Predictions for 2009-10
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:
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
12. Leicester City
13. Derby County
14. Cardiff City
15. Queen’s Park Rangers
16. Bristol City
18. Swansea City
19. Plymouth Argyle
20. Doncaster Rovers
21. Coventry City
22. Scunthorpe United
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).
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).
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).
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).
LR: Freddie Sears should keep them safe (12th).
Lloyd: Will be up and down the league, but should never be taken lightly (7th).
LR: Improvement under Clough but the Messiah he is not (10th).
Lloyd: That 11 pointer still haunts these parts (15th).
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).
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).
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).
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).
LR: An overspending disappointment (11th).
Lloyd: Rightly or wrongly, the big spenders should accumulate (5th).
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).
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).
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).
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).
LR: Getting better and will scrap every inch (9th).
Lloyd: Improving, but still don’t have the financial clout to challenge (11th).
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).