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Championship Fans’ 2019/20 Season Predictions Part 1 – Barnsley thru Leeds

Championship Fans’ 2019/20 Season Predictions Part 1 – Barnsley thru Leeds

Billy Grant (@billythebee99) caught up with fans and bloggers at all 24 Championship clubs to find out their thoughts on their last campaign. How they felt their rivals will do this campaign. Who they best fans they came across last season were. And what was their most anticipated away day.

They also told us how they feel their team will get on this coming season. 

Part 1 covers teams Barnsley through to Leeds.

Part 2 covering Luton through Wigan can be found here (click here)

Barnsley FC

Joseph Beardsall, @josephbeardsall
Red All Over

This Season’s Prediction: 10th

Last season prediction: n/a

How would you describe last season for your club?
It was an outstanding season for Barnsley. From the very first game of the season when we beat Oxford 4-0 we looked like we would certainly gain promotion and that’s exactly what we did.

Under the leadership of Daniel Stendel, the team continued to improve and get a better understanding of his attacking style of play as the season went on. The campaign ended in promotion which is exactly what the Reds deserved.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
I would love to say promotion to the Premier League but I’m pretty certain that’s the fan in me talking. The realistic part of my brain fully understands just how tough the Championship is and I know a steady mid-table finish for Barnsley on their return to the Championship would be a great achievement.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
The last time we got promoted to the Championship we made the huge mistake of letting players who didn’t want to sign new deals walk away from the club for almost nothing as their contracts came to an end. That, ultimately, was a big reason for our relegation.

This time our owners have certainly showed they don’t plan to let that happen again. We have lost our two key centre-backs – Liam Lindsay to Stoke and Ethan Pinnock to Brentford. But we have brought in millions for the pair and the promise was made that cash would be spent back on the first team and that promise has certainly been kept.

We have signed ten quality players on long contracts in this transfer window and I strongly believe this will massively pay off.

Who was your biggest hero last season?

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I could spend all night trying to answer who our biggest hero was last season but I have to give it to our German manager Daniel Stendel.

It isn’t an easy thing moving to a new country where no one speaks your language to coach a team to play the way you want them to play but Daniel did just that.

His passion and determination. His attacking, positive style of play. And his attempts to kick and head every ball on the touch line has made him a Barnsley hero.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
This is a very hard question to answer because every player put their all into the season and that resulted in promotion. Nothing really disappointed me apart from the long queue to get a pie at half time.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
They say true goal scorers will score whichever league they play in and I’m certain Reds forward Cauley Woodrow fits into that category.

Our goal machine showed his class in League One and Championship defenders will be having sleepless nights once they realise just how good he is.

I also believe Alex Mowatt is one to watch. He’s a player who loves a long range effort. He’s played at this level before. And I am confident this will be his season to show everyone just how great he is.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
This is a tough one to call because as ever, the Championship throws up some huge shocks. I imagine many will select Leeds but I’m predicting they will bottle it again and believe Fulham will go up and maybe Derby might just go one better this season and join them.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
Luton are my pick for relegation.

It’s a known fact many teams who come up often struggle and yes I’m fully aware my team are in the same boat but I believe we are very prepared and will do enough but I feel they will struggle however I hope I’m wrong because they are a great club.

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
I said it before. I believe Derby will go one better and go up.

Some may say that’s not really a surprise because they were in the pla- off final but considering how they have previously struggled to get over the line and have a new manager, I don’t think many fans would be backing them as their favourites at this stage.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
There’s nothing more satisfying than beating one of your rivals who still think they are one of the most important clubs in England even though they have been in the second tier for most of my life.

I’m always at my happiest when Barnsley have given Leeds a good beating so I’m hopeful we can do that again this year.

What fans impressed you most last season?
This is an easy one for me because one set of fans certainly stood out.

Coventry came to Oakwell and did not stop singing. The game ended 2-2 but I don’t think they would have gone home with a point if it hadn’t been for their away support singing their hearts out to spur their team on.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
Obviously I would say promotion but I’m aware that is always going to be difficult for a newly promoted team. So I will go with doing the double over Leeds.

If we avoid relegation and win those two fixtures then I will be a very happy Barnsley fan.

Predicted league finish?
We will have a steady season and surprise a few teams. I have total confidence in Daniel Stendel and the lads keeping us up and I am predicting we will flirt with the play-offs for a bit before maybe just falling short and finishing in 10th.

If I am right then that’s got to be seen as a huge success for the team and we can certainly build on that for the next campaign.

Birmingham City

Emily Drakeley, @emdrakeley
Birmingham Fan TV

This Season’s Prediction: 8th

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position
Predicted position (Al Majid) – 19th. Actual position – 17th

How would you describe last season for your club?
Last season for Birmingham City can only really be described in one word – rollercoaster.

With Garry Monk coming in not too long before the end of the previous season and keeping us up, we were in high spirits looking forward. However, due to Birmingham’s transfer embargo all the other business going on regarding Financial Fair Play, we weren’t able to strengthen as much as Monk wanted.

However we did manage to bring in a few players who were hugely impactful throughout the season.

Ultimately, the season was thoroughly enjoyable. We were pushing on playoffs for the majority of the campaign but we knew we had to be on our top form every single game because we had the FFP hearing looming.

Every player gave their all. It was so exhilarating to watch because all we want at Birmingham City is the passion.

We tailed off a bit towards the end of the season, but it was such a crazy one!

What are your hopes for 2019/20 season?
This is a tough one to answer. After the Garry Monk sacking and the at the time somewhat cryptic message from the board, I would’ve put us just above the relegation zone – due to the lack of focus and the desperate need to strengthen our team.

However, since then Pep Clotet has been appointed “caretaker first team head coach” (which is the weirdest title ever) and the club have made some smashing signings.

The footballing philosophy has changed and things are altogether looking a bit brighter!

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
We have brought in Dan Crowley, Ivan Sunjic, Jake Clarke-Salter (on loan) and Gary Gardner so far .But things are consistently changing and we are hearing of new transfer targets all the time after a quiet few weeks at the start of the window.

Who was your biggest hero last season?

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Che Adams has to be the biggest hero, after scoring an obscene amount of goals!

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Personally it was Kristian Pedersen. He signed for us at the start of last season from Union Berlin after a highly-publicised wrangle over his registration. Just when you thought he was hitting the mark, he would drop off again. This season we are playing a different formation and I think he will suit this one much better.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Ivan Sunjic and Dan Crowley. Both incredibly exciting players.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
Fulham

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
Barnsley

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
I think that will be us!

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
Charlton. I have never been before and I love the style of football Charlton play, so I am excited to see them.

What fans impressed you most last season?
Nottingham Forest

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
A prolific goal scorer to replace Che Adams.

Predicted league finish?

8th.

We might be pushing for play offs but who knows what will happen

Blackburn Rovers

Daniel Scott, @TalkBlackburn
Talk Blackburn

This Season’s Prediction: 9th

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position 
Predicted position – 12th. Actual position – 15th

How would you describe last season for your club?
It was a respectable season for Blackburn. You could see the team building.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
Blackburn to push close to the playoffs.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
I think we’ve done ok so far in the transfer marketing – signing four players but it has been unfortunate to lose our Number 1 goalkeeper David Raya to Brentford.

Who was your biggest hero last season?

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Lewis Travis was incredible for Blackburn last season – coming through our youth system and cementing a first team position.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Ben Brereton was a little short last season. You can see the potential but he was missing something last season.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
I would say Lewis Travis. The midfielder is an absolute engine in the middle of the park and I can see him shocking many teams.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
Derby County are a team to look out for this season.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
Wigan Athletic, doesn’t seem promising for them.

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
Luton Town are going to be a dark horse team this season and will surprise a few

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
Has to be Blackburn against Preston.

What fans impressed you most last season?
I would have say Aston Villa fans. Lots of passion at that club.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
Would love to see Blackburn in the play off positions.

Predicted league finish?

I thinking Rovers will be finishing around 9th this season.

Brentford

Billy Grant, @BillyTheBee99
Beesotted

This season’s Prediction: 5th

Last Season Prediction v Actual position 
Predicted position – 8th. Actual position – 11th

How would you describe last season for your club?
Disappointing.

We have some great players. We play great football. But we failed to win an away game until January. And that was (with all due respect to them) at Rotherham.

In the end we won a paltry three away matches – the Rotherham match. Another against Boro – our first in 12 meetings dating back to 1964 with the large majority of those being losses including the playoff semi-final belittling in May 2015.

And the third was a bye with Bolton Wanderers failing to fulfil the fixture meaning we got an automatic 1-0 win

Basically we seemed to be lacking a backbone. We have the ability to play slick football. But struggle to grind out results when coming up against teams who knew our weaknesses.

It wasn’t helped mind you by the sudden death of much-loved technical director Rob Rowan. And Dean Smith leaving to guide Villa to the Premier League.

What are your hopes for 2018-19 season?
Blimey. That’s a tough call. If you check Brentford fans’ pre season predictions, we’re all very buoyant with the raft of new signings we have made.

Pontus Janssen’s signing was very ‘un-Brentford’. Signing a ‘name brand’ player who is over the age of 24 on a decent wage is just not what we do. But the belief is The Bees are making serious moves to get rid of that ‘soft underbelly’ we have had for years – where we continually let in soft goals.

Saying that, it’s hard to predict how we will do without knowing who will leave if anyone. As we speak, there have been serious interest in Neal Maupay, Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma. If all three leave, it will be a disaster and I will say we will be looking a year another top half finish and a season of rebuilding. 

However, if we keep them all, on paper we should be strong enough to make the playoffs.

It’s our final season at Griffin Park. It will be really sad to move – albeit 10 mins walk up the road – and it would be great to see the season off with a bang.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?

A fair bit of churn. Keeper Dan Bentley left for Bristol City (£2.5m). Top bloke Yoann Barbet has done himself no favours moving across West London to QPR (end of contract).

Moses Odubajo, Josh McEachran and Lewis McLeod also left at the end of their contracts. 

Ezri Konsa left for Villa for £12m – a great bit of business as we bought him from Charlton last summer for around £2m.

Sadly we also lost Romaine Sawyers to West Brom for £3m last weekend which send a dark cloud over Griffin Park.

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Coming in – Pontus Janssen from Leeds for £4m was the transfer that got tongues wagging.

Joining him to toughen up our central defence was Ethan Pinnock (£3m) from Barnsley who I saw play in his last game for Dulwich Hamlet at East Thurrock in the Playoff Final where he (his defence) let in three almost identical goals arial-lofted balls by half-time.

We also signed pass-pinging defensive midfielder Christian Nørgaard from Fiorentina (£4m). Attacking midfielder Mattias Jensen from Celta Vigo (£3.5m) and keeper David Raya (£3m) from Blackburn.

We’ve put a £6m bid in for forward Bryan Mbuemo from Troyes which may or may not come off.

What has been good is, although we are spending much more money than we ever have done, we are spending well within our means – having pulled in over £25m last January in selling Chris Mepham (£15m), Ryan Woods (£6m) and Nico Yennaris (£4.5m).

We’re currently fighting to keep hold of Neal Maupay (£20m value). Said Benrahma (£20m value) and Ollie Watkins (£15m value) – all three have had Premier League clubs more than sniffing.

Who was your biggest hero last season?
Without a shadow of doubt Neal Maupay. If you look back at the goals he scored last season, he’s some player

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Dan Bentley went backwards unfortunately. Gifted the opposition a fair fee goals last season with some real schoolboy errors. He’s starting a new life at Bristol City so here’s hoping he regains him the form that gained him much respect when he arrived at Griffin Park.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Other than Maupay, Benrahma and Watkins – who may or may not be here come August 9th – Ethan Pinnock has looked tidy in pre-season.

As an up-and-coming, young striker Marcus Forss has looked lively and taken his goals really well in the pre-season matches.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
West Brom have a good manager, money to spend and have just signed Romaine Sawyers so I’ll plump for them

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
I really don’t have a clue.

QPR are rebuilding on the cheap but Warburton is going back to olde skool Warburton – concentrating on football and getting the best out of young players rather than the other nonsense he got himself entwined in so I think QPR will be OK

Barnsley have had a huge churn of players and we know how difficult it can be to bring in a load of players and get them “Championship ready”. But they should survive.

Birmingham float with regelation yearly and have FFP problems. They could be in trouble.

But I think I’ll go with Wigan as they haven’t really replaced Nick Powell and Reece James at time of writing

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
Barnsley will surprise everyone and stay up

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
I’ve already booked trains for Forest and Preston. Those are always two great awaydays.

What fans impressed you most last season?
I went to all the Championship playoff matches (long story) and I was flitting between the Villa end and the WBA end in the semi at The Hawthorns and I have to say, I was very impressed by the West Brom fans. Their support was excellent

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
We don’t lose any more players this season and give it it a real go in our last season at Griffin Park.

Predicted league finish?
I predicted 5th in the Beesotted predictions and guess I have to stick with that followed by a playoff win.

But the reality is – depends on who leaves

Bristol City

Paul Binning, @TheExiledRobin
The Exiled Robin

This Season’s Prediction: 5th

Last Season Prediction v Actual position 
Predicted position – 13th. Actual position – 8th

How would you describe last season for your club?
Better than expected. After selling our three best players last summer, a season of consolidation was expected. So to be in with a shout of a play-off spot on the final day was beyond most expectations.

Ultimately we were just a little short. But it was close and we hit the woodwork more than any other team. You just wonder ‘what if’ just a handful of those had gone in…

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?

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There’s a real feel-good buzz around the place (although somewhat dampened by a 5-0 thrashing by Crystal Palace in our only home friendly match).

Smashing our transfer record – signing Thomas Kalas for £8m – and having improved our league position for five straight seasons, there’s a lot of hope around that this, finally, might just be our year.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
We’ve been busy. Selling England under 21 left back Lloyd Kelly to Bournemouth for £13m+ allowed us to secure the permanent signins of both his England team-mate Jay Dasilva and Tomas Kalas – who we spent £8m on and smashed our club record fee to bring in.

We’ve also spent £4m on signing Dan Bentley from the Bees so have an expensively-assembled back line who will be expected to build on last year’s strong performance.

We still need a couple of additional faces – not least a top quality striker who can play regularly and get the 20+ goal tally that Famara Diedhiou just can’t seem to produce

Who was your biggest hero last season?
Adam Webster came in with the hardest job of all, to replace cult hero Aden Flint, but oozed quality almost from day one to mean we didn’t miss Flint or local lad Joe Bryan at all, defensively at least.

He’s like a swan gliding across a lake when he comes out with the ball – effectively creating an extra midfielder when we have possession.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Marley Watkins, Mo Eisa and Hakeeb Adelukan all arrived for around or above £1m to enhance our overall squad, but had little or no impact in their occasional appearances.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
I’d say Jay Dasilva – brother of Brentford B-team fullback Cole DaSilva. His first games at this level last season showed him to be an excellent attacking full-back and with him now very much established as first choice.

If he progresses along the same trajectory he has the potential to be the best left-back in the division.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
Fulham.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
Millwall

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
I’m not sure Brentford count as a surprise packet any more, so I may just go with Blackburn.

Although at 22/1 for the title, a challenge from ourselves would probably be seen as a bit of a surprise.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
It’s Brentford away for me. A final visit to one of my favourite grounds and away ends. Griffin Park will be missed greatly by visiting supporters.

What fans impressed you most last season?
I think Sheffield United fans encapsualted the slightly surprising challenge and threw their full support behind their Blades-supporting manager and his squad.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
Promotion. It’s our time

Predicted league finish?
5th and given our dreadful record in the playoffs, we probably won’t win it.


Cardiff City

Bethan Phillips, @bethphill_
View From The Ninian

This season’s Prediction: 3rd

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position

n/a

How would you describe last season for your club?
Well, where do I start? Being promoted back to the Premier League was an obvious highlight for our club and to do it in our signature blue kit was even better.

A lot of things were different last season in comparison to our previous Premier League experience. The club was #CityAsOne and our relationship with the owner had improved dramatically. I started the season with the mind-set that as long as we give it a good go, I’d be happy.

It was an emotional season on and off the pitch for Cardiff City – especially with the tragedy concerning Emiliano Sala. It was very surreal and of course, our thoughts remain with the family.

Cardiff were the underdog before a ball had even been kicked. Yet we held our own and hung on until the very end. Watching Cardiff City win against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the final day was easily my favourite experience of the season.

Yet ultimately, we left ourselves with too much to do and lost points against crucial teams around us. We played against the likes of Newcastle and Huddersfield who were down to ten men and only picked up a point on each occasion.

We’ll learn a lot from those experiences and must now build on them.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to bounce back up to the Premier League but it’s going to be tough. We all know that the Championship is one of the most competitive leagues out there. There’ll be more fixtures and I’m sure. A lot more drama.

As long as we’re at the races and in the mix, whether that be play offs or automatics, I’ll be very happy.

But we’ve also got the return of both the South Wales Derby and Severnside Derby. The Bluebirds will be hoping to gain the bragging rights in both of those fixtures.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?

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City fans were gutted to bid farewell to Bruno Manga who has been a key part of our defence for many seasons. He was also a fans’ favourite. We wish him well.

It’s been great to welcome Welsh international Will Vaulks to the squad – signed from Rotherham. We’re all really excited to see his contribution to the squad under Neil Warnock.

We’ve recently lost Ken Zohore who has moved to West Brom. That makes signing a striker essential. I still think Bobby Reid will have a stormer of a season. But I’d like to see a striker arrive at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Who was your biggest hero last season?
I’d like to say Callum Paterson. Having a defender-turned-striker become your top goal-scorer at one point in the season was pretty impressive. People criticised Cardiff’s ‘hoof ball’ tactics. But Callum Paterson was often there to capitalise.

That said, Neil Etheridge quite literally saved us on so many occasions. That penalty save against Leicester to secure our first away win of the season was one of the best memories. Ultimately, I’d have to say that Etheridge, with his ten clean sheets, was my hero of the season.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Kenneth Zohore was my biggest disappointment of the season. Us football fans are a fickle bunch and yes, I was delighted when he scored that late winner against Southampton. But something really didn’t seem to click last season.

He didn’t seem to have a lot of drive or enthusiasm. Yet, I guarantee he’ll do a Cardiff City ex-striker classic and go on a scoring spree and score against us this season for West Brom.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Bobby Reid. I think he’s going to do very well in the Championship this year, as long as Warnock plays him in his most favoured position.

He’s got skill, pace and an eye for goal. He was one of my favourite players last season and has really developed.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
Fulham. It pains me to say that. But the signings they’ve made are quite telling for their ambitions this season. Keeping Mitrovic is a huge bonus. It didn’t work out for them in the Premier League – especially given their inconsistent defence. But I think they make a top Championship side.

If Mitrovic gets off to a good start and they sort out that defence, I think they’ll be the side to watch out for.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
It’s hard to tell with the Championship and I know how it feels to be the relegation favourites following on from last season. Cardiff have missed out on the play-offs by one goal in the past. The Championship is a brutal division.

That said, I’d probably put money on Charlton to be relegated, but it’s great to see Welsh boy Jonny Iniesta (Jonny Williams) back fit and playing.

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
It’s hard to tell as a relegated team coming back into the Championship. I know how competitive the division is, but there’s always room for surprise. Truth be told, I’m not too sure so I’ll just go for Nottingham Forest.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
It’s got to be Luton away. It’s a great old-school stadium and I’ve never been before. That’s on my pre-season checklist, for sure.

What fans impressed you most last season?
I’d have to say Leicester. We hosted Leicester in the game following the tragedy involving their late Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. The Leicester fans were outstanding and played their part in a really emotional tribute.

Arsenal also brought a big following to our Sunday fixture last season and were the loudest of the London clubs. They were very respectful when welcoming Cardiff City to the Emirates.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
A home and away win vs Swansea City. That’ll do me nicely.

Predicted league finish?
I’d like to say 2nd to avoid the play-offs. I’m still not over the defeat to Blackpool at Wembley. We saw last season as we have in previous seasons, that you can consistently be at the automatic races in the Championship. But if you drop out, the play-offs favour nobody.

Neil Warnock has proven experience of promoting teams from the Championship to the Premier League. We weren’t exactly favourites in 2017/18 for our ability, style or tactics. But he knows how to get you to the promised land.

I’ll be hoping for more of the same from Neil Warnock… but given the competition, ‘I’ll go for a 3rd place finish. I reckon we’ll be up against Middlesborough in the play-offs and thereafter, who knows what will happen!

Charlton Athletic

Ollie Cook, @SE7Pod
SE7 Pod

This season’s Prediction: 19th

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position

n/a

How would you describe last season for your club?
Unbelievable.

After a quite unassuming start where we couldn’t even fill the bench, we really showed ourselves as a force in League One and couldn’t stop winning by the end of the season. Some late goals and some thumping victories (with a few slip ups on the way) all came together in that amazing play off win – something that will live in the memories of Charlton fans for years to come.

I suppose the game at Wembley could summarise our season. Self inflicted errors early on. Some lovely football bringing us back in. And a scrappy finish to get the job done.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
If you offered me 21st now I’d take it. However, knowing Lee Bowyer’s mentality he will probably push for playoffs.

Being realistic it will have to be a season of consolidation, establish ourselves back in the league before pushing on. It is going to be tough and we should expect some lows. But staying in the Championship is the main goal and we should have the ability and characters to do that.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
Losing playoff hero Pat Bauer to championship rivals Preston and Premier League loanees Bielik and Cullen going back to their parent clubs at the start of the window really gutted our spine of the team.

Joe Aribo leaving not long after for Rangers caused a real concern as we struggled to hold onto what made us so strong last year.

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Steve Gallen and Lee Bowyer have worked tirelessly to rebuild from the back – signing on two centre backs who captained their previous teams in Tom Lockyer and Deji Oshilaja. We also re-secured the services of Jonny Williams who is bound to make a huge impact.

And with some unknown quantities up top in Chucks Aneke and Macauley Bonne, it is definitely going to be interesting to see where we go from here. A few more new faces required but with our youth system and recruitment policy of late, Charlton fans have every reason to be confident in who we have on the pitch.

Who was your biggest hero last season?
In such a successful season there are many heroes we could choose from. But the real face of Charlton’s success is definitely Lyle Taylor. Not only the goals and assists (all 30 of them) but his work rate and passion really endeared him to the fans. A great guy off the pitch as well as a fantastic player on it. It’s hard to believe we brought him in on a free.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Every player played their part in promotion in some form but it is hard not to be a little bit disappointed with Tariq Fosu.

A clearly talented young player showed flashes of brilliance in his first season – scoring five in five – but this year his decision making was off, frequently looking to shoot when a pass was on or vice versa. His general attitude was also the polar opposite to many of his team mates which didn’t bode well.

Bowyer has done the right thing in shipping him off to Oxford to link back up with the man who brought him to Charlton in the first place, Karl Robinson. Hopefully he can get the best out of him again.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Charlton’s youth academy has produced some real gems over the last few years and we should look to that to see who will break out as a star this year.

Going off what I have seen pre-season, we should consider Brendan Wiredu who has somehow scored in every match so far – from full back.

A young talent who can hopefully crack the first team squad this year.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
I would say Leeds but it seems they are allergic to promotion.

West Brom should be considered as potential champions with their huge budget and a years experience at this level. Lessons learnt from last season and all that, they have got to be real contenders.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
This maybe emotion getting into it but I’m going to say Millwall.

I have never seen Charlton beat The Lions all my life so it will be really satisfying to watch Lyle Taylor net at the Den to send them to League One.

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
Brentford go from strength to strength at this level and every season they look better. With the new stadium on its way and a seeming endless raft of young talent coming through the team, I think they could really go on to surprise some people and have a very strong year.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
Charlton vs Millwall at the Den. We know lots of Millwall fans from the area so it has to be the one to watch for Charlton fans.

What fans impressed you most last season?
Fortunately they will be joining us in the Championship from League One as Luton have very passionate supporters.

Lots of back and forth with our fans (all good banter, right?) and a strange stadium (a must visit), I very much enjoyed both matches against the Hatters last season and am really looking forward to seeing their fans at the Valley for another game.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
An FA cup run with a chance to see some Premier League grounds!

Predicted league finish?
19th

Derby County

Ollie Wright, @derbycountyblog
Derby County Blog

This season’s Prediction: 6th

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position
Predicted position – 5th. Actual position – 6th

How would you describe last season for your club?
Fun and galling – in equal measure.

Frank Lampard came on a season-long loan from Chelsea and didn’t quite manage to get us out of the division. But he certainly united the fans behind him whilst leading the team to some cracking victories in league and cup.

His inexperience told at times – most notably in his bizarre team selection for the play-off final. But on the whole, it was an entertaining little cameo in the club’s history that did more good than harm.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
I’m hoping that Phillip Cocu will be able to adapt quickly to English football and keep us competitive whilst also continuing the unfinished squad rebuilding project which began under Lampard.

Derby are always expected to be ‘there or thereabouts’ and despite the loss of Lampard’s star loanees, we still have some quality players on the books

So we will aspire to the play-offs, as per usual.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
Cocu has a fair bit more work to do in the transfer market at the time of writing.

Kieran Dowell has joined from Everton on loan – hopefully he will be successful in replacing the goals and guile of departing star midfielders Mason Mount and Harry Wilson.

Graeme Shinnie was signed by Lampard on a free transfer from Aberdeen and should add a competitive edge to the midfield. Fikayo Tomori was almost ever-present at centre back and his return to Chelsea leaves a void to fill.

Veteran defender Curtis Davies is training again after missing the bulk of last season. But we could still do with strengthening in defence, midfield and wide areas.

There’s hope that some of the youngsters from the academy will step up and earn more minutes, to at least, partially fill the gaps.

Who was your biggest hero last season?
Everybody loved Tomori and he swept the board at the club’s awards ceremony.

Embed from Getty Images

Personally, I was blown away by Wilson’s goal record. But the poor lad didn’t even win goal of the season, despite smashing in worldies for the entire year.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Probably Lampard for leaving when he did. And particularly the drawn-out manner of the departure which has undoubtedly hampered our preparations for this season.

Hopefully, it will work out for the best in the end and the £4m compensation cheque from Abramovich was reason for the club’s bean counters to smile, at least.

I wouldn’t pick on a player for being particularly disappointing as I thought the squad did really well to reach Wembley.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Dowell has undoubted quality. Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn are both dangerous strikers at this level.

Attacking midfielder Duane Holmes has a bit of magic in his boots and can wriggle away from a tackler like a little eel. Despite his tiny stature he is a dynamic, combative player and not afraid to mix it.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
Fulham.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
QPR.

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
Bristol City.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
The East Midlands Derby always means that bit more. Bring on the Forest.

What fans impressed you most last season?
Leeds United for the graceful manner in which they accepted defeat in the play-off semi-finals.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
If I could be guaranteed that Cocu would still be managing Derby on the first day of next season then I would take that. For a variety of reasons, we simply haven’t been able to keep hold of managers in the last few years and we really need one to stick around for a while.

Predicted league finish?
6th place and then, who knows?

Fulham

George Cooper, @GeorgeCoops
Fulhamish Podcast

This season’s Prediction: 2nd

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position

n/a

How would you describe last season for your club?
Would rather not talk about it if I’m honest. From day one relegation seemed an inevitable prospect. The obvious thing to blame would be recruitment. However, the managerial appointment of Ranieri was the final nail in the coffin for me. He caused a lot of damage alienating key players (namely Sessegnon and Cairney) and trying to install a system that didn’t play to our strengths.

Dilly ding dilly doughnut. It was a long season riddled with defensive errors and poor morale and one I am happy to put behind us.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
Promotion hopefully.

Obviously so many factors to consider, such as the fact it’ll be Scott Parker’s first full season in charge and we still have areas in our squad needing reinforcement (defence). But I’m feeling optimistic and am looking forward to what we have in store. Rarely a dull moment at Fulham these days.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
Out:
Seri and Anguissa out on loan to Galatasaray and Villarreal with options to buy at the end of the season. Sad but expected. I’d rather they’d been sold so we could reinvest. Both undeniable talents but Seri didn’t hit his stride and Anguissa showed brilliance at times but was inconsistent. I’m quite indifferent on both of their departures.

Harvey Elliott to Liverpool. Again sad. But can’t blame him with Liverpool being his boyhood club. Wish them all the best.

In:
Cavalerio and Knockhaert on loan from Wolves and Brighton, with options to buy at the end of the season. Buzzing about these two signings. Our attacking trio will be formidable with these players either side of Mitrovic.

Taylor-Crossdale in from Chelsea. Looking forward to seeing what he’s got to offer up top.

Who was your biggest hero last season?

Embed from Getty Images

Mitrovic always gave his all despite it being a frustrating season.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Seri. Had so much potential but just never hit form. I would have loved to have seen him at his best.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
In terms of players coming through, I think this will be a breakthrough year for Matt O’Riley. A very talented 18-year old midfielder who has attracted attention from a host of Premier League clubs supposedly.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion? 
Cardiff

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
QPR 😉

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
I think The Bees have a shot you know. I admire the way you seem to expertly utilise the money ball statistical analysis in your recruitment and was very sad to hear of the death of Robert Rowan. You’ll be challenging play-off spots.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
Fulham QPR for me. There are few things in life that bring me as much joy as stuffing QPR.

What fans impressed you most last season?
Leeds. My dad works in security at Fulham and described the scenes in the Putney end bar at half-time as “feral”.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
Aboubakar Kamara’s head being screwed on a bit tighter

Predicted league finish?
2nd

Huddersfield Town

Richard Kosmala, @superkos
Takes That Chance Podcast

This season’s Prediction: 9th

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position

n/a

How would you describe last season for your club?
Truly horrific. Relegated by Christmas. Defeat after defeat with very little in the way of positives. We did beat Wolves twice however somehow.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
To start enjoying watching us again and to know that when the opposition scores a goal, we’ve a chance of coming back.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
We bought in young guns – forward Josh Koroma from Orient and winger Reece Brown from Forest Green – to bolster the front line along with experienced centre back Tommy Elphick from Villa.

We also signed highly-rated keeper Kamil Grabara on a season long loan from Liverpool.

As I type, we’re on the verge of selling Phil Billing to Bournemouth.

The worry is we may lose some more of our key players before the window. Jonas Lossl went to Everton on a free.

Who was your biggest hero last season?

Embed from Getty Images

Karlan Grant. League One striking recruit who didn’t look out of place in the top flight.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
So many to choose from. If pushed, Probably Laurent Depoitre – hero the season before last with key goals as we survived against all the odds. Last season he managed a total of zero goals and looked out of shape.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Karlan Grant. The lad seems to have it all. Give him some decent service and I’m confident 20 plus goals will come

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
Tough one. As I type, still plenty of business to be done. Just got a feeling Warnock could work his magic again at Cardiff!

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
Barnsley losing both centre halves will be a big blow and I think they could go straight back down

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
Preston North End – they could be the Sheffield United of 2019/20

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
Luton Town away. I’ve never been. Ground 81 of 92 will be ticked off.

What fans impressed you most last season?
Ours. 31 defeats from 40 games and yet they never stopped bringing the noise.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
Capped away tickets like we’ve had in the Premier League the last 2 seasons. Not the disgraceful prices we’ll inevitably have to pay at Hillsborough, Elland Road etc.

Predicted league finish?
9th

Hull City

Bobbi Hadgraft, @bobbihadg
Hull City Supporters Trust

This season’s Prediction: 10th

Last Season Prediction v Actual Position
Predicted position – 18th. Actual position – 13th

How would you describe last season for your club?
A bit of a rollercoaster really. We peaked halfway through the season, to the surprise of many, but fell short of a top half finish. Huge credit to Nigel Adkins for what he managed to achieve with our squad regardless.

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
I perhaps would have said survival if you’d asked a couple of weeks earlier. However, following a series of promising signings and a favourable managerial appointment in Grant McCann, I would love to push for the play offs.

However a top half finish is probably more realistic.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
We’ve lost a few key players who reached the end of their contracts – David Marshall and Fraizer Campbell .But have made exciting signings in the form of Tom Eaves, Ryan Tafazolli and Josh Bowler.

It’s just nice to get some business done early for a change!

Who was your biggest hero last season?

Embed from Getty Images

Our player of the season – Jarrod Bowen.

Renowned as our “starman”, he made the difference, especially when paired up with Kamil Grosicki.

If we can keep hold of the two, although unlikely, we could be a dangerous side next season.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Angus McDonald.

He was sidelined for the majority of the season after we signed him from Barnsley last summer and has only made 14 appearances for us thus far.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Tom Eaves.

He proved to be one of League One’s most dangerous forwards – with 38 goals in 2 seasons for Gillingham. If he can replicate that form in the Championship, he could be something special.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
Fulham.
You can’t fault their window with huge signings of Cavaleiro and Knockaert in particular.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
Barnsley.

They seem to yo-yo between this division and League One and have lost key players in Lindsay and Pinnock. Their defence could really take a blow.

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
Brentford. They’ve made some brilliant signings – especially Pontus Jansson who’s more than league-proven. What’s more, I think there’s a huge incentive for The Bees to say goodbye to Griffin Park in style.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
It has to be Luton. Kenilworth Road is a ground tick for me and an iconic ground at that.

Very old school.

What fans impressed you most last season?
Forest were impressive and very vocal when we played them away. Sheffield United were lively on the last day too though there were some pretty unfriendly scenes.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
A play-off push.

Grant McCann worked wonders with Doncaster last season and was unfortunate to miss out on promotion. If he can get the best out of our existing squad, there’s nothing to say we couldn’t push for top six.

Predicted league finish?

10th

Leeds United

Andy P, @arcticreviews
Arctic Reviews

This season’s Prediction: 5th

Last Season Prediction v actual position .
Predicted position – 10th. Actual position – 3rd

How would you describe last season for your club?
A greek tragedy in three parts

What are your hopes for 2019-20 season?
More Bielsaball but a Plan B.
Fewer injuries.
More atmospheres like West Brom and Norwich last season at Elland Road.

How are you getting on in the transfer market?
The spreadsheet demands a young sacrifice each season. This year it was Jack Clarke who left and then came back (on loan).

Some other troublemaker left (good to see Pontus Janssen remains in your heart– Ed).

Helder Costa (Wolves) and Ben White (Brighton) came in on loan .

Otherwise the spreadsheet – as of one week out from deadline day – says no money, no more transfer.

Who was your biggest hero last season?

Embed from Getty Images

Sweet Pablo Hernandez or Kalvin Phillips.

Who was your biggest disappointment?
Giving Frank Lampard the leg up he needed.

Which of your players should we most be looking out for?
Costa.

Or if he keeps fit, Mateus Klich (the workhorse).

Also Tyler Roberts.

Of the youngsters, Jamie Shackleton or a Polish kid called Mateusz Bogusz.

Other that your team (of course) what team would you put £100 on for promotion?
It’s wide open. Albion. Possibly.

What team has would you lump £100 on for relegation?
QPR or Wednesday

What team is going to be win the Ian Holloway trophy and be the surprise packet this season?
Luton should go well at home. And they’re used to winning games.

Which match is your must-go-to match of the season and why?
Oakwell. Good old fashioned Yorkshire hospitality.

What fans impressed you most last season?
Ours. Which sounds daft. But unless you’re Leeds you don’t know how massively splintered our fan base is.

Everyone got behind Bielsa almost without exception. A remarkable force of nature which the players weren’t composed enough to channel at the end.

If you could be granted one thing this season, what would it be?
That the season ends on December 31st.

Predicted league finish?
5th and we’ll lose in the playoffs

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BillytheBee Grant

Following Brentford for 30 years plus now .. write .. blog .. videoblog .. podcast ... photograph ...eat .. sleep .. Brentford .. am known to attend the occasional England match too (12 tournaments now) so am hardened to failure ... On the board and national council of the Football Supporters Federation. ... organised husky dog racing for a living back in the day ... as you do .. You don't wanna go up!!

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