Who's Who: Our Guide To The Championship, Part 1

Last updated : 03 August 2004 By @blades_mad1889

Brighton & Hove Albion: The Seagulls won promotion from Division Two via the play-offs with a Leon Knight penalty five minutes from the end against Bristol City. Then they had something to shout about after returning to the Championship at the first time of asking but even with highly rated striker Knight, they wont be able to beat the drop this time round. Blades-Mad prediction: 24th

Summer Activity, In: Maheta Molango (Atletico Madrid). Out: Stuart Jones, Geoff Pitcher, Mark Windsor (all released).

Burnley: The Clarets have a new bight young manager in Steve Coterill now that Stan Ternant has been given the boot. He moved in quick to bring in Micah Hyde from Watford who was training with

Burnley v Watford: Micah Hyde (left) tangles with Clarets Tony Grant.
the Blades. Non-the-less financial support is hard to find when the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool are not all that far away and can not see the Turf Moor club from improving their 19th last season position. Blades-Mad prediction: 18th

Summer Activity, In: John McGreal (Ipswich), Michael Duff (Cheltenham), Micah Hyde (Watford), Danny Coyne, Frank sinclair (both Leicester). Out: Mark McGregor (Blackpool), Glen Little (Reading), Dean West (Lincoln), Paul Weller, David May, Alan Moore (all released).

Cardiff City: With Wrexham and Swansea in the lower regions of the Football League it's safe to say that the Bluebirds are carrying the flag for Wales very high on their shoulders. Finished a respectable 13th place after winning promotion the previous season but may find themselves struggling after Spencer Prior has left, but with Robert Earnshaw have one of the best strikers in the league and will see plenty of goals in him. Blades-Mad prediction: 9th

Summer Activity, In: Lee Bullock, Scott Allison (both York), Robert Page (Sheff Utd), Tony Warner (Millwall). Out: Spencer Prior (released), Gavin Gordon (Nott's Co).

Coventry City: This is now the Sky Blues fourth season outside the Premiership and will be eager to return with manager Peter Reid. However they have lost there star striker Julian Joachim to Leeds, a player will be sorely missed. Without money to spend in what was once a top flight club the Highfield Road faithful will probably see a mid-table finish. Blades-Mad prediction: 13th

Summer Activity, In: Stephen Hughes (Charlton), Bjarni Gudjonsson (Vfl Bochum), Neil Wood (Man Utd), Tim Sherwood (Portsmouth), Louis Carey (Bristol City). Out: Mo Konjic (Derby), Julian Joachim (Leeds), Michael Briscoe (Macclesfield), Youssef Safri (Norwich), Gavin Ward (Preston), Pegguy Arphexad, Dean Gordon, Barry Quinn, Onandi Lowe (all released).

Crewe Alexandra: The Alex did well to finish 18th under the leadership of long serving manager Dario Gradi. A club like Wimbledon who has slowly risen from the depth of Division Three to become an established Division One side. They now have legend Mark Rivers back at Gresty Road and will no doubt be a fans favourite and will bring experience to a young Alex squad. Blades-Mad prediction: 17th

Summer Activity, In: Andy White (Mansfield), Ben Williams (Man Utd), Mark Rivers (Norwich). Out: Ade Bankole, Ian Jeffs (both released), Allan Smart (MK Dons), David Wright (Wigan), Dave Brammer (stoke).

Derby County: A mid-table finish would be an achievement after a string of wins near the end of last season which lifted the Rams out of relegated to finish in 20th spot. George Burley has his hands tide behind his back as he struggles to find transfer funds to bring in quality players. However he has managed to bring in two established players in Konjic and Smith who should do a good job. Blades-Mad prediction: 16th

Summer Activity, In: Morton Bisgaard (FC Copenhagen), Mo Konjic (Coventry), Tommy Smith (Sunderland), Inigo Idiakez (Reyo Vallecano). Out: Chris Palmer (Nott's Co), Youl Mawene (Preston), Manel, Jimmy Turner (all released), Lewis Hunt (Southend), Izale Mcleod (MK Dons).

Gillingham: A team that have never been taken serious as a Division one club but non-the-less shuck up Charlton last season with there FA Cup giant killing. A 0-0 draw over Stoke was enough to beat the drop on the last day of the season but will once again find life tough but should escape the drop again this time round. Blades-Mad prediction: 19th

Summer Activity, In: Iwan Roberts (Norwich), Darren Byfield (Sunderland). Out: Kevin James (Forest), Gary Wales (Kilmarnock), Rod Wallace (released).

Ipswich Town: The Tractor Boys fans would probably agree that they are a sleeping giant just waiting to run away with this league. Probably should still be in Premiership but the dream of lifting the UEFA Cup took them away from there main aim and were duly relegated before attempting to do something about it. However Town have one of the leagues dangerous strikers in Darren Bent and on his day Pablo Counago which once again should see plenty of goals. Blades-Mad prediction: 6th

Summer Activity, In: Jason de Vos (Wigan), Kevin Horlock (West Ham). Out: John McGreal (Burnley), Alun Armstrong, Chris Bart-Williams (both released), Marcus Bent (Everton), Jermaine Wright (Leeds), Chris Makin (Leicester).

Leeds United: Blades fans were not upset to see the whites lose there Premiership status three months ago on the day against Bolton. Kevin Blackwell, Neil Warnock's former number two has made a lot of transfer activity in which as to no surprise he lost his so called stars to the Premiership bargain hunters on the look to make a clearance on bankrupt stock.

The United fans will be looking for a quick fix and return to the promise land at the first time of asking but fear they will have a surprise, and although they should make a top six finish will not see a Millennium Stadium appearance. Blades-Mad prediction: 5th

Summer Activity, In: Julian Joachim (Coventry), Danny Pugh (Man Utd), Paul Butler (Wolves), Clarke Carlisle (QPR), Michael Ricketts (Middlesbrough), Jermaine Wright (Ipswich), Matthew Spring (Luton), Danny Cadamarteri (Bradford), Brian Deane (West Ham). Out: Alan Smith (Man Utd), Paul Robinson (Tottenham), Michael Bridges (Bolton), Jason Wilcox (Leicester), Mark Viduka (Middlsbrough), Ian Harte (Levante), Nick Barmby (Hull), Spehan McPhail (Barnsley), Dominic Matteo (Blackburn), Chris Armstrong (Rochdale), Danny Mills (Man City), James Milner (Newcastle), David Batty (retired).

Leicester City: Won promotion to the Premiership convincingly during the 2002/03 season but came straight back down to the league where they made there name as promotion yo-yo's in 1996. Like Leeds the Foxes have see many players come in but equally seen more go out the back door as they look to get rid of a large wage bill. However they have managed to keep hold of former Toon defender Nikos Dabizas who is a key member of the squad who should help them to a top 6 finish. Blades-Mad prediction: 4th

Summer Activity, In: Dion Dublin (Aston Villa), Gareth Williams

Dion Dublin: Brought in from Aston Villa to fire Leicester back into the big time.
(Forest), Jason Wilcox (Leeds), Danny Tiatto (Man City), Martin Keown (Arsenal), Kevin Pressman (Sheff Wed), David Connolly (West Ham), Nathan Blake (Wolves), Chris Makin (Ipswich). Out: Muzzy Izzet (Birmingham), Ricardio Scimeca (West Brom), Paul Dickov (Blackburn), Ben Thatcher (Man City), Frank Sinclair (Burnley), Billy McKinley (Fulham), Tom Williamson, Craig Hignett, Steffan Freund, Paul Murphy (all released), Junior Lewis (Hull), Alan Rogers, Andy Impey (both Forest), Paul Brooker (Reading), Callum Davidson (Preson), Les Ferdinand (Bolton), Danny Coyne (Burnley), Nicolas Priet (Doncaster).

Millwall: Reached FA Cup Final last season which won them a place in the UEFA Cup, though the lions should be careful not to let this effect them and slip away there dream chasing the big time. Though under the leadership of Dennis Wise have made little new signings to a squad that is basic and can not see them finishing above mid-table. Blades-Mad prediction: 15th

Summer Activity, In: Jody Morris (Rotherham), Graham Stack (Arsenal, loan). Out: Kevin Braniff (Rushden, loan), John Sutton (Dundee, loan), Abou Fofana (released), Tony Warner (Cardiff), Robbie Ryan (Bristol Rovers), Tim Cahill (Everton), Ronnie Bull (Grimsby), Stuart Nethercott (Wycombe).

Nottingham Forest: The Reds probably were effected by that Play-Off Semi-Final the other season which saw a good strengthed squad only just escape the drop last season when they should on paper be looking for at least a top 10 finish. Joe Kinnear is now in charge and after keeping hold of highly acclaimed Andy Reid who looked at one point Spurs bound should once again become a title challenger. Blades-Mad prediction: 10th

Summer Activity, In: Kevin James (Gillingham), Andy Impey, Alan Rogers (both Leicester), Kris Commons (Stoke), Paul Gerrard (Everton). Out: Gareth Williams (Leicester), Andy Haskins, Matt Bodkin, Pascal Forman, Scott Tynan, Danny Sonner (all released), Des Walker (retired).