Football predictions for the new season

Football predictions
Predictions for the beautiful game Photo:

Predictions for the season:

How do you think your team will do this season? After 4 of our clubs gained promotion last term - can we expect more success this time around?

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PREMIER LEAGUE:****

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READING:

PLAYERS IN: Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest, £2.5m), Adrian Mariappa (Watford, £2.5m), Pierce Sweeney (Bray Wanderers, undisclosed), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham, free), Danny Guthrie (Newcastle, free), Garath McCleary (Nottingham Forest, free), Nicky Shorey (West Brom, free)

The Royals' form in the 2nd half of last season was extraordinary. Shooting up the table - leaving big spending clubs like West Ham and Leicester City in their wake, to grab top spot in the Championship. And with new Russian owner Anton Zingarevich now onboard, the club have spent wisely this summer. Arguably one of the best transfer deals for any club over the past few months saw Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak join. He was a sensation last season on loan at Fulham, scoring 5 goals in his first 3 games. With Pogrebnyak, Jason Roberts, Adam Le Fondre and Noel Hunt up front - the Royals should have enough goals to stay up.

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SOUTHAMPTON:**

PLAYERS IN: Jay Rodriguez (Burnley, £6m), Paulo Gazzaniga (Gillingham, undisclosed), Steven Davis (Rangers, undisclosed), Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace, undisclosed)

The Saints were in the top 2 of the Championship all last season, and hung to grab a place in the Premier League for the first time in 7 years. Today there have been reports of major bids for new players - with £12 million offered for Bologna's Gaston Ramirez and £6 m for Blackpool's Matt Phillips among them. Manager Nigel Adkins wouldn't be drawn on names, but said the specualtion shows the ambittion of the club. He also says he wants at least one more centre back, so expect lots of big-money activity between now and the end of the transfer window on August 31st. If those signings come off - Saints could be a suprise package.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP:

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BRIGHTON:**

*PLAYERS IN: *Andrew Crofts (Norwich), Wayne Bridge (Man City), Tomasz Kuszczak (Man Utd), Bruno {Valencia)

The Seagulls consolidated their place in the Championship last season - and flourished at their new home the Amex. This summer they've added real quality, bringing in players from top flight clubs. Having beaten Chelsea in pre-season they've shown they mean business. To me they look a good bet for a Play-off place, or even higher under one of the League's top young managers, Gus Poyet.

LEAGUE ONE:

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AFC BOURNEMOUTH**

*PLAYERS IN: *Tommy Elphick (Brighton), Eunan O'Kane (Torquay), Miles Addison (Derby), Josh McQuoid (Millwall), Frank Demouge (FC Utrecht), Lewis Grabban (Rotherham)

After years of financially fighting for survival - the Cherries are now aiming upwards. Eddie Mitchell and co-owner Max Demin has shown they mean business by making more big signings. The start of the season may be tough with a number of injury problems, but anything less than a top 6 finish will be seen as a disappointment.

CRAWLEY TOWN:

PLAYERS IN: Shaun Cooper (AFC Bournemouth), Mark Connolly (Bolton), Matt Sadler (Wallsall), Paul Jones (Peterborough), Gary Alexander (Brentford), Nicky Adams (Rochdale).

It's been a remarkable few years for the Red Devils. Promotion from the non-league meant last season was their first in the football league. So an immediate promotion to League One was a fantastic achievement in a turbulent year. Managers came and went - but new boss Richie Barker will be hoping to continue the momentum. They've bought well, bringing in experienced League One players - and will look to consolidate this season.

PORTSMOUTH:

*PLAYERS JUST BROUGHT IN ON 1 MONTH CONTRACTS: *

Kieran Djilali, Mustapha Dumbuya, Jon Harley, Brian Howard, Izale McLeod, Lee Williamson, Jack Compton, Luke Rodgers, Liam Walker and Simon Eastwood.

Where do we start with Pompey? Another season of woe saw them relegated, go into administration, have to release all their players - and continue their fight against liquidation. Now the club can start on zero points (rather than minus 10) and have signed 10 players on non-contract 1 month deals - there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The administrator says the only hope against liquidation now is from the Fans Trust. So in the next week - it's hoped the club can be saved. With so many things stacked against manager Michael Appleton - he may see survival, as a club and in Leagie one, as a great success.

SWINDON TOWN:

*PLAYERS IN: * Jay McEveley (Barnsley), Gary Robert (Huddersfield Town), James Collins (Shrewsbury), Tommy Miller (Huddersfield), Andy Williams (Yeovil), Alan Navarro (Brighton), Troy Archibald-Henville (Exeter)

Manager Paolo Di Canio showed he's as much fun to watch as a manager as he was a player. His antics on the sidelines propelling his team to promotion. It was seen as a risk to take him on by the club, but he's proved to be a top boss. The Robins have bought very well and I think they could have a second automatic promotion.

LEAGUE TWO:

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ALDERSHOT TOWN:**

PLAYERS IN: Myles Anderson (Blackburn), Sonny Bradley (Hull), Craig Reid (Stevenage), Craig Stanley (Bristol Rovers), Olly Lancashire (Walsall), Guy Branston (Bradford), Anton Tonkin (Oxford Utd), Troy Brown (Rotherham)

A mixed season last time out - with the home tie against Man United in the League Cup the undoubted highlight. One of the friendliest clubs to visit in the country (even the Dalai Lama visited this summer!). A number of summer signings - and boss Dean Holdsworth will be aiming for a Play-off place.

GILLINGHAM:

PLAYERS IN: Deon Burton (FK Gabala), Tom Flanagan (MK Dons), Ben Strevens (Wycombe Wanderers), Charlie Allen (Notts County), Stuart Nelson (Notts County) Tommy Forecast (Southampton)

Is there a more entertaining manager than Martin "Mad Dog" Allen? And who else thinks he will be perfect for the Gills? Having already knocked Championship side Bristol City out of the Capital One Cup, the Gillingham players have shown they ar responding his skills. My tip for automatic promotion.

**OXFORD UNITED:

PLAYERS IN:** Lee Cox (Swindon), Sean MGinty, Michael Raynes (Rotherham), Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton & Hove), Sean Rigg (Port Vale)

Also just missed out last time. But boss Chris Wilder has improved the squad every season he's been there. I predict a play-off place.