Sky Bet Championship Season Preview Part 2

Second part of our season preview, which follows the format of the first part: the prices below were the best prices for each outcome and were sourced from the Oddschecker website on 9th July 2013. The official twitter accounts and hashtags for each club are included – social media is a fantastic source of information these days.

Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) #bhafc

Manager: Oscar Garcia (since June 2013)

Promotion: 9/2

Relegation: 25/1

Along with Watford, the prime contenders for this season’s playoff hangover. The Seagulls lost as many games as Cardiff, but drew far too many games to present a genuine promotion challenge. Sacking Gus Poyet and replacing him with a foreign manager with one season’s managerial experience in minor European league isn’t exactly a recipe for immediate disaster in the same way as the Henning Berg situation worked out for Wolves last season, but I’ll be surprised if Brighton win promotion.

Burnley (@BurnleyOfficial) #clarets

Manager: Sean Dyche (since October 2012)

Promotion: 17/1

Relegation: 9/2

Hard to know what to write about a team that is more or less become the definition of mid table respectability in the Championship after their single season in the Premier League a few years ago. Haven’t got past the fifth round of the FA Cup for over a decade, so a cup run might be welcome: otherwise as you were.

Charlton Athletic (@CAFCOfficial) #cafc

Manager: Chris Powell (since January 2011)

Promotion: 14/1

Relegation: 9/1

Took their time to adjust after promotion last season but never really looked in any trouble and finished well. With a full season in the Championship under their belts the Addicks could surprise a few people this season but their form at The Valley will need to improve if they want to establish themselves as a playoff contenders.

Derby County (@dcfcofficial) #derbycounty or #dcfc

Manager: Nigel Clough (since January 2009)

Promotion: 9/1

Relegation: 12/1

The Rams inevitable mid table finish was never in doubt after the start of November 2012. The Rams inevitable mid table finish will probably never be in doubt after the start of November 2013, but one away win after Boxing Day indicates that if they’re heading in any direction, it may be down rather than up. Following Kenny Jackett’s departure from Millwall, Nigel Clough is the longest serving manager in the Championship but you get the feeling he’s treading water.

Doncaster Rovers (@drfc_official) #drfc

Manager: Paul Dickov (since May 2013)

Promotion: 40/1

Relegation: 6/4

Returned to the Championship in dramatic circumstances at Brentford after one season in League One, but the main question mark is Paul Dickov – if he wasn’t up to job of saving Oldham from relegation to League Two last season, how is he going to cope with the Championship? It’s been six seasons since the promoted champions finished in the bottom half of the table and as we’ve seen before, momentum after promotion normally carries over into the following season, but the bookies aren’t confident.

Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) #htafc

Manager:  Mark Robbins (since February 2013)

Promotion: 25/1

Relegation: 9/2

The absence of Jordan Rhodes was thought to be the main problem before last season started, but the overwhelming theme in 2012/13 was dreadful defending – only Peterborough and Bristol City conceded more goals and only the latter had a worse goal difference in the Championship. On average, League 1 playoff winners tend to perform worse in their second season than their first, which looks as if another battle against relegation for the Terriers is on the cards in 2013/14.

Author: Mike Roberts

A football fan since the 1970s, I take my inspiration from the standard of writing that made Shoot! magazine streets ahead of anything else back in the day. I'm also a complete and utter stathead, which I blame on being exposed to American sports at the end of my teens.