Championship 2019-20 Preview

72 in 72, Barnsley, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Brentford, Bristol City, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, EFL Championship
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EFL Championship is one of the toughest leagues to predict because nobody knows what to expect when a team gets relegated from Premier League because key players might not show interest in staying at the club which puts clubs in a position where they have to rebuild which might go either way.

While the PL teams are rebuilding, there are teams that came into the league, One or Two years ago and still have parachute payments, then comes the teams that have missed last season’s promotion due to one or two bad games.

Then there are teams that got promoted from League One and were governed by SCMP and not FFP, which means they had restriction only on spending a maximum of 60% of their turnover on wages and League One is also not an easy league which means they were promoted because they were best among 24 teams.

All the while rest of the teams are trying to build on last seasons success, and One or Two quality signings or Player improvements could Transform them into title contenders.

There is also a chance that injuries, suspensions, coach changes, Referee quality which could all affect a team like any other League.

So we would like to stick to predicting which section of the table a team is going to finish and want to share the current squad status of the team.

Before we get started let us answer a very important question which is in the backs of many fans minds

When does the League One and League Two Summer transfer window close?

League One and Two Transfer window will close on Monday 2nd September at 5:00 pm. So it is safe to say there is still time for prospects to go on loan to lower tiers.

This is just the part One of the Preview and I am currently working on Part two So please stay tuned.

Barnsley

There is a strong feeling among Barnsley fans that the departure of Kieffer Moore could affect them this season as Conor Chaplin and Patrick Schmidt might not be able to fill the 19 goals and championship experience that is lost due to the sale of Moore.

Here is the list of players that departed the club this season.

Barnsley Transfers Out

NamepositionTransfer typeSquad status
Adam DaviesGKFreeFirst Team
Zeki FryersLB’, CBFreeBackup
Ryan HedgesRW’, LW, CFFreeBackup
Lloyd IsgroveLW’, RWFreeBackup
Adam JacksonCBFreeBackup
Liam LindsayCB£2.5millionFirst Team
Will SmithCBFreeProspect
Ethan PinnockCB £3.1millionFirst Team
Kieffer MooreCF £2.5millionFirst Team
Victor AdeboyejoCFLoanBackup

‘ indicates that the position is the players’ primary position.

Barnsley Transfers In

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Mads Juel AndersenCB’, LB, RB £920kFirst Team
Mike-Steven BähreAM’, CM, LM, LW £139kFirst Team
Brad CollinsGKFreeBackup
Şahin-RadlingerGKFreeFirst Team
Luke ThomasRW’, AM, LW £1.25millionFirst Team
Toby SibbickRB UndisclosedFirst Team
Aapo HalmeCB UndisclosedBackup
Bambo DiabyCB UndisclosedFirst Team
Mallik WilksLW’, AM, RW £1millionFirst Team
Conor ChaplinCF’, RW, AM UndisclosedBackup
Clarke OduorLB UndisclosedProspect
Patrick SchmidtCF’, RW, LW UndisclosedFirst Team

Barnsley 2019-20 Analysis

Barnsley seems to have followed the policy of buying the players young and selling them on a profit which is never a bad policy for a team that was just promoted to Championship.

Most of the players they have brought don’t have Championship experience but the quality of players that they have brought in brings the confidence of Championship survival.

There is no doubt in saying that Daniel Stendel has brought in players that can complement the team that finished League One runners up.

The loss defensive duo Ethan Pinnock, Liam Lindsay, Club captain, and GoalKeeper Adam Davies who played part in a defense that conceded EFL’s fewest goals last season while keeping a club record 21 clean sheets will hurt them big time.

Barnsley Prediction

The departure of Kieffer Moore has increased pressure on Cauley Woodrow and new signing Patrick Schmidt while the departure of three key players in last seasons’ defense gives us vibes that Barnsley might find it tough to retain their Championship status.

Finishing Position: Relegation Zone

Birmingham City

The departure of Garry Monk following a conflict behind the scenes kicked off the pre-season for many Blues fans on a sour note while the inability to retain Club captain and six goals CB Michael Morrison increased the unease.

Then there was the inevitable sale of 22 goal striker Che Adams followed by Jota who was part of the swap deal that brought Gary Gardner to the club meant that Birmingham City fans might be in for a ride this season.

Birmingham City Departures

Name PositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Che AdamsCF £15.5millionFirst Team
JotaRW £4.2millionFirst Team
Isaac VassellCF UndisclosedBackup
Michael MorrisonCBFreeFirst Team
Viv Solomon-OtaborLW,RWFreeProspect
Bez LubalaCFFreeProspect
Josh CogleyRBLoanProspect
Greg StewartCFFreeNot needed
Iván GuzmánRWLoan Not needed
Tomasz KuszczakGKFree Backup
Cheikh N’DoyeCMFreeNot needed

Birmingham City Arrivals

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Ivan SunjicDM’, CM £7.4millionFirst Team
Álvaro GiménezCF £1.4million First Team
Dan CrowleyAM’, CF £700k First Team
Agus MedinaCMFree Backup
Gary GardnerCMSwap Jota First Team
Moha RamosGKLoan Backup
Jake Clarke-SalterCBLoanFirst Team
Fran VillalbaAM Undisclosed First Team

Birmingham City Analysis

It is tough to predict where blues are going to end up at the end of the season but it is safe to say Álvaro Giménez, Dan Crowley’s performance could decide their fortunes.

It will also be interesting to see whether Pep Clotet will turn out to be the man that will stay as the manager at the end of the season as his expansive style of play can go either way.

It seems like Jake Clarke-Salter is Michael Morrison’s replacement, Álvaro Giménez is Che Adams’ replacement while Dan Crowley could turn out to be a valuable asset in forward positions.

Birmingham City Prediction

This season could go either way for them but we are trying to be on the safe side with our prediction.

Finishing Position: Bottom half (13-21)

Blackburn Rovers

The club seems to be gaining back the fans that it lost during the previous years but not in the pace that the board wants. Many fans seem to have taken Mowbray to their heart but some feel that he is spending too much on players which is not something you hear from fans these days.

Main objective Mowbray this season was to retain the services of his star players while adding quality and competition for places to the existing squad.

He seems to have managed exactly that but some people still feel Christian Walton should have better competition at Gk than Jayson Leutwiler and Andy Fisher while later should have been given chance to go out on loan.

Charlie Mulgrew’s departure on loan to join Wigan has also brought its fair share of criticism from the fans but it will be interesting to see if this leads to opportunities for Academy players but also arises the question of whether there are enough quality CBs at the club.

Blackburn Rovers Departures

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Charlie MulgrewCBLoanFirst team
Craig ConwayLWFreeBackup
Paul DowningCBFreeBackup
Jack DoyleLBFreeProspect
Lewis MansellCFFreeProspect
Jack RodwellDMFreeBackup
Ben GladwinCMFreeNot Needed
David RayaGK£3 millionFirst team
Joe NuttallCF UndisclosedBackup
Scott WhartonCBLoanProspect
Tyler MagloireCB Loan Prospect

Blackburn Rovers Arrivals

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Christian WaltonGKLoanFirst Team
Tosin AdarabioyoCBLoanFirst Team
Greg CunninghamLBLoanFirst Team
Stewart DowningLMFreeFirst Team
Bradley JohnsonCMFreeFirst Team
Sam GallagherCF£5 millionFirst Team

Blackburn Rovers Analysis

While depth in attacking positions looks great the defensive especially CB and Goalkeeping positions could have been strengthened but there is still a chance to add free agents so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

The addition of Stewart Downing, Bradley Johnson, and Sam Gallagher will improve the quality and bring invaluable experience to their positions. If these players can combine with Lewis Travis, Joe Rothwell and Bradley Dack then this has the makings of a season to remember.

Blackburn Rovers Prediction

Blackburn Rovers leaked 69 last season so there was a need for strengthening at the back but the defense is not giving us vibes of ability to push for playoffs so here is our prediction.

Finishing Position: Top Half (7-12)

Brentford FC

With the opening of their new 17,250 capacity stadium, this is going to be their final season at Griffin Park and most of the fans wish it were a memorable one but the departure of Neal Maupay, Ezri Konsa, and Romaine Sawyers might have killed playoff push dreams.

The Bees are known for their ability to unearth unknown European talent and turning them into stars. Many said it was Dean Smith’s ability but Thomas Frank has also continued his legacy forward.

Like every Transfer market Bees have gone after the players whose stock value has fallen in recent years but who have the ability to raise their value quickly.

Brentford FC Departures

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Neal MaupayCF£20millionStar Player
Ezri KonsaCB £12.4millionFirst Team
Romaine SawyersCM £3millionFirst Team
Daniel BentleyGK £2millionFirst Team
Lewis MacLeodCM, LMFreeBackup
Yoann BarbetLB, CBFreeFirst Team
Moses OdubajoRBFreeFirst Team
Jack BonhamGKFreeNot needed
Josh McEachranCMFreeBackup
Theo ArchibaldLMFreeProspect
Justin ShaibuCFLoanProspect
Canice CarrollRB LoanProspect

Brentford FC Arrivals

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Bryan MbeumoRW £6millionFirst Team
Pontus JanssonCB £5.7million First Team
Mathias JensenCM £3.5million First Team
Christian NörgaardDM£3.25million First Team
David RayaGK£3million First Team
Ethan PinnockCB£3million First Team
Joel ValenciaAM£1.8million First Team
Dominic ThompsonLB UndisclosedProspect
Dru YearwoodCM Undisclosed Prospect

Brentford FC Analysis

As they say, goals are the costliest stat in football and when you lose a 25 goal striker then the pressure on other players increases and it is not always easy to find a twenty-plus goal striker so this season might not be Brentford’s season.

The new defensive line of Ethan Pinnock, Pontus Jansson, Julian Jeanvier along with David Raya could also take some time to get used to each other.

Brentford FC Prediction

On paper, Brentford looks like a solid team but not the one we would expect to reach playoffs. Player development is sometimes unpredictable so never say never.

Finishing Position: Top Half (7-12)

Bristol City

Bristol City was part of an entertaining playoff race last season but a lack of 20+ goal striker proved costly to them as they only managed to finish the 8th. This meant that they needed to spend big in the transfer window.

Sale of defensive duo Lloyd Kelly, Adam Webster on huge transfer fees gave the feeling that Bristol City is sacrificing established name to sign a quality player and replace the duo with other quality options.

The Robins were linked with as many as eight strikers on the deadline day but none of them seem to have capitalized but they still managed to bring in Benik Afobe on a last-minute loan deal.

Many fans still feel Right Back and Center Back should have more quality options. Loan moves of Zak Vyner(RB), Jamie Paterson(AM/SS) don’t seem like the right moves for the club considering they could have served as a backup.

Loaning out Jamie Paterson to playoff rivals Derby makes the decision even worse considering his versatility play anywhere as a forward but every fan understands that players’ morale and dressing room morale is very important for a good run.

Bristol City Departures

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Adam WebsterCB£20millionFirst Team
Lloyd KellyLB£13millionFirst Team
Mohamed EisaCF UndisclosedBackup
Marlon PackCM£766kFirst Team
Jake AndrewsLMFreeProspect
Frank FieldingGKFreeBackup
Stefan MarinovicGKFreeNot Needed
Eros PisanoRBFreeNot Needed
Joe MorrellCMLoanProspect
Cameron PringLBLoanProspect
Robbie CundyCBLoanProspect
Max O’LearyGKLoanBackup
Rory HoldenCFLoanProspect
Jamie PatersonAMLoanFirst Team
Zak VynerRBLoan Prospect

Bristol City Arrivals

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Han-Noah MassengoCM£8millionFirst Team
Ádám NagyCM£2.35millionFirst Team
Daniel BentleyGK£2.1millionFirst Team
Jay DasilvaLB£2.25millionFirst Team
Rene GilmartinGKFreeBackup
Tomáš KalasCB£8.5millionFirst Team
Tommy RoweLMFreeBackup
Sammie SzmodicsAMFreeBackup
Kasey PalmerAM£2.6millionBackup
Pedro PereiraRBLoanFirst Team
Benik AfobeCFLoanFirst Team

Bristol City Analysis

The Robins should have brought in a regular goal-scorer with the money they had but they left it till the last minutes of deadline day and lost the battle to sign Eddie Nketiah.

There are also doubts about whether Jack Hunt and Jack Hunt are good enough to play at the Right Back position and CB pair of Taylor Moore, Tomáš Kalas has let in three goals in the first matchday which is also not a great sign for a team that won matches due to their defensive prowess last season.

The strength and quality they have added in the midfield can be considered a positive this summer.

Bristol City Prediction

As we have explained before Bristol ended in 8th and missed playoffs last season due to a lack of regular scorer which is a concern they failed to address and sale of key players like Adam Webster, Lloyd Kelly doesn’t give any new improvement vibes.

Finishing Position: Top Half (7-12)

Cardiff City

Cardiff City squad showed last season that they have the ability to compete for Premier League safety and missed it by two points. The core of the squad that was part of their 2017-18 Championship promotion season remained at the club.

They go into the season as favorites which comes with its own set of problems as many teams might play for a draw rather than a victory against them.

Fans seem to be enjoying their favorites tag and 18,000 season tickets sold might be proof. The only problem is the lack of regular goalscoring striker and departure of Kenneth Zohore puts pressure on newcomers Robert Glatzel, and Isaac Vassell and increases pressure on their wingers, other areas of the pitch.

Cardiff City New Signings

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Joe DayGKFreeFirst Team
Curtis NelsonCBFreeBackup
Will VaulksDM£2.2millionBackup
Aden FlintCB£4.2millionFirst Team
Gavin WhyteRW£2.1millionBackup
Robert GlatzelCF£5.6millionFirst Team
Marlon PackCM£766kFirst Team
Isaac VassellCFUndisclosedBackup

Cardiff City Departures

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Aron GunnarssonCMFreeFirst Team
Kadeem HarrisRMFreeBackup
Jack McKayCFFreeProspect
Stuart O’KeefeCMFreeNot Needed
Rhys HealeyCFUndisclosedBackup
Bruno Ecuele MangaCB£1.9millionFirst Team
Kenneth ZohoreCF£8.35millionFirst Team
Loïc DamourCM UndisclosedBackup
Mark HarrisLWLoanProspect
Greg CunninghamLBLoanBackup
Bobby ReidAMLoan Backup

Cardiff City Analysis

The addition of Joe Day to compete against Neil Etheridge will hopefully place the best No.1 in between the sticks while Aden Flint seems to be the right replacement for Bruno Ecuele Manga.

Will Vaulks, Marlon Pack will bring depth to the midfield. The only big question now is where they can get goals consistently? Is Robert Glatzel or injury-prone but highly rated Isaac Vassell turn into reliable strikers?

Cardiff is a team that has players who can score goals from different areas of the pitch but they only managed to score 34 goals last season in PL so it will be interesting to see whether a change in the quality of opposition is going to increase their goal tally.

Cardiff City Prediction

Many people expect them to finish in automatic promotion spots but we still doubt regarding their goalscoring ability so we are going to stay safe and predict a

Finishing Position: Playoff (3-6)

Charlton Athletic

The Addicks have managed to retain the services of their 22 goals, 13 assist striker Lyle Taylor, rejecting as many as four bids which show that the wantaway owner Roland Duchatelet wants the club to retain Championship status.

The departure of Anfernee Dijksteel has left a gap in the Right Back position leaving Chris Solly as the only player who has the ability to play naturally at that position.

They made use of the loan market on the deadline day and have brought in Sam Field, Jonathan Leko, and Beram Kayal who can add some much-needed depth to the squad.

Charlton Athletic New Signings

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Macauley BonneCF £210kBackup
Tom LockyerCBFreeFirst Team
Chuks AnekeSSFreeBackup
Ben PurringtonLBUndisclosedFirst Team
Ben AmosGKFreeBackup
Jonny WilliamsAMFreeFirst Team
Deji OshilajaCBFreeBackup
Conor GallagherDMLoanBackup
Josh CullenCMLoanFirst Team
Sam FieldCM LoanBackup
Jonathan LekoRW LoanProspect
Beram KayalCM Loan First Team

Charlton Athletic Departures

NamePositionTransfer TypeSquad Status
Nicky AjoseCFFreeNot needed
Terrique AndersonCFFreeProspect
Joe AriboCMCompensationFirst Team
Patrick BauerCBFreeFirst Team
Daniel BowryCBFreeNot Needed
Jo CummingsCBFreeProspect
Tariqe FosuLWFreeBackup
Reeco Hackett-FairchildCFFreeBackup
Mikhail KennedyCFFreeNot Needed
Mark MarshallRWFreeBackup
Jamie MascollLBFreeProspect
Josh ParkerCFFreeBackup
Ben ReevesAMFreeBackup
Josh UmerahCFFreeNot Needed
Igor VetokeleCFFreeBackup
Anfernee DijksteelRB£2.1millionFirst Team
Taylor MaloneyDMLoanProspect
Ashley Maynard-BrewerGKLoanBackup

Charlton Athletic Analysis

While the signings of Tom Lockyer, Ben Purrington, Macauley Bonne, Chuks Aneke, and resigning of Jonny Williams can be considered as positives, while the depth at various positions could cost them in a 46 game campaign.

Their success will be reliant on the youngsters if one of the starters gets injured especially in forward areas. There is no doubt in saying that they could have used two to three more signings in the Transfer window.

Charlton Athletic Prediction

This young Addicks squad doesn’t give the vibes of survival and signing more young players as loans might have improved the energy but brings up a simple question which is are they good enough?

So we are going to play safe and say

Finishing Position: Relegation Zone (22-24)

Rest of the team previews can be found at Championship or 72 in 72