Here's some Championship relegation predictions for you
Championship football has returned – but there are still things that need to be predicted. Of course, I have covered a lot in terms of the promotion race – and teams that may struggle in the general sense. However, now is the time to look at those sides that face a serious fight for survival.
Please note that this article is written regardless of results so far this season. It is merely a prediction of what may occur. Therefore, I’m not going to be swayed by the odd positive result early doors. Remember this is a prediction across the whole season, not based on the start – or how things may look halfway through the season.
So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get stuck into my choices…
1. Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest are potentially one of those teams that threw a spanner into the works by winning their first game. However, it’s worth remembering that their victory came against a newly promoted side that aren’t expected to be contenders in the Championship this season.
I have already mentioned Forest in a previous article on big clubs that are set to struggle, so this content stays consistent to that. My major concern for the club is based on a lack of goals – and Britt Assombalonga will be a major loss to them. The club have moved to replace him with Newcastle striker Daryl Murphy, but it’s asking a lot for the 34-year-old to be Forest’s saviour.
There is a general trend here as well with top talent not wanting to stay at the club. Then we can talk about last season and how they narrowly avoided dropping to League One. This is a club with rich history – but it looks like it will be another season of struggle in the Championship for them. Therefore, they make our list of teams that could be in for a relegation fight.
2. Ipswich Town
Ipswich Town are a club that have been in decline for several years. Sure, they have had their good times in the Premier League and Europe that their fans still go on about. However, that was a long time ago – and nowadays they are far closer to League One than another crack at the top-flight.
Like Forest, they won their opening game of the season – but that shouldn’t be seen as any kind of positive indication. The club are old-fashioned in their approach and that goes back to manager Mick McCarthy. In terms of transfers, their best players over the years have often only been on loan – and they lose their top talent.
This summer they have added strikers Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn from Rangers, but both of those have no consistent goalscoring record at this level. The loss of central defender Christophe Berra to Hearts is also a big one. Therefore, don’t expect the Tractor Boys to have much to offer defensively or as an attacking threat. Instead, a relegation fight is surely coming their way in the coming months.
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QPR are a funny club that have certainly been through some interesting times. It doesn’t seem so long ago that they were spending millions in attempts to stay in the Premier League. The essential point is they spent too much and they are now paying the price for that.
Manager Ian Holloway has certainly had good times in his career, but that was some time ago and doubts remain about what he can achieve at the club. The club’s movements in the transfer market also makes interesting reading as they haven’t spent a single penny in transfer fees.
It just shows you how quickly football can change and the risk that comes with overspending. QPR did start the season is a positive way though following a 2-0 victory over Reading – and will be hoping to carry on in similar fashion. Realistically though, it’s hard to see past a relegation fight for them – and it’s just a matter of if they win or lose it.
4. Bristol City
Bristol City looked like a decent side in the first half of last season – but soon hit an awful run of poor form. It was the sort of run that could have cost them a place in the Championship – so it’s hard to be too positive about their prospects this season. The other factor here is they had Tammy Abraham banging 23 league goals – but he has now left to go back to Chelsea. In fact, his form in the Championship has secured him a Premier League loan move to Swansea.
Lee Johnson has certainly shown, at times, that he is a decent manager, but he is now in the unfortunate position of losing more games than he has won at Bristol City. The club have shown good ambition in the transfer market with a summer spend standing at just over £7m – and will certainly be hoping that the new arrivals are enough to revive their fortunes.
The start of the season has been positive for them following a 3-1 win on opening day. Playing style is also interesting as they had the highest number of long balls in the Championship during that game. However, a season of struggle is still in the stars for them once things settle down a bit.
5. Burton Albion
There was a reasonable amount of surprise when Burton Albion managed to survive in the Championship last season. Nigel Clough is a talented manager that previously impressed with his work at Sheffield United – and has been linked with bigger jobs. Clough has turned down opportunities elsewhere – and it’s a big plus that he continues to be committed to Burton.
However, this is a club that has a small squad to work with – and financial resources are scarce. The club will be hoping that the fresh players they have signed this summer can make an impact. Likewise, they need their best players from last season, such as Player of the Year Jackson Irvine to perform again.
Even if all that happens though, it’s likely to be a long hard season in the bottom half of the league. The 1-0 home defeat against Cardiff City on opening day is a demonstration of the sort of fight they have on their hands. Therefore, Burton are next in our list of Championship teams that will be in a survival fight this season.
How you feel about Millwall depends to a significant extent on how old you are. Some of my younger readers may consider them a lower league team, but people of an older generation will remember them more in Championship terms. Therefore, it’s difficult to know how to feel about this club in the present climate.
On one side, they are new to the league – but on the other they have an established history. Nevertheless, they are new to the Championship this season and will face a battle to survive. In terms of transfers, they haven’t spent a penny in fees – but have still done some decent deals. For example, the signing of Bradford left back James Meredith looks like good business.
The Lions proved that they are willing to attack for survival in their opening game by having the most shots in the Championship. However, they will soon learn that this is cruel league if you can’t make the most of your opportunities. It will certainly be interesting to see if their style changes throughout the season after losing their opening match 1-0.
This completes the content section for this article as we reviewed the teams that will be in the relegation picture this season. So, how did we do? If there are teams that we didn’t mention, then please let us know. If you enjoyed this content, then you may also like our piece on teams that will sizzle this season.
As always, keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest Championship content. Next, I will be having a look at some Championship players that still must prove they are good enough. Whoever your team is – best of luck in your next game.