YEP Leeds United writer Phil Hay makes his Championship predictions including where he thinks Leeds United will finish.
Champions : Middlesbrough
Stewart Downing is the signing of the summer in the Championship and should provide the sort of deadly service that the Teessiders need. Add to that the possible arrival of Jordan Rhodes, pictured, plus the fact that Boro were inches away last season, and it all adds up. They are the team to beat.
Runners-up: Derby County
A bit limp and underwhelming towards the end of Steve McClaren’s reign but Paul Clement is a fascinating, progressive appointment. He’s seen the world, he’s seen the unforgiving environment of Real Madrid and he inherits a decent squad which should have done better last season. Derby will go close.
Play-offs: Burnley, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brentford, Bristol City
Wolves are dangerous and play in a fashion which often gets teams out of this division.
Brentford have undoubted quality and are investing quite heavily after reaching the play-offs.
Bristol City destroyed League One last season and teams who do that often come on strong.
And Burnley are Burnley – with a very able manager and tidy parachute payments.
Leeds United : Eighth, especually now that the club have done something about filling the left wing. It was the gaping hole in their team but even without Stuart Dallas, United’s starting line-up when everyone’s fit could consist of Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor, Cook, Murphy, Mowatt, Byram and Wood. Man for man, it’s a very useful line-up.
Relegation: Bolton Wanderers, MK Dons, Huddersfield Town. Bolton are the wild pick.
From the outside looking in, the club haven’t been a hive of activity this summer and they weren’t exactly a mile from trouble last season. But expect the relegation battle to be far more of a scramble this time.
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