2016-17: Predictions for the new football season

Almin Abdi makes a run in midfield for Sheffield Wednesday.
Almin Abdi makes a run in midfield for Sheffield Wednesday.
0
Have your say

The Yorkshire Post’s football writers Richard Sutcliffe and Leon Wobschall make their predictions for the new season. What are yours?

Richard Sutcliffe

Premier League

Champions: Manchester United have strengthened considerably and will take some stopping. Pep Guardiola has more of a rebuilding job at Manchester City so expect the biggest challenge to come from Tottenham Hotspur.

Relegated: Hull City are, with nine days to go until the new season, someway short of being competitive, as are Burnley. West Bromwich Albion are also likely to be in danger along with Swansea City.

Championship

Promoted: Newcastle United as title winners, Sheffield Wednesday runners-up. Derby County, Norwich City and Brighton in the play-offs along with a wild card in Brentford.

Relegated: Burton and Blackburn to struggle, as could Rotherham United and Nottingham Forest.

League One

Promoted: Sheffield United to finally justify their billing as favourites by joining Millwall in the top two. Charlton, MK Dons, Coventry and Bristol Rovers in the play-offs.

Relegated: Port Vale’s foreign experiment could back-fire, while Bury will struggle without Leon Clarke. Oldham Athletic and Swindon Town to complete the quartet heading for the drop.

League Two

Promoted: Doncaster Rovers’ decline to be halted as Darren Ferguson’s men scrap it out with Portsmouth and Luton Town for a place in the top three. Play-offs to be Cambridge, Carlisle, Plymouth and Cheltenham.

Relegated: Morecambe ended last season in wretched form and little has changed. Likewise, Crawley Town.

Leon Wobschall

Premier League

Champions: Hard to look much further than Manchester United and Chelsea, although the latter still have work to do in the transfer market. The playing style makeover at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola may take a bit of time to take hold - they may be stronger in Europe. Liverpool could be dark horses, without European football.

Relegated: Given what amounts to a close season from hell, you have to feel for Hull and survival would be a remarkable achievement. West Brom, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Swansea did not end the season well and are also likely to be in the mix to go down. Burnley will be massively reliant on Andre Gray; if he fires, they might just be okay.

Champions

Promoted: In terms of top two, Newcastle plus one other. The Magpies’ recruitment has been substantial and impressive. Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are far too good for the Championship and Grant Hanley is a solid signing. Derby and Norwich will battle it out for automatic promotion - play-offs for the Owls along with Brighton. The end-of-season lottery at best for Aston Villa, who could easily miss out.

Relegated: Rotherham have it all on to survive, but they have been here before and like nothing better to confound the doubters. Fulham minus Ross McCormack look vulnerable as do Burton and Blackburn.

League One

Promoted: If Sheffield United avoid injury and Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke fire, they look a great bet for the top two, with their main challengers likely to be the London duo of Charlton and Millwall. Gillingham and MK Dons will also be in the play-off hunt, along with Peterborough. Oxford could be a dark horse.

Relegated; The Lancastrian trio of Oldham Athletic, Bury and Fleetwood look vulnerable, as do Port Vale, if their foreign policy doesn’t work out.

League Two

Promoted: Hard to look much further than Portsmouth, although they could be pushed by Notts County, Luton and Leyton Orient, while if Doncaster Rovers’ pre-season injuries subside, they should have had a shout. Cheltenham and Grimsby may be surprise packages for the play-offs. Wycombe shouldn’t be far away and there’s also Plymouth.

Relegated: Any two from Newport, Crawley and Morecambe.