Which three sides are heading for the Championship trap door?
When predicting who will be relegated from the Championship this coming season, it’s usually prudent to consider the rationale for promotion hopefuls in reverse.
Relegated Premier League sides are normally considered favourites to go straight back up and thus, promoted League One sides are invariably favourites to head straight back down.
However, Blackpool’s summer behaviour has led many to believe they are the conclusive favourites for relegation this term.
The Tangerines are odds-on at 4/6 to finish in the relegation places and manager Jose Riga has spent the vast majority of pre-season working with only eight players.
Blackpool needed nine trialists to complete their match day squad against Burnley last weekend but, in light of intense media criticism, the club have halted their nefarious transfer policy and got through some much needed recruitment.
It will still be a tall order for the team to gel quickly and gain the required fitness levels to survive and prosper – it’s hard to see Blackpool causing many surprises this year.
Another side in turmoil off the pitch this summer is Leeds United. After making it through the back-end of last season, despite the boardroom tug-of-war and Brian McDermott’s phantom sacking, Owner Massimo Cellino then installed relatively unknown boss David Hockaday into the Elland Road hot-seat.
Having lost star striker and Championship top goalscorer Ross McCormack too, Leeds are fifth favourites at 10/3 for the drop.
Wolves are generally being considered likely to have a favourable return to England’s second tier with a distant price of 14/1 on offer.
Attack-minded Brentford are valued at 4/1 for relegation but are seen as having a stronger chance of survival than Birmingham (7/2), Charlton (13/5) and Huddersfield (7/2).
Play-off winners Rotherham look set for a tough campaign as the Millers are priced at joint-second favourites for the drop with Ian Holloway’s Millwall at 3/1.
The Lions boss doesn’t agree with the bookies assertion however, believing following his sides eight-match unbeaten run to finish off last season, his squad are capable of more.
Holloway said: “I don’t want another two seasons like we have just had. I want to do better than that.
“I want us to feel like we can achieve things, be consistent and be fighting at the other end of the table, there’s no reason we can’t be up there.”
It looks like careless actions behind the scenes may cost clubs like Leeds and Blackpool, who have recent Premier League pedigree, their places in the Championship this season.
In a division as unpredictable as the Championship, where Birmingham only survived on goal difference last term, nobody is too big to look over their shoulder.