Championship Season Preview (4/4)

by David Hall

With the Championship season starting on Friday night, I have been previewing the season club-by-club, and this is my final installment looking at the final 6 sides.

(Transfers correct as of 1st August)

Queens Park Rangers

In:
Leon Clarke (from Sheffield Wednesday) free, 2-year deal
Shaun Derry (from Crystal Palace) free, 2-year deal
Clint Hill (from Crystal Palace) free, 2-year deal
Paddy Kenny (from Sheffield United) £750k, 3-year deal
Jamie Mackie (from Plymouth Argyle) undisclosed, 4-year deal
Bradley Orr (from Bristol City) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Out:
Matteo Alberti (to AC Lumezzane) season-long loan
Angelo Balanta (to Milton Keynes Dons) season-long loan
Damion Stewart (to Bristol City) undisclosed

If Flavio Briatore was still involved in QPR, Neil Warnock would of been sacked last season. Fortunately for Warnock and QPR he isn’t and the club can flourish.  After the owners have been talking up promotion, now is the time to deliver, they have a good, all be it controversial manager, and players who want to play for him. This could be the season QPR are back in the big time.

Reading

In:
Andy Griffin (from Stoke City) undisclosed, 2-year deal
Marcus Williams (from Scunthorpe United) free, 3-year deal
Out:
Oliver Bozanic (to Central Coast Mariners) free
Mitchell Bryant (unattached) released
Kalifa Cisse (to Bristol City) undisclosed
James Henry (to Millwall) undisclosed
Liam Rosenior (unattached) released
Radoslav Vasilev (unattached) released
Andy White (to Gillingham) free

After a poor start, Reading recovered to finish in mid table last season. Brian McDermott averted disaster by keeping them up, and he will have to do the same this season. A lack of transfers in is alarming for a team which needs improving, I see another season of struggle.

Scunthorpe United

In:
Michael Collins (from Huddersfield Town) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Chris Dagnall (from Rochdale) free, 3-year deal
Robert Grant (from Accrington Stanley) £260k, 2-year deal
Eddie Nolan (from Preston North End) 6-month loan
Out:
Paul Hayes (to Preston North End) free
Gary Hooper (to Celtic) £2.4m
Josh Lillis (to Rochdale) 6-month loan
Ben May (unattached) released
Grant McCann (to Peterborough United) free
Jake Picton (unattached) released
Matt Sparrow (to Brighton & Hove Albion) free
Marcus Williams (to Reading) free
Peter Winn (to Stevenage Borough) free

They have the smallest budget in the Championship, and most of League 1, always tipped for relegation. Scunthorpe United are here again, and i’m tipping them for relegation. Which means they will stay up. Nigel Adkins has done a remarkable job on a small budget, and giving players the chance from the lower leagues a chance is a gamble, but if it works Adkins will be a genius.

Sheffield United

In:
Daniel Bogdanovic (from Barnsley) free, 2-year deal
Leon Britton (from Swansea City) free, 3-year deal
Johannes Ertl (from Crystal Palace) free, 2-year deal
Robert Kozluk (from Barnsley) free, 1-year deal
Nyron Nosworthy (from Sunderland) season-long loan
Steve Simonsen (from Stoke City) free, 2-year deal
Simon Walton (from Plymouth Argyle) season-long loan
Out:
Liban Abdi (to Ferencvárosi TC) free
Ian Bennett (to Huddersfield Town) free
Henri Camara (to Atromitos) free
Jonathan Fortune (unattached) released
Derek Geary (unattached) released
Justin Haber (to Ferencvárosi TC) free
James Harper (to Hull City) free
Paddy Kenny (to Queens Park Rangers) £750k
Glen Little (unattached) released
Gary Naysmith (to Huddersfield Town) free
Billy Sharp (to Doncaster Rovers) £1.15m
Jordon Stewart (to Skoda Xanthi) undisclosed
Sam Wedebury (unattached) released

Sheffield United have been the ‘nearly men’ ever since they were relegated back in 2007, and I can’t see them improving on that. There is an awful ammount of pressure on management and the playing staff down at Bramall Lane, and another unsuccessful season becons. Typical season.

Swansea City

In: None
Out:
Guillem Bauza (unattached) released
Federico Bessone (to Leeds United) free
Leon Britton (to Sheffield United) free
James Burgin (unattached) released
Kieran Howard (unattached) released
Marcos Painter (to Brighton & Hove Albion) free
Daniel Sheehan (unattached) released

With Paolo Sousa off to Leicester City, Swansea City have hired Brendan Rogers after his unsuccessful spell at Reading. After an impressive performance last season under Sousa, I don’t see similar success under rogers, and I can see them fighting a relegation battle.

Watford

In:
Tom Aldred (from Carlisle United) free, 2-year deal
Rene Gilmartin (from Walsall) undisclosed, 2-year deal
Out:
Jay DeMerit (unattached) released
Jon Harley (to Notts County) free
Will Hoskins (to Bristol Rovers) free
Rob Kiernan (to Yeovil Town) 1-month loan
Richard Lee (to Brentford) free

After finishing 16th last season, Malky Mackay will have to work wonders to achieve a similar postion, a swuad which needs improving, can’t due to financial woe, only spells danger for Watford, expect them to be right down their fighting for their Championship lives.

Thankyou for reading all 4 Championship previews. Enjoy your Champiosnhip football.

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