It starts finally – English football 6-8.08.

First round in Championship will maybe bring a brighter picture about teams’ capabilities this season. Sure thing is, this campaign will be closer than usual. Certainly 10 clubs will compete for promotion. Public’s favorite is Boro. They’ve brought 3 players from Old-firm (critics called them Scottish rejects) who should be a class above second tier. Adding on that a squad from previous season, ‘Boro really look like the most serious contender for a spot number 1. Personally, I dislike Strachan but if I have to choose I’d say Middlesbrough to win a league. Forest haven’t made any significant signing and I’m not sure can they make one step more from last season’s play-off. Burnley sold Steven Fletcher to Wolves for £6.5m which should allow them some new signings. Without Coyle as a manager they’re not the same, but possess enough quality for play-of at least. Hull are a mystery for me and their achievement depends from Jimmy Bullard’s idea where to play this season. Leicester should repeat (at least) last season success and finish in the play-off zone. This time with Sousa (ex-Swansea) as manager, instead Pearson (at Hull). Next contender is Reading. Strong finish of the previous season was extended with more than decent friendlies. They have enough potential for play-off, for sure. QPR as always spent a lot. This time, difference is Nigel Warnock (ex C.Palace) who should bring more than necessary level of discipline in the dressing room. That’s seven clubs for six places. Bristol City, Leeds, Portsmouth and Sheffield United will try to ruin their plans. Main contenders for relegation are Watford and good old Scunny (this time without Hooper and Hayes).


In League One, top rated sides are Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton. Wednesday have made few impressive signings, including last one - Clinton Morrison (Coventry). Southampton will be very strong again, but this time they’ll be feeling a huge pressure to get something (differently from previous season, after 10 points penalty). My third favorite is Huddersfield. They’ve invest a lot, but in previous seasons they didn’t have enough self-confidence and winning mentality. This season could be their. This three sides will decide a champion. For a play-off spot will compete relegated Plymouth and Peterborough, Brighton, Leyton and Charlton. Last mentioned team is, in my opinion, overrated and don’t expect too much from them. It won’t be less interesting at the bottom. Main contender for relegation should be Tranmere.


Choosing a winner in the first round is like a walking through the mine field, but think I have two for now. Analyzes will follow.