FootballScores.com Predictions 2012/13
Believe it or not, but the Football Season sort of properly starts this weekend, with the Capital One Cup (that’s the Carling Cup in old money) and the Community Shield at Villa Park (Wembley is busy with the Olympics).
August 10th, 2012
So without further ado, here is our hastily put together prediction for the ups and downs in English football for the season 2012/13.
Manchester City: They say that the first Championship is always the toughest to get hold of. Now that City have the Championship in the cabinet, we can’t see them giving it up without a fight. They haven’t bought anyone yet but, if they can keep the harmony in the squad, what they have is good enough.
Champions League (in order):
Chelsea: The European Champions have invested well and are our tip for second place.
Manchester United: A season of struggle looks to be in store for United. Shinji Kagawa isn’t the inspiration that they need and Paul Scholes can’t go on forever. We don’t think Man Utd have gone backwards, they’ve just not gone as far forwards as Chelsea.
Arsenal: Arsenal have invested well. If they can keep Van Persie, they’ll be well clear of Spurs. If they can’t, they’re still better than their North London rivals.
Reading: We’re expecting the Royals to yo-yo back down to the Championship.
Wigan Athletic: I know, they’re tipped every year but seriously, they can’t keep clinging on – can they?
Aston Villa: Villa were lucky to escape last season and in all honesty, this season’s squad looks no better. Paul Lambert has his work cut out.
Bolton Wanderers: The Trotters have kept the core of the hard-working squad that served them well in the Premier League prior to last season. They should adapt well to Championship football.
Wolves: How they react to a new manager will be interesting but they’ve kept the bulk of their squad together so should do well. They also seem stable off the field, something that can’t be said for promotion rivals Blackburn.
Birmingham City: Birmingham finished fourth in the league whilst having the nuisance of a Europa League run, using just 25 players in league games in the process. Without that distraction, they should do well. On top of that, Peter Løvenkrands and Darren Ambrose could turn out to be cracking signings at this level.
Barnsley: Barnsley finished one place above the dotted line last season but were propped up by the goals from Ricardo Vaz Te. With Vaz Te, Barnsley won 11 games from 28. When he left, they won just two and lost 13 from the remaining 18. Without those goals, they’ll struggle.
Peterborough United: Permanent fixtures on any Goals Galore coupon, Peterborough must sort their defence out if they are to avoid the drop.
Huddersfield Town: Key to Huddersfield’s chances will be keeping hold of Jordan Rhodes. The Terriers dropped 28 points from winning positions last season – they won’t get away with a similar record in the Championship.
Sheffield United: Prior to last season, getting 90 points would have been enough to secure automatic promotion from League One on eight out of the last ten seasons. The Blades were agonisingly close last season in a thrilling campaign. Promisingly, the heartache of last year’s play-off final doesn’t seem to have hurt the club too badly and they should come up this time around.
Coventry City: The Sky Blues have signalled their intent to move straight back up to the second tier with the signings of Stephen Elliott and Kevin Kilbane. With one of the bigger squads in L1, they should be strong enough.
Swindon Town: There has been something of a trend in recent years for clubs enjoying back-to-back promotions so we’re going to back Swindon Town. We like Paulo Di Canio and they’ve nabbed a few decent players. James Collins was in demand during the summer whilst Gary Roberts and Tommy Miller from Huddersfield could prove useful buys.
Portsmouth: With no squad and a points deduction on the way, it’s no surprise that Pompey are odds-on for the drop.
Crewe Alexandra: At 3/1, Crewe look a good price for the drop. The side that Crewe will field in L1 isn’t that different from last season’s play-off winning side, minus the presence of Man Utd-bound Nick Powell. A sprinkling of new faces from League Two suggests that a relegation battle is being prepared for at Gresty Road.
Walsall: Narrowly avoided the drop last season and with joint top-scorer Alex Nicholls going to Northampton, it won’t be easy for Walsall in 2012/13.
Bury: If Peter Sweeney and Steven Schumacher can stay injury free, then things might look up for Bury but the club punches above its weight. Eventually, a sucker punch is going to land.
Rotherham United: New stadium, new players, new ambition. After years of knocking at the door, hopes are high in South Yorkshire. Eleven new faces have come in for The Millers and they’re strong favourites for promotion.
Torquay: Last season’s beaten finalists in the play-offs have managed to retain the majority of their squad for the coming season and the re-signing of Billy Bodin could be an inspired transfer, considering his impressive record in front of goal whilst on loan last season.
Chesterfield: The Spireites had some impressive moments last year despite relegation, with a JPT win at Wembley. Some deadwood has been cleared out and if the squad can stay together, they can do well.
Barnet: How long can Barnet keep clinging on? For the last two seasons, Barnet have finished just one place above the dotted line – that’s not a strategy that they can keep repeating.
York City: It took them long enough to retain their league status but it might not take them long to lose it. Without huge financial backing, they’ll find it tough going.