teams for a very long time.

Bolton are still massively in debt and won''t be strengthen much even though they have been promoted.

Derby under Rowett will be stronger, but they always manage to screw themselves over somehow.

Leeds need to get their manager decision spot on to improve on Monk.

I think it will the teams who finished in the play-offs, except Reading who will most likely loss Stam and their new owners will make the Venkys seem competent, plus Boro will be the teams challenging again - no reason Norwich can''t get involved in that as they really should have been in the top 6 at least last season.

Obvious very early days as it depends on which players Premier League clubs poach and which owners decide they want to chuck £100m at getting promotion.

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Well since the start of February through to the end of the season they lost the same amount as they won. They had a brief spell of form through march and early April but through most of February and then after march they were very average. They have massively underperformed this season without a doubt and I think they have proven that you need to do more than just throw money at the playing squad - Scott Hogan has scored one goal since joining them in the winter window. They''ve brought in players who were top performers at their former club and then not been able to replicate that at villa. Egos too big? Perhaps but it seem they don''t have any real transfer strategy apart from ''hes played well recently let''s spend **m on him''. Kodjia is the only player that springs to mind that has been pretty good for them.

They will do better but in my opinion can''t be considered as realistic title candidates at the moment.

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I agree with you that their transfer strategy was terrible before Bruce. Much like us, they failed to clear out enough deadwood and ended up with an unbalanced squad with questionable drive.

In January, Bruce brought in six players on permanent deals. I know nothing of the chap from Basel, but imho the rest all improve their first team. Bruce talked the talk last year about keeping up performances but I think it was clear that the chairman had no expectations for last year. This year will be very different.

They are in a similar position to us in terms of selling to buy, but they have Amavi that is likely to fetch well into double figures (his transfermarkt value is c.£2m higher than Jeffrey Schlupp who went for £12m in January!).

As for your comments on Hogan, the poor git injured his ankle twice last season and only appeared five times in the league. There was significant interest in him in January and I think it is disingenuous to suggest that he isn''t an excellent signing at this level.

As an eternal optimist, I think we will finish above Villa, but they say the best managers and teams get their business done early and I would argue that Villa did theirs five months ago.

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Don''t think it is any stronger, and cant see a runaway leader emerging before Christmas, Boro will be all about who they appt as manager, and would expect Villa and Derby to do better than this season, but us to finish above them both ! forever the optimist / happy clapper ;-)

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I think there seems to a bit of confusion between what is a club and what is a team. As stated above we do dot know what teams will line up. Much of that is out of the hands of Championship clubs. Just as we snatched Pritchard at the last moment we, and others, could lose (player(s) without having the chance to replace them.Clubs are not fixed entities either so it is hard to judge who will be doing what. Which means it is impossible to say whether the division will be stronger or not. All I can say is that there will be a few surprises both ways.Quite a few surprise results with the old mantra of ''anyone can beat anyone'' being regularly churned out. And a few manager dismissals along the way. And Paul Lambert being heavily backed not to be in his next job this time next year.

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