Predictions for 2009-10

Posted by on Aug 5, 2009 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

As the season approaches, heralded in somewhat cliched style by BBC television, Lloyd and I have cobbled together our basic predictions for how the Championship table may look next May. Lo and behold and we have Peterborough United in the play offs. Our joint effort table works out thus with our working shown beneath it (fuller analysis of each club’s chances has already been largely provided in leisurely fashion over the Summer, with just a few sides yet to be afforded the treatment). We have Boro down for an instant return:

1. Middlesbrough
2. Sheffield United
3. West Bromwich Albion
4. Ipswich Town
5. Peterborough United
6. Newcastle United
7. Nottingham Forest
8. Preston North End
9. Crystal Palace
10. Sheffield Wednesday
11. Reading
12. Leicester City
13. Derby County
14. Cardiff City
15. Queen’s Park Rangers
16. Bristol City
17. Watford
18. Swansea City
19. Plymouth Argyle
20. Doncaster Rovers
21. Coventry City
22. Scunthorpe United
23. Barnsley
24. Blackpool

Pretty much the only side that we have disagreed strongly over are the Foxes from Leicester. Here are our one line assessments:

Lanterne Rouge: The completion of a mixed season for South Yorkshire with the bigger clubs re-asserting themselves (24th).
Lloyd: Will do well to escape relegation (again). Anything more would be a surprise (21st).

LR: Nothing on Holloway’s CV indicates he can do it at this level (22nd).
Lloyd: Holloway will notch up another relegation unless he makes changes (23rd).

Bristol City
LR: Still no solution to the goals problem (17th).
Lloyd: Wholesale changes are a backward step, and Gary Johnson’s patience is running thin (12th).

Cardiff City
LR: The trauma of that failure to make the play offs will linger (14th).
Lloyd: A disappointing first season at St David’s for Dave & Co (14th).

Coventry City
LR: Too little effort for too long now and the best players have been sold (21st).
Lloyd: This season’s candidate for surprise relegation fodder (22nd).

Crystal Palace
LR: Freddie Sears should keep them safe (12th).
Lloyd: Will be up and down the league, but should never be taken lightly (7th).

Derby County
LR: Improvement under Clough but the Messiah he is not (10th).
Lloyd: That 11 pointer still haunts these parts (15th).

Doncaster Rovers

LR: Their expansive style deserves another season but may not be enough (23rd).
Lloyd: Rovers will find it difficult to replicate last season following a summer of rumour mongering at the Keepmoat (17th).

Ipswich Town
LR: Keane’s verbal volleys will ensure the seriousness of their assault (5th).
Lloyd: Owen Garvan and David Norris to dictate proceedings in the centre (4th).

Leicester City
LR: Winning games is a habit. One promoted side always does creditably (4th).
Lloyd: Will en-joy/dure a monotone first season back (19th).

LR: Lita could score 25 and the youth policy will come to the fore (2nd).
Lloyd: Southgate will finally prove himself with his budding youngsters now ready to push on (1st).

Newcastle United
LR: lots of wobbles and a famous scalp for some, but they will sneak into the play offs (6th).
Lloyd: Will blow hot and cold, but will shore things up towards the season’s end (10th).

Nottingham Forest
LR: An overspending disappointment (11th).
Lloyd: Rightly or wrongly, the big spenders should accumulate (5th).

Peterborough United
LR: their lower league sharpshooters should make the transition (7th).
Lloyd: A strong start will help to elevate the Posh towards a top-half finish (8th).

Plymouth Argyle
LR: A general mediocrity but the ability to pull the odd good result out of the hat will save them (20th).
Lloyd: Notwithstanding some half decent signings, a bloated squad will thwart the Pilgrims (18th).

Preston North End
LR: Alan Irvine will maintain the growth in his reputation (8th).
Lloyd: Wily Alan Irvine knows what he’s doing, and Preston could well figure in the top six if they can cope with Paul McKenna’s departure (9th).

Queen’s Park Rangers
LR: No forward momentum under the Ulsterman (15th).
Lloyd: Too many cooks (13th).

LR: the downsizing continues as the youngsters are blooded (16th).
Lloyd: The Biscuitmen will, somehow, hang in there (6th).

Scunthorpe United
LR: With expectations low, they could stay up comfortably (19th).
Lloyd: as much as it’s good to have the Iron back, they look ripe for picking (24th).

Sheffield United
LR: Blades will edge out the relegated sides; their muscular approach is tried and tested (1st)
Lloyd: Ched Evans will spearhead a strong season for Blackwell’s nearly men (3rd).

Sheffield Wednesday
LR: Getting better and will scrap every inch (9th).
Lloyd: Improving, but still don’t have the financial clout to challenge (11th).

Swansea City

LR: The asset stripping will leave the cupboard bare (18th).
Lloyd: Destined to struggle in front of goal (16th).

LR: Will be pleased simply to finish above their deserting manager (13th).
Lloyd: A small squad allied with an inexperienced manager doesn’t bode well (20th).

West Bromwich Albion
LR: Baggies should purr early on but may be dragged down to the division’s level (3rd).
Lloyd: A yo-yo squad that will be fiendishly difficult to beat, both at the Hawthorns and on the road (2nd).

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.


  1. Frank Heaven
    August 5, 2009

    I'm with LR on Sheffield United – experience will count, which is why I'm a bit surprised you've both got Middlesbrough going up automatically.
    I've a sneaking feeling the Geordies will sort out their many problems during the autumn, and put together a strong run after Christmas to sneak into second.
    Otherwise, my top six is broadly similar to yours, though I wonder if we're all putting too much store in Keane replicating the form of his first season at Sunderland – rather than the last…
    My top six:
    1 Sheffield United
    2 Newcastle United
    3 West Bromwich Albion
    4 Preston North End
    5 Ipswich Town
    6 Middlesbrough

  2. Ben
    August 5, 2009

    Frank, that's a “sneaking feeling” that us Newcastle fans wish we could share in. We'll be very lucky to make 6th.

  3. Lanterne Rouge
    August 6, 2009

    To boot, I actually think the Magpies will win the play offs. The momentum will be there I feel.


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