Fulham have the best squad in the league, Marco Silva can get them playing good football and get his once promising managerial career, back on track. The signing of Harry Wilson really sets this side from the rest, Championship quality throughout this side should see the Cottagers champions…
2. West Bromwich Albion
They’ve got the players and know-how to have an instant return, they’ll invest the Matheus Perreira money to add more to this side and I think will be competing for automatic promotion. Alex Mowatt and Adam Reach are good signings to their attack and improve their options. Smart business from Albion who will be right up there with not many questions asked.
A Neil Warnock side will always go over the odds and eventually achieve promotion. They’ve made the right signings to get into the play-off picture, Matt Crooks was the key man for Rotherham last season, Sammy Ameobi will add production to the attack, while Joe Lumley and Lee Peltier bring Championship experience. They signed Argentine Martin Payero who is an unknown man to the English game but was a huge capture for the Championship side.
Warnock has been maneuvering his side to a promotion campaign since his arrival and this could be the season they do so…
Scott Parker is the new manager at the Vitality and has promotion experience unlike Jonathan Woodgate, they’ve kept Arnaut Danjuma so far – who on his day can be the best player in the division. They’ll need a few additions with Philip Billing on the way out, but Parker will have his side playing good football and has proven players at this level, they should be in the mix.
5. Cardiff City
The Welsh have improved with adding full-back Ryan Giles and goalscorer James Collins who with Keiffer Moore, will score tons of goals and win them games. Mick McCarthy will have his side set-up accordingly and if Josh Murphy produces to his talent then Cardiff have one of the league’s top players in their side. A really solid squad that can be around the play-off picture come the end of the season.
6. Sheffield United
United have the quality, but can they recover from a horrific losing season? This side could be stale with no new additions so far, it will be a grind for the Yorkshire side. Do they have the depth for a 46 game season? They have the quality no doubt, but will it all click mentally for a successful season? Their season could depend on the teams around them, I am not convinced the talent will produce to an instant return.
The London side will build on their 9th spot last season and will be in the play-off mix, their off season has been very good, proven Championship quality and great talents will enhance this squad to the next steps. Charlie Austin is a proven scorer, Stefan Johansen is a brilliant player at this level and talents Jimmy Dunne, Sam Field, and Andre Dozzell really add quality and depth to this side.
8. Nottingham Forest
Chris Houghton and Forest have had a quiet window in terms of in comings but have had a good clear out and the squad is taking shape to be a big mover from last seasons 17th finish and make a run towards the play-offs. Houghton a top manager and the back 2 of Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna is one of the leagues best. This team should compete well and upset the pre-season odds.
Reading are yet to sign a player and despite their quality it’s a 46 game season, they may have big talent coming into the squad from the youth teams but to not add to the squad after last season 7th place finish is a step back. As of right now I see Reading struggling as the fixtures pile up and fall short of the top 6.
George Saville returning to the Den is a big boost to the midfield, Daniel Ballard is a brilliant loan signing who won promotion with Blackpool last season, and Championship know-how of Scott Malone and Benik Afobe will improve this side after no major departures in the window so far. They look solid and should have a good season to compete.
11. Swansea City
Russell Martin is a brilliant young coach, but the Swans have lost Andre Ayew and are yet to replace his goals, Swansea will face a drop off from last season 4th finish, but still have a good enough squad to be around the play-off picture. If they make signings they will be much closer to the top 6 then in this prediction but at the moment I don’t see them being a top 6 side season long.
12. Stoke City
Stoke are pretty much past their post Premier League era, the likes of Kevin Wimmer, Bruno Martins Indi, and Badou Ndiaye have all left this window and things are starting to turn around. Solid signings like Ben Wilmot, Sam Surridge, and Mario Vrancic show they are going about their business in a much smarter manner. They’ve made good moves and I think they’ll push up the table and have a good shot of bouncing above the likes of Millwall and Swansea if they are in the picture as the season goes on.
After a 5th placed finish last season I think a drop off for Barnsley is coming, losing their manager, Valerien Ismael will see them drop into mid-table. Though they’ve kept almost the same squad and I think can expect a solid season just not of the level and heights of last seasons play-offs run.
14. Luton Town
Luton have made some great signings and really added to their roster after a brilliant season in 20/21, but losing James Collins is a blow, he scored 10 goals last season – Luton were mostly in close games so them 10 goals would have felt like 20… Can new signings Cameron Jerome and Admiral Muskwe be impacting in the scoring like Collins? Luton we’re among the league lowest scorers so if the goals don’t come it could be a struggling season.
15. Birmingham City
Lee Bowyer did a brilliant job to steer Birmingham to safety last season and I expect a much better season overall, they’ve used the loan market really well to bring in some good young talent to their already experienced Championship squad. A solid season is what I expect at St. Andrews but nothing much more then a comfortable season.
16. Preston North End
PNE have added well in the off-season, Matt Olosunde and Izzy Brown are nice signings if they stay healthy, Liam Lindsay and Daniel Iverson are Championship caliber players and the loan signing of Sepp van den Berg from Liverpool could prove to be a massive hit. The worry is the lack of goals in this side I think they are solid enough to win games and have a comfortable season.
17. Hull City
After a League One title, this squad hasn’t seen much change, the key will how many goals can the Malik Wilks, Josh Magennis, and Keane Lewis-Potter deliver in the Championship and can George Honeyman continue to lead the attack after his player-of-the-season campaign. Grant McCann himself, has a lot to prove but expect Hull to be in and around the bottom half, but have momentum after last season that could see them have a good return to the Championship.
18. Peterborough United
Like Hull, the squad hasn’t had much change, the signing of Jonson Clarke-Harris could be the difference between relegation and survival – if JCH can translate his goals to the level above then it should be a comfortable ride for the London club, but with less proven 2nd tier talent then Hull, they are more likely to be dragged into a tight battle come the end of the season.
19. Coventry City
They’ve kept Gustavo Hamer so far and added with the experienced Martyn Waghorn and young talents Viktor Gyokeres, Bright Enobakhare, and Ben Sheaf. They don’t have the best depth and a squad full of quality, but Mark Robins is a good manager and despite a horrific pre-season resulting in 7 defeats and 1 win they’ll compete and pick up enough results to survive, but it wont be easy.
20. Bristol City
Bristol haven’t improved much, the signings of Matty James and Andy King don’t move the needle, they’ll be relying on players improving to avoid being in a relegation battle. Is Nigel Pearson still a quality manager? but Nahki Wells and Andreas Weimann should find the net enough to put them ahead of the sides beneath them in this prediction.
21. Huddersfield Town
They’ve made some nice signings, but overall I don’t think it will all click and with Lewis O’Brien set to leave I think a season near the bottom of the table is on the cards for Huddersfield. Maybe Jordan Rhodes finds his old form and fires in 20 goals, but I don’t see enough quality from top to bottom for them to have a comfortable season.
The play-off winners were unable to resign 20/21 loan signings Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel and Daniel Ballard and overall haven’t added enough quality to really assure anyone they’ll be out of the relegation battle picture, deals could still strengthen this side but after a brave effort I see Blackpool being relegated as things stand.
23. Blackburn Rovers
With Adam Armstrong set to leave for big money this prediction may well change pending reinvestment. If they invest well then we can expect a more solid season but at the moment I don’t see a competitive squad at Blackburn.
24. Derby County
Who knows whats going on at Derby right now, only 11 fit 1st team player officially on their books after very fortunate to avoid relegation last season, a last placed finish is the only spot for them at this moment in time. Winger Tom Lawrence and Kamil Jozwiak will be crucial if they can avoid the drop after this circus off season.