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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Footballs Back

All the leagues have now kicked off, so it's time for my annual round of predictions of the ups and downs that will play out in May. First up we start in the lowest league, were my beloved bantams ply their trade for the fourth season in a row (although it seems like a lot longer) Every season has seen us slip closer to the oblivion of the Blue Square conference. Now I don't think (hope) we are as bad as last year, but neither do I reckon we are promotion material either. Plymouth's financial woes, and the usual suspects of Barnet, Burton and Hereford, should see us retain our league status, so a boring season of mid table mediocrity beckons. To go up? Swindon, Crawley and Southend.

The next division up, yet again, features three teams that would have provided great fixtures for the Claret and Ambers. Both Sheffield clubs and Huddersfield would have packed out Valley Parade and show just why we need to be out of this wretched league we are currently in. Charlton and Brentford, with possibly the Blades to exit via the glory method, and Orient, Exeter and Stevenage via the humiliation method.

The Championship next, and this seasons big spenders, Leicester, look a pretty solid bet. Out of the teams that came down, West Ham look the likeliest to make a rapid return. Ipswich, Cardiff and reading look certs to be in or around the play off places, and Southampton are best equipped to do a Norwich and jump into the Premier. For the drop? What kind of City fan would I be if I didn't tip Leeds? To join them I will take Barnsley and Doncaster, a trifecta of Yorkshire failure if yo will.

The Premier league looks a straight shoot out between the Manchester clubs to me, with possibly Chelsea added to the mix. And it pains me that once again Unite look to have a bit more than the rest. Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs (Spurs my pick to finish fourth) will contest the final Champions League spot, with Fulham as my surprise team of the season. To go down? Swansea, Wigan and Blackburn Rovers. I've always had a soft spot for Norwich after the dumped Bayern Munich out of the UEFA cup, back when it was a decent tournament, and think they might just sneak it.

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