At this time of year football fans all over the UK are not only full of the excitement and possibilities a new season brings – will their team gain promotion, avoid relegation or have a decent cup run this year, but many are enthused enough to join fantasy football leagues where they can show friends how simple it is to be a ‘virtual’ football manager.
Football betting tends to peak at this time of year too, as football fans attempt to forecast what is going to happen over the next 9 months.
As far as this season’s Championship goes, I really can’t see there being clear favourites for promotion to the Premier League.
Bookmakers have made Newcastle United favourites to bounce straight back to the Premiership but even with a convincing display against Reading at the weekend, I still don’t fancy them for automatic promotion all the time there is board room and ownership turmoil at St James Park.
I believe Sheffield United and Cardiff City will kick on from last season. But what effect will Roy Keane have on Ipswich Town’s chances to return to the top league in English football nad likewise, Nigel Clough at Derby County?
Of the three teams relegated from the Premier League last season, I can only really see West Bromich Albion as possible champions, even with new manager Roberto Di Matteo. Until Mike Ashley sells Newcastle I think they will be destined to lose their best players and remain a Championship side. While at Middlesbrough, I’d like to see Gareth Southgate do well but I really don’t think they will be equipped for life in the Championship this season, and will have to accommodate a different style of play.
As previously mentioned on this blog, I think Leicester City had such a good season winning promotion from League One that they could quite easily win two promotions on the bounce.
The internet is full of good quality websites offering football news services to keep fans buzzing throughout the season. But as football fans, we all know only too well that there can only be one winner at the end of the season.