Yorkshire Post Power Rankings: Where does your club stand as we kick-off the new campaign?

THE shadow-boxing is over and the main bout is back on the agenda with our power rankings underway for another season.

Eleven clubs are already two games into the embryonic campaign, while Hull City and Middlesbrough are awaiting the big Premier League kick-off on Saturday, with contrasting senses of expectation for sure.

Here is the first Power Rankings table of the season, with last year’s finish of each club in brackets, with the last six outings taking in each respective side’s final run of games from last season, including any play-off matches, also included.

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1: Middlesbrough (2) WWDDDD.

The sense of expectation on Teesside is sky-high ahead of their top-flight return, certainly in comparison to the contrasting feeling on Humberside. Buoyed by some impressive and prolific summer transfer business which has seen the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Victor Valdes and Marten de Roon arrive, Boro - who have had a steady pre-season - look well-placed to achieve their seasonal aims of consolidation. Many experts also seem to think so, we will see...

2: Sheffield Wednesday (4) LWDLWL.

A season of rebirth saw Wednesday agonisingly fall at the final hurdle last term, but there has been no hangover, certainly league-wise.

As statements go, a first-game victory over relegated Aston Villa in front of a bumper Hillsborough crowd was excellent.

All right, a much-changed and youthful Owls side may have exited the League Cup at Cambridge on a ‘night of the long knives’ for Yorkshire sides in midweek, but Carlos Carvalhal’s clear priority is another appointment in East Anglia - a televised league match at another fancied side in Norwich City on Saturday evening.

3: York City (13) WLLDDW.

It has been a case of ‘rip it up and start again’ for Jackie McNamara, who has decimated the squad who broke a fair few unwanted records en route to the Minstermen’s lame relegation back to the Conference.

Operating a virtual new-look line-up, sometimes early season results take time as players often do not immediately gel. In that respect, a battling first-day draw at Maidstone and similarly hard-fought 1-0 home victory over Macclesfield is a decent response, even if victory over the latter was lucky, in the words of McNamara. York will take that; they had little good fortune last term. Spirit growing maybe..

4: Huddersfield Town (7) DDLLWL.

In the words of former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson, some things ‘good and some not so good.’ Town were among the White Rose League Cup casualties at Shrewsbury on Tuesday, but on the positive side, three points are in the bank following an accomplished opening-day win over Brentford, which was thoroughly lapped up by the bulk of the 18,500-plus home crowd, with the likes of Aaron Mooy, Jack Payne and Elias Kachunga making a vibrant early impression.

It is only Newcastle away next up.. and then Villa.

5: Bradford City (5) WWLDDL.

An agonisingly League Cup penalty shootout loss in an epic at Accrington was painful, but there was undeniable promise in Stuart McCall’s ‘second coming’ in the home opener with Port Vale, with a lot of City’s approach play being commendable, but without a predatory edge. The re-signing of the talented Josh Cullen is also seriously welcome news.

6: Barnsley (1) WWWWLL.

If a well-known brand of continental lager did second halves of last season, Barnsley’s would have been it, culminating in Wembley glory for the second time in under two months.

Given all that, there was always likely to be a bit of a reality check. First week defeats to Ipswich - when the Reds looked threatening going forward, but let in some poor goals - and Northampton have provided that, to some extent.

But the feeling of well-being is still prevalent ahead of home games with Derby and QPR. Let us hope that is still the case by late on Wednesday.

7: Leeds United (8) WDLDLW.

A win is a win as Wednesday’s dramatic penalty shootout cup victory at Fleetwood was for Leeds United and how Garry Monk will have heaved a sigh of relief after a pretty rank-bad 3-0 loss in their league opener at QPR, which evoked memories of the first game of the 2014-15 season during the short-lived reign of David Holloway.

There is never much respite at Leeds, but Monk, whose side produced a decent response after the break at Fleetwood, will be grateful for small mercies at least. Now it is Birmingham at home. Fasten your seatbelts..

8: Rotherham United (6). DDLLDL.

The case for the defence has not exactly been overwhelming in the first week of the campaign for Alan Stubbs’s Millers, who failed to see out Saturday’s game with Wolves, despite leading 2-0 against visitors who had 10 men for most of the second half and then shipped goals for fun in a madcap 5-4 cup exit to Morecambe, yes Morecambe, at home.

Even accounting for the Millers’ remarkable early-Spring renaissance under Stubbs’s predecesor, Neil Warnock, it will not have escaped some people that they have not won in their last seven competitive matches.

9: Guiseley (9) WLLWLL.

It was also going to be a testing start to the season for Guiseley, with games against a much-fancied side in Eastleigh and another tipped by the bookies to do well in Wrexham and so it is proving.

The Lions, slightly unluckily, have lost out by the odd goal in both matches so far, but it is a pointless start to the season thus far.

10: North Ferriby (N/A) LLWWDL.

After an opening-day stalemate for Braintree, the Villagers were handed an emphatic ‘Welcome to the Conference’ lesson by rampant Lincoln City in midweek, with the Imps recording a crushing 6-1 victory. A reaction is required at Dover on Saturday.

11: Doncaster Rovers (12) DWLDLL.

Rovers needed a pre-season injury crisis like a hole in the head and salt has been rubbed into wounds by two last-gasp defeats in league and cup against Accrington and Nottingham Forest to start 2016-17.

Both performances have not been without merit, with some of Rovers’ general play being eye-catching enough. But it is a results game and both showings have been pockmarked by sloppy concessions.

Early days, but Rovers need a win - preferably two - from home games with Crawley and Cambridge.

12; Sheffield United (11) WDLLLL.

Not the start Chris Wilder would have visualised, although there were good elements in the opening day game at Bolton - less so in the cup home loss to Crewe.

Wilder, a forthright, honest, passionate and committed figure, will be demanding a response at home to Rochdale at the weekend.

13: Hull City (3) WLWWLW.

How the highs of Wembley seem a world away.

No side has perhaps endured a worst preparation to the start of a Premier League season than managerless Hull, who have yet to sign a senior player this summer in a perfect storm out east.

Protesting fans - tick; injury crisis - tick; off-the-field uncertainty - tick; daunting start to the season - tick. It’s been a wretched time of it for those of an amber and black persuasion.

Never mind, it is only champions Leicester who are first up..