Leeds

Clubs That *Should* Be In The Premier League

Okay, to clear things up, I’m by no means suggesting that the following seven clubs get automatic admission to the top-flight. In fact, the teams that are in the Premier League, deserve to be there… obviously. So to the likes of Hull City, Swansea City, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and beyond, congratulations you merit your position. This is just, if I had to start the Premier League from scratch, who I would choose to be the additional founding members.

Leeds United

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 9

Marching on together… Leeds United are a sleeping giant.

The lilywhites of West Yorkshire are simply one of the most famous clubs in the country. They’ve experienced great success in the past and have a fanbase to much, despite their now dwindling numbers at home. Leeds would bring a great deal of atmosphere to the Premier League with their passionate away support and would ignite the ‘Roses derby’ with Manchester United that the neutral has been robbed of for so many years.

Ipswich Town

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 11

Unchanged… Portman Road has experienced more than a decade of stability.

The former UEFA Cup champions from Suffolk are certainly unsung when this debate ever arouses. Despite spending the last 11 years rooted in the second tier, Town are still, in my humble opinion, a bigger club than their East Anglian rivals, Norwich City. The Tractor boys may not have the fanbase to match other clubs in this list but they are certainly worthy of gracing the top flight, having finished fifth as recently as the 2000-01 season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Current league: Sky Bet League One
Years in exile: 2

Underachieving… Wolves will spend the 2013-14 season in the third tier.

Woeful Wolves have only spent two seasons outside of the top-flight but now find themselves two promotions from returning. The West Midlands club have been in free fall since 2011 and should never have hit the low they’re at now. Wolves remain a club with a sizeable fanbase and a glittering history, certainly worthy of returning to the Premier League sooner rather than later.

Sheffield Wednesday

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 13

Invasion… Fans celebrate 2012’s promotion to the Championship

If we’re talking underachievers, you can’t look much further than Sheffield Wednesday. Historically, the club can boast eight major trophies and a huge fanbase in a city that shares two fairly big clubs. The Owls ought to reach the Premier League just to spare their long-suffering fans who have seen the third tier nearly as much as the second in the last decade.

Leicester City

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 9

Geared… City’s impressive ‘new’ home has only seen one season of top-flight football.

I may be biased here but the Foxes are more than worthy of a place in the big time. Despite being steeped in a history of nearlies, Leicester City have always been slugging it out in the top two tiers, in fact, they have spent less time outside the top two divisions than any other club on this list. City have been knocking on the Premier League door since 2009 and have had several excruciating close calls, the fans of one of the Championship’s four biggest fanbase deserve a return to the lucrative 90s.

Nottingham Forest

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 15

‘World famous’… The City Ground has been more attuned to League One football than the Premier League in recent years.

A painful inclusion to say the least, but one I’d struggle to argue against. The once well-known Reds are former European champions, not that they like anyone to know and have a fair history even without the legendary Brian Clough’s contribution. Forest also boast one of the best fanbases outside the top-flight with Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and local ‘non-rivals’, Leicester City.

Derby County

Current league: Sky Bet Championship
Years in exile: 5

Blind loyalty… Derby fans sold out nearly every home game of the record-breaking 2008-09 season.

It would be nice to see all of the East Midlands big three back in the top-flight meaning the Rams needed a place on the list. A club that boasts a good history and a recent calamitous foray in the Premier League that I’m sure they would like to rectify. Recognition has to be given to Rams’ fans for their loyalty at home during the dire 2008-09 season and beyond, even if their fans do share a travel sickness.

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English Football’s Biggest Clubs : REVEALED!

It’s probably the biggest argument among football fans today; who is bigger than who? Rival clubs across the country will claim to be a greater presence in the game than their mortal enemies but who really stands above the rest? Southampton or Portsmouth? Newcastle or Sunderland? Liverpool or Manchester United?

The rankings below are determined by points allocated based on historical success and support – the two main contributors to a club’s stature.

Point system

Bridesmaids… Yo-yo clubs, Leicester and Birmingham are rewarded for their near misses and consistency in league position.

  • Seasons – 4 points for top flight season, 3 points for 2nd tier season, 1 point for 3rd tier season, 0 points for 4th tier or lower, 4 additional points for Champion’s League season and 3 additional points for Europa League season.
  • Trophies – 10 points for top flight championship, 6 points for FA Cup win, 4 points for League Cup win, 12 points for Champion’s League win, 7 points for Europa League win, 4 points for 2nd tier title, 1 point for lower league title.
  • “Nearlies” – 4 points for FA Cup final appearance, 2 points for FA Cup semi-final appearance, 2 points for League Cup final appearance, 1 point for League Cup semi-final appearance, 7 points for Champion’s League second place.
  • Fanbase- Average home attendances had been taken for every club since their inception. A combined attendance has been found to which each club’s record has been converted to a percentage. However, several people have complained that past attendances are now irrelevant and the only accurate measure of fanbase is current home attendance. As such the same method has been used but with average home attendances from the 2014–15 season. To ensure that history and support were measured equally; each club was allocated their percentage of 23,574 points (the total number of success points of all clubs).

Non-league clubs are not included in the ranking.

Rankings

*all data correct as of 20th June 2016

 

Rank Change from 2015 Club Pts
1 Manchester United 2506
2 Arsenal 2057
3 Liverpool 1950
4 +1 Manchester City 1669
5 +1 Newcastle United 1551
6 -2 Chelsea 1492
7 Everton 1466
8 Aston Villa 1436
9 +1 Sunderland 1370
10 -1 Tottenham Hotspur 1308
11 +1 Leicester City 1074
12 +1 Derby County 1066
13 -2 West Bromwich Albion 1043
14 West Ham United 1038
15 Wolverhampton Wand. 957
16 +1 Sheffield Wednesday 951
17 +1 Leeds United 912
18 -2 Nottingham Forest 910
19 Stoke City 906
20 Southampton 902
21 +4 Middlesbrough 865
22 -1 Blackburn Rovers 849
23 -1 Sheffield United 834
24 +2 Birmingham City 786
25 -2 Bolton Wanderers 778
26 +1 Norwich City 765
27 -3 Burnley 753
28 Preston North End 697
29 Crystal Palace 685
30 Ipswich Town 641
31 +3 Portsmouth 632
32 Fulham 627
33 +2 Brighton & Hove Alb. 612
34 +2 Huddersfield Town 573
35 +6 Watford 569
36 +1 Charlton Athletic 564
37 +2 Swansea City 560
38 -5 Cardiff City 554
39 -8 Hull City 540
40 -2 Queens Park Rangers 539
41 +1 Bristol City 524
42 +4 Bradford City 518
43 +2 Coventry City 493
44 -1 Reading 462
45 -5 Blackpool 445
46 -2 Barnsley 439
47 Luton Town 401
48 Notts County 391
49 Millwall 350
50 Bury 330
51 n/a Grimsby Town 326
52 -1 Rotherham United 324
53 +2 Plymouth Argyle 323
54 -2 Brentford 309
55 -1 Oldham Athletic 298
56 +1 AFC Bournemouth 297
57 -1 Swindon Town 273
58 +1 Leyton Orient 267
59 +2 Bristol Rovers 266
60 -2 Port Vale 262
61 -8 Wigan Athletic 258
62 -2 Chesterfield 254
63 +4 MK Dons 248
64 -1 Oxford United 226
65 -1 Walsall 217
66 -4 Doncaster Rovers 211
67 -2 Southend United 208
68 -2 Gillingham 190
69 -1 Carlisle United 181
70 Shrewsbury Town 168
71 AFC Wimbledon 163
72 -3 Crewe Alexandra 162
73 Northampton Town 159
74 -2 Peterborough United 138
75 -1 Cambridge United 129
76 Scunthorpe United 122
77 -2 Exeter City 120
78 -1 Colchester United 118
79 Hartlepool United 113
80 +2 Mansfield Town 108
81 -1 Rochdale 102
82 -1 Newport County 94
83 +1 Wycombe Wanderers 87
84 -1 Yeovil Town 83
85 +3 Burton Albion 78
86 Accrington Stanley 65
87 Stevenage 63
88 -3 Fleetwood Town 62
89 n/a Cheltenham Town 58
90 -1 Crawley Town 46
91 Barnet 43
92 -1 Morecambe 28

Statistics

  • Liverpool just pip Manchester United to the title of ‘most successful club’ in English football, accumulating 1165 points, five more than United.
  • The least successful club in the Football League is Morecambe who didn’t tally a single success point.
  • Everton have spent more time in the top flight than any other club – 111 seasons.
  • Eight clubs have never fallen out of the top two tiers of English football; Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
  • The biggest club to have never won the top flight was Leicester City but is now West Ham United.
  • The biggest club to have dropped as low as the third tier is Aston Villa.
  • The biggest club to have never won the FA Cup is Leicester City.
  • The best supported club in England based on average attendance is Manchester United.
  • Rotherham United are the biggest club to have never graced the top flight.
  • Whereas, Exeter City are the biggest club to not have played in either of the top two divisions.
  • The biggest clubs in each of the top four divisions are Manchester United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.
  • The smallest are Bournemouth, Burton Albion, Fleetwood Town and Morecambe respectively.
  • The biggest English club to have never won the Champion’s League or European cup is Arsenal. The smallest club to do so is Nottingham Forest.
  • The biggest underachievers in the Football League currently are Portsmouth who are two divisions below their ‘natural level’.
  • The biggest overachievers are Burton Albion and Bournemouth who are competing two divisions above their ‘natural level’.

2013–14 Football League Championship Fans’ Preview (Part 2)

With little time left before the clubs of the 2nd tier return to their hallowed turf. The fans of all 24 clubs have a chance to voice their dreams, opinions and concerns for the 10-month battle that lies ahead.

Ipswich Town
@S_BaileyITFC

False dawns… Ipswich have remained in the Championship for 12 consecutive seasons.

Home ground: Portman Road (Capacity: 30,309)
Nickname: The Tractor Boys
Rivals: Norwich City, Colchester United
Last season: 14th
Odds: 22/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Greatest hope would have to be going up as Champions. Other than that, just promotion!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Another mediocre season. Things finally seem on the up for us and it would be typical Ipswich if we had another boring, average season.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We need a couple of wingers, a goalkeeper and a centre back.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
All 23 teams. Twice, haha. QPR maybe. It would be nice to finally see us win at the City Ground, I suppose.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Aaron Cresswell, promising left back with Premier League teams sniffing around. Tommy Smith, young international centre back. Frank Nouble,striker. Has been around the block for someone so young but can really push on next season and will hopefully score a shed load.

6. Who will win the league?
QPR, if they can hold on to a few of their top players and manage to bond as a team they should be unstoppable.

7. Who will go down?
As always, a tough one to call. Yeovil will be on everyone’s list but promoted teams usually surprise. I’ll go with Barnsley, Huddersfield and Millwall.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
It’s the Championship, Yeovil could win the league and QPR could go down. I think Bournemouth might surprise a few people. Maybe a top ten finish.

9. Where will you finish?
Top 6, hopefully. Although we’ve said that for the last 12 years.

 

Leeds United
@AlexMetcalfLUFC

Sleeping giant… Investment will be key for Leeds United

Home ground: Elland Road (Capacity: 39,460)
Nickname: The Lilywhites
Rivals: Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Sheffield Wednesday
Last season: 13th
Odds: 18/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
The dream would be automatic promotion obviously, would settle for playoffs.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Being the same old Leeds, selling best talent and being in a relegation battle.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We’re desperate for wingers, and a creative presence in midfield.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Always nice to beat Yorkshire rivals like Wednesday and Huddersfield, would be nice to beat Reading for Brian.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Sam Byram, best young defender in the league. Chris Dawson is a young lad with a lot of potential if he gets game time. Matt Smith could surprise a few people too.

6. Who will win the league?
I fancy QPR if they keep the majority of their squad.

7. Who will go down?
Barnsley, Yeovil & Huddersfield or Millwall.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Bournemouth will do better than most people fancy I think. Also think Bolton could do quite well.

9. Where will you finish?
10th without a whole lot of investment. 5/6th if we get a couple of decent signings.

Leicester City

@BertLCFC

Vengeful… The Foxes are ready to swat the Hornets.

Home ground: King Power Stadium (Capacity: 32,262)
Nickname: The Foxes
Rivals: Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Coventry City
Last season: 6th
Odds: 11/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
That we get promotion! It’s been too long.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
That our Thai owners pull out. Don’t want us going the same way as Portsmouth.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
I’d say in the midfield area the most, although we need a new centre back to partner big Wes Morgan.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
That’s easy, Watford.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Obviously I’d say Anthony Knockaert, he’ll have a better seen than the last. Matty James & Chris Wood as well.

6. Who will win the league?
A toss-up between Reading and QPR, I’d say Reading. Decent squad for this league and a manager that knows how to get out of the league.

7. Who will go down?
Yeovil, Barnsley And Doncaster. Other than Yeovil it was a tough call.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Ipswich. Finished very strong towards the end of the season and have a good manager.

9. Where will you finish?
Somewhere in the top six, but I’m hoping in the top two.

Middlesbrough
@JackWithoutJill

Bottle… Boro fan Jack Harris fears the Smoggies may be in trouble.

Home ground: Riverside Stadium (Capacity: 34,988)
Nickname: Boro
Rivals: Newcastle United, Sunderland, Leeds United
Last season: 16th
Odds: 33/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Looking back at least season, I’d be happy to get a top half finish. I think it’s going to be difficult for us to stay afloat this year.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation. We aren’t a team that can bounce straight back, if e go down, we will stay down for a long time.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We need a good centre back. A proper captain. Someone who can lead a team week in, week out. A proven goal scorer is always nice though.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Everyone hates Leeds, right? I always love it when we beat them, especially at their place.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
If we keep him and he’s fit, Muzzy Carayol. One of the few players who can actually run at a defender and isn’t scared of a 1-on-1.

6. Who will win the league?
I think it will be between Bolton and Reading. Bolton finished strong last year and Reading just seem to be making the right signings.

7. Who will go down?
Yeovil, Doncaster and Barnsley. Maybe us depending on the first half of the season.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I think Bournemouth may cause a few upsets.

9. Where will you finish?
18th.

Millwall
@AlfieIrving

Sustainable… Jackett-less Millwall hope they can challenge.

Home ground: The Den (Capacity: 20,146)
Nickname: The Lions
Rivals: West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic
Last season: 20th
Odds: 80/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
To comfortably avoid relegation, and make it in to the top half of the table. As well as finishing above Charlton!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Fans abusing Lomas, atmosphere turns sour, results begin to go against us and we end up on a manager merry-go-round with no stability.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Striker, strikers and more strikers. Serious lack of goals in 2013, from 5th to 20th, almost relegated.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Got to be Charlton, definitely.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Andy Keogh and Liam Trotter. Both had poor seasons last time round, but I believe Lomas can get the best out of them!

6. Who will win the league?
For me, QPR. Very strong squad, lots of depth and a great manager. Twitch.

7. Who will go down?
Yeovil, Doncaster and Huddersfield.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Ipswich Town.

9. Where will you finish?
13th-15th.

Nottingham Forest
@Harry_Martin_14

Fearful… Forest are wary of their East Midlands rivals.

Home ground: City Ground (Capacity: 30,576)
Nickname: The Reds, The Tricky Trees
Rivals: Derby County, Leicester City, Sheffield United, Notts County
Last season: 8th
Odds: 12/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Obviously, like any other fan; promotion.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Derby doing well, as I can see that happening.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
A new striker for sure, a couple of wingers and a goal keeper.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
LEICESTER!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Henri Lansbury, Adlene Guedioura, Simon Cox, Greg Halford and Karl Darlow.

6. Who will win the league?
In my opinion, you can’t predict anything in this league.

7. Who will go down?
Like I said, I have no clue.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Charlton & Ipswich.

9. Where will you finish?
1st.

Queens Park Rangers

@Adz_Graham

Favourites… QPR fans are cautiously optimistic

Home ground: Loftus Road (Capacity: 18,360)
Nickname: The Hoops
Rivals: Chelsea, Fulham
Last season: 20th (Premier League)
Odds: 6/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
To contend for a top 6 finish giving us a slight hope of promotion.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Biggest fear has to be doing a Wolverhampton.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Midfield.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Leeds United for ruining our last day of the season promotion party!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Depending on who stays… Taraabt, Andy Johnson.

6. Who will win the league?
I believe this season may be Watford’s.

7. Who will go down?
Bournemouth, Yeovil and Millwall.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Once again Watford may be not expected to win the title.

9. Where will you finish?
5th.

Reading
@AdamTucker_

Fancied… The Royals are predicted success.

Home ground: Madejski Stadium (Capacity: 24,224)
Nickname: The Royals
Rivals: Swindon Town, Oxford United, Aldershot Town
Last season: 19th (Premier League)
Odds: 11/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Winning the league title and returning to the Premier League.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Replicating Wolves and suffering successive relegations.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
The midfield, last season in the premier league the service to the frontmen was below par.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Probably Leeds, due to Brian Mcdermott!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Adam Le Fondre and Hal Robson Kanu, both stand out players last season.

6. Who will win the league?
Nottingham Forest or Reading.

7. Who will go down?
Yeovil, Huddersfield and Doncaster

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Derby or Ipswich.

9. Where will you finish?
1st/2nd.

Sheffield Wednesday
@AlexandraSWFC

Safety… The Owls have survival on their minds.

Home ground: Hillsborough (Capacity: 39,812)
Nickname: The Owls
Rivals: Sheffield United, Barnsley, Leeds United
Last season: 18th
Odds: 66/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
To have a fresh start, get some creativity into the team, cement our place in the league.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
A relegation scrap again, but it’s likely.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Going forward definitely. A prolific goal scorer is needed. Then perhaps a centre back.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Leeds or Barnsley.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Michail Antonio, Lewis Buxton.

6. Who will win the league?
Forest or Wigan.

7. Who will go down?
Yeovil, Huddersfield, and either Bournemouth or Millwall.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Ipswich.

9. Where will you finish?
Hopefully around 14th-17th.

Watford
@david_wfc

Borrowers… Watford will be impacted by new loan rules.

Home ground: Vicarage Road (Capacity: 17,477)
Nickname: The Hornets
Rivals: Luton Town, QPR, Crystal Palace
Last season: 3rd
Odds: 14/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
That we can get promoted.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Not retaining key players such as Abdi.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We need a CB , CM and ST as an option.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
QPR , Leeds , Blackpool.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Forestieri and Battocchio.

6. Who will win the league?
Hmm… Reading?

7. Who will go down?
Sheff Wed , Yeovil , Doncaster.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
AFC Bournemouth.

9. Where will you finish?
I hate this question… 9th?

Wigan Athletic
@CharleyH91

Distracted… The Latics’ European venture could hinder them

Home ground: DW Stadium (Capacity: 25,133)
Nickname: The Latics
Rivals: Bolton Wanderers
Last season: 18th (Premier League)
Odds: 12/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
To go straight back up, or another miracle cup run.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
To take a double drop and get relegated again.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
This is a difficult one because we have a much changed squad but we could definitely use a better defensive record.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Bolton.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman. If we can keep hold of that pairing then I’m confident we’ll do well in this league.

6. Who will win the league?
It’s been quite a few years since I last followed the championship closely and it’s a very competitive and unpredictable league so I really couldn’t say. There’s no stand out teams for me.

7. Who will go down?
Same as above.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I can see Bournemouth surprising a few people and doing quite well this season.

9. Where will you finish?
This could go either way, dependent on the new manager and which players we keep/sign… anywhere in the top half.

Yeovil Town
@DazRTaylor

Underdogs… The Glovers are desperate to disprove their doubters.

Home ground: Huish Park (Capacity: 9,565)
Nickname: The Glovers
Rivals: Weymouth, Bournemouth
Last season: 4th (League One)
Odds: 250/1

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Survival! We are being written off already, just like we were for our eight seasons in League One.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation. The club have worked so hard to get where we are, I would like a few years at this level.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
I would say centre back especially. We lost Dan Burn back to his parent club and that is a big hole to fill.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
QPR. Last season, our playing budget for the entire season was £950,000. They have players who earn that in ten weeks.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Marek Stech in goal. Czech Under 21 international and will play in the top flight one day. Paddy Madden up front. Ed Upson in midfield.

6. Who will win the league?
It *should* be QPR, but I think they will crash & burn. So I will go for Leicester City.

7. Who will go down?
Barnsley, Doncaster & Bournemouth.

8. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Ipswich Town. Mick McCarthy has done it all before.

9. Where will you finish?
20th.

2012-13 Football Rivalry Survey Results

The survey was carried out between August 2012 and February 2013 and was answered by just under 2,100 football fans.

Rivalry… English football’s hate stakes revealed

Headline statistics

  • 17 clubs’ main rivals have changed since 2003.
  • Leeds United  have the most teams considering them as main rivals with four. Manchester United and Nottingham Forest are joint second with three each.
  • Gillingham  have the fewest rivals, appearing in no club’s top three rivalries.
  • 52.2% of fans believe that geographical proximity is the cause of their main rivalry. 34.7% blame it on history whereas 8.2% think it’s down to league position.
  • 73.9% of football fans claim they would miss their rivals if they ceased to exist.

Changing rivalries

Since 2003, 17 club’s main rivals have changed. They are as follows;

Team Old Rival New Rival
AFC Bournemouth Reading Southampton
Arsenal Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur
Bolton Wanderers Manchester United Wigan Athletic
Brentford Queens Park Rangers Fulham
Carlisle United Middlesbrough Preston North End
Chelsea Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur
Colchester United Wycombe Wanderers Southend United
Coventry City Aston Villa Leicester City
Crewe Alexandra Stoke City Port Vale
Doncaster Rovers Rotherham United Leeds United
Fulham Chelsea Queens Park Rangers
Huddersfield Town Bradford City Leeds United
Oldham Athletic Manchester City Rochdale
Reading Swindon Town Aldershot Town
Torquay United Exeter City Plymouth Argyle
Tranmere Rovers Bolton Wanderers Oldham Athletic

Clubs with the most rivals

With 3 points allocated for having one main rival and two for having a secondary rival etc., here is a ranking of clubs with the most rivals in the Football League.

Rank Club Points
1 Leeds 25
2 Chelsea 15
Manchester United 15
4 Bolton 14
Swindon 14
Wolves 14
7 Burnley 12
Millwall 12
Sheff Wed 12
10 Crystal Palace 11
Leicester 11
MK Dons 11
13 Aston Villa 10
Blackburn 10
Brighton 10
16 Bristol Rovers 9
Liverpool 9
Nott’m Forest 9
Oxford 9
Reading 9
West Brom 9
West Ham 9
23 Arsenal 8
Preston 8
Tottenham Hotspur 8
26 Birmingham 7
Bristol City 7
Cardiff 7
Colchester 7
Derby 7
Exeter 7
Port Vale 7
Sheff Utd 7
Southampton 7
35 Huddersfield 6
Hull 6
Morecambe 6
Newcastle 6
Peterborough 6
Plymouth 6
Portsmouth 6
QPR 6
Southend 6
Stoke 6
45 Accrington 5
AFC Wimbledon 5
Barnet 5
Barnsley 5
Chesterfield 5
Dag & Red 5
Fulham 5
Middlesbrough 5
Northampton 5
Oldham 5
Rochdale 5
Sunderland 5
Wigan 5
58 Blackpool 4
Bradford 4
Brentford 4
Charlton 4
Doncaster 4
Everton 4
Ipswich 4
Leyton Orient 4
Torquay 4
67 Aldershot 3
Bury 3
Carlisle 3
Manchester City 3
Norwich 3
Rotherham 3
Stevenage 3
Swansea 3
Walsall 3
Wycombe 3
77 Crewe 2
Hartlepool 2
Shrewsbury 2
80 Bournemouth 1
Coventry 1
Crawley 1
Notts County 1
Scunthorpe 1
Yeovil 1
86 Burton 0
Cheltenham 0
Fleetwood 0
Gillingham 0
Tranmere 0
Watford 0
York 0

Rivalries – Who are they?

Here is a complete list of the 92 Premier League and Football League clubs’ top three rivalries;

Team Main rivals Second rivals Third rivals
Accrington Stanley Morecambe Blackburn Rovers Burnley
AFC Bournemouth Southampton Reading Brighton & Hove Albion
AFC Wimbledon Milton Keynes Dons Crystal Palace Crawley Town
Aldershot Town Reading Woking Swindon Town
Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea Manchester United
Aston Villa Birmingham City West Bromwich Albion Wolves
Barnet Stevenage Dagenham & Redbridge Northampton Town / Carlisle United
Barnsley Sheffield Wednesday Sheffield United Leeds United / Huddersfield Town
Birmingham City Aston Villa Wolves West Bromwich Albion
Blackburn Rovers Burnley Bolton Wanderers Manchester United
Blackpool Preston North End Bolton Wanderers Burnley
Bolton Wanderers Wigan Athletic Burnley Blackburn Rovers
Bradford City Huddersfield Town Leeds United Rotherham United
Brentford Fulham Queens Park Rangers Chelsea
Brighton & Hove Albion Crystal Palace Portsmouth Southampton
Bristol City Bristol Rovers Cardiff City Swindon Town
Bristol Rovers Bristol City Swindon Town Cardiff City
Burnley Blackburn Rovers Bolton Wanderers Blackpool / Preston North End
Burton Albion Chesterfield Derby County Notts County
Bury Bolton Wanderers Rochdale Oldham Athletic
Cardiff City Swansea City Bristol City Leeds United
Carlisle United Preston North End Hartlepool United Middlesbrough
Charlton Athletic Crystal Palace Millwall West Ham United
Chelsea Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal Manchester United
Cheltenham Town Swindon Town Oxford United Shrewsbury Town / Kidderminster Harriers
Chesterfield Mansfield Town Rotherham United Sheffield Wednesday
Colchester United Southend United Wycombe Wanderers Ipswich Town
Coventry City Leicester City Aston Villa Birmingham City
Crawley Town AFC Wimbledon Brighton & Hove Albion Swindon Town
Crewe Alexandra Port Vale Stoke City
Crystal Palace Brighton & Hove Albion Millwall Charlton Athletic
Dagenham & Redbridge Barnet Leyton Orient Brentford
Derby County Nottingham Forest Leeds United Leicester City
Doncaster Rovers Leeds United Barnsley Sheffield United / Sheffield Wednesday
Everton Liverpool Manchester United Manchester City
Exeter City Plymouth Argyle Torquay United Bristol Rovers / Yeovil Town
Fleetwood Town Morecambe Accrington Stanley Barrow
Fulham Queens Park Rangers Chelsea Brentford
Gillingham Millwall Charlton Athletic Swindon Town
Hartlepool United Darlington Carlisle United Sheffield Wednesday
Huddersfield Town Leeds United Bradford City Sheffield Wednesday
Hull City Leeds United Leicester City Scunthorpe United / Grimsby Town
Ipswich Town Norwich City West Ham United Colchester United
Leeds United Manchester United Chelsea Huddersfield Town / Millwall
Leicester City Nottingham Forest Derby County Coventry City
Leyton Orient Southend United Brentford Dagenham & Redbridge / West Ham United
Liverpool Manchester United Everton Chelsea
Manchester City Manchester United Liverpool Everton
Manchester United Liverpool Manchester City Chelsea
Middlesbrough Newcastle United Sunderland Leeds United
Millwall West Ham United Crystal Palace Charlton Athletic
Milton Keynes Dons Peterborough United AFC Wimbledon Northampton Town
Morecambe Accrington Stanley Burnley Bradford City
Newcastle United Sunderland Middlesbrough Manchester United
Northampton Town Peterborough United Milton Keynes Dons Leicester City / Oxford United
Norwich City Ipswich Town Wolves Leeds United
Nottingham Forest Derby County Leicester City Sheffield United
Notts County Nottingham Forest Mansfield Town Chesterfield
Oldham Athletic Rochdale Wigan Athletic Huddersfield Town
Oxford United Swindon Town Reading Wycombe Wanderers
Peterborough United Northampton Town Cambridge United Leicester City / Milton Keynes Dons
Plymouth Argyle Exeter City Torquay United Portsmouth
Port Vale Stoke City Crewe Alexandra Shrewsbury Town
Portsmouth Southampton Brighton & Hove Albion Millwall / Leicester City
Preston North End Blackpool Blackburn Rovers Burnley
Queens Park Rangers Chelsea Fulham Cardiff City / Stoke City
Reading Aldershot Town Swindon Town Oxford United
Rochdale Bury Burnley Oldham Athletic
Rotherham United Doncaster Rovers Sheffield Wednesday Chesterfield
Scunthorpe United Hull City Grimsby Town Doncaster Rovers
Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Leeds United Barnsley / West Ham United
Sheffield Wednesday Sheffield United Barnsley Leeds United
Shrewsbury Town Walsall Wolves Port Vale
Southampton Portsmouth Brighton & Hove Albion Bournemouth
Southend United Colchester United Leyton Orient Dagenham & Redbridge
Stevenage Milton Keynes Dons Barnet Dagenham & Redbridge
Stoke City Port Vale West Bromwich Albion Wolves
Sunderland Newcastle United Middlesbrough Leeds United
Swansea City Cardiff City Reading Bristol City
Swindon Town Oxford United Reading Bristol City / Bristol Rovers
Torquay United Plymouth Argyle Exeter City Bristol Rovers
Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal Chelsea West Ham United
Tranmere Rovers Oldham Athletic Bolton Wanderers Everton / Liverpool
Walsall Wolves Aston Villa West Bromwich Albion
Watford Luton Town Leeds United Crystal Palace / Queens Park Rangers
West Bromwich Albion Wolves Aston Villa Birmingham City
West Ham United Millwall Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal / Chelsea
Wigan Athletic Bolton Wanderers Blackburn Rovers Preston North End
Wolves West Bromwich Albion Birmingham City Aston Villa
Wycombe Wanderers Colchester United Milton Keynes Dons Oxford United
Yeovil Town Bristol Rovers Exeter City
York City Hull City Leeds United Bradford City

Neutral opinion

The 20 most offensive clubs to the neutral football fan;

  1. Manchester United

    Hated… Manchester United are the most disliked English football club

  2. Liverpool
  3. Leeds United
  4. Chelsea
  5. West Ham United
  6. Stoke City
  7. Millwall
  8. Milton Keynes Dons
  9. Cardiff City
  10. Queens Park Rangers
  11. Manchester City
  12. Arsenal
  13. Tottenham Hotspur
  14. Crawley Town
  15. Birmingham City
  16. Aston Villa
  17. Hull City
  18. Nottingham Forest
  19. Reading
  20. Portsmouth

The 20 least offensive clubs to the neutral football fan were;

  1. Brentford

    Buzzing… The Bees are the Football League’s least offensive club

  2. Aldershot Town
  3. Burton Albion
  4. Bury
  5. Yeovil Town
  6. Cheltenham Town
  7. Dagenham & Redbridge
  8. Exeter City
  9. Torquay United
  10. Fulham
  11. Bournemouth
  12. Colchester United
  13. Leyton Orient
  14. Rochdale
  15. York City
  16. Carlisle United
  17. Crewe Alexandra
  18. Hartlepool United
  19. Tranmere Rovers
  20. Accrington Stanley

All stats compared with 2003 Football Fans Census : Rivalry Uncovered. However, this survey is not affiliated with the Football Fans Survey.

Ten Years on Filbert Way : The 10 Greatest Matches

August 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the first competitive fixture played at Leicester City’s new home, The King Power Stadium. We’ve seen ups, downs, drunken fans attacking goalkeepers, Newcastle players knocked unconscious from a sharp free-kick, wordly strikes from Nalis to Gudjonsson and a 12-month-cameo by a super Swede. But here are the 10 picks for Leicester’s greatest match at our new home.

10. Leicester City 4–0 Norwich City

2007/08 Coca-Cola Championship        Att:  25,854

The first on the list is an oddity of sorts. A win under Ian Holloway in the dreaded 2007/08 season and on top of that DJ Campbell found himself on the scoresheet for the Foxes. It may not be the Foxes’ fan’s favourite win over the six-fingered faithful from Norwich but at the time, it was quite a scalp. Norwich had been on a 13-game-unbeaten run and Leicester were staring a relegation scrap straight in the face. The game also sparked violence from the Norwich fans in the city centre which led to Leicester fans being unjustly and nonsensically labelled ‘high risk’ for 2012’s FA Cup fixture. Cue David Nugent.

Trounced… High-risk Howard punishes the canaries.

9. Leicester City 3–0 Coventry City

2006/07 Coca-Cola Championship      Att: 25,816

What a difference a chairman makes! Number 9 on the list is Leicester’s first game under sneaky Serb, Milan Mandaric and it was a fruitful affair indeed. The Foxes kicked off Mandaric’s manager-chopping reign with a dominant win over M69 rivals, Coventry City. One the Hinckley-dwelling Foxes will savour for years to come.

Handful… City’s scorers embrace.

8. Leicester City 4–0 Nottingham Forest

2011/12 FA Cup 3rd Round Replay      Att: 16,210

It was inevitable really, the 8th best game on Filbert Way was the classic FA Cup replay of January 2012. In truth, Leicester dismissed Forest with ease. In some respects, the scoreline was flattering to the away side who couldn’t even hit the back of the net from 3 yards with an open goal. It says it all that hat-trick hero, Jermaine Beckford scored 3 times despite suffering from a cold. I’m starting to think, that Alan Birchenall could have taken to the pitch and scored himself. However, if there is one downside; this game seemed to be the turning point that saved Forest from relegation.

Rout… But it’s okay. Forest only hate Derby, remember?

7. Leicester City 2–0 Brighton & Hove Albion

2002/03 Nationwide Division One     Att: 31,909

Number 7 on the countdown is the 90 minutes that confirmed a controversial promotion for the Foxes. Having suffered relegation at Filbert Street 12 months earlier, Leicester bounced back to the big time at the first attempt after beating the Seagulls two-nil. Of course as Neil Warnock would have it, Leicester’s remarkable 92 point tally was condemned as ‘farcical’ due to financial issues. News flash, Neil – If the Foxes had had a 10 point deduction, they would have still finished in an automatic promotion spot.

Promotion…Jordan Stewart scored the crucial goal that sent Leicester up

6. Leicester City 4–0 Derby County

2011/12 nPower Championship    Att: 22,496

They say history never repeats itself and that was proven to be false in October 2011 as the 1994 classic ‘Silence of the Rams’ churned out a thrilling sequel at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes and the Rams had had unexpected starts to the season; Promotion favourites, Leicester had found themselves in the bottom half whilst Derby were leading an unlikely play-off charge. However, a convincing 4 goal winning margin in the East Midlands derby brought the feel good factor back to Leicester and left a handful of travelling sheep slunking back to Derby with nothing but a spanking.

Baaaaaad luck… Vassell sends the home crowd in to raptures.

5. Leicester City 2–2 Manchester City

2010/11 FA Cup 3rd Round     Att: 31,200

The only draw to make the countdown is the FA Cup third round clash against Man City. To fit the old cliché, it was a classic cup tie; two sets of passionate fans, two big spenders and a fascinating teacher vs. pupil battle in the dugout between Leicester’s Sven-Goran Eriksson and Man City’s Roberto Mancini. However, Leicester not only took the game to the Premier League club, they were unlucky to only get a replay. Bamba bundled the ball across the line in the first 50 seconds before Leicester let their lead slip. Andy King found the equaliser in the 64th minute with the search for the winner continuing in to the last minute. Even former fox, Mancini revealed he was ‘relieved’ to escape with a draw.

Premier League? You’re Having a laugh… Bamba makes a name for himself

4. Leicester City 3–2 Tottenham Hotspur

2005/06 FA Cup 3rd Round     Att: 19,844

The Gary Lineker derby as it was affectionately dubbed on the day is perhaps one of the most infamous victories of Leicester’s recent history. Having been two-nil down by the 41st minute, The Foxes who were 21st in the Championship at the time embarked on a remarkable second half comeback led by the Elvis Hammond and Steven Hughes. The Foxes were back in it by the hour mark, leaving Mark ‘donkey’ de Vries to score the 90th minute winner and dump Premier League Spurs out of the cup.

Scalp… De Vries’ placed shot sends City through

3. Leicester City 3–0 Nottingham Forest

2009/10 Coca-Cola Championship     Att: 31,759

The first ‘El Clasico me duck’ thrashing came in February 2010. Both Leicester and Forest were locked in a battle for promotion and having been on the receiving end of a 5-1 defeat at the City Ground, it was time for the Foxes to get some revenge. The two East Midlands’ giants played out a dull hour with no real chances before a fifteen minute deforestation would get the Walkers rocking. A goal each from Bruno Berner and Andy King and a memorable free kick from Paul Gallagher ensured 3 points as the Foxes sank their teeth in to their bitter rivals, knocking them out of the top two.

Tale of two thrashings… Leicester exact their revenge on the Tricky Trees

2. Leicester City 1–0 Leeds United

2008/09 Coca-Cola League One     Att: 25,507

It was the battle of the big clubs in April 2009 as the Foxes edged closer and closer towards a remarkable turn in fortunes. Following years of decline, the Foxes were finally back on the up after a dramatic last minute header spread vibes of delirium around the Walkers Stadium. In truth, the game was a rugged affair and to fit the old cliché; a tremendous advert for England’s third tier. But it was Leicester who stood tall as Howard headed Gradel’s corner in to the back of the net, writing off the 2008/09 season as Leicester’s one and ONLY third tier tour.

Classic… ‘Super’ Steve Howard practically seals Leicester’s Championship return

1. Leicester City 4–0 Leeds United

2003/04 Barclays Premier League     Att: 30,460

The greatest game to ever unfold before our eyes at the King Power Stadium is the famous four-nil drubbing of Leeds United. The victory seen by millions on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football captured all the best Leicester’s most recent Premier League team had to offer. From the first whistle, the Foxes were on the hunt and the scoreline was one the home side had earned. Complete with four tremendous goals, in particular, a jaw-dropping 30-yard volley from Lilian Nalis, Leicester saw off a Leeds United team that had graced Europe just one season before. The victory was celebrated by fans alike including Chris Moyles’ breakfast show colleagues who concocted a jingle mocking Leeds’ (Moyles’ team) defeat to City. The win was the first of only five Premier League wins that season but boy was it a sweet one.

Rankings based on the votes by members of the FoxesTalk forum. 

2012-13 Football League Championship : Fans’ preview

The new season of the best 2nd tier in the World is less than a month away and the fans of the 24 clubs preparing to do battle over the next 9 months are chomping at the bit to voice their opinions, dreams and concerns for the coming campaign…

Title Contenders

Blackburn Rovers

Bounce-back-ability… Rovers fans are Kean to return to the top flight

Last season: 19th (Premier League)
Home ground: Ewood Park
Rivals: Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End
Bookies’ prediction: 4th

Questions answered by Carly Brown http://www.twitter.com/carly_brown_

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion! – I think we can do it. We’ve had some decent signings that can strengthen the squad and fill our weaknesses from last season

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Missing out on promotion. Slacking in important games. Giving up..

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We was weak in defence and midfield last season at certain times. Need strong commited centre midfields

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Easy one. Ask any Rovers fan – DOUBLE OVER BURNLEY!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
I think Danny Murphy will be strong for us this season. If key players from last season stay I think they will shine in the Championship

6. Who will win the league?   ~
Bolton..                                         

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
 I think newly promoted Sheff Wednesday and Huddersield will do unexpectedly well               

8. Where will you finish?
2nd

Bolton Wanderers

Nailed on… Ryan Taylor is just as confident as the bookies are for a
top-flight return by the Trotters.

Last season: 18th (Premier League)
Home ground: Reebok Stadium
Rivals: Blackburn Rovers,  Manchester United, Wigan Athletic
Bookies’ prediction: 2nd

Questions answered by Ryan Taylor http://www.twitter.com/razzat93

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
To go back up at first time of asking!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
To have a poor home form and injuries like last season.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
 A left back and back up goalkeeper.


4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Blackburn and Burnley.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Chung yung Lee, Holden and Kevin Davies

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton (I hope!)

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Blackpool

8. Where will you finish?
1st

Cardiff City

Unlucky… The Bluebirds are serial play-off chokers.

Last season: 6th
Home ground: Cardiff City Stadium
Rivals: Swansea City, Bristol City, Newport County, Leeds United
Bookies’ prediction: 7th

Questions answered by Jordan Jones http://www.twitter.com/jordanjonesy

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Automatic promotion

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Failing dramatically despite the investment.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Wingers and Striker

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Wolves

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Mason, Velikonja, Whittingham and Bellamy(pending he signs)

6. Who will win the league?
 Cardiff if the right players are brought in, failing that Blackburn                                    

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Dark horses will be Watford                      

8. Where will you finish?
3rd place, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion

Leeds United

Unpopular… ‘Dirty Leeds’ and ‘Colin Wanker’ may be a match made in Hell.

Last season: 14th
Home ground: Elland Road
Rivals: Manchester United, Chelsea
Bookies’ prediction: 5th

Questions answered by Carl Watson http://www.twitter.com/CarlCarlito75

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Takeover completed and wave bates goodbye

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Defence

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Barnsley

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Lees, Kenny and Snodgrass

6. Who will win the league?
Leeds

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield

8. Where will you finish?
Top

Leicester City

Modest… Favourites Leicester are staying much more grounded this time around.

Last season: 9th
Home ground: King Power Stadium
Rivals: Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Coventry City
Bookies’ prediction: Champions

Questions answered by Dean Goodsell http://www.twitter.com/deangoodsell

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion, pure and simple. After so many seasons of saying “this is our year”, just once it would be nice to have it finally come true.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Another season of mid-table mediocrity. We’ve had so little to celebrate over the past few seasons, just something would be nice.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Our strength in depth. In positions such as central defence, on the wing and even in goal we do not have decent back up. If anything is to be our downfall this season, I fear it may be injuries and suspensions.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Bristol City. After having them do the double over us last season, I feel some revenge is in order.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…

Jamie Vardy – Boasts a very good goalscoring record in non league. If he can make the step up, he will certainly give opposition defences some concern this season!

Ben Marshall – A promising youngster who had a good end to the season last term. With a good eye for goal and a mean set piece on him, I’m sure we can expect to see more of the same this year.

Wes Morgan – A typical Pearson-esque ‘no nonsense’ defender. Big, strong and competent on the ball, it’ll take a brave man to get past him!

6. Who will win the league?
Birmingham. A decent, young manager at the helm, who some say was unfairly dismissed from Huddersfield. Lee Clark will certainly be eager to prove his critics wrong. They’ve made good use of the transfer market so far, bringing in experienced players such as Ambrose and Mullins who are joining an already decent Championship setup. Also, without the added pressure of European football this season, I feel they will be a tough nut to crack.                                           

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield. It’s not uncommon to see teams from League One achieve success in the Championship, Huddersfield will be on a wave of momentum after winning the playoffs last season and will look to emulate the likes of Norwich and Southampton. If they can keep the core of their team from last season, they will certainly surprise a few people this season.

8. Where will you finish?
6th

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Woeful Wolves… ‘The Glass Fox’ is hoping that Wanderers’ defensive troubles are a thing of the past.

Last season: 20th (Premier League)
Home ground: Molineux
Rivals: West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Aston Villa
Bookies’ prediction: 3rd

Questions answered by ‘The Glass Fox’ http://www.twitter.com/The_Glass_Fox

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My hope and that of many Wolves fans is that we can start playing some attractive football and improve on the performances of last season

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Going back to long ball football consistently, Wolves need a change from the style of play that happened under McCarthy

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
The defence has been an issue for 5 seasons now but the imminent signing of Vadim Demidov maybe a coupe for the new manager.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
The local derby with Birmingham is always a big game and a positive result against Blues would be a fantastic thing.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Wolves players to look out for the new signings Sigurdarson who a fast and strong Icelandic striker, who has been compared to Ibrahimovic

6. Who will win the league?
I would love for Wolves to go all the way but I can’t look past Forest if they spend big and Blackburn, who have a really strong

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I think Simon Grayson could take Huddersfield to the playoffs this season, I also think SWFC could have back to back promotions.

8. Where will you finish?
With Wolves might heart says they will get automatic promotion but my head thinks that the playoffs would be a good achievement for us.

Play-off hopefuls

Birmingham City

Contenders… Brum are gunning for promotion and regional rivals, Wolves.

Last season: 4th
Home ground: St. Andrews
Rivals: Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion
Bookies’ prediction: 10th

Questions answered by Liam Radburn http://www.twitter.com/Raggy118118

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Becoming a mid table team

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Defensive cover

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Wolves

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Butland and Redmond

6. Who will win the league?
Blackburn                              

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Charlton

8. Where will you finish?
6th

Blackpool

Expectant… Gollum’s Tangerine army think this is their year.

Last season: 5th
Home ground: Bloomfield Road
Rivals: Preston North End, Burnley
Bookies’ prediction: 8th

Questions answered by Bob http://www.twitter.com/RWC_TheWire

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Anywhere in the Top 3, but as long as we are in the play-offs and have a strong chance of getting promoted I don’t mind

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Losing another play-off final or missing out on promotion on the last day for whatever reason. Losing to Bolton (Mate’s team) is also bad.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Another goal-keeper as back-up wouldn’t be a bad idea, and same again with a defender. Would love to sign Stephen Dobbie fully, and maybe a back up striker.  Actually, I’ll say a back-up striker who we can ease in to replace Super Kev

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Would love to beat Bolton, Leeds and Burnley. Beating all the Yorkshire teams wouldn’t go down badly really.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Incey and Matty Phillips always look good on the wings, Cathcart is still young and improving, our midfield all stand out too.

6. Who will win the league?
Anyone out of: Us, Bolton, Wolves, Blackburn, Birmingham and Forest. If I had to pick, I’d say Birmingham.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Hopefully us, seen us written off quite a bit but a top 3 finish is easily on the cards I reckon. Play-offs without a doubt. If not, I’d say Leeds, Leicester or Middlesbrough

8. Where will you finish?
Somewhere in-between 2nd and 8th. Depends on how well the likes of Blackburn or Forest do, no-one can weigh them up at the moment.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Determined… The Seagulls are desperate to win football’s most illogical rivalry.

Last season: 10th
Home ground: AMEX Stadium
Rivals: Crystal Palace
Bookies’ prediction: 9th

Questions answered by Simon Sheppard http://www.twitter.com/SeagullSimon

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope for the new season? Same as every other Championship fan really, That my team gets promotion to The Premiership.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear? Losing at home to Palace again!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
It’s only 2 now after signing Kuszcak in goal. We need a proven Championship goalscorer, and a tough tackling midfielder.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Palace!!! It’s important we shut up Da Croydon Massiff this season.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Vicente obviously, but Buckley, LuaLua, Bruno, Bridcutt, CMS, Barnes, Bridge, Noone but to name a few

6. Who will win the league?
I think we will be there or thereabouts, but my tip for The Championship is Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
This seasons “dark Horses” Brighton. Not saying that because I’m a fan. but made some great signings, more to come, you watch us go!

8. Where will you finish?
Where will Brighton finish? Anywhere in the top 6, but I have a sneaky feeling it will be 2nd.

Charlton Athletic

Realists… Dan Finch doesn’t think the Addicks should be aiming for the Premier League just yet.

Last season: Champions (League One)
Home ground: The Valley
Rivals: Millwall, Crystal Palace
Bookies’ prediction: 14th

Questions answered by Dan Finch http://www.twitter.com/MiniFinchy

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Stay in the league Keep Solly and Keep Jacko on form!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Losing to Palace! Can’t be dealing with that or relegation

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Need a goalie or another centre back. Someone Like Maguire from Sheff Utd.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Palace or Sheffield Wednesday.. Hate ’em both

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Chris Solly, Yann Kermorgant, Rhoys Wiggins and Danny Hollands

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton should

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Wouldn’t say no if Derby are up there if they can keep form maybe Middlesbrough

8. Where will you finish?
17th around there 🙂 #coyr

Hull City

Lonely on Humberside… Bitter Hull want to sink their claws in to East Midlands’ Leicester

Last season: 8th
Home ground: KC Stadium
Rivals: Leeds United, Grimsby Town, Scunthorpe United
Bookies’ prediction: 14th

Questions answered by Nicholas Smith http://www.twitter.com/Nicks648

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope for the new season is that we will get automatic promotion I am quietly confident under Bruce it can happen

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is that we under perform and battle relegation however I find this possibility highly unlikely with a mid table finish probably our worst position

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Our team needs a new centre back with jack Hobbs out injured a winger who can beat a man and two new strikers a desperate need due to us scoring only 47 goals last season

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
I most want to beat Leicester twice I still have a very bitter taste towards them with regards to Pearson .

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
I would say the player to look out for is Robert Koren can make something happen out of nothing and was sensational last season

6. Who will win the league?
I think it is likely it will be a relegated team like Bolton or Blackburn to win the league

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
This season’s dark horses will be huddersfield they’ve made some good additions and under Grayson I can see them getting play offs

8. Where will you finish?
I think we will finish 3rd this season however I wouldn’t be surprised to see us get automatic

Middlesbrough

Redemption…’Boro are hoping they can avenge last season’s heartache

Last season: 7th
Home ground: The Riverside Stadium
Rivals: Newcastle United, Sunderland, Leeds United
Bookies’ prediction: 12th

Questions answered by Lee Bailey http://www.twitter.com/smoggy_1986

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Hopefully the playoffs at least, was gutting to miss out on the last day last season. Should be getting top 6 this time round

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Squad Depth, our squad is small and injuries to key players cost us a top 6 place last season

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We need a creative midfielder, who can unlock stubborn defences, need an experienced LB to give joe bennet competition and some RB’s

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Leeds, dont like Warnock and they are our closest rival in this league.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Marvin Emnes, could be doing nothing one second then scoring the next, Rhys Williams and a FIT (keyword) Matthew Bates

6. Who will win the league?
No idea, this league is insane, take your pick from Boro, Wolves, Brum, Leicester, Blackpool, Bolton, Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Barnsley always favourites to go down but they seem to do okay, maybe Huddersfield. Millwall if they carry on last seasons end of form

8. Where will you finish?
Top 6 at least, I want to say top 2 but who knows.

Nottingham Forest

An East Midlands club with money? Where have we heard that before?

Last season: 19th
Home ground: The City Ground
Rivals: Derby County, Leicester City, Sheffield United, Notts County
Bookies’ prediction: 6th

Questions answered by Zack Grundy http://www.twitter.com/zackgrundy26

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope is that we can finally end our poor streak in play offs and get promoted back to where we belong.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is that the fans will expect too much and turn on the team after a few bad results.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Defence no doubt, currently we only have one defender who started consistently last season.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Derby! After losing twice to them last season it makes me want to beat them even more than usual.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Dexter Blackstock, Chris Cohen and Chris Gunter.

6. Who will win the league?
Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield, if they keep Rhodes I am certain that they will be near if not in the play offs.

8. Where will you finish?
I think we will finish near the play offs but not in them.

Sheffield Wednesday

Renaissance… The Owls are ready to perch in the play-offs

Last season: 2nd (League One)
Home ground: Hillsborough
Rivals: Sheffield United, Leeds United, Barnsley
Bookies’ prediction: 13th

Questions answered by Victoria Wood http://www.twitter.com/Victoria1867

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Play offs or mid table, no need for pressure this year!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Biggest fear probably relegation or signing Joey Barton!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We’re pretty covered now. Wouldn’t mind signing Antonio though

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
 L**ds, moreso now Warnock is there!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
one to watch – Maguire

6. Who will win the league?
I’d like to say Bolton but I’d be wrong! Forest maybe? Controversial!

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Same as 6

8. Where will you finish?
Probably mid table

Mid-table Stragglers

Burnley 

Lost in the shuffle… Burnley are one of few clubs that don’t fancy their chances.

Last season: 13th
Home ground: Turf Moor
Rivals: Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, Blackpool
Bookies’ prediction: 17th

Questions answered by Kieran Dallimore http://www.twitter.com/KieranClaret

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Promotion, very doubtable.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
 Midfield.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Blackburn Rovers.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Charlie Austin, Danny Ings, Marvin Bartley, Jason Shackell

6. Who will win the league?
Wolverhampton Wanderers

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Huddersfield

8. Where will you finish?
11th

Derby County

Charge… The Rams want to defy the odds and grab a top 6 finish.

Last season: 12th
Home ground: Pride Park
Rivals: Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Leeds United
Bookies’ prediction: 19th

Questions answered by Jon Mills www.twitter.com/JonMillsDCFC

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Hoping for a play-off push but we are a selling club under the American ownership.Ok with new signings BUT loss of Shackell/Green massive

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Barker out for season, we cashed in on Shackell and Green has gone so if new signings are not enough we might go backwards this season

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Definitely need at least one new centre half, a left back and a striker

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Same as every season – Florist!!!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Tom Naylor (only 20) did well when he arrived last season. Jeff Hendrick is class. Will Hughes from youth team could make a big impact

6. Who will win the league?
Always look out for the relegated prem teams. Not sure Wolves will do well but Bolton and Blackburn both have a chance

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Promoted teams have done well recently. Fancy Sheffield Wednesday to have a good season

8. Where will you finish?
New signings look good so if we get a decent centre half, cover for left back and a striker to score 15-20 goals, I fancy a top 6 finish

Huddersfield Town 

Buoyant… Terriers’ fans think the good times are back at the Galpharm

Last season: 4th (League One)
Home ground: Galpharm Stadium
Rivals: Leeds United, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday
Bookies’ prediction: 16th

Questions answered by HTFC Hub http://www.twitter.com/HTFC_Hub

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Our greatest hope for this season is ultimately to stay up and would be in absolute dream land if we managed to get into the play-offs.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Our biggest fear has to be getting relegated. Nobody wants to go down a league especially after waiting 11 years for promotion.

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
#htafc‬ need to strengthen in midfield. Two great signings so far but need one more. Also a forward alongside Rhodes is badly needed.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Most fans would say Leeds but I’m not too bothered. A lot of Yorkshire derby’s this year so would be nice to win a few of those.

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Last seasons top goalscorer in England…Jordan Rhodes. Also Hunt, Scannell, Higginbotham, Norwood, Clayton. We have a very strong squad.

6. Who will win the league?
Tough question. The league is going to be so tight this year. Too early to say especially with the transfer window still open.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I’m going for ourselves. May sound big headed but with a couple of extra signings we can really make our mark on the Championship!

8. Where will you finish?
Would settle for anywhere above relegation zone. However realistically I believe we will finish around 8th spot. Maybe even play-offs!

Ipswich Town

Mainstay… Ipswich have been in the 2nd tier for 10 consecutive seasons.

Last season: 15th
Home ground: Portman Road
Rivals: Norwich City
Bookies’ prediction: 15th

Questions answered by Daniel Crack www.twitter.com/DCrackers_ITFC

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
My greatest hope would be a top 10 finish

2.What’s your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is yet another low midtable finish

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
our defence , as we conceded the 2nd highest amount of goals in English football last season and we’re short of cover at the back

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Peterborough.. to get them back for spanking us last season!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Emmanuel Thomas and Lee Martin

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton, although Brighton are in with a serious shout of finishing as champions!

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I think Leeds will be the dark horses, they have a great manager in charge and they are signing some great players

8. Where will you finish?
I think Ipswich, with the current squad will finish a worrying 17th place, but they all depends on who we sign before the 18th august

Watford

Surprise package… Zola’s hornet army are ready to ambush the league’s big guns.

Last season: 11th
Home ground: Vicarage Road
Rivals: Luton Town
Bookies’ prediction: 18th

Questions answered by Chris ‘Manic’ Mundy http://www.twitter.com/Manic_Mundy

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Zola to inspire the team and for Watford to get top 6.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
The team not responding to Zola

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Mainly strikers but also left mid

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Palace

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Sean Murray & Jon Hogg

6. Who will win the league?
I think Blackburn will win the league .

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Tough one but maybe us..I really think with the right players we could do well.

8. Where will you finish?
Between 8th / 6th

Relegation candidates

Barnsley

Grit… The Tykes are ready to scrap for survival

Last season: 21st
Home ground: Oakwell
Rivals: Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United, Doncaster Rovers
Bookies’ prediction: 24th

Questions answered by Tricky Walker www.twitter.com/tricky_bfc_

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
I think mid table if KH works his wonders .. But loosing RVT and Butterfield. I think it will be about surviving this season!

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Being a small club with no cash… Our biggest fear in injuries and suspensions!!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
I like to see a big, strong CB come in and a play-maker in CM to fill Butterfield boots.

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Good Question. But every Barnsley fan it has be Dee Dars ( Sheff Wed ) haha

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Jim O’Brien.. but us fans would love to see Mido hit top form.

6. Who will win the league?
Hard question.. I’d say Blackpool..

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I’d say Dirty Leeds with Warnock in charge..

8. Where will you finish?
15th?

Bristol City

Recovery… Melissa Spencer hopes for an improved showing from the Robins.

Last season: 20th
Home ground: Ashton Gate
Rivals: Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City
Bookies’ prediction: 22nd

Questions answered by Melissa Spencer http://www.twitter.com/MelissaSpencerX

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Greatest hope is improving on last season, no-one fancies a relegation battle again, so I’d be happy with top half/midtable.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Biggest fear would obviously be going down. we’ve managed to establish ourselves as a Championship club, don’t want to lose it!

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We need another striker & new centre half primarily, also need a new GK too. We’ve been linked to Buzsaky who is the midfielder we’ve been screaming out for!

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
I want to beat Cardiff & Leeds. Cardiff always have a nack of beating us! My boyfriend is Leeds, and they normally beat us so its about time we beat them!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Definitely Albert Adomah. He’s attracted a lot of interest from PL clubs. I’d also recommend looking out for our young winger Yannick Bolasie, not been featured much but when he has, he’s been a gamechanger.

6. Who will win the league?
Bolton, said it as soon as they went down. They have the facilities, and the players, and the manager. They will bounce back.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
 I’d like to say us – but i think Huddersfield will be. They’ve strengthened significantly, and I think Simon Grayson has what it takes to guide them up there.

8. Where will you finish?
I think we’ll finish in between 10-17th. The league is so tight this season, anyone can go up or down.

Crystal  Palace

Staying up… The bookies may have underestimated Palace

Last season: 17th
Home ground: Selhurst Park
Rivals: Brighton & Hove Albion, Millwall, Charlton Athletic
Bookies’ prediction: 21st

Questions answered by David Jamieson www.twitter.com/JamiesonDavid

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Keep building on the progress made since coming out of administration. And win all our derby games – Charlton, Millwall and Brighton!  If all else fails finishing above Brighton will do nicely

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Losing to Brighton and not matching the ambitions of some of our more talented youth products like WIlfried Zaha come season’s end

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We’re in desperate need of goals so priority is a striker who can score regularly. A CB is also required and possibly another winger

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Brighton!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Wilfried Zaha – if he keeps progressing at the rate he has it will be another torrid season for opposing full backs                                              Jonathan Williams too – his breakthrough season was disrupted by a broken leg but this should be a massive year for the little magician

6. Who will win the league?
The Championship is probably the most competitive league in Europe so it’s anybody’s guess.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Palace, hopefully!!! Think the bookies have been hard on us with only P’boro and Barnsley less likely to be promoted according to them

8. Where will you finish?
Toward the top section of mid-table, which is where we should’ve been last year before starting to run out steam around February

Millwall 

“No one rates us! We don’t care!”… Lions laugh at talk of relegation.

Last season: 16th
Home ground: The Den
Rivals: West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic
Bookies’ prediction: 20th

Questions answered by Total Carnage http://www.twitter.com/TotalCarnageMFC

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
Top 10 finish

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Chairman leaving and going into administration

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
Forward line especially a goalscorer

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
Most like to beat Leeds United but MUST finish above Charlton and Palace for the 3rd consecutive season

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Keogh, Trotter and Henderson.

6. Who will win the league?
Nottingham Forest (If their new owner is true to his word re transfer budget) If not Blackburn.

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
Dark horses – Huddersfield

8. Where will you finish?
Think we will finish 9th

Peterborough United

Fox hunt… Andrew van den Bent-Kelly wants Foxes scalp.

Last season: 18th
Home ground: London Road
Rivals: Cambridge United, Northampton Town, Leicester City, MK Dons
Bookies’ prediction: 23rd

Questions answered by Andrew van den Bent-Kelly www.twitter.com/AndrewvdBK

1. What’s your greatest hope for the new season?
I hope we can push on from last season, but the league will be much tougher this year, so the priority has to be staying up again. We’re still in the process of establishing ourselves as a Championship side.

2.What’s your biggest fear?
Relegation. We’re still the smallest club in the league so we’ll be favourites to go down, as we were last season. After all our hardwork last year, suffering from Second Season Syndrome would be disastrous

3. In which areas does your team most need to strengthen?
We seem to have made the right signings so I don’t think any position needs a dramatic overhaul now. If Boyd and Taylor do leave then we may need another addition up-front, but I’m confident that the squad is good enough

4. Who do you most want to beat this season?
I appreciate that the feeling isn’t really mutual, but most Posh fans would love to beat Leicester!

5. Players in your squad to look out for…
Provided he remains injury-free, our new signing Danny Swanson looks the real deal. Two of our best players last year were Zakuani and Alcock so I hope they can produce similar levels of performance. Our new keeper Bobby Olejnik also has the ability to flourish this season

6. Who will win the league?
I’m going to go for Bolton

7. Who will be this season’s ‘dark horses’?
I doubt they’ll get successive promotions, but Sheffield Wednesday are one of the biggest clubs in the league and I wouldn’t put it past them to nick a play-off spot

8. Where will you finish?
It will be tough, but I believe we have a good enough squad to not only stay up, but improve on last year’s showing. I’ll say 16th

The Championship & Big Clubs

One of the most common and coincidentally annoying defence mechanisms in Championship fans’ repetoire is their persistence that they’re a ‘big club’. Whether it’s a Leeds, Derby or Blackpool fan, a high proportion of second tier fanatics will have some sort of superiority complex.

So, I took to the pages of Twitter and asked the fans of the Championship what criteria they took in to consideration when deciding upon who deserves ‘big club’ status in 2012. Typically, the most prominent responses were ‘history’ and ‘fanbase’. Secondary suggestions came in the form of most recent league finish and ‘potential’ i.e. their expectancy to achieve within the coming season.

Many football fans will be well aware that the room for debate in this subject is colossal so I’ve (attempted to) devised a set of criteria aiming to pinpoint the big guns of today’s second tier. Each team has been ranked in each category – 24 points to the top team and 1 to the worst. As history was such a popular suggestion, points are doubled in that category. Fanbase is measured by both last season’s home and away attendances, thus in effect doubling that category too.

Last season’s finish – Bolton Wanderers achieved the best finish of the Championship’s teams last season, finishing 18th in the Premier League. Huddersfield Town are awarded 1 point for finishing 4th and as eventual play-off winners in League One.

Going down… Bolton Wanderers were relegated from the Premier League.

Overall History – Blackburn Rovers have the ‘richest’ history of the 24 second tier teams. Peterborough United are the Championship’s minnows. (source: http://www.aboutaball.co.uk/aboutaball-historical-football-rankings/historical-ranking-of-english-football-clubs)

Historic… Blackburn Rovers won the 1994/95 Premier League.

Home attendance – Derby County possess the greatest home support in the league (*cough* free tickets *cough*). Whereas, Peterborough are once again last.

Packed… Derby County were the only club to achieve a sell-out last season.

Away attendance – ‘Dirty’ Leeds United are the Championship’s best travellers with Watford at the opposite end of the scale.

Marching on Together… Leeds away support is far superior.

Potential – Potential was measured by the club’s current winning odds for next season. Thus, Leicester City possess the most potential of the Championship’s clubs. Barnsley, this time are bottom. (source: http://www.oddschecker.com/football/english/championship)

Fox hunt… Leicester are the ‘most likely’ to achieve promotion.

When all the points are added the table of 2012/13 big clubs looks like this;

1.  Wolverhampton Wanderers – 123
2.  Blackburn Rovers – 122
3.  Bolton Wanderers – 119
4.  Leeds United – 113
5.  Leicester City – 112
6.  Birmingham City – 101
7.  Sheffield Wednesday – 99
8.  Derby County – 97
9.  Nottingham Forest – 95
10.  Middlesbrough – 90
11.  Blackpool – 81
12.  Cardiff City – 79
13.  Brighton & Hove Albion – 72
14=  Hull City – 65
14= Ipswich Town – 65
16.  Huddersfield Town – 60
17.  Burnley – 59
18=  Crystal Palace – 50
18=  Charlton Athletic – 50
20.  Watford – 33
21.  Barnsley – 30
22.  Bristol City – 29
23.  Millwall – 28
24.  Peterborough United – 20