Who's Who: Our Guide To The Championship, Part 2

Last updated : 03 August 2004 By @blades_mad1889

David Friio: could be a star name in the Championship.
Plymouth Argyle: Despite the loss of manager Paul Sturrock to Southampton Argyle still successfully won promotion in a canter with new boss Bobby Williamson. The Pilgrims will not be one of the big clubs in this Division but with highly rated Midfielder David Friio it would be cruel to suggest that the Home Park club are going back to play the Owls next season. Blades-Mad prediction: 21st

Summer Activity, In: Stevie Crawford (Dunfermline), Matthies Doumbe (Hibernian), Lee Makel (Livingston), Steven Milne (Dundee), Keith Lasley (Motherwell). Out: Jason Bent (released), Matt Villis (Torquay, loan), Martin Phillips (Torquay),Ian Stonebridge (Wycombe), Wayne O'Sulivan (Exeter).

Preston North End: The Deepale club didn't do as well as expected last season by finishing in 15th position. Former Owls striker Richard Cresswell should once again prove his worth with his flurry of goals but with the players Craig brown has brought in his something that wouldn't impress Blades fans if they signed for United. They have drafted in Callum Davison and Youl Mawene but former Cutler Andy Smith doesn't make a promotion chasing squad. Blades-Mad prediction: 14th

Summer Activity, In: Andy Smith (Glentoran), Callum Davison (Leicester), Youl Mawene (Derby), Gavin Ward (Coventry). Out: Michael Jackson (Tranmere), Michael Keane (Hull), David Lucas (Sheff Wed), Lee Briscoe, George Koumantarakis (both released), Rob Edwards (Blackpool), Paul Carvill (Accrington).

Queens Park Rangers: Finished as runners-up in Division Two, but don't let this fool you. Rangers have a quality squad which wouldn't surprise me if they finished near or in the play-off zone. Last season they went throughout the season without losing at their Loftus Road Ground but probably will not match the same record this time round. Blades-Mad prediction: 7th

Summer Activity, In: Lee Cook (Watford). Out: Clarke Carlisle (Leeds), Steve Palmer (MK Dons), Dennis Oli, Richard Pacquette, Ben Walshe , Torrell Forbes (all released), Richard Graham (Barnet).

Reading: Since the Madejski Stadium was built in 1998 the Royals have enjoyed their time at the 24,000 stadium having won promotion from Division Two three seasons ago and have not looked back since. With Steve Coppell in charge they have brought in quality players such as Shaun Goater, Glen Little and Bobby Convey. The Biscuitmen are now established and have no fear of relegation but have work to do if they are to make the Play-Offs. Blades-Mad prediction: 11th

Summer Activity, In: Glen Little (Burnley), Paul Brooker (Leicester), Bobby Convey (DC United), Ibrahima Sonko (Brentford). Out: Jamie Ashdown (Portsmouth), Andre Boucaud (Peterborough), Joe Gamble, Kelvin Jack, Andre Fashanu (all released), John Solako (Brentford), Kevin Watson (Colchester).

Rotherham United: Sleeping Giants the Millers are not, some would say they don't belong in this Division but this is a divided opinion among the Football League. Ronnie Moore has worked hard to take United from the basement to where they are now since his appointment in May 1997. However with the money the Millmoor club havn't got Ronnie has brought in Paolo Vernazza and Paul McLaren, two players who should be good enough to help them escape the

Bradford City v Sunderland: Andy Gray (now with Sheff Utd) challenges Julio Arca last season.
drop, but only just. Blades-Mad prediction: 20th

Summer Activity, In: Robbie Stockdale (Middlesbrough), Paul McLaren (Sheff Wed), Phil Gilchrist (West Brom), Paolo Vernazza (Watford), Julian Baudet (Nott's Co). Out: Guy Branston (Sheff Wed).

Sheffield United: The nearly men of the Division, twice been beaten in a Play-Off final since there fall from the Premiership in 1994 and find it harder as each season goes by to reclaim there once top flight status. Under Neil Warnock the Blades have enjoyed some success and although they finished 8th last season saw quality players such as Andy Gray, Alan Wright and Simon Francis all recruited.

Barry Hayles and Jon Harley have been brought in from Fulham, two players who will not look out of sorts in an already strong line-up. However United will have to bring in one or two more quality players if their Premiership revival is to be renewed. Blades-Mad prediction: 8th

Summer Activity, In: Jon Harley, Barry Hayles (both Fulham), Andy Liddell (Wigan), Paul Thirlwell (Sunderland), Leigh Bromby, Alan Quinn (both Sheff Wed), Phil Barnes (Blackpool). Out: Mark Rankine (Tranmere), Mike Whitlow (Nott's Co), Colin Cryan (Scarborough), Peter Ndlovu, Danny Wood, Kristian Rogers, Sasa Ilic (all released), Wayne Allison (Chesterfield), Robert Page (Cardiff), Andy Parkinson (Grimsby), Ashley Sestanovich (Grimsby, loan).

Stoke City: The Potters started off with a poor run and looked favourites to go down last season, but they beat the critics and finished a comfortable 11th place. Star striker Carl Asaba could only manage eight goals all season, upfront is there weak point despite having Gifton Noel-Williams as support man. They do have good keepers with Ed de Goey and newly recruited Steve Simonsenm, but with only two new signings believe that they will struggle and will find it hard to avoid the drop. Blades-Mad prediction: 23rd

Summer Activity, In: Dave Brammer (Crewe), Steve Simonsen (Everton). Out: Peter Hoekstra (released), Jermaine Palmer, Richard Keogh (both Vikingur, loan), Neil Cutler (Stockport), Kris Commons (Forest), Gareth Owen (Torquay, loan).

Sunderland: Beaten in Play-Off semi-final to eventual winners Crystal Palace last season. The Black Cats have yet to find there nickname lucky after also missing out on a FA Cup Final appearance as well as relegation the previous season. The boys from Stadium of Light have a good strong squad but may be disappointed to have lost Tommy Smith who was there leading marksman. Blades-Mad prediction: 3rd

Summer Activity, In: Dean Whitehead (Oxford), Carl Robinson (Portsmouth), Stephan Elliot (Man City), Liam Lawrence (Mansfield), Stephen Caldwell (Newcastle), Mark Lynch (Man Utd). Out: Tommy Smith (Derby), Phil Babb, Paul Thirlwell (Sheff Utd), Michael Reddy (Grimsby), Mark Rossiter, Jason McAteer (Tranmere), Joachim Bjorklund (all released), Simon Ramsden (Grimsby), Darren Byfield (Gillingham), Patrick Collins (Sheff Wed).

Watford: The Hornets was once a side not to take for granted and this was shown when they drew 2-2 with Chelsea at the Vic last season. Finished 16th with a squad that should do better with the likes of Heidar Helguson, Bruce Dyer and Paul Devlin in your team. Could be the dark horses this time round if they show ambition, if not they could find themselves the way of Brighton. Blades-Mad prediction: 22nd

Summer Activity, In: Brynjar Gunnarsson (Forest), Andy Farrell (Newcastle), Jermaine Darlington (MK Dons). Out: Jerel Ifill (Swindon), Paolo Vernaza (Rotherham), Micah Hyde (Burnley), Simon Patterson, Elliot Godfery, Sam Swonnell, Steve Graham (all released), Lee Cook (QPR), Wayne Brown (Colchester).

West Ham United: Missed out on promotion after losing in the Play-Off Final but should be back their next time around. Alan Pardew is a successful manager and with some money behind him from the parachute payment and players sold should be enough to ensure automatic promotion. Blades-Mad prediction: 1st

Summer Activity, In: Jimmy Walker (Walsall), Teddy Sheringham, Sergi Rebrov (both Tottenham). Out: brian Deane (Leeds), Robert Lee, San Lee, Daryl McMahon, David Forde, Shaun Bryne (all released), Kevin Horlock (Ipswich), David Connolly (Leicester), Elliot Ward (Peterborough, loan).

Wigan Athletic: Just missed out on the top six with a seventh place finish, not bad for your first season in Division One. But this season the Division will no doubt be tight and the Latics will have to go a long way to prove they are worthy to be promotion candidates. They should though have a good striking partnership with Nathan Ellington and Per Frandsen which leaves something to be desired for. Blades-Mad prediction: 12th

Summer Activity, In: David Graham (Torquay), David Wright (Crewe), Per Frandsen (Bolton). Out: Jason de Vos (Ipswich), Andy Liddell (Sheff Utd).

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Bounced straight back down from the Premiership at the first attempt, after 19 years of only just missing out on promotion. They have however always had a strong and reliable squad which would put the wind up any opponent. Have yet to make an impression on the transfer market after there only purchase being Rob Edwards from rivals Villa but will still look strong for automatic promotion with Dave Jones as leader. Blades-Mad prediction: 2nd

Summer Activity, In: Rob Edwards (Aston Villa). Out: Dennis Irwin (retired), Paul Butler (Leeds), Alex Rae (Rangers), Nathan Blake (Leicester), Steffan Iversen, Oleg Luzhny, isaac Okoronkwo (all released), JJ Meligan (Cheltenham), Silas (Maritimo, loan), Henri Camara (Celtic, loan).